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Amazing Tools #6: The Bench SlideMount

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Blog entry by Gary Fixler posted 07-31-2009 11:43 AM 1946 reads 1 time favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 5: 1 man, 1 door, 1 minute and 37 seconds Part 6 of Amazing Tools series Part 7: The Circular Swing Blade Mill »

I think I’m going to end up with several Bench SlideMounts. They’re exactly what I didn’t realize I’ve been looking for. I’ve been dragging my heels on a bad idea I’ve had to install T-tracks in my 8’x2’ work table, seen here almost 2 years ago when the garage was still nice and empty and traversable.

I’d make a shelf below the bench to hold my smaller bench tools on squares of plywood, bringing each up as needed, sliding its bolts into the T-slots, and locking them down with some Rockler T-slot locking clamps I have. Seemed like a lot of work, while ruining my table, and still not making it really easy to set up my heavy little tools and break them down again in a hurry when I only needed to, say, sharpen a chisel. Check out this alternate solution to the problem:

It seems ideal for me. 3 of the tools in the video are exactly what I’d want these for – bench grinder, scroll saw (which has been in my dining room since shipping it here from my folks’ house this past December!), and possibly a benchtop belt/disc sander, though I’d really prefer a large floor model if I can find a place for it. The other thing it would be great for would be my WorkSharp 3000, which keeps moving around the shop, being in the way when it’s not being extremely useful.

I have so very little space, I have to turn to crazy transformer-based solutions to reclaim enough room to turn around, and these seem a perfect fit to that end. I really wish they were $40-$50, though. Their site currently lists it for $117.95, but the site that linked me there claimed only $97.99, same as the article on Fine Woodworking which alerted me to this whole thing in the first place. If only I had a shear and press brake, I could just make my own. Perhaps I can work out something with angle iron.

-- Gary, Los Angeles, video game animator



12 comments so far

View cabinetmaster's profile

cabinetmaster

10874 posts in 2303 days


#1 posted 07-31-2009 12:29 PM

Wish I had thought of that. I’ll bet they are making a fortune with those. But I do have my own version of how I use these tools and store them. Once I get it completed and possibly sent to Wood or Popular Woodworking magazines, I’ll post it here for all to see and use.

-- Jerry--A man can never have enough tools or clamps

View Kindlingmaker's profile

Kindlingmaker

2654 posts in 2271 days


#2 posted 07-31-2009 02:07 PM

Rather interesting.

-- Never board, always knotty, lots of growth rings

View jerryz's profile

jerryz

164 posts in 2023 days


#3 posted 07-31-2009 03:10 PM

Well Gary let’s say I am a little befuddled, apparently the “Inventor” cut a deal with a manufacturer and they are selling it for $97.99 see here

http://www.commercewelding.com/bench.htm

But on their website there is no cart, so you have to call them and get the shipping cost from them, they take Credit Card orders over the phone and via Fax.

The “Inventor” on the other hand is selling them at the price you reported $117.95
They do have a cart and that price includes Shipping.

(“Cart” a web site gizmo that allows to place orders and receive payments over the Internet)

View JJohnston's profile

JJohnston

1593 posts in 2036 days


#4 posted 07-31-2009 05:15 PM

I was curious about the reference to the AT-AT costume in the caption of the work table picture. Very impressive!

I’m skeptical about the bench slide mounts, though. I don’t see how they’re much of an improvment over just storing the tool under the bench and setting it up there manually when you need it. It still takes up space under the bench, and the weight is always on the bench, making it sag, whether you’re using the tool or not.

-- "Sometimes even now, when I'm feeling lonely and beat, I drift back in time, and I find my feet...Down on Main Street." - Bob Seger

View jlsmith5963's profile

jlsmith5963

297 posts in 2093 days


#5 posted 07-31-2009 05:23 PM

Given the ‘play’ that has to be in this device in order for it to move smoothly, my skeptical eye sees a device that almost certainly lacks the ‘bolt/clamped down’ stability that is required of bench machines. It is hard to imagine that using a machinist vice with this device would really be comfortable. However, I can imagine that the racking movement could be actually dangerous (bench grinder for example). You could add a base to each machine that was wide enough to allow you to clamp the machine to the bench to over come this problem. Also, where are all the cords for those machines (LOL), seems cord management should be part of this device as well.

-- criticism: the art of analyzing and evaluating the quality of an artistic work...

View Gary Fixler's profile

Gary Fixler

1000 posts in 2126 days


#6 posted 07-31-2009 07:53 PM

jerry – I hadn’t tried to purchase it, but it’s interesting the issues you found. Thanks for reporting them!

J – Thanks for the kind words about my crazy old Halloween costume :) For me, my bench has had a lot more weight than just those tools on it for a few years now, and no sagging yet. It’s not a quality woodworker’s workbench, but it does have steel extrusions bolted across the bottom of it. I think I may try to rig up my own (thought about it for awhile last night) for just the bench grinder and WorkSharp. My grinder is small and both of the tools don’t end up weighing very much. Yet, they’re always in the way, and I’d like as little fuss as possible setting them up so I can’t fall back on my laziness and just keep working with dull tools. I find that the cooler it is to set up a tool, the more likely I am to bother ;)

jl – I can’t imagine using a vise with it. They take too much lateral stress often. My bench grinder, however, I’ve never bolted down, and what I’ve done with it these past couple of years only causes it to walk a bit, and I drag it back over. I just haven’t wanted to commit to drilling holes in a $250 table for a cheapy Ryobi bench grinder. Good thinking re: the cords, though! Hadn’t even occurred to me. I guess they’re all going to hang under the table, and then end up looped up and over the front. Maybe that’s accounted for somewhere in the design. Thanks!

-- Gary, Los Angeles, video game animator

View jlsmith5963's profile

jlsmith5963

297 posts in 2093 days


#7 posted 07-31-2009 08:50 PM

Gary, the only reason I mentioned the vice is that it appears in the video. Attaching a piece of mdf or pw to the bottom of your machine will then allow you to clamp the machine to the bench (no holes in the bench required). I am going to ignore your ‘walk a bit’ comment and simply wish you continued good luck using your grinder that way, after all they are your fingers not mind.

-- criticism: the art of analyzing and evaluating the quality of an artistic work...

View HokieMojo's profile

HokieMojo

2103 posts in 2473 days


#8 posted 08-01-2009 04:24 AM

My only issue is that I don’t have many tools that would benefit from this. If it is close to the 75# weight limit, I’d guess that is a tool I’d need around a lot (or like a miter saw, will want outfeed support etc.). If it is a tool that weighs less than 50#, I’d still rather save the money and move the stuff myself. It also takes up a lot of under bench storage too, so it doesn’t really save space. I think it just saves lifting. It is a good idea, I’m just trying to think of how best to incorporate it. Also, it costs as much as all but my 5 most expensive tools themselves. If it’s well built, I’m sure this guy will sell a lot though and have happy customers.

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

112818 posts in 2322 days


#9 posted 08-01-2009 04:28 AM

Thanks for sharing

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile

TopamaxSurvivor

15065 posts in 2420 days


#10 posted 08-01-2009 06:19 AM

If it were me, which it ain’t, I’d save the long Yankee green for other goodies and just arm wrestle the tools where I needed them on the bench and back under and onto the shelf. If you make your own, you might trying channel iron and truning your own wheels to run in it ;-))

-- "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View skeeter's profile

skeeter

233 posts in 2086 days


#11 posted 08-05-2009 06:05 PM

I really didn’t follow the product my eyes wandered allittle on the girl. wow

-- My philosophy: Somewhere between Norm and Roy

View Jeison's profile

Jeison

947 posts in 1852 days


#12 posted 12-19-2009 11:51 AM

the girl was demonstrating a product? musta missed that part :D

-- - Jei, Rockford IL - When in doubt, spray it with WD-40 and wrap it with duct tape. The details will attend to themselves.

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