LumberJocks

How to salvage a HF reject (workbench)

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Project by John Smith posted 02-15-2018 12:39 AM 2927 views 9 times favorited 29 comments Add to Favorites Watch

while I was at a Harbor Freight parking lot sale a few months ago,
I spied a wooden workbench still in the box – the box seemed to have been through
some rough times. it appeared to have been dropped and tossed about. It had a $50 sticker on it.
it had the original nylon straps on it so it apparrantly had not been opened to check for damage.
$50 seemed a bit high for a “Pig in a Poke” – so I offered $25 and they helped me load it !!
the first photo is how it is on the showroom floor. (sorry, I forgot to take photos of the bench prior to repairs).
basically, it had some broken joints, split this and that, minor stuff that some screws and epoxy couldn’t fix.
the two left hand drawers were broken so I moved them to the right after repairs were made.
I started this project with my daughter in mind (she is 45) for her very own personal woodworking/crafts/hobby station.
she is an accomplished craftsman and has had a rough life and has never had a chance to have her own “stuff”.
all the tools are mine – that will go with the bench as a surprise present – Heritage Pass Down thing.
basically, I took this broken bench project, made a box frame for the pegboard and two fluorescent lights
under the top apron so they would be out of sight. There is a power strip on the right hand leg.
routed some grooves for the 3/4” recessed T-Track. I have all the hardware for the hold-downs.
made the small inclined carving desk out of scrap wood for when you need to get your work off the flat table.
(3/4” pegs on the bottom). the round dog holes are metric so they had to be sanded out to be the
standard 3/4”.
oh – the black phone on the left is my very first family phone from around 1955 or so.
additional photos upon request if you would like to see more details. (only allowed 6 photos here).

-- I started out with nothing in life ~ and still have most of it left.





29 comments so far

View pottz's profile

pottz

3142 posts in 1129 days


#1 posted 02-15-2018 12:45 AM

wow great deal for the price of glue and screws and a very nice surprise gift for a special person in your life.shes gonna be thrilled john,congrats.

-- sawdust the bigger the pile the bigger my smile-larry,so cal.

View IantheTinker's profile

IantheTinker

252 posts in 272 days


#2 posted 02-15-2018 01:15 AM

According to reviews, those benches aren’t half bad and are a decent price at their original tag. You got a splendid deal at $25 and some TLC. These are the kind of projects that enrich the lives of everyone involved, well done, John.

Oh, how were the instructions for the bench assembly process? I have heard they leave a bit to be desired.

-- opiningminnesotan.com

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile

Smitty_Cabinetshop

15571 posts in 2763 days


#3 posted 02-15-2018 01:37 AM

Very nice, John!

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive --

View John Smith's profile

John Smith

1368 posts in 307 days


#4 posted 02-15-2018 01:49 AM

thanks for the flowers guys !!

Ian – the instructions were pretty straight forward for assembly.
the flimsy bottom shelf didn’t fit so I replaced it with 1/2” plywood. (plus, it was a bit broken).
I cut 6” off the feet as it was just too tall for a sit-down bench.
once everything was all bolted together, it is more sturdier than it looks.
I would be satisfied with a new one off the floor with a few modifications.
I am still adding things to it such as a moxon vice on the left side, T-Track across the front, etc.

“yes – I would recommend this item to my friends” as the survey goes.

,

-- I started out with nothing in life ~ and still have most of it left.

View IantheTinker's profile

IantheTinker

252 posts in 272 days


#5 posted 02-15-2018 01:53 AM



thanks for the flowers guys !!

Ian – the instructions were pretty straight forward for assembly.
the flimsy bottom shelf didn t fit so I replaced it with 1/2” plywood.
I cut 6” off the feet as it was just too tall for a sit-down bench.
once everything was all bolted together, it is more sturdier than it looks.
I would be satisfied with a new one off the floor with a few modifications.
I am still adding things to it such as a moxon vice on the left side, T-Track across the front, etc.

“yes – I would recommend this item to my friends” as the survey goes.

,

- John Smith

Good to know, I have considered buying one in the past when they have been on sale. I figured it might be a cheap way to get a hardwood bench. Probably not cheaper than making my own from dimensional lumber though, which was another route I have considered taking.

-- opiningminnesotan.com

View Charles58's profile

Charles58

5 posts in 246 days


#6 posted 02-15-2018 02:23 AM

This is just the ticket for what I need.

View chrisstef's profile

chrisstef

17676 posts in 3151 days


#7 posted 02-15-2018 02:41 AM

Hell yea John. The original LJ spirit is strong with this one.

-- Its not a crack, its a casting imperfection.

View MrWolfe's profile

MrWolfe

93 posts in 268 days


#8 posted 02-15-2018 02:52 AM

Repairs took it out of the realm of generic and into the realm of heirloom. T-tracks and vice are great touches, even the phone on the side makes it so personal. Its a great bench and has a touch of tlc. She’s gonna love it.

View woodbutcherbynight's profile

woodbutcherbynight

5559 posts in 2553 days


#9 posted 02-15-2018 03:50 AM

Cool project, great improvement over Generic! Now if you can make the phone ring that would be cool!!!

-- Live to tell the stories, they sound better that way.

View kipibenkipod's profile

kipibenkipod

71 posts in 1468 days


#10 posted 02-15-2018 06:20 AM

Very nice present. Enjoy it.

View therealSteveN's profile

therealSteveN

1410 posts in 719 days


#11 posted 02-15-2018 06:28 AM

Pigs ear to a silk purse story for sure. Special place for you for helping your Daughter out too.

Every family in America had “that” phone, just varied by color, but from the really older ones, that was space age at the time.

-- Think safe, be safe

View ChrisK's profile

ChrisK

2002 posts in 3226 days


#12 posted 02-15-2018 11:50 AM

Nice fix. I have looked at his bench my self, really do not have the room for another bench. For $25 I might make room though.

-- Chris K

View htl's profile

htl

4105 posts in 1304 days


#13 posted 02-15-2018 12:05 PM

Nice project and I love the vice set up!!!

-- An Index Of My Model making Blogs here on Lumber Jocks.. http://lumberjocks.com/htl/blog/116729

View Tennessee's profile

Tennessee

2880 posts in 2659 days


#14 posted 02-15-2018 12:54 PM

Great catch and save! The final product is really versatile. And it’s great to pass your tools down. My kids could care less about woodworking.

-- Tsunami Guitars and Custom Woodworking, Cleveland, TN

View theoldfart's profile (online now)

theoldfart

10036 posts in 2596 days


#15 posted 02-15-2018 01:26 PM

John, great job. I really like the carved detail on the edges. Nicely done.

-- "With every tool obtained, there is another that is needed" DonW ( Kevin )

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