LumberJocks

Overpass Bench

  • Advertise with us
Project by mochasatin posted 10-21-2018 09:19 PM 1570 views 6 times favorited 14 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I moved my old workbench to our farm in Michigan so I needed a new workbench for my shop in Tallahassee. For this project I decided to design my own heavy duty workbench rather than work off existing plans. My primary inspiration for this design came from studying highway overpass bridges while traveling on major interstates. I liked the massive supports and columns used by the engineers when they designed the bridges. I thought it would be neat to use a similar style in a workbench design.

I designed the bench to have a vise integrated into the base, rather than attached to the top. This way I could swap out a top any time I needed. For the first top, I used an old torsion box my son and I built for an assembly table several years ago. I used 1/4” birch plywood for the top layer (screwed not glued down). The bench would have easily accommodated a heavy timber top, dimensioned lumber or even laid up flat stock.

Since I did not know where a good supplier of large 6×6x8 timber was in my area and I didn’t have the means to transport any big timbers anyway, I purchased some nice, straight 4×4 Douglas Fir boards from my local lumber store. After gluing up the 4×4s in the shop, I planed the feet down to 6-1/2” x 6-1/2 and the legs down to 6”x6”. (FYI, don’t try to layup four boards at once. You will run out of clamps and you will have gaps to fill. Just glue up two boards at a time.)

After the timbers were cut to length, there was a lot of hours of mortising and chiseling. I would have given my right arm for a chain mortiser. All tenons where pinned using 3/4” oak dowels.

The project was delayed for a week due to Hurricane Michael. Luckily, Tallahassee missed the worst of the storm but there was still a lot of cleanup and no power for three days. I finally finished it today and here is the result. This is as nice as it will ever get as I have a large backlog of woodworking projects on my TODO list and I expect it will get a beating.

Scott

-- Scott





14 comments so far

View NormG's profile

NormG

6265 posts in 3176 days


#1 posted 10-21-2018 10:31 PM

Nice joinery, definitely very massive, will not move and will take a beating. Well done

-- Norman - I never never make a mistake, I just change the design.

View Rick  Dennington's profile

Rick Dennington

6238 posts in 3367 days


#2 posted 10-21-2018 10:59 PM

Stellar job on the bench build…..Very massive and truly heavy duty….It should take pounding or whatever you put it through…..Nice….!!

-- " It's a rat race out there, and the rats are winning....!!"

View Rick S...'s profile

Rick S...

10762 posts in 3205 days


#3 posted 10-21-2018 11:22 PM

Nice Job & Well Done Scott!

-- It is not necessary for Some People to turn OFF the LIGHT to be IN the DARK! (Ontario, CANADA)

View steliart's profile

steliart

2822 posts in 2861 days


#4 posted 10-22-2018 12:30 AM

very impressive bench my friend !!!!!!

-- Stelios L.A. Stavrinides: - I am not so rich to buy cheap tools, but... necessity is the mother of inventions !!!

View swirt's profile

swirt

3304 posts in 3144 days


#5 posted 10-22-2018 01:32 AM

That is a massive and nice bench. Quite unique. Well done.

-- Galootish log blog, http://www.timberframe-tools.com

View mochasatin's profile

mochasatin

150 posts in 3135 days


#6 posted 10-22-2018 10:38 AM

Thanks! I forgot to add that I also added heavy leather to the vise faces.

-- Scott

View mochasatin's profile

mochasatin

150 posts in 3135 days


#7 posted 10-22-2018 10:41 AM

Part two of this project will be to add some storage underneath and a power strip along one of the top rails

-- Scott

View Rick  Dennington's profile

Rick Dennington

6238 posts in 3367 days


#8 posted 10-22-2018 02:13 PM

You will surely benefit from storage under the bench, and a power strip or two to have mounted on your bench….Those come in very handy for sanding, any electrical projects you do, run a shop vac, etc. Here’s my bench I made many years ago…It has all of the essentials…...!!

-- " It's a rat race out there, and the rats are winning....!!"

View Ocelot's profile

Ocelot

2104 posts in 2811 days


#9 posted 10-22-2018 02:55 PM

I like the dovetailed stretchers on the bottom.

Very nice.

I’m wondering if those projections of the supports beyond the top will get in the way, or if they will have some function that I’m too inexperienced to realize.

View Rwolinski's profile

Rwolinski

80 posts in 498 days


#10 posted 10-22-2018 02:57 PM

That sure looks beefy. Great job

-- I love the smell of sawdust in the morning....

View mochasatin's profile

mochasatin

150 posts in 3135 days


#11 posted 10-22-2018 02:57 PM

Looks great Rick. That is exactly what I had planned!

You will surely benefit from storage under the bench, and a power strip or two to have mounted on your bench….Those come in very handy for sanding, any electrical projects you do, run a shop vac, etc. Here s my bench I made many years ago…It has all of the essentials…...!!

- Rick Dennington


-- Scott

View mochasatin's profile

mochasatin

150 posts in 3135 days


#12 posted 10-22-2018 03:01 PM

Ocelot,

I honestly don’t know if they will ever get in the way or not. However, I can certainly use them to lay a long board on edge and clamp for jointing.


I like the dovetailed stretchers on the bottom.

Very nice.

I m wondering if those projections of the supports beyond the top will get in the way, or if they will have some function that I m too inexperienced to realize.

- Ocelot


-- Scott

View Ocelot's profile

Ocelot

2104 posts in 2811 days


#13 posted 10-22-2018 03:18 PM


... I can certainly use them to lay a long board on edge and clamp for jointing.

- mochasatin

I wasn’t sure of the construction of your top – if you had a way to clamp to the apron. That sounds useful to me for planing the edge of long boards.

View mochasatin's profile

mochasatin

150 posts in 3135 days


#14 posted 10-22-2018 03:38 PM

Ocelot,

Its just an old flat torsion box I built several years ago. Mainly I need a good flat surface for assembly and handwork. I rarely edge joint by hand since I have a nice power jointer. More helpful to me will be to add some bench dogs to the table and vise.

... I can certainly use them to lay a long board on edge and clamp for jointing.

- mochasatin

I wasn t sure of the construction of your top – if you had a way to clamp to the apron. That sounds useful to me for planing the edge of long boards.

- Ocelot


-- Scott

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

HomeRefurbers.com