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Torsion box workbench

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Project by mountainaxe posted 09-09-2011 02:03 AM 5724 views 2 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I just finished a modified version of Tom Caspar’s torsion box workbench found in a 90s copy of American Woodworker magazine. It’s shorter…at 4 1/2 ft. length…and has double bench dog holes…to fit my shop size. I’m happy with it as it is solid. flat, and functional. Cost me about $25 all together. Not a trophy bench, but I wanted it to work, not to be a museum piece.

-- Jeff, "The things I make may be for others, but how I make them is for me."





13 comments so far

View PurpLev's profile

PurpLev

8476 posts in 2314 days


#1 posted 09-09-2011 03:02 AM

looks good to me!

where are the dog holes? lengthwise on each end of the workbench? or aligned with the front vise?

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View mountainaxe's profile

mountainaxe

83 posts in 1170 days


#2 posted 09-09-2011 03:05 AM

If you zoom the photos you can see the dog holes better…they’re aligned with front vise and at the back of the bench.

-- Jeff, "The things I make may be for others, but how I make them is for me."

View PurpLev's profile

PurpLev

8476 posts in 2314 days


#3 posted 09-09-2011 03:08 AM

ah! I see them now. Thanks.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View mafe's profile

mafe

9550 posts in 1754 days


#4 posted 09-09-2011 03:43 AM

Looks good to me also!
Nice work, congrat on the bench.
Amazing that it is possible for 25 dollars really impressive – woodworking for all.
(It is so hot that you need to be able to stop the fire I see… smile).
Best thoughts,
Mads

-- Mad F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

View Woodwrecker's profile

Woodwrecker

3620 posts in 2241 days


#5 posted 09-09-2011 07:34 AM

Looks mighty nice from where I’m sitting!
And you can’t beat that price for that nice of a bench!
Good job !

-- All glory comes from daring to begin.

View David Kirtley's profile

David Kirtley

1281 posts in 1663 days


#6 posted 09-10-2011 02:29 AM

I always liked that style. Did you add any ballast or just relying on the stuff on the shelves?

-- Woodworking shouldn't cost a fortune: http://lowbudgetwoodworker.blogspot.com/

View mountainaxe's profile

mountainaxe

83 posts in 1170 days


#7 posted 09-10-2011 03:52 AM

Believe me…it’s heavy! Over 200lbs without anything on the shelves. Here’s the article/plans I used:
http://americanwoodworker.com/blogs/tom_caspar/archive/2009/02/23/tom-s-torsion-box-workbench-2.aspx

-- Jeff, "The things I make may be for others, but how I make them is for me."

View Earlextech's profile

Earlextech

982 posts in 1356 days


#8 posted 09-10-2011 02:44 PM

I inherited my father in law’s torsion box table saw extension. It fits around his Rockwell cabinet saw and takes up 8’ x 10’ of space. Which while you would think that it would take up too much space it actually can be used as the workbench, glue up area and storage underneath for materials. At one time it had an additional 2’ wide sliding table that moved over 8’ which I removed due to space restrictions. The table itself is laminated white which makes it easy to keep clean and to repair by replacing the mica.
The torsion box has kept it’s strength and flatness for about 20 years now. I love it!

-- Sam Hamory - The project is never finished until its "finished"!

View Mellen's profile

Mellen

4 posts in 1100 days


#9 posted 09-26-2011 06:00 AM

Looks good! I am also going to be building a modified version of this this winter once I can get some shop space. It is also going to be a double dog design but a little bigger than his design.

I also plan to modify by using MDF as the top material instead of typical plywood. I then hope to top it with hardboard that is replaceable every decade or so.

I’ve laid everything out in Sketchup and I am looking into using some cheap hardwood like ash for the dog holes—I’m really excited to get started.

Any tips come to mind on anything left out in the article that you’d recommend?

-- Steve, Rochester, NY

View rance's profile

rance

4135 posts in 1826 days


#10 posted 09-26-2011 06:09 AM

Nice job. It is good to see you have fire protection in the shop. We all should.

-- Backer boards, stop blocks, build oversized, and never buy a hand plane--

View mountainaxe's profile

mountainaxe

83 posts in 1170 days


#11 posted 09-26-2011 03:37 PM

Steve: Thanks for the compliment. Caspar designed his bench so it can be built with powered hand tools, so it’s a fairly simple job that goes together quickly with construction grade lumber/plywood. If anything, I’d recommend you use a joiner and thickness planer (if you have them) on the 2×4s to ensure everything is straight and level…you want to ensure the torsion box top is absolutely flat. I agree that MDF/hardboard is a good idea, but it will price out about twice as much. I was trying to keep my costs to a minimum and like the look of the finished plywood top (I just screwed and didn’t glue the top so I can easily replace it down the road). Some like having a tool tray, but I think it’s a junk/sawdust collector that interferes with glue ups…I believe you’ll find that including opposing dog holes instead is a much better option.

-- Jeff, "The things I make may be for others, but how I make them is for me."

View Beginningwoodworker's profile

Beginningwoodworker

13341 posts in 2338 days


#12 posted 10-04-2011 02:39 AM

Nice workbench.

-- CJIII Future cabinetmaker

View lepelerin's profile

lepelerin

322 posts in 990 days


#13 posted 02-07-2014 01:15 AM

looks good to me and as long as if satisfy your needs, it’s all that matters

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