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The 8 California Hours Bench

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Project by rimfire7891 posted 03-21-2012 02:44 AM 3470 views 6 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Needed a bench at the California hangout. Don’t have a full shop. No table saw or compound mitre——yet, maybe don’t need them and will do more by hand?
Picked up a $95.00 vice here in Canada which is a pretty good knock off of the old Record 52E.
Used Douglas Fir 4×4 for the legs and top stretchers and doubled up 2×4’s for the bottom stretchers. Over all dimension are 24” wide 48” long and 34” high. Top is 65 1/2” x 25 1/2” with flush edge on the back so it can go against the wall and an over hang on the business side for clamping.
Used 3/4” douglas fir CDX for the top and trimmed the edges with pine.
16- 3/8×8 bolts for the corner connections and cut the holes with 1” spade bit. Made them D shaped with a chisel.
Drilled the holes 7/16” for a little clearance for the 3/8” bolts. Screwed/glued the top together for the clamping effect and removed the screws later so don’t have to worry about hitting one when drilling the dog holes. The screw holes are on the underside, used 1 1/4” pocket hole screws.
Very solid.
Should do the job for many years. Haven’t decided if I will put a piece of laminate or hardboard on the top. Have used the out-feed table in my regular shop as more of a bench/assemble table, without a vice for many years and the laminate has held up well. Only now after 20 years or so am I thinking it would be better to replace it.
Usually you can find laminate cheap in odd colours or mis-ordered pieces, will have to look.
All in all a very satisfying time spend outside in the sun. Total material cost including the vice,bolts and wood right on $200.
Note: California hours, are that you must take wine or beer breaks regularly.

Thanks jb

-- Playing with wood and metal for the last 50 years, driving and building Land Cruisers for the last 40. Experience is what you get when you don't know what you are doing.





11 comments so far

View hardwoodman's profile

hardwoodman

84 posts in 2692 days


#1 posted 03-21-2012 03:38 AM

Good JOB!

View lysdexic's profile

lysdexic

5078 posts in 2089 days


#2 posted 03-21-2012 03:59 AM

Have you given any thought to a tail vise and dog holes?

-- I love Jeeps

View stefang's profile

stefang

15512 posts in 2800 days


#3 posted 03-21-2012 12:20 PM

This bench looks about as good as anyone would ever need and fairly easy to make too. Well done project.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View Martyroc's profile

Martyroc

2712 posts in 1772 days


#4 posted 03-21-2012 12:48 PM

Looks good & solid, I would definatley do a piece of hardboard on top, when it gets worn all you need to do is replace it, and it will get worn. I like the California hours, mine is a little backwards though, I take breaks from drinking with woodwork, LOL.

-- Martin ....always count the number of fingers you have before, and after using the saw.

View NiteWalker's profile

NiteWalker

2735 posts in 2043 days


#5 posted 03-21-2012 05:40 PM

Nice job! Looks very sturdy.

-- He who dies with the most tools... dies with the emptiest wallet.

View rimfire7891's profile

rimfire7891

123 posts in 2369 days


#6 posted 03-22-2012 01:11 AM

lysdexic,

Yes going to put dog holes directly in front of the vice. Two or three rows with 3 holes each. Don’t think I would ever use a tail vice although it may be one of those things that you why didn’t I do that a long time ago, duh.

This weekends project is being built out of steel. Building a 1 ton jib crane with a 6”x 12.6 pound per foot I beam and should swing about 180 degree’s and reach 12 foot out into the shop. A trolley runs on the I beam with 1 ton chain hoist. I know this will be one of the pieces I say I should have built it sooner. I know this will take longer than 8 hours and cost more than $200. I’m thinking about $1300 in materials. That’s what I have spent so far and need the bolts to complete.Mostly 5/8 and 3/4” stuff and those aren’t cheap.
Wish me luck. Don’t know if I can show completed pictures on LJ’s because it’s not made of wood.

Thanks for the comments guy’s This is amazing easy to make and looks like it will serve the purpose well.

Thanks jb

-- Playing with wood and metal for the last 50 years, driving and building Land Cruisers for the last 40. Experience is what you get when you don't know what you are doing.

View Manitario's profile

Manitario

2402 posts in 2349 days


#7 posted 03-22-2012 02:42 AM

That is a sweet looking bench! Your “backup” bench is better than the one in my shop!

-- Sometimes the creative process requires foul language. -- Charles Neil

View Enoelf's profile

Enoelf

192 posts in 1729 days


#8 posted 03-22-2012 12:53 PM

Looks heavy, sturdy, functional, and flat. All the indicators of a great bench. I agree with the hardboard skin for your top, save the wear and tear on it.
Thanks for sharing.
Well done.

-- Central Ohio, Still got 9 and 15/16 fingers!

View Ben Simms's profile

Ben Simms

191 posts in 1757 days


#9 posted 03-23-2012 01:19 PM

I love it, and fully agree with Enoelf. I now have a plan for the 4×4 that have been kicking around my shop. thanks
P.S. i would love to see your jib crane project. maybe you can link to it on your home page?

-- I played with Legos as a kid and I never had the part I thought I needed, so I learned to improvise. Now I'm an engineer with a woodworking hobby.

View rimfire7891's profile

rimfire7891

123 posts in 2369 days


#10 posted 03-27-2012 04:01 AM

A little update. Putting together the bench there was a bit of a debate going on in my head. Put the D holes on the out side or on the inside so the stretchers would look cleaner. I put them on the outside so it would be easier to hold the nuts when tightening the leg bolts. Didn’t have the the tools to make some nuts which would not rotate in the D holes. The home shop is a little better equipped. Knocked these up in about an hour. 3/4”x1/8” flat strap about 2 1/4” long with the 3/8” UNC nut welded on to the strap. The nut is about 9/16’’ centred in from the end. Yes there are 17 doesn’t hurt to have a spare.
A piece of 1/4 or 5/16 flat about 7/8” wide tapped 3/8 UNC would work as well. Used what was available in the scrap box. Next time we are in California you know what I will be doing.
Woodcraft or LV or someone like that could stock a version of these nuts? LV has large dowel nuts however the one above are easier and cheaper. May have take one to LV next time I’m there. Just a thought.

While we are using steel and not wood may as well really upset the LJ gods

Heres a picture of the jib crane mocked-up on the shop floor

Thanks jb

-- Playing with wood and metal for the last 50 years, driving and building Land Cruisers for the last 40. Experience is what you get when you don't know what you are doing.

View rimfire7891's profile

rimfire7891

123 posts in 2369 days


#11 posted 04-12-2012 12:25 AM

One more picture of the completed jib crane in use. (Land Cruiser 2F engine hung on the hook)
Anyone know what SWL stands for?
There is wood in the picture, the engine trolley to the right is made out of plywood.

Thanks jb

-- Playing with wood and metal for the last 50 years, driving and building Land Cruisers for the last 40. Experience is what you get when you don't know what you are doing.

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