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Workbench

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Project by Chris Campbell posted 04-14-2012 12:38 PM 2080 views 2 times favorited 15 comments Add to Favorites Watch

If you see the before picture of my workshop, you will understand that this is a vast improvement over what was there before.

However, having read about other workbenches, I see a lot of changes I would make/will make in future workbenches.

So, it’s not fancy, and definitely not pretty, but serviceable, and, quite frankly, too darn heavy to move out now.

The legs are 4×4 posts, most of the rest of the framing is 2×4s (cleaning up the edges of the 2×4s is one of the things I’d do differently).

The top has a sub-base of 2×6s, with 3/4 inch plywood over that.

It’s pretty much all bolted together with lag screws.

The bench vise is from Rockler. Pretty happy with it so far.

What would I do differently?
  • make it a little bit shorter
  • clean up the edges of the framing for better fit
  • bury the vise in the tabletop
  • make sure the dog hole next to the vise isn’t right over the vise screw (can’t believe I missed that one!)
  • chamfer the edges of the top before installing the vise

But, overall, I’m OK with it – it’s early days yet; and, again, all made with just a jigsaw, circular saw, cordless drill and hand tools.

Finally – some constructive criticism would be most welcome – it will help me on the next one to not be this guy:

(To self): “Well, there it is. Looks pretty darn good!”
examines it a little more closely
“Man, why did I do that! That was dumb! Well, to much trouble to fix now”

-- Chris, Minneapolis





15 comments so far

View ed220's profile

ed220

619 posts in 2138 days


#1 posted 04-14-2012 01:15 PM

Nice looking workbench.. real sturdy.

View doncutlip's profile

doncutlip

2832 posts in 2301 days


#2 posted 04-14-2012 01:35 PM

Nicely done

-- Don, Royersford, PA

View rmoore's profile

rmoore

313 posts in 1380 days


#3 posted 04-14-2012 01:40 PM

Looks like a nice start to a great bench. Love how you notched out the top to fit between the studs. I would suggest putting doors on the front and maybe some drawers, too.

-- The more I learn, the more I realize I don't know. Ron, Crossville Tn

View lizardhead's profile

lizardhead

519 posts in 1587 days


#4 posted 04-14-2012 02:11 PM

Don’t think I’ve ever seen a carpeted Shop

-- Lizardhead---Yeah but it's a dry heat--Tempe, Az

View Chris Campbell's profile

Chris Campbell

27 posts in 985 days


#5 posted 04-14-2012 02:14 PM

The rug is one I had in my CHU when I was in Iraq in 2009. There’s actually less dust in the workshop than there was over there!

-- Chris, Minneapolis

View steliart's profile

steliart

1816 posts in 1433 days


#6 posted 04-14-2012 02:24 PM

What ever works for you is the way to go. Well done

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

View JJohnston's profile

JJohnston

1593 posts in 2037 days


#7 posted 04-14-2012 02:25 PM

Give yourself some toe space (suck in the edges of the lower shelf)?

-- "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 rmac's profile

rmac

187 posts in 1806 days


#8 posted 04-14-2012 03:01 PM

For the next one:

1. Maybe let the top hang over the base a little more next time so you can easily clamp things to the top. (It’s hard to tell from the pictures how much you have done this already.)

2. Replace those shelves with drawers.

—Russ

-- My table saw laughs at hot dogs. http://thesorteddetails.blogspot.com/

View SignWave's profile

SignWave

135 posts in 1780 days


#9 posted 04-14-2012 04:01 PM

I see a generously sized working surface that looks very sturdy and should function well for a variety of tasks. Plus, it has lots of convenient storage. I say “put it to work” and tweak it if you need to, but don’t fret over comparisons to other benches.

My first ‘bench’ was less sturdy than this one, but still allowed me to work on a variety of tasks. I have since built a newer ‘bench’ that includes fixes for things that bothered me about the old one. Coincidentally, I have that same vice, which I got on sale at Rockler, and it works well for me. I also put the dog holes right over the screw, but the bench top is shallow (~2.5”), so shorter dogs do just as well as longer ones, but don’t interfere with the screw.

I dismantled the old ‘bench’ and am using the 2×4’s for another shop project.

The exposed romex does concern me, though. I’d look for something to protect it, since it is now part of the work space.

View eddie's profile

eddie

7531 posts in 1359 days


#10 posted 04-15-2012 04:32 AM

looks solid to me .a vice is a must and to have a close power supply is handy with tools the cords are always to short i lke it well done.

-- Jesus Is Alright with me

View AJ9's profile

AJ9

10 posts in 1253 days


#11 posted 04-15-2012 03:51 PM

if the height is still a concern, you could make a simple platform (2×4s and plywood) and have some toe room also.

looks good.

View Chris Campbell's profile

Chris Campbell

27 posts in 985 days


#12 posted 04-15-2012 10:14 PM

I have subsequently covered up the exposed wiring on the benchtop. I saw myself carelessly swining a part or tool in that direction and yanking it out – one of those moments where I was actually thinking ahead.

-- Chris, Minneapolis

View ChrisMc45's profile

ChrisMc45

94 posts in 1605 days


#13 posted 04-16-2012 02:46 AM

Looks solid to me, at least the top is very thick, good for pounding and chiseling. My original bench was also 4×4 legs, but I foolishly used screws not lag-bolts and it wobbled a lot under long-way stress (planing, etc). I eventually had to put in a triangulation board from top left to bottom right. If yours does not wrack or sway, you are golden.

If you want a vise for the length of the bench, and if legs too far from edge for a leg-vise, perhaps a wagon vise? Supposed to be retro-fittable into existing bench tops.

View exelectrician's profile

exelectrician

1743 posts in 1173 days


#14 posted 06-06-2012 12:51 AM

I would loose the bottom shelf and put all thread bolted through strechers both ways – you asked ! Good job on protecting yourself from unwanted sparks flying out of the romex.

-- Love thy neighbour as thyself

View Chris Campbell's profile

Chris Campbell

27 posts in 985 days


#15 posted 07-22-2012 02:36 AM

exelectrician-

I have seen (since I have built the bench) many designs in the woodworking press that use that very technique. It does look like a good one. Thanks

-- Chris, Minneapolis

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