LumberJocks

Mini Woodworking Bench

  • Advertise with us
Project by Karson posted 03-08-2007 02:58 AM 5949 views 7 times favorited 19 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I was asked to hold a French Polish seminar at our Mason Dixon Woodworkers Club Meeting. I knew that it would be impossable to do some examples using the plastic food tables that they had there.

I had a piece of Maple Bowling Alley left over from my kitchen remodel so I dug it out and found that it was about 6’ long and 18” wide. So I decided that I’d glue some scrap walnut on the sides to make it 24” wide. Most of the walnut was sap wood and I really didn’t have a use for it.

I also wanted to drill holes in the surface to use the Veritas clamps for holding articles on the surface. The bowling alley is made with hardened steel nails and no glue so to saw it or drill in it you run the possability of hitting some of these nails.

I was going to put 5 new strips of walnut on each side but I was using an airgun to shoot nail in between where I was going to drill and I ended up putting nails in the fifth board so I had to put a sixth so the nails wouldn’t show. So the otherside only has 4 boards.

The workbench can be disassembled. The top weighs about 100 lbs and it lifts up off the 4 square tenons in the end of each leg. The stretchers are attached to the legs with bed frame hardware and so they just disconnect from the legs also. You end up with 4 pieces to transport.

i also wanted a bench that allowed me to work from a chair, instead of having to stand up or use a stool.

The top of the surface is about 24” high.

I didn’t put a vise on it and I haven’t put breadboard ends on yet either. The maple has had a few hits from transportation so Breadboard ends might not be the answer.

It’s very stable and I use it a lot for assembly and glueing.

There is no finish on it and I just use a scraper to clean off the surface every so often.

I made a jig to assist in drilling the holes. I used a clevis pin from a tractor supply store and to move the spacing down the bench. The jig has a board on the keep the same offset from the front.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware karson_morrison@bigfoot.com †





19 comments so far

View Max's profile

Max

55973 posts in 2962 days


#1 posted 03-08-2007 03:13 AM

Karson,

Man that made one nice bench, a nice heavy duty one..

-- Max "Desperado", Salt Lake City, UT

View oscorner's profile

oscorner

4564 posts in 3000 days


#2 posted 03-08-2007 03:41 AM

A bench is on my list of things to build. I like your use of materials. Where did you get maple bowling alley from?

-- Jesus is Lord!

View scottb's profile

scottb

3648 posts in 3016 days


#3 posted 03-08-2007 03:59 AM

Os – you just hide behind the pins until after closing time, then break out the sawzall!

If you’re up for a road trip, there is a salvage place 2 hours North of me that has (or had) a ton of the stuff. A few years back it was a novelty, but I hear they’ve seen some demand for it and the price has gone up.

Check out salvage companies in your neck of the woods., or see if you can find about a local place that used to have a bowling alley. There was one in my parents town (city really), that for some reason “just didn’t renew his lease” one year… within months we had a few big box stores pop in. Borders, Bobs Furniture, Sears, and a “family” restaurant – you know same thing you see everywhere else.

I think I’ve become a woodworker to find a way to hold onto the past, and get off the “ladder” so to speak.

-- I am always doing what I cannot do yet, in order to learn how to do it. - Van Gogh -- http://blanchardcreative.etsy.com -- http://snbcreative.wordpress.com/

View Karson's profile

Karson

34891 posts in 3090 days


#4 posted 03-08-2007 04:15 AM

In my case, they were taking out a bowling alley to make a new store.

But just down the road from me they took out an alley and I stopped to talk to the construction people and they told me it was cheaper to build over the alley than it was to pay the labor to take the old lanes out.

I had a friend call me and he bowled and they were replacing a defective alley and were junking the old one. (I didn’t need any more at the time so I didn’t get it).

My main work bench is 30” wide and 8’ long. When I clean it off I’ll post some pictures of it. I built drawers under the surface.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware karson_morrison@bigfoot.com †

View scottb's profile

scottb

3648 posts in 3016 days


#5 posted 03-08-2007 04:23 AM

hmm… they should have kept the lanes for aisles, and put the shelves where the gutters were. Would/could have had a great floor that way.

I hate seeing building materials being wasted in the name of “cheaper”. recycle it, donate it, figure out a way to break even or profit from the removal. Don’t plow it under in the name of frugality.

There was (yet another) mini strip mall coming in, and replacing an old store. They were too close to residential area and couldn’t blast, but the did sell the fill they took out. Reasonably priced too, they just wouldn’t drive out as far as I live. I imagine they managed to clear out all the rocks and dirt without an investment at all.

Also, the town I live in has a recycling center. There are a couple full time employees, and a few volunteers, yet the center paid for itself, and is entirely self sufficient. No burden on the towns budget to clear out our trash, and most of what would be landfill in another town, isn’t.

-- I am always doing what I cannot do yet, in order to learn how to do it. - Van Gogh -- http://blanchardcreative.etsy.com -- http://snbcreative.wordpress.com/

View Todd A. Clippinger's profile

Todd A. Clippinger

8791 posts in 2789 days


#6 posted 03-08-2007 04:29 AM

That will make a nice table for you. I made a work table for my brother out of salvaged bowling alley and it worked out real well. What is nice about yours is the wide base you put under it. Heavy tops are nice, but not without a stout base.

-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana, http://americancraftsmanworkshop.com

View Karson's profile

Karson

34891 posts in 3090 days


#7 posted 03-08-2007 04:33 AM

The legs are 2 X 4 ” maple and the same with the foot and the apron at the top of the legs. They are all mortise and tendoned. The streachers were 2 1” boards glued together to make them 2 X 6.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware karson_morrison@bigfoot.com †

View oscorner's profile

oscorner

4564 posts in 3000 days


#8 posted 03-08-2007 04:36 AM

Guys thanks for the information. Scottb, that would be one heck of a road trip, for sure! It’ll be cheaper to buy it new. I’ll have to keep my eyes and ears open for a bowling alley redo.

-- Jesus is Lord!

View scottb's profile

scottb

3648 posts in 3016 days


#9 posted 03-08-2007 04:39 AM

Os – We’ll, yeah, the gas would about kill you. But don’t forget, the entire trip home would be “downhill” so you could coast in neutral! ;)

-- I am always doing what I cannot do yet, in order to learn how to do it. - Van Gogh -- http://blanchardcreative.etsy.com -- http://snbcreative.wordpress.com/

View Roger Strautman's profile

Roger Strautman

649 posts in 2823 days


#10 posted 03-08-2007 05:39 AM

Karson, that is a really good idea of making a take along workbench.

-- " All Things At First Appear Difficult"

View dennis mitchell's profile

dennis mitchell

3994 posts in 3004 days


#11 posted 03-08-2007 05:44 AM

I could use that out on the job site…if I could find 3 other guys to help me carry it in. How heavy is that little monster?

View schroeder's profile

schroeder

669 posts in 2815 days


#12 posted 03-08-2007 05:47 AM

oh thats a rough looking bench Karson – hardly fit for your shop – I have a spot that it will fit in my shop tho – so,... I’ll pay freight and take it off your hands ;)

Very nice!, one can’t have to many benches!

-- The Gnarly Wood Shoppe

View Dick, & Barb Cain's profile

Dick, & Barb Cain

8693 posts in 2989 days


#13 posted 03-08-2007 05:52 AM

Nice job Karson
Looking at the middle picture, it looks just like a bowling alley, with walnut gutters.

-- -** You are never to old to set another goal or to dream a new dream ****************** Dick, & Barb Cain, Hibbing, MN. http://www.woodcarvingillustrated.com/gallery/member.php?uid=3627&protype=1

View Karson's profile

Karson

34891 posts in 3090 days


#14 posted 03-08-2007 06:06 AM

Dennis:

I think the top weighs about 100lbs. But I lean it up on end, put it on a 2 wheel card and wheel it out to the car. The other pieces weigh 10 lbs a piece. It all comes apart. The tenons on the top of the legs are 1” square and the mortise is 1” square on one side and the other side is 2” long so the bench can float if it shrinks or expands from moisture.

But it doesn’t move, I can slide it if I want a little more room on one side or the other. But, it sits nice on the floor.

I’ve not flattened the top, but I wonder if that would be useful because of its base being able to move and possible twisting while moving.

The bowling alley is not glued and so there are gaps between the boards in some places. The only place they glued were on board ends where they attached to the previous board.

They are tongue and groved and the nails were shot into the tongue edge so the nails are in the middle of the slab. But random in anyplace down the line. I used a nail cutting blade on a skil saw to split the slab into multiple pieces and then a sawsall to finish the cut.

You can see on the one picture where a nail was that I had to dig out before I trimmed the slab on the table saw. I used a metal detector and cut gingerly to true up the ends without hitting nails.

The bottom of the lane has black tar like substance (hard now) as a moisture barrier when it was placed over a cement floor. The maple portion of bowling alleys are the section where you roll your ball. The rest of the lane is Fir (I believe) The whole section was actually tapered from refinishing. They would sand out the dings from around the foul line. But, the approach section was about 1/2” thicker.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware karson_morrison@bigfoot.com †

View Bill's profile

Bill

2579 posts in 2851 days


#15 posted 03-08-2007 05:30 PM

Nice job Karson. And to think, that was from recycled materials. Imagine what it would look like from new!

I can see CarverRog eyeing that bench for a good carving. just kidding Rog.

-- Bill, Turlock California, http://www.brookswoodworks.com

showing 1 through 15 of 19 comments

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

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

GardenTenders.com :: gardening showcase