|Project by pnx||posted 05-14-2013 07:42 PM||6065 views||23 times favorited||20 comments|
Turned 40 a few years back and decided to give woodworking a try. Had always been interested but didn’t have the time (or the money!!). After a few half-projects to try out my new tools, I decided it was time to build something real and start on a work bench. After a bunch of research, I used a hybrid design that combined the torsion box concept from the Wood Whisperer and the bolted frame concept from Fine Woodworking’s Workbenches. Beefed things up a little, added some mortise and tenon joinery and some heavy duty swivel casters. Designed everything in SketchUp to start ( WAY cheaper to make digital mistakes !! ). Top has a MDF skeleton with double particle board top / single bottom. Outside edges are finished in maple. Work surface is hardboard and is completely replaceable. Frame is made of simple 2×4 or 2×6 milled flat and square and laminated together. Had just gotten a jointer and planer so wanted to practice on cheap wood. Turned out to be a good call because I made a few mistakes and ended up making a lot of frame parts.
My first project on this bench was some doors so added a board jack at the end of the process to accommodate long pieces. Jack works with aluminum tracks on UHMW sliders and can be locked in place. The “pod” or jack for the board jack was turned by hand. A family friend had just given me a lathe and decided to give it a try. Totally fun but makes a mess. ( Thx Omer ). Added a vise from Lee Valley and some bench dogs and I’ve been putting it to work ever since.
For a first project, I think it came out pretty good. Some fit and finish issues that I could have done better but I figure that I am only at the start of a lifelong hobby so I have lots of time to perfect my skills. Spend as much time as I can in the shop ( my wife calls it my “playroom”). Next project is some shelving units and then a chest of drawers to fit inside the bench…