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View Bernie's profile

Unique small shop workbench

by Bernie
posted 07-04-2012 02:35 AM


38 replies so far

View Ryan Haasen's profile

Ryan Haasen

383 posts in 2123 days


#1 posted 07-04-2012 02:45 AM

I’ve never seen T-slots in a workbench. Good idea!

-- Ryan

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waho6o9

7922 posts in 2299 days


#2 posted 07-04-2012 02:54 AM

Thanks for sharing Bernie, that’s a fine workbench with a lot of options.

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Tyrone D

314 posts in 2055 days


#3 posted 07-04-2012 04:01 AM

I’m actually doing something like this with oak flooring soon. I have enough oak flooring to do a 4’x6’ workbench doubled up so it’s 1 1/2” thick. All the boards on mine are a bit longer than 6’ except for one which will be used on the bottom layer.

Nice job on your bench!

-- --Tyrone - BC, Canada "Nothing is ever perfect, we just run out of time."

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TopamaxSurvivor

17961 posts in 3398 days


#4 posted 07-04-2012 04:03 AM

Nice to have it out in the open where al can find it. ;-)

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

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AndyDuframe

48 posts in 3312 days


#5 posted 07-04-2012 05:04 PM

I’m also taken by the T-slots. Looks like a great idea!! Funny, I’m not sure I’ve seen a manufactured bench that included them. Router tables for sure, but T-track has so many other possible uses. What better place to put them than on a bench. Awesome idea.

-- http://www.ezwoodshop.com

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ShipWreck

557 posts in 3474 days


#6 posted 07-04-2012 05:06 PM

Sweeeeeet!

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Dusty56

11812 posts in 3410 days


#7 posted 07-04-2012 06:19 PM

Thanks for bringing this forward …I never saw the other post that you referred to above.
You have some nice ideas here. Added to favorites…...Thank you : )

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View Bernie's profile

Bernie

422 posts in 2559 days


#8 posted 07-05-2012 02:48 AM

I was asked today about how I would secure short pieces of wood on my bench. I have already solved that problem. In picture #5 (featuring the hand screws) you can see a block of wood with a round bench dog in it. Look closely at picture #7 and you will see a 1.25 inch wide pieces of wood secured in the end vise. It is a one screw end vise (I bought in a yard sale) and it will hold a 1/4 inch piece.

-- Bernie: It never gets hot or cold in New Hampshire, just seasonal!

View whitewulf's profile

whitewulf

452 posts in 2659 days


#9 posted 07-05-2012 02:59 AM

Many good Ideas, especially for challenged budgets.

-- "ButI'mMuchBetterNow"

View Richard's profile

Richard

400 posts in 2413 days


#10 posted 07-05-2012 03:40 AM

Favorited so I can “borrow” some of your ideas later.

-- "It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so." - Mark Twain

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

115929 posts in 3299 days


#11 posted 07-11-2012 07:30 PM

Hi Bernie
Thanks for the Pm asking for me to give you my thoughts on your bench. The first very serious thing I see wrong with your bench is that I didn’t think of all those great innovations LOL I was reviewing each idea you incorporated and could not find fault with any of them . I’m curious to see how the flooring holds up, but I don’t know why it shouldn’t. I also thought about the location of the T slots if over time you might find you would like them where they are at or if you decide you would like them spaced differently. All in all I think you have come up with a great design and this workbench should work well for years to come. Great job

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

View Bernie's profile

Bernie

422 posts in 2559 days


#12 posted 07-12-2012 03:36 AM

Thank you Jim for the kind words. As for the bamboo flooring, I’ve learned to be careful with it because it dents and cuts easier then some hardwoods. The dents do come out easily with a bit of water. As for cutting – it’s a problem with any bench. If I have a real quick cut, I place a piece of ply with a cleat on the bench and cut while protecting the bamboo. Other then that, I install my saw horses and cut as many pieces as I have too!

As for the spacing the T tracks on different planes, I never thought of your suggestion. I can think of a few circumstances where that might work better especially when securing small pieces. I did resolve that issue with the end vise and dog, but I never thought of your solution which would be much better on a tight budget. If I ever adopt your suggestion, I would simply add another track and keep my long clamping option open! I’ll be thinking – and thanks!

I did not glue the flooring down but screwed the first 2 rows down. I didn’t know how the summer humidity would affect the top via wood movement. So far, no problem.

While making a country hutch. I was gluing the components on my bench. I lined the bar clamp to 90* and used my bench in the clamping process. It worked like a charm and best of all, the excess glue did not stick to the finish of the bamboo. Thanks again Jim. Having followed your posts over the years, I respect your opinions – that’s why I asked your critique!

-- Bernie: It never gets hot or cold in New Hampshire, just seasonal!

View rance's profile

rance

4253 posts in 2882 days


#13 posted 07-12-2012 04:10 AM

Bernie, I think you’ve come up with a fantastic design. I like each and every one of the features you’ve included. The only thing I might add would be to replace one of the T-tracks with a Bora-style clamp recessed just below the surface like the T-track. I actually built a mini-bench and put one in there and it is VERY handy. There are other brands besides Bora that would work as well. Actually, I like the WoodCraft house brand because of its lower profile.

‘T-track’... the new ‘bench dog’.

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

View Bernie's profile

Bernie

422 posts in 2559 days


#14 posted 07-13-2012 03:18 AM

Rance – I didn’t even know what a Bora clamp was so I goggled it. I’m curious how you incorporated this clamp into your workbench. They just seem to be a bit thick for sinking into my bench… but I’m open to suggestions. Thanks for getting my attention.

-- Bernie: It never gets hot or cold in New Hampshire, just seasonal!

View rance's profile

rance

4253 posts in 2882 days


#15 posted 07-13-2012 05:43 AM

Bernie,

Here’s one in normal operation:

Now imagine turning it upside down and mounting it to your workbench. This way the clamp edges are facing up. Next, imagine recessing it into the surface of the bench like you did the T-track. The only part sticking above the bench would be the lever end and the sliding ‘dog’ if you will. Here’s a picture of a double one that shows the clamping mechanism:

I wish I had a pic I could post of mine. Hopefully you’ll see what I’m talking about.

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

View Bernie's profile

Bernie

422 posts in 2559 days


#16 posted 07-13-2012 01:19 PM

OK Rance – I see what you did but a couple of questions – are these bora clamps placed along the length of the bench or across the width? The reason I’m asking is because as you stated, the lever and sliding dogs are sticking out above the surface of the bench. I would have an issue with that setup because I often need to lay items across the whole bench surface. I’m limited for space in my shop and my bench is my workhorse for the whole operation from measuring to assembly and finishing. I bought a role of heavy brown paper at the HD and cover the bench for staining or painting.

One beautiful little discovery I made is while assembling, the glue doesn’t stick to the finished bamboo.

Thanks for making me aware of the bora clamps. I’ll probably get one to help in cutting the cabinet ply when making large items.

-- Bernie: It never gets hot or cold in New Hampshire, just seasonal!

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SnowyRiver

51453 posts in 3202 days


#17 posted 07-13-2012 02:09 PM

Great bench…good job !!

-- Wayne - Plymouth MN

View rance's profile

rance

4253 posts in 2882 days


#18 posted 07-13-2012 02:33 PM

Yeah, the bit at the handle end and the block at the slider end would stick up. I just move the slider all the way to the handle so the rest of the rail is completely flush. It is simply screwed down and can be quickly taken up if absolutely necessary. There are Bora, WoodRiver, and other brands. Browse to see what best fits your needs. This is my alternative to bench dogs and an end vise.

After looking again at your setup again, these would be a cam clamp vs. the screw from your pipe clamp. Not that different. You’ve already got a great solution.

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

View Bernie's profile

Bernie

422 posts in 2559 days


#19 posted 11-27-2012 02:51 PM

Stumbled on a new use for my work bench – cutting dadoes is so much easier. After marking my boards, I slide it under my bamboo fence and using my router spacer bock to set the fence, it becomes my router guide while pinching my board down.

-- Bernie: It never gets hot or cold in New Hampshire, just seasonal!

View RobynHoodridge's profile

RobynHoodridge

126 posts in 2051 days


#20 posted 11-28-2012 08:42 AM

I especially like the ability to clamp in benchtop saw horses, or whatever else to change the working height. Like many benches in one. No more bending over to see what’s going on at the cutting edge, or awkward contortions just to get purchase on something.

-- Never is longer than forever.

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

9846 posts in 3774 days


#21 posted 12-16-2012 04:59 AM

Very Clever way of using the common tools at our fingertips!

COOL!

-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: http://www.WoodworkStuff.net ... My Small Gallery: http://www.ncwoodworker.net/pp/showgallery.php?ppuser=1389&cat=500"

View Ross's profile

Ross

142 posts in 1694 days


#22 posted 02-23-2013 11:54 AM

You are a Yankee genius Bernie. I am saving this to my favorites for future reference.

-- "Man Plans and God Laughs"

View helluvawreck's profile

helluvawreck

27232 posts in 2588 days


#23 posted 02-23-2013 02:00 PM

That bench looks like a nice solution for your workshop. I bet that it will serve you well.

helluvawreck aka Charles
http://woodworkingexpo.wordpress.com

-- If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. Henry David Thoreau

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

9846 posts in 3774 days


#24 posted 02-23-2013 11:32 PM

Thank you for reviving this thread!

It’s nice to look back on this… SUPER good thread…

I enjoy it.

-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: http://www.WoodworkStuff.net ... My Small Gallery: http://www.ncwoodworker.net/pp/showgallery.php?ppuser=1389&cat=500"

View stefang's profile

stefang

15512 posts in 3056 days


#25 posted 05-27-2013 04:36 PM

Hi Bernie, I have a SjĂžberg cabinet makers bench in my small shop (220 sq.ft.) I have never been in love with this bench and after reconfiguring my shop, I had to compromise and place it in a less than optimal location. I have been thinking lately of either reducing it’s size or just making a new smaller bench with some better ideas. I like your bench a lot with the tracks. This seems like a good idea to me considering it’s great flexibility. Thanks for sharing your ideas with us.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View HorizontalMike's profile

HorizontalMike

7542 posts in 2636 days


#26 posted 05-27-2013 04:39 PM

Very nice solution.

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

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lepelerin

485 posts in 2047 days


#27 posted 05-27-2013 05:33 PM

Really cool bench, thank you for sharing. Like your ideas.

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Airspeed

431 posts in 1624 days


#28 posted 05-27-2013 07:33 PM

That’s like the Shop Smith of benches except it actually looks useful! Nice work!

-- http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v655/aaronhero/

View Bernie's profile

Bernie

422 posts in 2559 days


#29 posted 05-31-2013 06:56 PM

Now that I’ve had my bench for a year, I can honestly say it has outperformed my expectations. The bamboo flooring has performed much better then I thought it would in that almost nothing sticks to it. Wood glue comes of very easily with a chisel and even stains and paint come off. After an experiment, I found that LocTite PL glue and LiquidNail will stick. I glued 2 pieces together, finished surface too finished surface. Couldn’t get them apart. At @$60 per box and I only used 1/2 box – bamboo was an excellent choice.

The only other issue I had was the t-track’s holding power under extreme duress. One time I had to double the fence, like adding an extra nut on a threaded bolt. That extra fence held.

An added feature has been my choices in fence material. Bamboo flooring is only 1/2 inch thick so if I’m planing the surface of a 3/4 inch thick board, my hand planes fly off the board with no bumping anything. I even have a 1/4 inch thick fence I used when smoothing a 1/2 inch thick board.

The hand screws proved their weight in gold when it came to assembly time on this coffee station I built. I kept the cabinet square by using story sticks which are scraps of wood cut to equal lengths (the width of my cabinet).

-- Bernie: It never gets hot or cold in New Hampshire, just seasonal!

View Festaman's profile

Festaman

1 post in 239 days


#30 posted 12-25-2016 07:23 PM

Bernie! I am sure your sick of hearing this but great ideas! I order my 2 T tracks to try on my bench to get started on my upgrades! My question though is how did you attach your woodworkers vice to the side? I have 2×6’s wrapped around my bench, and being new to this part of the craft, I am not quite sure how i want to mount it.

View htl's profile

htl

2846 posts in 881 days


#31 posted 12-25-2016 08:40 PM

Seems to me this should be on the projects page.
To many great ideas to get last again.

-- There's a hundred ways to do anything, alot depends on the tools at hand.

View Bernie's profile

Bernie

422 posts in 2559 days


#32 posted 12-28-2016 04:09 AM



Bernie! I am sure your sick of hearing this but great ideas! I order my 2 T tracks to try on my bench to get started on my upgrades! My question though is how did you attach your woodworkers vice to the side? I have 2×6 s wrapped around my bench, and being new to this part of the craft, I am not quite sure how i want to mount it.

- Festaman


I’m not sure which vise you’re talking about, but I think you mean the front face vise. You have to plan on the bench surface to be just above the top of your vise. Since my vise is screwed under my bench – I had to either add blocks between the vise mounting plate and the underside of the bench or cut slots in the apron. Either way, the top of my added wooden vise jaws are just below the surface of the bench.

-- Bernie: It never gets hot or cold in New Hampshire, just seasonal!

View TheTurtleCarpenter's profile

TheTurtleCarpenter

926 posts in 788 days


#33 posted 12-28-2016 04:24 AM

. I like the way you have used the T track with the wooden parallel clamps Bernie. I think the ideal bench would have to incorperate the t tracks also, not just dogs and hooks.

-- "Tying shoelaces was way harder than learning to Whistle",,,,,member MWTCA area K. Kentucky

View OSB's profile

OSB

147 posts in 248 days


#34 posted 12-28-2016 06:42 AM

I like the idea a lot but I would love to see a video of it in action.

I’m thinking I could make a neat version with unistrut but I would like to see if my idea of how it works is correct.

View tedmart's profile

tedmart

5 posts in 237 days


#35 posted 12-28-2016 07:15 AM

[removed]

View Bernie's profile

Bernie

422 posts in 2559 days


#36 posted 12-28-2016 01:49 PM

Since building my bench over 5 years ago, I have changed the design just a bit. I removed the bamboo flooring and replaced it with hardboards, the final surface being 1/8 inch thick for under $10 at HD. If I damage this surface it is easy and inexpensive to replace. I also added more t-tracks for small parts and more flexibility. I started a new thread on how I built the bench…

-- Bernie: It never gets hot or cold in New Hampshire, just seasonal!

View htl's profile

htl

2846 posts in 881 days


#37 posted 12-28-2016 03:07 PM

We’re never satisfied and need to keep adjusting for different projects.
So that’s one great up grade you got going there.

-- There's a hundred ways to do anything, alot depends on the tools at hand.

View diverlloyd's profile

diverlloyd

2111 posts in 1579 days


#38 posted 12-28-2016 04:14 PM

Bernie my next workbench for inside my house will be using most of you designs. Very nicely done

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