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View Bernie's profile

Unique small shop workbench

by Bernie
posted 759 days ago


29 replies so far

View Ryan Haasen's profile

Ryan Haasen

362 posts in 1007 days


#1 posted 759 days ago

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

-- Ryan

View waho6o9's profile

waho6o9

4763 posts in 1183 days


#2 posted 759 days ago

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

View Tyrone D's profile

Tyrone D

314 posts in 938 days


#3 posted 759 days ago

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."

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile

TopamaxSurvivor

14624 posts in 2282 days


#4 posted 759 days ago

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

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

View AndyDuframe's profile

AndyDuframe

48 posts in 2196 days


#5 posted 758 days ago

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

View ShipWreck's profile

ShipWreck

536 posts in 2358 days


#6 posted 758 days ago

Sweeeeeet!

View Dusty56's profile

Dusty56

11639 posts in 2294 days


#7 posted 758 days ago

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

414 posts in 1443 days


#8 posted 758 days ago

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

438 posts in 1543 days


#9 posted 758 days ago

Many good Ideas, especially for challenged budgets.

-- "ButI'mMuchBetterNow"

View Richard's profile

Richard

400 posts in 1297 days


#10 posted 758 days ago

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

112002 posts in 2183 days


#11 posted 751 days ago

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

414 posts in 1443 days


#12 posted 751 days ago

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

4126 posts in 1766 days


#13 posted 751 days ago

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

414 posts in 1443 days


#14 posted 750 days ago

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

4126 posts in 1766 days


#15 posted 750 days ago

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

414 posts in 1443 days


#16 posted 749 days ago

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!

View SnowyRiver's profile

SnowyRiver

51451 posts in 2086 days


#17 posted 749 days ago

Great bench…good job !!

-- Wayne - Plymouth MN

View rance's profile

rance

4126 posts in 1766 days


#18 posted 749 days ago

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

414 posts in 1443 days


#19 posted 612 days ago

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 935 days


#20 posted 611 days ago

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

7628 posts in 2658 days


#21 posted 594 days ago

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

110 posts in 578 days


#22 posted 524 days ago

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

15462 posts in 1472 days


#23 posted 524 days ago

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

7628 posts in 2658 days


#24 posted 524 days ago

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

12611 posts in 1940 days


#25 posted 431 days ago

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

6915 posts in 1520 days


#26 posted 431 days ago

Very nice solution.

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

View lepelerin's profile

lepelerin

321 posts in 931 days


#27 posted 431 days ago

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

View Airspeed's profile

Airspeed

413 posts in 508 days


#28 posted 431 days ago

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

414 posts in 1443 days


#29 posted 427 days ago

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!

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