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All Replies on Locally made workbench - please give me your 2cents worth

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Locally made workbench - please give me your 2cents worth

by Sandra
posted 02-21-2013 12:53 AM


50 replies so far

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

14110 posts in 989 days


#1 posted 02-21-2013 01:01 AM

First of all, if you have space, buy it.
Second, if you can afford it, buy it
Third, it’s better to have than have not, buy it
See where I am going?

-- Mother Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View Sandra's profile

Sandra

4419 posts in 726 days


#2 posted 02-21-2013 01:05 AM

Dang, Monte I was half hoping someone would point out some crazy, obvious flaw that I missed and save me the money… But thanks :)

-- No, I don't want to buy the pink hammer.

View DIYaholic's profile

DIYaholic

13506 posts in 1326 days


#3 posted 02-21-2013 01:14 AM

It looks like it is minus the vise hardware. You’ll need to look into the hardware cost, as part of the equation.

I need a bench, and feel the same as you. My expectations don’t match my talent.
I’m way more talented than my expectations….
In my dreams, at least!!! Lol.

Good luck on the bench hunting!!!

-- Randy-- I may not be good...but I am slow! If good things come to those who wait.... Why is procratination a bad thing?

View Jorge G.'s profile

Jorge G.

1526 posts in 1126 days


#4 posted 02-21-2013 01:17 AM

Take $100 off because of the hideous green color….other than that, $900 for a bench like this is a good price.

-- To surrender a dream leaves life as it is — and not as it could be.

View trippcasey's profile

trippcasey

72 posts in 575 days


#5 posted 02-21-2013 01:30 AM

I am by no means a craftsman like many people on here, and like you Sandra I was in need of a solid place to work off of. On the other hand, I could think of many other things I wanted to do with $900 than spend it on a bench, and one that I didnt build at that. I found some plans for a cheap, but well built workbench on Fine Woodworking’s site. It doesnt take a master woodworker to build, doesnt break the bank, and still offers a nice flat stable work area to work off of. All in all with a vice and some upgrades, I have $200 in a bench that will last me a while, and that I can one day build the bench worth paying a grand for. Ill take some pictures when I am done and post them. I am in the process now of building a cabinet underneath it with some old recycled wood. (I like to practice on free stuff). Anyway, here is the basic plan.

CHEAP AND EASY BENCH PLAN

-- I almost post pics....until I see the daily top three...then I delete my post.

View Sandra's profile

Sandra

4419 posts in 726 days


#6 posted 02-21-2013 01:32 AM

Yes, Jorge I agree it’s a shame that he painted it.

And DIY – I think the vise hardware is there, the picture is too big to see the one to the right, but it shows up in this picture:

Thanks gents.

-- No, I don't want to buy the pink hammer.

View Sandra's profile

Sandra

4419 posts in 726 days


#7 posted 02-21-2013 01:41 AM

tripp – I just checked out those plans…. it seems very doable. Is your finished, and have you posted it??

Thanks

-- No, I don't want to buy the pink hammer.

View 404 - Not Found's profile

404 - Not Found

2544 posts in 1620 days


#8 posted 02-21-2013 01:57 AM

You could buy a lot of timber with $900. Are you sure you wouldn’t have a go at making one? My first bench was what I thought I wanted at the time, but after using it for a while, it didn’t seem right. Last time that got used was to make bench no.2. So I would recommend making a cheapie bench for a start, pine and plywood, use it for a couple of years, then design a proper bench with everything the way you want it and make that.

View Kreegan's profile

Kreegan

1452 posts in 797 days


#9 posted 02-21-2013 02:06 AM

That is 900 varieties of fugly.

View Don W's profile

Don W

15017 posts in 1218 days


#10 posted 02-21-2013 02:16 AM

There is something to be said for working on a bench you built yourself. If it was $4 or $500 I’d say jump on it, but a $900 its not a real steal. If you really don’t have a desire to build your own, its probably a fare price, but given the base, its not a “wow, that’s a great deal” bench.

-- Master hand plane hoarder. - http://timetestedtools.com

View trippcasey's profile

trippcasey

72 posts in 575 days


#11 posted 02-21-2013 02:18 AM

Im not finished with it yet. I have yet to mount the vise (UPS tracking says Friday delivery) and I decided to build a cabinet underneath. Ill take some pics of what I have done and post them tomorrow. I didnt follow the plans by dimensions, just in general idea of how to build a decent and fairly cheap bench. I made mine a little smaller and am using the rest of the MDF for a miter station instead of the shelf underneath.

-- I almost post pics....until I see the daily top three...then I delete my post.

View Loren's profile

Loren

7539 posts in 2298 days


#12 posted 02-21-2013 02:20 AM

The paint is a strange thing, but that is a proven design.

I sold an antique 7’ bench from Holland with worm holes
in some of the wood for $1000. It was in that same
style and I thought it a very good bench.

-- http://lawoodworking.com

View ShaneA's profile

ShaneA

5294 posts in 1249 days


#13 posted 02-21-2013 02:22 AM

I agree with Don. It may be a fair value, not in the steal category, if you don’t want to wrestle with building one. However, as mentioned for $900 you could buy a lot of wood, and the vises. Build it to your preferences, and enjoy the journey. However, if you could beat him down, and you don’t want to build one…here is a good chance to get one.

View kdc68's profile

kdc68

1979 posts in 927 days


#14 posted 02-21-2013 02:29 AM

Sandra -Idea – If you don’t want to make one for yourself, and others you looked at were out of your price range ….well you said he makes them. Perhaps he could make another bench for you, specific to your needs, price, and color scheme.

:-)

-- Measure "at least" twice and cut once

View trippcasey's profile

trippcasey

72 posts in 575 days


#15 posted 02-21-2013 02:32 AM

Here it is so far…..dont laugh….I’m in the concrete business…lol.

Without it being finished though, I will have to say it has made life easier than working off the old OSB scrap bench I nailed together from what I could find laying around in the barn.

-- I almost post pics....until I see the daily top three...then I delete my post.

View lumberjoe's profile

lumberjoe

2833 posts in 899 days


#16 posted 02-21-2013 02:32 AM

To me a work bench is personal, and kind of a “right of passage” thing. I wouldn’t pass up a screaming deal on one out of sheer necessity right now, but I have all the materials (except the veneer) for my bench right now; just waiting on those consistent 60 degree days

-- www.etsy.com/shop/KandJWoodCrafts

View Dakkar's profile

Dakkar

297 posts in 578 days


#17 posted 02-21-2013 02:36 AM

I don’t know your situation, but if I were setting up a shop, I could easily come up with a sturdy, but inexpensive bench and put most of my $900 into good quality tools instead. I’m kind of wondering about the green paint, too. Practically all woodworkers prefer clear finishes on such things to show off their handiwork and avoid paint like the plague. All I can figure is he used some ugly toned wood under there and decided to cover it up. That’s nothing that affects function, but for that price I think you should get something you’re proud to look at.

View Sandra's profile

Sandra

4419 posts in 726 days


#18 posted 02-21-2013 02:59 AM

Tripp – no laughing here, it looks sturdy and you’ve got the hutzpah to build your own. Good for you.

I was going to say that I think I’ve pulled my head out of my…. but that would be unladylike, so I’ll say that I think I’m coming to my senses. I already have the lumber I would need to make the plan Tripp is following, and Kreegan is dead on with the paint.

Even at $500 it’s a lot of dough to drop this close to my bandsaw purchase.

Although he doesn’t know it, my husband is grateful. I’m going to call in the morning to say I won’t be coming to look at it. Impulse averted.

The beer’s on me.

-- No, I don't want to buy the pink hammer.

View Dakkar's profile

Dakkar

297 posts in 578 days


#19 posted 02-21-2013 03:02 AM

Trippcasey has some good advice there, but I would look past that “easy” bench and build the super sturdy plywood plan FW has on that site. It wouldn’t win any beauty contest, but you can’t get much sturdier than laminated plywood stacks. It would be easy to incorporate some salvaged material and come out even better.

http://www.finewoodworking.com/woodworking-plans/article/rock-solid-plywood-bench.aspx

View lumberjoe's profile

lumberjoe

2833 posts in 899 days


#20 posted 02-21-2013 03:13 AM

I am building this one also mostly plywood, but veneered. If you wanted to save yourself some time/money, you could paint the plywood

This is even cheaper than the FWW bench and more functional. NO vice hardware needed. Also, this will win beauty contests.

-- www.etsy.com/shop/KandJWoodCrafts

View BigRedKnothead's profile

BigRedKnothead

4950 posts in 633 days


#21 posted 02-21-2013 03:48 AM

I will forever encourage people to build their own bench. It’s such a great opportunity to practice your skills while being easy on yourself because… it is just a bench. My first was Schwartz’s $175 bench and I used the tar out it. Just today it got demoted for my new roubo, but I’ll keep it. Build one. Not up to your standards, sell it and build another. That’s how we improve, by just doing it.

-- Red -- "That the powerful play goes on, and you may contribute a verse." W. Whitman

View Don Broussard's profile

Don Broussard

1972 posts in 902 days


#22 posted 02-21-2013 04:06 AM

@Sandra—I’d like to add my encouragement to you to build your own workbench. A bench you make yourself would forever be “YOUR” bench. I used my bench construction to improve my skills and make mistakes (tuition to the school of hard knocks) and I haven’t made the same mistakes again. Give it a shot!

-- People say I hammer like lightning. It's not that I'm fast -- it's that I never hit the same place twice!

View lwllms's profile

lwllms

544 posts in 1932 days


#23 posted 02-21-2013 04:07 AM

Sandra,

I think the bench dog holes are spaced too far apart on the main part of the bench. I can’t see the holes on the tail vise. The hole spacing needs to be different on the vise and bench. I try to set the spacing farther apart on the bench and divide the spacing by the number of dogs on the vise to get the amount to shorten the spacing on the bench. This will limit how much you have to move the tail vise to accommodate different lengths of stock with moving dogs rather than a bunch of turning the vise handle. I also think there’s too much cantilever or overhang for the tail vise section. It’s going to sag and twist and probably already has to some degree. The joinery for the tail vise isn’t what I expect to see. My advise is to pass on this unless you intend to make a new base and spend a lot of time chiseling bench dog holes. Sorry to be so negative but I think they guy wants to build a second bench without the mistakes he made on this one.

View Sandra's profile

Sandra

4419 posts in 726 days


#24 posted 02-21-2013 04:21 AM

Once again, this site has saved me from myself.

I think one of the stumbling blocks to building a bench myself, is that at this point, I need plans to follow. The hunt for the ‘right’ plans is something I guess I don’t relish.

Thanks to all of you for taking the time to offer you opinion.

-- No, I don't want to buy the pink hammer.

View BigRedKnothead's profile

BigRedKnothead

4950 posts in 633 days


#25 posted 02-21-2013 11:57 AM

Here’s the first bench I made:
http://www.popularwoodworking.com/projects/175_workbench/3
I know I got free plans for it somewhere on that site. If you don’t have a jointer/planer, you can buy a slab for the top. The base can be made with tablesaw, drill, and chisels.

Want to go bigger and better? Join club Roubo:
http://www.amazon.com/Workbenches-Design-Construction-Popular-Woodworking/dp/1558708405/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1361447744&sr=1-1&keywords=schwarz+workbench
Like any project, feed your brain first.

-- Red -- "That the powerful play goes on, and you may contribute a verse." W. Whitman

View Don W's profile

Don W

15017 posts in 1218 days


#26 posted 02-21-2013 12:00 PM

The guys have talked work bench design at great length over here. Join the conversation.

-- Master hand plane hoarder. - http://timetestedtools.com

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile

Smitty_Cabinetshop

9887 posts in 1269 days


#27 posted 02-21-2013 12:10 PM

I like the bench, but not necessarily at $900. It’s functional and the seller is right, you’ll love it (or another like it). There’s an opportunity cost here that’s the top consideration: Can you / will you make one in a reasonable amount of time, or is a buy your way of addressing the need? Second question, can you find another for less cost?

Bottom line, I agree with Don’s $400 / $500 range.

Good luck!

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive

View lumberjoe's profile

lumberjoe

2833 posts in 899 days


#28 posted 02-21-2013 02:16 PM

Sandra, Iwould highly suggest giving this a shot. The blog has a lot of detail, and there are sketchup plans
http://lumberjocks.com/shipwright/blog/series/5516

-- www.etsy.com/shop/KandJWoodCrafts

View Holbs's profile

Holbs

517 posts in 680 days


#29 posted 02-21-2013 02:21 PM

i found this bench at an estate auction for $200. figured, this will hold me over til i can construct my own bench and has allowed me not to rush into building my own either.
Lervad bench http://www.lervad.com/produkter_b2.asp?produkter_id=94&kategorier_id=32&url=produkter_b1.asp?kategorier_id=32

it is used in wood working schools in europe, as you can connect 6 or 8 together in series. would i of paid $250 for this? no. but it is serving it’s purpose.

View PurpLev's profile

PurpLev

8476 posts in 2299 days


#30 posted 02-21-2013 02:33 PM

Sandra – you’ve got the hutzpah to build your own – haha… nice choice of words. havent heard that in a while.

@900 this is not a bad price for this type of bench and not a great bargain either. this would fall under the time/necessity reasoning – if you NEED a bench NOW for continuing work, than this will get you there. however if you are not in a hurry, then I would suggest you make a workbench your next project, and save yourself at least $500 (if not more).

My first workbench was the one featured on FineWoodworking (posted in my projects) and cost me around $100 and change. while it was on the smaller scale of workbenches it performed just fine for a long time. there have been some other designed posted in this thread already that might be even a better match FOR YOU (a workbench is a very personal thing after all)

Cheers!

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View Bernie's profile

Bernie

414 posts in 1488 days


#31 posted 02-21-2013 03:03 PM

I really like renners response. He’s right on in suggesting you build a simple bench and let it grow with your skills. I had a simple slab for 12 years and that slab is still under my new bench that does everything a fancy European bench does and more. The total cost of the retrofit is hard to pin because some of the items were free but I could say it was under $300 and I’m supper satisfied with it. It’s my own design and fits my needs like a glove.

http://lumberjocks.com/topics/39419

That’s the link to my workbench if you care to see it.

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

View rockindavan's profile

rockindavan

283 posts in 1287 days


#32 posted 02-21-2013 03:54 PM

Saw this bench a few years back from Fine Woodworking. Its simple, cheap and effective.
http://www.finewoodworking.com/FWNPDFfree/011181054.pdf

I finished my bench a year ago. It took a year and a half, but I enjoyed the whole process of it.

http://lumberjocks.com/projects/70940
I really appreciate starting with something new, then as you use it there are dings and scratches, but all of those you know you did and it only looks better with time.

View Tim's profile

Tim

1267 posts in 612 days


#33 posted 02-21-2013 03:58 PM

Lots of good suggestions here. I’d add to the chorus for building your own. For now I’m working on stabilizing an old desk. Then when I get my sea legs I’m going to build the one Paul Sellers describes here. There is also a series of YouTube videos to go with the beginning.

I’d also add that the old timer who built that bench probably built it very solidly so if it was in your budget and something you needed you weren’t at all unreasonable to consider it.

View CharlieM1958's profile

CharlieM1958

15695 posts in 2869 days


#34 posted 02-21-2013 04:13 PM

I can’t say for sure without an in-person look, but to me the base just doesn’t look massive enough to provide the kind of stability I would want if I were paying $900 for a bench.

And, by the way, how are you going to hide it from your husband? :-)

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View Sandra's profile

Sandra

4419 posts in 726 days


#35 posted 02-22-2013 12:25 AM

Gasp! I can’t imagine ever hiding anything from my husband. He loves to hear about every little thing I’ve done, and every single solitary thought that crosses my mind. I couldn’t imagine buying more than a stick of gum without him by my side.

Kidding of course. When we finished our basement, some boxes of my husbands ‘stuff’ ended up in our dining room and haven’t moved since. I figured I’d stack them on my workbench, pitch a big fit about how he procrastinates, play the martyr that I’m the only one to do anything around the house and the workbench would magically go unnoticed!
Kidding, sort of….

Lumberjoe – that looks like a very nice workbench
Don – Looks like I have a lot more reading to do
Rockin – all I can say is ‘wow!’
Bernie – I really like the clamping ability you have with yours, well thought out.

At the moment, the Not So Big Workbench from FWW is a contender. I like that I can watch the video sections for help, and I think it will be a skill builder without being too much.

Thanks again,
Sandra

-- No, I don't want to buy the pink hammer.

View BigRedKnothead's profile

BigRedKnothead

4950 posts in 633 days


#36 posted 02-22-2013 12:29 AM

Remember, it doesn’t exist if we don’t get to see pics;-p

-- Red -- "That the powerful play goes on, and you may contribute a verse." W. Whitman

View Sandra's profile

Sandra

4419 posts in 726 days


#37 posted 02-22-2013 12:36 AM

Roger that Big Red.

I’ve seen it on LJ in the projects and liked it.

-- No, I don't want to buy the pink hammer.

View Bernie's profile

Bernie

414 posts in 1488 days


#38 posted 02-22-2013 02:49 PM

Sandra, I was looking at your shop again and noticed how a lot of your tools are mobile, even that nice wood bin you built, so think about building a simple bench but securing it to a wall. Your bench needs to be robust or anchored down so it will not move when you use it. My bench is by no means robust – it’s still basically an indoor solid core door covered with bamboo etc. and it’s secured to the floor so it doesn’t move. Choose a wall and secure your bench to it.

Another feature you will want in your bench is for it to be very flat so you can assemble a picture frame on it and have all 4 corners flat.

Other features you can add and remove as your experience level grows. Let your bench grow with you. So start simple.

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

View Knothead62's profile

Knothead62

2364 posts in 1612 days


#39 posted 02-22-2013 03:52 PM

Sandra, there is a difference between “vise” and vice.” One is useful for wood working; the other is not. ;)
Would like a nice workbench but don’t have room.

View Don W's profile

Don W

15017 posts in 1218 days


#40 posted 02-22-2013 03:55 PM

One is useful for wood working; the other is woodworking.

-- Master hand plane hoarder. - http://timetestedtools.com

View Sandra's profile

Sandra

4419 posts in 726 days


#41 posted 02-22-2013 07:07 PM

In Canada, we agree with Don and therefore use the same word. ;)


(from Grammarist.com)
Vice vs. vise
In the U.S., the word for the clamping tool comprising two jaws closed and opened by a screw or lever is spelled vise. Outside American English, the vise spelling rarely appears. The gripping tool is instead spelled vice. This word of course has several other meanings in all varieties of English, including (1) immorality, and (2) an undesirable habit. For these senses, vice is so spelled even in the U.S.

Although vise is now an American spelling, it is old. The word for the tool has origins in the Latin vitis, meaning vine, and over the centuries it has been used to describe many spiraling things, including staircases and screws. For all the word’s spiral-related senses, vise has been a common secondary spelling for many centuries. That spelling usually gave way to vice, however, until the early 19th century, when it was put to use in American industrial writing. By later in that century, vise was standard American English for the tool and related senses. **

-- No, I don't want to buy the pink hammer.

View Dakkar's profile

Dakkar

297 posts in 578 days


#42 posted 02-23-2013 02:35 AM

Sandra, I would advise you to take the advice of your local grammarist and spell vise/vice it whatever way you prefer. ;)

View Sandra's profile

Sandra

4419 posts in 726 days


#43 posted 02-23-2013 04:28 AM

I’ll take that under ad-vice-ment…

-- No, I don't want to buy the pink hammer.

View Kelby's profile

Kelby

133 posts in 1061 days


#44 posted 02-23-2013 05:39 AM

Sandra, buy “The Workbench Book” by Scott Landis. Lots of plans in there for almost every kind of bench you could want. If you can’t build a good bench by the time you’re done reading the book, then you’ve got the wrong hobby!

-- Kelby

View Rick M.'s profile

Rick M.

3942 posts in 1031 days


#45 posted 02-23-2013 08:54 AM

The best ‘simple’ workbench I’ve ever seen was published by Wood Weekend Woodworking Projects, issue 47, Sept 1995. I know that issue because I’ve been looking over it and thinking of building it. Plans include instructions for either a laminated or plywood top. I would shorten it by a couple inches and probably switch the front vise to a leg vise.

Also available here: http://www.woodworkersworkshop.com/store/index.php?app=ccp0&ns=prodshow&ref=31_DP_00065

-- |Statistics show that 100% of people bitten by a snake were close to it.|

View MrRon's profile

MrRon

2829 posts in 1894 days


#46 posted 02-24-2013 06:12 PM

There are many plans available on the internet, from very simple to complex. No reason why you can’t build a bench. That’s what most people do. You can build one for way less than $100 that will serve you while you gain skills to build a better one. You go from there up until you have what you want. It’s a good trip, learning all the way. Save your money and build.

View Sandra's profile

Sandra

4419 posts in 726 days


#47 posted 02-25-2013 04:14 AM

Thanks Ron. I decided on building one after posting this. I have two mortises out of sixteen done so far…

-- No, I don't want to buy the pink hammer.

View BigRedKnothead's profile

BigRedKnothead

4950 posts in 633 days


#48 posted 02-25-2013 12:54 PM

Sweet. You’ll have a lot more fun playing with planes when you’ve got a bench and a vise. Putting the finishing touches on my new bench today. It’s a great feeling.

-- Red -- "That the powerful play goes on, and you may contribute a verse." W. Whitman

View helluvawreck's profile

helluvawreck

15761 posts in 1517 days


#49 posted 02-25-2013 02:42 PM

Sandra, I don’t like that green base nor do I like that style of front vise. I like the type of front vise that uses a screw and two round bars. However, everybody needs a good workable bench and that’s not a bad price for a bench like that that is ready to go. You might also take a look at the benches sold by Grizzly. I have seen some good deals on Grizzly benches. I personally know a guy who owns a Grizzly bench and it has very good quality. Best wishes.

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 helluvawreck's profile

helluvawreck

15761 posts in 1517 days


#50 posted 02-25-2013 02:46 PM

Here’s a Grizzly bench. It’s not the same one as my friend has so I can’t vouch for it’s quality. But it seems ok.

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

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