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HF Work Bench On Sale

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Review by SPHinTampa posted 1031 days ago 6099 views 0 times favorited 14 comments Add to Favorites Watch
HF Work Bench On Sale No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

My homemade workbench top (my first big project) gave up a few weeks ago. I saw an advertizement for this and had a coupon for 20% off so net price for the work bench came out to $129 …. not a bad price.

Pros:
- Assembly is solid .. .I was worried it would be flimsy and it is not
- Vice quality is acceptable

Cons:
- 1/2” bench dog holes that are spaced inconvienently far apart
- Either I am bad at assembly or the mounting hardware is slightly off … i had trouble keeping assembly square.
- Oddly complicated drawer slide system … compounded with the out of square assembly makes for difficult to open drawers

Overall, I think that solid and stable are the two most important characteristics of a workbench. And this unit is both of those things. The out of square underside assembly did not translate to an out of square surface or wobbly legs.

From a convenience of use perspective, I am going to add some after market holes and look at expanding to 3/4” size. No room for a front mounted vise. I will probably try to fiddle with the assembly to see if I can get the drawers to work better.

Net of it … I think if you did a lot of handtool work, this would not be a good option. As a resting place for my powertools and a place to glue up projects, it works just fine.

-- Shawn, I ask in order to learn




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SPHinTampa

548 posts in 2289 days



14 comments so far

View thedude50's profile

thedude50

3503 posts in 1081 days


#1 posted 1031 days ago

could it take a better vise and could you drill it for more dogs ? if you add weight to the shelf it should be more stable. I just got and am reviewing the plans for my new bench it is called the 21st century its going to be a big job for me a bit heavy but i am going to build it the same time i do norms router table since the bench will have so much drying time etc. I know it will take me a couple of weeks to finish at my new slower pace or my new faster pace depending on how you look a it.

-- when I am not on Lumberjocks I am on @ http://thisoldworkshop.com where we allow free speech

View Dennisgrosen's profile

Dennisgrosen

10850 posts in 1719 days


#2 posted 1031 days ago

thank´s for the rewiew
bad with the ½ holes go for 3/4 as you say
the shelf can be used for sandbags to add weight
I know you proppebly did get it for the drawers too
but skip the two to the left and there is plenty of room
for a wice :-)

if you do that it will be a good beginner bench for one that just ain´t knowing
what he/she will do in woodworking a few years from now

Dennis

View Howie's profile

Howie

2656 posts in 1526 days


#3 posted 1031 days ago

SPH,I live near Tampa too.
Good luck on the drawers I couldn’t get mine square either. Otherwise I’m satisfied with it.

-- Life is good.

View Shopsmithtom's profile

Shopsmithtom

780 posts in 2798 days


#4 posted 1030 days ago

I’ve seen the bench at our local HF store. For that kind of money, I think you can’t go far wrong. As discussed, there are things you can cheaply do to improve it…add weight, customize it, etc. Thanks for the review; not everyone has a HF store close enough to see it up close. -SST

-- Accuracy is not in your power tool, it's in you

View bizbead's profile

bizbead

3 posts in 1030 days


#5 posted 1030 days ago

I purchased and assembled the workbench last week. Had the same problem a lot of people seem to be having with the drawers. If this is such a common problem why don’t they do something about it? Can anyone offer some ideas what I might be doing wrong? The drawers are in but they are really hard to pull in and out.

View kshipp's profile

kshipp

179 posts in 2382 days


#6 posted 1030 days ago

I have this same bench but I don’t have a problem with the drawers sliding. My only problem with them is that they are only half extension. Full extension would be nice.

I solved the “weight” problem by screwing it to my floor. I realize this may not be an option for everyone but just the other day I was planing some board that were in the vise and there was no movement of the bench.

As they said earlier, for the price you can get this on sale you really cannot go wrong.

-- Kyle Shipp, http://battleshipp.blogspot.com

View rance's profile

rance

4125 posts in 1764 days


#7 posted 1030 days ago

>“why don’t they do something about it?”
That’s a funny one. LOL! This is HF we are talking about. :)

I bought one thinking the top was thicker, it was only 3/4”. Only the edge is beefed up.

A friend of mine has 4 now. They are mysteriously about 1/8” lower than his Saw Stop and they work great for outfeed tables. On the last 3 he assembled, he backed the dog holes from the bottom with 2×4s. Then drilled the dog holes to 3/4”. This helped tremendously and was a very easy mod. On all 4 units, he replaced the drawer slides with ‘real’ ones, and full ext. It made a world of difference. Sill have the problem of the drawers interfering with hold downs. For the money, the benches can be very useful.

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

View SPHinTampa's profile

SPHinTampa

548 posts in 2289 days


#8 posted 1030 days ago

Thanks for the improvement suggestions. I think I will restack the boxes down one side, reinforce and expand dog holes and add a front vise.

-- Shawn, I ask in order to learn

View Dennisgrosen's profile

Dennisgrosen

10850 posts in 1719 days


#9 posted 1030 days ago

lets see a blog about you improvement of the bench when you do it :-)

Dennis

View bobasaurus's profile

bobasaurus

1180 posts in 1788 days


#10 posted 1029 days ago

I have the same bench, and I managed to install a front vice in a very roundabout manner. I cut the blocking drawer into two parts, then joined them with a lower support allowing clearance for the vice jaws. It looks a little funny, but works well and retains the use of the drawer (though only about 1/2 of it, since the vice mounting setup takes up the rest). I plan on drilling 3/4” holes and making or buying dogs for it, too.

-- Allen, Colorado

View b2rtch's profile

b2rtch

4288 posts in 1652 days


#11 posted 1029 days ago

I used this bench for several years until I built my own. I was very satisfied with it except for the drawers which opened by themselves.
Excellent bench for the price

-- Bert

View bizbead's profile

bizbead

3 posts in 1030 days


#12 posted 1028 days ago

[
>“why don’t they do something about it?”
That’s a funny one. LOL! This is HF we are talking about. :)]

Sorry – that was a moment of temporary insanity I guess. – ha. I did get the drawers figured out. They are fine now and I am very satisfied with the bench otherwise.

View bobasaurus's profile

bobasaurus

1180 posts in 1788 days


#13 posted 1026 days ago

Here’s a picture showing how I mounted the front vice to my bench:

It’s not ideal, but it’s about the only spot that would work given the leg and drawer placements. The two halves of the top drawer are joined with some plywood stretchers.

-- Allen, Colorado

View Alexdi's profile

Alexdi

17 posts in 1012 days


#14 posted 1012 days ago

I bought this bench a few weeks ago. A couple notes:

- It’s not oak as advertised. It’s rubberwood. No big deal.

- Drawer hardware looks cheap. All four drawers in the display model were broken. However, with mine, the drawer tolerances were perfect and they move smoothly and easily. The only problem is that the runners aren’t two-stage, so the drawers only come out halfway. Makes it hard to know what’s in the back.

- Very solid overall. Vice was a little tight. A handful of non-structural screws go into composite wood pieces that strip easily. Instructions have useless pictures and very little exposition. Assembly takes about 90 minutes.

- It’s two or three inches shorter than I’d like. I’m 6’1’.

For a basic work table, you’d do better (not cheaper, but a larger work surface built to your specifications) doing it yourself. Factor in the drawers, though, the accessory hardware pieces (vice, metal and wood stops for the holes on top), and the finish, and this becomes a great deal.

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