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Torsion Box Workbench - aka - my first bench #1: Planning stage - first of many

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Blog entry by rhybeka posted 10-28-2011 01:21 AM 5112 reads 0 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Torsion Box Workbench - aka - my first bench series Part 2: Resignation »

Thought I would start this since it’s somewhat concurrently running through my head as I try to muddle through completing my entertainment center build and all of it’s frustration. The main issue is not having a place to go to to complete the small tasks – planing (end grain or otherwise), nowhere sturdy to really fasten things down, and it needs to be slightly mobile. I saw the new-fangled workbench video and thought – that’s it – that’ll fit my needs. I went ahead and bought the plans. My first thought is that I don’t have room for the full eight feet. Six maybe – but I was wondering if it would still be useful and plausible to cut it down to four feet? I laid out my materials list and halved all of the lengths by half that needed to be changed…I’m not good enough with Sketchup to modify the drawing by half… I think at some point I’ll haul over to Carter lumber and try to get a rough idea on price. I know it won’t be cheap, but maybe santa will be nice!

-- Beka/Becky - aspiring jill of all trades



9 comments so far

View thedude50's profile (online now)

thedude50

3530 posts in 1226 days


#1 posted 10-28-2011 02:19 AM

always build your bench as it is the last one you will ever need how big can you make it. do you need to make it only 4 feet because that’s really small. you are only slightly larger than a workmate. I too am about to build my first bench the one Daniel gave me years ago is still here and will never make the trash heap but it is about 5 feet and way to small for a decent sized project. i will be making mine from the 21 century workbench plans i got on a disk for around 20 bucks there are many reasons i chose this plan one is the top is made in two large plank glue ups and the darn thing is easy to knock down and move like when we move to Scotland it will have to go with me.make your as large as possible so you don’t have to do it over in a few years

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

View jeffbranch's profile

jeffbranch

108 posts in 1401 days


#2 posted 10-28-2011 03:55 AM

I am curious about what the “new fangled” workbench looks like. Can you provide a link to it?

-- http://jeffbranch.wordpress.com

View Craftsman on the lake's profile

Craftsman on the lake

2419 posts in 2186 days


#3 posted 10-28-2011 04:00 AM

Jeff, here’s a link to the one I built. It has links to Fine woodworking plans and video

Find it here

-- The smell of wood, coffee in the cup, the wife let's me do my thing, the lake is peaceful.

View rhybeka's profile

rhybeka

524 posts in 1870 days


#4 posted 10-28-2011 01:43 PM

@thedude50 – It’s a good thought to mull over. I have half of the garage that is ‘mine’ to use as a ‘shop’. More like tool storage, but I’m hoping that will change this year since I’m reducing down to one class a semester. Now the only trick is how to stay warm in the winter! if it was in the basement it could be no more than 5 ft max so color me lucky :)

@Jeffbranch – a few of the guys here at LJ have built this type of bench with great results.Caliper/Jeff has a great blog on his build a few years back.

Eight feet may still be too long with my lumber rack now against the back wall. My garage isn’t that deep – I can’t park my truck in it – hence why I even have a space :) I’ll be measuring again today or tomorrow once the sun has come up to see what I can accommodate. Maybe I’ll bump it up to six if I can work around it and it won’t take up the entire half of the space. Time for painters tape on the floor and more fun with sketch-up…once I get some of my homework done :) maybe build a 4ft and a 6 ft?? :) ha

-- Beka/Becky - aspiring jill of all trades

View Bsmith's profile

Bsmith

318 posts in 1418 days


#5 posted 10-28-2011 04:15 PM

All good points. I just finished my second bench and hopefully the last. My first one was a short 5’ but more important it was a little over 2’ wide. Doesn’t sound like much but when you have to reach a cabinet overhead it can be a little challenging. Especially if your girth width is wider than your bench width. ;-) Hope this helps.

-- Bryan

View rhybeka's profile

rhybeka

524 posts in 1870 days


#6 posted 10-29-2011 04:00 PM

very good point, Bsmith! I need to take that into account because I don’t have a lot of width to take up. Right now the plan is that the long skinny ‘bench’ I use to hold up a router table and some other misc. things will be going away because I’ll be building some wall storage (shelf or otherwise I’m not sure) on that side of the garage around the pegboard that’s up to set those things on. That way I know I’ll have the room for the bench length wise – I’ll need to measure out width and see how much it adds on top of the bench that’s already there.

I also want to make certain it’s tall enough. While I’m not very tall (5’8 on a good day), it seems that regular counter height is just short enough to give me lower back pain when working on something for longer periods. So I need to find out what that magic height is as well. I’m sure that will mean a design change as well. I’m really wishing I was as adept at sketch up as I am at photoshop – at least it would make the planning process quicker :)

-- Beka/Becky - aspiring jill of all trades

View NedB's profile

NedB

659 posts in 2314 days


#7 posted 09-03-2012 04:57 PM

I built a newfangled bench at 5’ it is perfectly functional.

-- Ned - 2B1ASK1 http://nedswoodshop.blogspot.com

View thedude50's profile (online now)

thedude50

3530 posts in 1226 days


#8 posted 09-04-2012 01:00 AM

this thread had been dead for a long time I am curious what you have built or did you take the summer off to play and are just now heading back to the shop?

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

View rhybeka's profile

rhybeka

524 posts in 1870 days


#9 posted 09-26-2012 12:28 AM

@thedude – well my second post to this answered it but here goes :) I haven’t built anything yet. I went back to school and took off fall – until January actually…and I’m quite torn because I have to have this bench done by the time I go back to school (plus I already have a simple Christmas project on my plate as well) so I need to be able to get a bench done over the course of say two weeks. I’m not very sure I can do that with the NFB. I also realized I need to be able to put wheels on it to get it moved around which is why I was thinking about making Tom’s Torsion Box workbench instead. Talk about a tough decision!

-- Beka/Becky - aspiring jill of all trades

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