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Workbench Challenge #9: Final Accounting and a Few Details

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Blog entry by shipwright posted 12-08-2013 01:42 AM 2291 reads 4 times favorited 23 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 8: Lipstick and Vices Part 9 of Workbench Challenge series no next part

At the outset of this project I challenged myself to make this a “best bang for the buck” build. This doesn’t necessarily mean the cheapest possible bench but rather the best balance of utility and cost. I also said I would account for costs without counting on finding good deals or using “found ” materials from around the shop. The cost shown here should reflect what a novice woodworker should expect to pay at Home Depot or the like.

So let’s see how I did.

Cost of materials:

- 2 Sheets of 3/4” plywood (sanded) .......................... ~ $75
- 9 FBM of solid hardwood …. ~ $5/ FBM …................ ~ $45
- Glue, screws, threaded rod, etc. .............................. ~ $20
- Finish …............................................................... ~ $10
- Casters ….............................................................. ~ $8

Total…...............................................................................................................................~$158

Tools used on the basic bench: I’ll assume that you buy really cheap stuff like I used here
and know how to find a HF store.

- Skilsaw …............................................................. ~$35
- Drill …..................................................................~ $15
- Router …...............................................................~ $30
- Ruler, square …...................................................... ~$10
- Tape measure …..................................................... ~ Free
- Clamps ….............................................................. ~ $10 (4 at $2 and 2 at $1)
- Jigsaw ….............................................................. ~ $20
- Forstner bit set …...................................................~ $20
- Router bit set …..................................................... ~ $20
- Hand plane …....................................................... ~ $10
- Hammer ….............................................................. ~$5
- Pencil, chip brush, whatever …................................. ~ $2

Total….................................................................................................................................~$177

Tools used for the vices :

Lathe, Bandsaw, Table Saw, Drill Press …(Older ShopSmith with bandsaw on Craigslist or Ebay)....... ~ $500

Grand Total …...................................................................................................................... ~ $835

Of course if you have a few basic tools and a friend with a ShopSmith the bench costs ~ $150. If you have a bit of hardwood lying around and get a deal on plywood it could cost as little as $60 to $70.

That takes care of the bucks, now what do you get for bang?

This is a heavy (for its size) rigid, solid bench that will last a very long time.
It has a good functional leg vice and a good functional wagon vice.
It has dog holes and dogs for use with the vices or with holdfasts (Gramercy ~ $40)
It is easily moved out of the way to let the car back in the garage.

Here are a few detail photos that show a couple of tweaks and a jig.

Here is the leg vice raised up on a 1/4” shim being used against a bench dog.

This one shows a rebate I made for the wheel so the leg can come flush against the bench leg. You can also see the caster wedges.

Here is the leg vice tight against the bench. The lower pin is stored in a hole behind the leg.


This one shows
my veneer cutting jig being secured to the bench by the holdfasts.

That’s a wrap. I hope someone can use this.

Thanks for looking in.

Paul

-- Paul M ..............If God wanted us to have fiberglass boats he would have given us fiberglass trees. http://prmdesigns.com/



23 comments so far

View Handtooler's profile

Handtooler

1087 posts in 798 days


#1 posted 12-08-2013 01:53 AM

Mighty fine! I’m sure several new woodworkers will benefit from this as well as the earlier blog. Thanks for your help.

-- Russell Pitner Hixson, TN 37343 bassboy40@msn.com

View JeremyPringle's profile

JeremyPringle

281 posts in 1140 days


#2 posted 12-08-2013 01:59 AM

That’s really cool.

What’s the veneer saw?

View Pimzedd's profile

Pimzedd

450 posts in 2470 days


#3 posted 12-08-2013 02:29 AM

Thanks Paul. Really enjoyed the blog. Well done.

-- Bill - Mesquite, TX --- "Everything with a power cord eventually winds up in the trash.” John Sarge , timber framer and blacksmith instructor at Tillers International school

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

11559 posts in 1772 days


#4 posted 12-08-2013 03:05 AM

Money and time well invested and especially in your hands, my friend!!!!................Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View MontanaBob's profile

MontanaBob

420 posts in 1350 days


#5 posted 12-08-2013 03:56 AM

Outstanding build there…. I really enjoyed following this on your blog… Bob

-- To realize our true destiny, we must be guided not by a myth from our past, but by a vision of our future

View kiefer's profile

kiefer

3118 posts in 1333 days


#6 posted 12-08-2013 04:08 AM

Well done Paul and all the little details will be of help to many that will build this bench.
Another great project .

-- Kiefer 松

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

7754 posts in 2718 days


#7 posted 12-08-2013 04:48 AM

COOL record…

COOL Tips on using it…
... love the way you raised the Leg Vise 1/4”... So COOL!

Thank you!

-- 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 truenorth's profile

truenorth

17 posts in 314 days


#8 posted 12-08-2013 05:34 AM

Very nicely done! If my shop wasnt a dining table factory I’d build one of these for sure! (Need to lay out table tops) specially since I bought 2 used shopsmiths today!

-- Canada - True North Strong and Free

View Jim Sellers's profile

Jim Sellers

249 posts in 1001 days


#9 posted 12-08-2013 05:55 AM

Been following you Paul and it is a great design. Especially the mobility. A must for someone with a small garage shop.

-- J.C.Sellers, Norcross, Ga. Just cut it right the first time. The best carpenters make the fewest chips.

View Napaman's profile

Napaman

5346 posts in 2743 days


#10 posted 12-08-2013 05:56 AM

You are too Amazing!

-- Matt--Proud LJ since 2007

View Mathew Nedeljko's profile

Mathew Nedeljko

607 posts in 2496 days


#11 posted 12-08-2013 06:15 AM

Thanks Paul, I say you have absolutely met your objective with this build. Thanks for sharing with all of us! It is both entertaining and informative, and I look forward to seeing many more pictures of this bench in use!

-- Aim high. Ride easy. Trust God. Neale Donald Walsch

View stefang's profile

stefang

13104 posts in 2000 days


#12 posted 12-08-2013 11:18 AM

A very innovative and inexpensive bench that can handle just about every task a woodworker could ask of it. I especially admire those wedge driven vises, nothing less than brilliant. I just hope enough LJ members don’t miss this one when they start thinking about building themselves a decent bench. This bench could have also have been produced and sold in kit form for a very reasonable price. As usual you are one of, or quite possibly, the greatest contributor to LJ Paul.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View Underdog's profile

Underdog

546 posts in 702 days


#13 posted 12-08-2013 01:39 PM

Wow. I really need to build one to replace that floppy light weight cheapie from HF that sits in my shop.
Say, what does FBM stand for?

View shipwright's profile

shipwright

5007 posts in 1464 days


#14 posted 12-08-2013 02:14 PM

Sorry, it stands for foot board measure or in common language board feet.
Maybe it’s a Canadian term ????

-- Paul M ..............If God wanted us to have fiberglass boats he would have given us fiberglass trees. http://prmdesigns.com/

View Philip's profile

Philip

1134 posts in 1205 days


#15 posted 12-08-2013 05:31 PM

Really great project Paul. Much better than a solid core door on sawhorses.

I especially like the wedge vise. You could easily spend all your money on a vise kit and still not have a bench!

-- If you can dream it, I can do it!

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