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My harbor freight workbench furniture grade upgrade. Almost too nice

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Forum topic by Omar157 posted 11-28-2016 05:52 PM 3401 views 1 time favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Omar157

55 posts in 668 days


11-28-2016 05:52 PM

I had to fix one handle due to rushing from the excitement of finishing but it’s all fixed up. The bench finally has heft to it and doesn’t wobble all over the place when using the vise. Total spent was about $175 but only because I have loads of walnut. Top is basically the same other than I lined the bottom with 3/4” walnut to add thickness to the top that was only 3/4 thick and I drilled the holes out to 20mm. I am working on a prototype so it’s a mess and I cropped the photos but it’s very nice. Absolutely love it


11 replies so far

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Omar157

55 posts in 668 days


#1 posted 11-29-2016 11:17 PM

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Omar157

55 posts in 668 days


#2 posted 11-29-2016 11:19 PM

Weird, my pictures never came over. Why do they show up upside down?

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bobasaurus

3355 posts in 3021 days


#3 posted 11-29-2016 11:49 PM

Looks really well made now. Good job adding thickness to the top. The workbench casters are a great idea. Why 20 mm instead of 3/4 for dog holes? I upgraded my HF bench recently too:

http://lumberjocks.com/bobasaurus/blog/91554
http://lumberjocks.com/bobasaurus/blog/91802

-- Allen, Colorado (Instagram @bobasaurus_woodworking)

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Omar157

55 posts in 668 days


#4 posted 11-30-2016 01:06 AM

Thanks Allen, I’m loving your vise mod, I hope you don’t mind if I copy your idea. Mine came with a second vise so I might put it on the left side. I was missing the dowel on mine so the manager removed the vise from the floor model and a bunch of other parts that I was planning on using on my first upgrade idea. I might still use them but he gave me all the dogs and while they aren’t the worst I feel better using my own.I raised my bench an 1 1/2” but I just added some walnut feet and shaped them to follow the contour of the stock ones. Why would they make it so darn low? I drilled everything to match my festool MFT3. I have a bunch of dogs, clamps and misc accessories that I already own and they are 20mm and that’s why I drilled it out that size. The only 3/4” dogs I own are the kregg plastic ones and I’m not a fan. I figured if i ever purchase anything that uses 3/4 i will either drill it some extra holes or get a sleeve adapter. I got an offer right after i finished it and am kinda kicking myself for not taking it. He just wanted me to remove the wheels and cut off the feet I added for extra height. He wanted to use it as a dresser in a rustic loft but after all the work in shaping the feet by hand , i just wasn’t in the mood.

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bobasaurus

3355 posts in 3021 days


#5 posted 11-30-2016 11:02 PM

The bench is made for midgets, I raised mine about 3”. You should definitely do the wagon vise mod, it works beautifully now. I’d say offsetting the rod so I could use the thru-clamping was overkill. If I did it again, I would just have the screw push and pull on the sliding piece directly in-line with the center. It is nice not having the acme rod project out the side, though.

The festool pairing sounds really useful. I have some pinnacle brass dogs and they work great. But I made some more out of red oak to avoid damaging any planes/chisels I jam into them by accident. The oak ones are pretty good, but don’t have quite the holding power of the brass.

I ended up removing the 4 drawers in mine, then re-installing just two of them, rebuilt to accept a large shelf on top but still below the level of the hold fasts.

-- Allen, Colorado (Instagram @bobasaurus_woodworking)

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Omar157

55 posts in 668 days


#6 posted 11-30-2016 11:33 PM

I am Definitely am gonna do it. I set the box a bit low so I can get my veritas dogs in there but I don’t even know where my holdfasts are. I bought them and never liked them so they are MIA. I have a lot of tools and only a 12×28 shop. I need as many drawers as possible. I have 10 on the bench and they are the same depth as the stock drawers. I have more material and might add either a deep drawer or somewhere to put my feet when I’m working on something that requires me to sit. I did line the drawers in kaizen foam and recessed my tool into it. Much cleaner and I can always find my tools. Plus I’m a huge fastcap fan, I have nothing but respect for everything they stand for.

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shipwright

7779 posts in 2635 days


#7 posted 12-01-2016 12:19 AM

Nice mod on the HF bench. Looks really nice now.
To get your photos to stay turned, just give them a little crop after you rotate them. Then they will post the way you set them.

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

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htl

3153 posts in 996 days


#8 posted 12-01-2016 05:17 AM

Nicely done.

-- There's a hundred ways to do anything, alot depends on the tools at hand.

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HokieKen

4513 posts in 976 days


#9 posted 12-01-2016 01:22 PM

Very nice upgrade. The Walnut makes a beautiful drawer box and contrasts the lighter wood of the bench nicely. I like those drawer pulls too.

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

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bobasaurus

3355 posts in 3021 days


#10 posted 12-02-2016 11:03 PM

Wow, those foam liners sure look useful. I might pick some up.

-- Allen, Colorado (Instagram @bobasaurus_woodworking)

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Omar157

55 posts in 668 days


#11 posted 12-03-2016 03:02 AM

Thanks guys. Yeah walnut is my favorite. Those drawer pulls were a home run on eBay. They match the stock harbor freight pulls and I picked those up for about .75 cents each. I love kaizen foam. I have found many many uses for it and the manufacturer is the best of the best. You can’t say anything bad about a company who’s owner posts his cell number and actually answers it when you call.

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