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Workbench question

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Forum topic by Betsy posted 01-14-2008 04:44 AM 1274 views 0 times favorited 27 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Betsy

3391 posts in 3975 days


01-14-2008 04:44 AM

I currently have this workbench from Woodcraft.

http://woodcraft.com/family.aspx?familyid=5961&productid=147168

It’s the cheapo one. It is actually not to bad for assembly work and the vise works ok for small stuff. So long and short it’s actually has served me well doing what I’ve been doing in the past. But now that I’m getting more into using hand tools I’m finding that it is woefully inadequate. Any amount of chopping, hand sawing, etc. and I pretty much have to chase this thing around the room because it has no heft to it at all. Very light weight.

I’m thinking that the top is actually ok, but that I just need to make a new set of sturdier/stockier legs for it and more cross members to make it stronger. So I’m thinking keep the top and make new legs.

What do you guys think? If I need to get a new workbench it would definitely be one I buy as opposed to making because I am not up to doing that heavy type of work anymore. Legs I can make but that top would be “over the top” (sorry for my little pun) for me.

-- "Our past judges our present." JFK - 1962; American Heritage Magazine


27 replies so far

View Blake's profile

Blake

3443 posts in 3954 days


#1 posted 01-14-2008 06:12 AM

Adding Plywood to the legs will give it SHEER strength and you’ll be amazed at how much sturdier it gets. Do it in both directions. My bench wobbled like crazy until I did this and now it’s a rock. Try that before ditching the legs and starting from scratch.

Add the plywood across the (long) back and two (short) sides. Then the underside of your bench will be enclosed with walls on three sides… Now what you’ve got is an opportunity for great storage. Build shelves or even cabinets within.

Then, when the new storage space is full of stuff, your bench will be even heavier and sturdier.

-- Happy woodworking!

View Betsy's profile

Betsy

3391 posts in 3975 days


#2 posted 01-14-2008 06:27 AM

Blake that makes so much sense. I’ve got the plywood to do the trick with to. I’ll give that a shot this weekend and let you know the outcome. Such a simple solution.

-- "Our past judges our present." JFK - 1962; American Heritage Magazine

View Mike Lingenfelter's profile

Mike Lingenfelter

503 posts in 4194 days


#3 posted 01-14-2008 06:49 AM

The other thing you need in a bench, when working with hand tools is weight. If you get the bench to be more rigid, but still need weight you can try this. You can build a hollow area under the shelf and then fill it with stand. I did this on one my early benches. It helped but there is nothing like hefty bench.

View GaryK's profile

GaryK

10262 posts in 4068 days


#4 posted 01-14-2008 08:27 AM

Great thought Blake. It slipped my mind. Go for it Betsy.

Also in line with what Mike said, you might want to put a plywood shelf on the cross braces
closest to the floor (with support) and store some heavy items there.

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

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Matt (Upper Cut)

264 posts in 3893 days


#5 posted 01-14-2008 08:48 AM

I agree, get that thing to be heavy. I have the huge Sjobergs bench and it’s heavy. I can do anything on that bench and it won’t move or rack.

-- Matt Gradwohl, Upper Cut Woodworks, http://uppercutwoodworks.com/

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rikkor

11295 posts in 3954 days


#6 posted 01-14-2008 12:02 PM

I can relate to your issues Betsy. Good luck with the stiffening project.

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Betsy

3391 posts in 3975 days


#7 posted 01-14-2008 04:09 PM

Thanks guys. I’m going to work on the ply tonight and will definitely add some weight near the bottom.

Mgrad – I’m jealous of your bench. I was looking at those and WOW are they nice.

-- "Our past judges our present." JFK - 1962; American Heritage Magazine

View Dadoo's profile

Dadoo

1789 posts in 4070 days


#8 posted 01-14-2008 04:41 PM

Think “storage” Betsy. I agree with the others here about stiffining it up and adding sand. But you can never have too much storage, can you?

-- Bob Vila would be so proud of you!

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Betsy

3391 posts in 3975 days


#9 posted 01-14-2008 08:06 PM

Dado – I’m going to have to disagree! Dang, another disagreement on LJ’s. :-(

Actually, I was cleaning my shop last night in preparation for the upcoming LJ’s picnic in February (yes, I know that’s a month from now – but my shop’s a mess.) and I thought to myself – “I have to much storage!” I think I’ve pretty much decided that the more storage I have the more junk I’ve accumulated or just keep because I have the space to keep it.

So I’m going to try to reorganize and go through the stuff that’s accumulated and get rid of things that I’ve not used or can’t remember why I had it. Then reorganize the good stuff and go from there.

I will, however, be doing a cabinet of sorts under my workbench—- will use that space for weight.

How about those Pats—- they had their hands full last game.

-- "Our past judges our present." JFK - 1962; American Heritage Magazine

View Russel's profile

Russel

2199 posts in 4019 days


#10 posted 01-15-2008 01:54 AM

“Too much storage” Thus spoke Betsy of LumberJocks. Now I have read much of what Betsy has written in the past and I have found her to be intelligent, skilled and reasonable. Based upon these observations and the fact that there is NEVER too much storage I must conclude that the person posting this under the name of Betsy is an imposter.

And to think that after reading the initial post and Blake’s contribution I thought it might be a reasonable thing to replace my 2×4 and plywood throw together table with a bench and added storage. Now, I’m confused.

Okay, I have nothing constructive to add.

-- Working at Woodworking http://www.VillageLaneFurniture.com

View Betsy's profile

Betsy

3391 posts in 3975 days


#11 posted 01-15-2008 02:22 AM

I know, I know, I’m an oddity, but it’s really me Russell. I really do think I have to much storage in my garage. The house is another matter, but the garage. Yikes. I’m going to tighten it up a bit and maybe I’ll be able to find what i want when I want it and not have to look through a gazzilliion drawers to find something.

But I still think it’s a good idea to replace that 2×4 ply throw together bench with something more substantial. I really do!

-- "Our past judges our present." JFK - 1962; American Heritage Magazine

View Dadoo's profile

Dadoo

1789 posts in 4070 days


#12 posted 01-15-2008 01:00 PM

OK, allow me to rephrase “storage”. What I meant is “storage” space for your most commonly used tools. Like drawers to hold the measuring tools and chisels and screwdriver bits, etc. Like a cabinet to hold your power hand tools. It’s all within’ reach and saves time chaseing about the shop.

As for the Dadoo name…It’s the name my grandson gave me when he was 1 y/o. He pronounces the “OO” as in ewe (a female sheep). This is especially funny when he calls me in a public place. But it is my name from him, and it will always be. I’ve seen many instances where people think it’s a typo of Dado…That is a slot in a board. A Dadoo is a grandpa! Thought you’d find that cute. If you are the real Betsy that is.

-- Bob Vila would be so proud of you!

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Betsy

3391 posts in 3975 days


#13 posted 01-15-2008 04:09 PM

Gotta Dadoo (a/k/a grandpa). That’s a good idea. I got the ply out last night and will probably work on it some tonight. Spent most of last night just rearranging the shop a bit and cleaning up. Once I’m finished I think I could actually make the garage into a garage where I can park my car when the weather looks bad. What a concept that is!

And the real Betsy does think the Dadoo name story is cute!

-- "Our past judges our present." JFK - 1962; American Heritage Magazine

View MsDebbieP's profile

MsDebbieP

18615 posts in 4240 days


#14 posted 01-15-2008 07:38 PM

you know, Betsy.. you re-organize.. you reduce the storage space.. you toss out some stuff.. and the very next day you will NEED something that you just tossed aside. ..
that’s how it works! honest! :)

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (https://www.facebook.com/DebbiePribeleENJOConsultant)

View Betsy's profile

Betsy

3391 posts in 3975 days


#15 posted 01-15-2008 08:02 PM

Yes – I do all that – but that means if I don’t have something I just tossed out – I can go shopping. I reduce space – that means I can remodel – which means I have to buy more stuff and tools. So it all works out in the end. You know what they say === A circle has no beginning and no end.

-- "Our past judges our present." JFK - 1962; American Heritage Magazine

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