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Skil XBench?

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Forum topic by Chris Moellering posted 02-25-2011 12:16 AM 1526 views 0 times favorited 3 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Chris Moellering

224 posts in 1306 days


02-25-2011 12:16 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question workbench

Anyone have a Skil XBench? It’s a neat concept. Not cheap. I like the portability aspect. The center channel for cutting is brilliant.

This appeals to me becuase—
1—I move alot. (I’m in the Army)
2—Sometimes, I have limited space for “shop stuff” (See #1)

Curious if anyone here has had “hands on” with one. I’m playing with design ideas to see if I could build something similar, cheaper. (Initial estimate says “Yes!”)

-- Grace & peace, Chris+


3 replies so far

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dankow

4 posts in 1524 days


#1 posted 02-25-2011 01:32 AM

I bought one when my workshop was one half of the garage, and I needed to be able to pack everything away to get a car in there. I also bought the clamping kit and the end vise. It’s not a bad table if you understand the limitations:

- Although it feels pretty heavy when you’re moving around, it’s not nearly heavy enough for using hand tools. It lifts off the floor as I’m planing.
- Don’t expect much out of the end vise.
- The max height is 34”. For me, that’s a little short.
- The MDF seems too thin in spots to use holdfasts or normal bench dogs. I haven’t tried, but I imagine that the angular stresses would be too much.

That said, the center channel is pretty great, especially for making rough crosscuts with a circular saw or jigsaw. The “wedge dogs” that come with the clamping kit are great for this.

Oh, I also bought the jigsaw mounting plate. DON’T EVEN THINK ABOUT IT. I tried it once, and common sense made me turn the saw off after about 10 seconds. Darwin Award waiting to happen.

You could make something similar, but it would take a lot of effort to duplicate the way this table folds up and the way the top slides to the side to open up the center channel. Is $150 a fair price for the XBench? I’m not sure, but I’d probably buy it again if I were in the same situation.

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Chris Moellering

224 posts in 1306 days


#2 posted 02-25-2011 04:55 AM

Thanks. I’m not going to try to replicate the folding part…just a small table with a center channel “insert” instead of the “spread” and a simple router plate on one side….once I get plans finished I might post them. I think I can do it and mount on sawhorses for about $80. We’ll see.

-- Grace & peace, Chris+

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dankow

4 posts in 1524 days


#3 posted 02-25-2011 07:47 AM

Sounds like making your own would be the better option. I’m sure whatever router plate you put in yours will be better than the Skil version. As long as you’re making your own table, put a couple t-tracks across the whole table for hold-downs, fences, etc.

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