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Forum topic by supercubber posted 03-23-2012 04:54 PM 2005 views 0 times favorited 21 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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supercubber

17 posts in 922 days


03-23-2012 04:54 PM

Topic tags/keywords: workbench workbench design woodworkers bench sketchup design sketchup google sketchup

Hey fellow lumberjocks, my name is Joe and I’m relatively new here. Save for a few comments, this is my first post.

I’m in the process (about done, I hope) of designing my first woodworker’s bench and I’d like your feeback. I plan to start the build this weekend.

After months of research, drawings and crumpled paper, I decided to learn Google Sketchup. As many of you know, it’s an incredible piece of software. The following image is the result of the 3D model and my plan going forward. I’d love any feedback, whether it is a comment to improve on the design or a recommendation.

Thanks in advance! I cannot wait to post the finished project!

Joe


21 replies so far

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ChrisK

1115 posts in 1719 days


#1 posted 03-23-2012 04:59 PM

I always put a shelf on the bottom and mid way up the legs. They provide a place for the tools to be put out of the way while working on the bench. The overhang of the top should be enough so you can clamp items to the top using the overhang. What is the top going to be made from? If it is solid, the upper stretchers can be eliminated.

-- Chris K

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Loren

7467 posts in 2286 days


#2 posted 03-23-2012 04:59 PM

The upper stretchers are an impediment. They can be eliminated
but the lower stretchers should be wider and probably a little higher
off the ground.

-- http://lawoodworking.com

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supercubber

17 posts in 922 days


#3 posted 03-23-2012 05:02 PM

Chris, I do plan on putting a shelf on the bottom legs, just not right away. Thanks for that input.

Loren, how wide do you suggest for the bottom stretchers and why do you say the lower ones should be higher? I designed them that low so I could maximize the shelf space, but still have enough clearance for my feet.

Thanks, guys.

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supercubber

17 posts in 922 days


#4 posted 03-23-2012 05:04 PM

Also, I forgot to mention that the top is connected with bullet style 1” dowels, and the top is MDO. Has anyone used MDO for a bench top?

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Loren

7467 posts in 2286 days


#5 posted 03-23-2012 05:06 PM

Racking resistance.

-- http://lawoodworking.com

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ChrisK

1115 posts in 1719 days


#6 posted 03-23-2012 05:07 PM

MDO should be a good choice, maybe a little overkill. How thick will the build up be? A single sheet will be very bouncy without support under it. The stretchers either need to be as shown in the design or if only one set is used, they need to be about 8 inches deep to provide good bearing surface on the legs to prevent the legs from trying to rack or tilt. I prefer the two sets to box the legs in and provide a good structure for the top and to allow room for a shelf.

-- Chris K

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supercubber

17 posts in 922 days


#7 posted 03-23-2012 05:10 PM

Ah, okay, that makes a lot of sense. That’s the reason I have one on both the top and bottom.

Chris, I missed the last part of your comment somehow. The top is made from 2 layers of standard plywood and 1 layer of MDO plywood laminated together. The overhang is 3 1/4 for the length of the stretchers and 2 1/2 where the top meets the legs. Do you think that will suffice?

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supercubber

17 posts in 922 days


#8 posted 03-23-2012 05:12 PM

The top will end up being 2 1/4” thick after I laminate the 3 layers of 3/4” plywood.

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Rob Drown

724 posts in 2471 days


#9 posted 03-23-2012 05:15 PM

I built one similar to yours. I agree with Loren. Lower the top stretchers or eliminate. I also recommend making the out side surface of the legs even with the edge of the table top. Do a search on Roubo style work bench. http://www.finewoodworking.com/build-a-roubo-workbench-video-preview/index.asp
The face of the legs makes a great work holding surface. Wish I had seen the Roubo design befor I built mine.

-- The expectations of life depend upon diligence; the mechanic that would perfect his work must first sharpen his tools. Confucius, 经过艰苦的努力的梦想可以成真

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ChrisK

1115 posts in 1719 days


#10 posted 03-23-2012 05:16 PM

The top will be plenty strong and heavy. It will take a lot of abuse. All of my benches and tables have the stretchers top and bottom for strength. My out feed table is all framed scrap 1/2 plywood with 1/2 play and 1/2 MDF for the top. It is a little light the assembly table it gets used for but it is easy to move and I do not pound on too hard. I goofed and made the over hang about 6”, this lets the top flex and bounce too much on the edges when I try and use a hammer chisel for mortising. Next time the top will be 1-1/2” thick and the over hang will only be 3”.

-- Chris K

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supercubber

17 posts in 922 days


#11 posted 03-23-2012 05:24 PM

Rob, thanks for your input. The only reason I don’t want to make the top even with the legs for the clamping purposes. I’d like to be able to clamp things along the front edge of the bench. I figure I can use a bench slave and the vise if I need to work on material on its edge. You don’t think that will work?

View Rick  Dennington's profile

Rick Dennington

3352 posts in 1832 days


#12 posted 03-23-2012 06:29 PM

If you want to see some great work benches, go to the “Work bench Smackdown” thread on this same page….you will see all kinds, sizes, and shapes of benches….Mine is on there, also…... great refferences….

-- " I started with nothing, and I've still got most of it left".......

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Rick Dennington

3352 posts in 1832 days


#13 posted 03-23-2012 06:34 PM

One thing I will tell you: Build your bench the way YOU want it to be, not how everyone thinks you need to build it…..It’s your bench, so build it to suit your needs…...

-- " I started with nothing, and I've still got most of it left".......

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supercubber

17 posts in 922 days


#14 posted 03-23-2012 06:56 PM

Thanks, Rick. I just want to make sure there are no major flaws in the design or major oversights.

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brtech

665 posts in 1560 days


#15 posted 03-23-2012 10:05 PM

The reason the Roubo has the top flush with the sides is that it has a leg vise and a sliding deadman, or some equivalents of them. They hold a workpiece vertical, clamped in the leg vise. You want a lot of bench surface to hold a big piece stable.

You don’t have a leg vise, and you don’t have a deadman, so you can’t do much about clamping big parts vertical.

You can, of course, make the edge flush with the legs, and clamp to the top. You just need a bigger clamp!

I would run one or two rows of dog holes down the length, and invest in a “bench pup” as a poor man’s tail vise

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