|Forum topic by Vrtigo1||posted 05-17-2012 01:51 AM||2254 views||0 times favorited||11 replies|
05-17-2012 01:51 AM
I have been using my outfeed table as a workbench / assembly table for the past two years while I tried to decide what kind of bench I want to build, how much to spend on it, what features I want, etc.
I was at Barnes and Noble this evening looking through Shopnotes and I was reading an article about benches and saw a photo of one that I really liked (sorry for the poor quality, took it with my cell phone camera):
This got me thinking…I am on vacation all next week and have nothing planned, so maybe that would be a good time to start working on my bench.
The bench above looks pretty simple to buiild, it looks like I could build the cabinets and top separately and then attach the top to the cabinets. I am severely creatively challenged and need plans to build just about anything, so it would be great if I could find some somewhere for a bench similar to the one above. Any ideas on where I could find some?
Also, I haven’t done a ton of research on benches, but I’d like to keep initial costs relatively low and spread the cost out over a few months. I know a lot of traditional benches have hard maple tops, but I’ve seen a lot of folks that make them out of cheaper wood like doug fir, etc. Any guesses as to what the bench top in the photo is made from? Any good info you can point me to about building a bench top cost effectively? I would be fine with laminating MDF since I think that would be flat enough, but I eventually want to add an end vice and I suspect bench dogs would tear up MDF. I don’t really care a whole lot about what it looks like as long as it’s flat, will hold up well and won’t break the bank.
I don’t have any handplanes, so if I need one or more to flatten the top I build, I will have to factor that into the cost, so any materials I can use that are inherently pretty flat would be a plus if using them would save me from having to buy expensive tools right now.
I know I definitely want to make the benchtop the same height as and locate it directly behind my TS so I can use it as a support when ripping larger pieces of plywood, etc. Any other tips or things to keep in mind that someone wouldn’t necessarily think of when building a bench but would look back on 6 months down the road and wish they’d done differently?