|Forum topic by Bernie||posted 07-04-2012 02:35 AM||6975 views||34 times favorited||29 replies|
07-04-2012 02:35 AM
This is actually a re-post of my workbench that got buried in the “workbench smack down” post – mine was #315 of 1000+ posts. But I think my unique bench is worth posting again especially for all owners of small workshops where space is important.
Brief history – for the past 12 years my bench was a solid core door that got well used so I wanted to resurface it. I thought about this for a long time because I always dreamed of those fancy European benches that cost $3000 – $6000 that have vises and bench dog systems. Then I saw an older FW magazine featuring a bench with T tracks in it. I liked it but it had an expensive dual crank vise in it. After lots of thinking, I came up with this solution. It has proven to be a whole working system for my small shop.
I sunk 2 pipe clamps below the surface of the original bench and then I covered it with bamboo flooring.
I then added 2 T tracks just below the surface of the bamboo flooring. This gave me 80 + inches of clamping surface.
The next picture explains why I sunk the pipe clamps into the old bench surface the way I did. The pipe clamp is exposed through the surface of new bench and in a matter of just a few seconds, I can remove the pipe clamps, insert a bar clamp and secure a piece of wood hanging over the edge of the bench so I can drill through it or cut it off.
The bench possibilities grew as I began working with it. For example, my dovetail jig always had to be secured to the bench with screws, now it is attached to a piece of plywood that secures in the T tracks in just seconds. Small shop owners that have bench top tools you need to secure can use this easy system. But the possibilities just keep coming. Here are 2 hand screws secured in the T tracks to work the edge of the board.
My swivel vise is also attached to a piece of plywood and secured or removed in seconds.
One feature of those European benches I liked was the peg holes in a leg to support a long piece of wood secured on the other end in the face vice. So I added that feature except that my support leg can move along the T tracks and be removed in seconds.
In my ShopNotes magazine, I found bench top add on and one was bench top saw horse. I made 2 of my own design – and yes, I secure them or remove them in a matter of seconds. I like my bench and wanted to share with as many folks as possible, especially those with small workshops.
-- Bernie: It never gets hot or cold in New Hampshire, just seasonal!