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What Kind of bench do you have? And why?

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Forum topic by gawthrrw posted 02-09-2013 06:32 PM 1082 views 0 times favorited 31 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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gawthrrw

187 posts in 1102 days


02-09-2013 06:32 PM

Hello all, If this topic has been thrown out here before I apoligize, I didnt see it.

I know there are a lot of people on LJ’s that are talking about starting a Workbench Project soon and thought this might be a good way to get details from the good folks that have built their own. Some questions to ask.

What kind of bench did you build?

Why that bench?

How has that bench worked out for you since? Would you change anything?

Im sure a lot of us would love to see a picture of what you have out there. I plan on starting a bench build in the next few months and although have an idea of what I want, would love to get others ideas too. Thanks!

-- Rob, Dallas TX


31 replies so far

View nwbusa's profile

nwbusa

1017 posts in 941 days


#1 posted 02-09-2013 06:34 PM

Happy reading. :) http://lumberjocks.com/topics/31539

-- John, BC, Canada

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gawthrrw

187 posts in 1102 days


#2 posted 02-09-2013 06:39 PM

I stand corrected… Any new benches out there?

-- Rob, Dallas TX

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Mark Kornell

482 posts in 1186 days


#3 posted 02-10-2013 04:15 AM

Rob, that’s a long, long thread. Skip to the end, new benches are being worked on…

-- Mark Kornell, Kornell Wood Design

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Mosquito

4689 posts in 947 days


#4 posted 02-10-2013 04:21 AM

Mine’s not done yet, but I’m going with a splayed leg french workbench. It’s 51” long, and 19” wide. 10” wide workbench with a 9” tool well.

I went with this bench because I like the design. I wanted a leg vise and a wagon vise.

I went with the size because I live in an apartment and use my spare bedroom as a shop, so I don’t have enough space to build a huge bench (Nor do I want to try carrying it down 2 flights of stairs come time to move). The hope is that I can still take it apart and move it when I want to.

Otherwise, there is quite a bit of info in the link John posted, but it is also quite lengthy.

-- Mos - Twin Cities, MN -- Stanley #45 Evangelist - www.youtube.com/MosquitoMods

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Smitty_Cabinetshop

9914 posts in 1273 days


#5 posted 02-10-2013 05:26 AM

I’m not sure if you want only new benches, or benches, but I’ll give you some background on the bench I built and why it ended up being what it is.

While most decide on a bench and search for materials, I had a large slab of oak and wanted to ‘do something important’ with it for several years. Then I acquired my shop space, and all the tools I had could land in the same place for the first time ever. My dad had given me a copy of Bob Villa’s workshop book, hardbound, that I read every night while composing a list of stationary electrical tools I ‘had to have’ in order to have a real woodshop. There was a traditional cabinetmaker’s bench in Villa’s book, and I loved the look of it. And then, somehow/some way, I bought The Workbench Book along with Chris Schwarz’ blue Workbenches book. Everything came together at that point, and I build a Roubo.

Has it worked out? It changed my life, honestly. The path that was opened up by having a bench that could effectively hold boards and panels for working on their faces, edges and ends represents a woodworking journey that will now be mine for the rest of my days. Too deep? Oh well. I like hand tool woodworking, and the bench is to blame. Love it.

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive

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RussellAP

2950 posts in 941 days


#6 posted 02-10-2013 05:44 AM

I guess I just don’t understand the bench frenzy. It’s not a sports car guys, its a work surface, lol. I have a piece of 4×4 MDF screwed onto a couple heavy home made saw horses with some 2×4 framing to keep the MDF straight. I love it but it’s always a mess.

-- A positive attitude will take you much further than positive thinking ever will.

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Mosquito

4689 posts in 947 days


#7 posted 02-10-2013 05:50 AM

Russel, how much of a hand tool user are you? And by hand tool user, I mean serious using, dimensioning stock, doing joinery, combination planes, anything like that. My guess is that hand tools aren’t your primary means of working. I don’t mean that with any offense, mind you. Just an observation I’ve been making. Seems people who don’t use hand tools don’t seem to care about a bench as much, because they really just need an assembly surface more than a serious work surface.

-- Mos - Twin Cities, MN -- Stanley #45 Evangelist - www.youtube.com/MosquitoMods

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Smitty_Cabinetshop

9914 posts in 1273 days


#8 posted 02-10-2013 05:53 AM

How do you work a panel’s edge when using that jointer plane in your shop pic? Your mdf isn’t able to clamp a 2’x4’ panel effectively, is it? Maybe I’m not as creative, but that seems like a simple task for a bench.

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive

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a1Jim

112089 posts in 2232 days


#9 posted 02-10-2013 06:11 AM

I don’t have a work bench ,just a work table.

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

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jeff

649 posts in 2120 days


#10 posted 02-10-2013 06:12 AM

woodsmith weekend workbench downsized to fit my small shop with castors for mobility…for a beginner it was easy to build…also doubles as an outfeed table…

-- Jeff,Tucson,Az.

View kizerpea's profile

kizerpea

746 posts in 1022 days


#11 posted 02-10-2013 12:20 PM

i like russell have a mdf bench 4 by 8 an saw mules….plus a ulmia bought it for $300 cheap i thought….

-- IF YOUR NOT MAKING DUST...YOU ARE COLLECTING IT! SOUTH CAROLINA.

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knotscott

5460 posts in 2030 days


#12 posted 02-10-2013 12:27 PM

My bench was my 2nd project. It’s made of hard maple that I got free from work…..it’s heavy, hard, stable, and is a great choice for a bench. It’s only 60” long to fit my small shop. Somewhere along the way I got the not-so-bright idea that it should double as a downdraft table….the downdraft aspect works fine, but having that many holes in the middle of the bench is a nuisance. It also doubles as an outfeed table, and storage. Last summer I put a new mobile base under my saw and needed to raise the bench by 1/4”....I chose a replaceable hardboard surface to make up the 1/4”, and it also covered up the regrettable downdraft holes.

-- Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

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ghost5

281 posts in 587 days


#13 posted 02-10-2013 12:44 PM

I have two benches that are built to fit the walls in my shop. Each is 2×4 and 2×6 construction with doubled 1/2” plywood tops and a 1/2” plywood shelf underneath for storage. Both are secured to the walls of the shop and don’t move no matter how I abuse them. Both are 8’ x 2’ and around 36 inches high. Too high for using hand tools for some things but these are mainly for power tools since I don’t have floor models to use.

-- Tommy, http://www.followingghost.com

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paratrooper34

760 posts in 1607 days


#14 posted 02-10-2013 01:13 PM

Because you don’t understand the “bench frenzy” and see no need for a bench that is anything other than what you find useful is no reason to be pretentious or condescending to those who require a bench to be a little more than what works for you. Western style hand tool users actually NEED a little more than an MDF top screwed to saw horses. Maybe, just maybe, that’s why history has shown that past woodworkers used benches that were a little more sophisticated because of the tasks that were required of them. It is no wonder that the hand tool workers of today seek to emulate the best qualities from the benches of the past.

Poo pooing peoples thoughts and ideas is not conducive to positive interaction between fellow woodworkers. Your way to get from point A to point B is absolutely not the ONLY way. Any woodworker knows that.

I have two benches; one I built myself based off FWW’s weekend bench video. It was a fun project, I enjoyed building it. As my hand tool skills advanced, I grew out of that bench and moved up to an Ulmia bench. The Ulmia is now the workhorse in my shop. I made a couple of modifications to it such as moving the top back on the base so the front edge of the top and legs were in line. I built some shelves, added round dog holes for hold fasts, and built a dead man. I love the bench and after making the additions, haven’t found any task involving hand tools that I could not accomplish (at least so far).

This is my Ulmia bench. It is empty and clean for pics I took when I built the shelves.

gawthrrw, you will find lots of good ideas for building your bench here on this site. Lots of users here built some really nice benches. Have fun and I wish you luck with your bench.

-- Mike

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RussellAP

2950 posts in 941 days


#15 posted 02-10-2013 01:46 PM

Hey Mike. “I guess I just don’t understand the bench frenzy. It’s not a sports car guys, its a work surface”.
But keep reading, “lol” means JOKE.

-- A positive attitude will take you much further than positive thinking ever will.

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