So I have intended to build myself a new workbench for quite some time now. I’ve had grand visions of Roubos or some other piece of workbench art. However, I simply don’t have the time or patience to make that happen. If I were to start such a project today; it’d probably be a year before it were completed. That said, I’ve been putting off the project until I have a couple weeks off, and can focus soley on the project at-hand. Realistically, that won’t happen any time soon.
However, I did need an uprgade. My current bench is tiny. REALLY tiny. 48”x20”. Although its well made, it doesn’t have enough mass to stay in one place. Its just too easy to (unintentionally) move, had no storage, and the working surface was too small.
So- when a ready-made option recently became available, I jumped on it. I got this classroom-style bench from a local guy via craigslist. He recently bought 3 or 4 four of them off a school auction. They were originally 64×54 with two banks of six lockers. He cut one in half for me. I’d have loved to have had the whole bench, but spatial limitations made half more practical.
Even at 64X27 with six lockers, the bench weighs ~250lbs. And once I get the lockers filled with power tools and other junk, it’ll weigh over 300lbs. Even at its empty weight, it is hard to move. Much more stable than my other bench, plenty of storage, and a good-sized working surface. And it cost me less than the price a new 10” saw blade.
The lockers are in pretty good shape. I might give them a fresh coat of Krylon, but otherwise, I’m just going to leave them be. The top, on the other hand, is in pretty rough shape. Years of abuse from thousands of teenagers. Pocks from drill bits, brads/nails, dents, etc. Don’t get me wrong. Its a 2.5” maple top and is no where near falling apart. It’ll likely outlast me. But I’m likely going to re-face it with Maple engineered flooring that I have on-hand and add a 3” apron. I’m not sure what kind of vise I’ll go with. I’ll have to think on that a while.
Anyway, as much as I’d love a Roubo, that will have to wait a while. And being mainly a power tool guy, a Roubo probably wouldn’t be of much benefit anyway. I think this shop class bench will suit me well for the forseeable future. If nothing else, it brings back memories of my favorite high school subject. All I need is a face-full of acne and a high pitched voice and I’ll be back in the 9th grade :)