Workbench (impulse buy)

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Forum topic by Tedstor posted 08-17-2013 03:35 AM 1655 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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1643 posts in 2597 days

08-17-2013 03:35 AM

Topic tags/keywords: workbench work bench

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 :)

7 replies so far

View cblak's profile


26 posts in 2226 days

#1 posted 08-17-2013 04:20 AM

i think we all have grand ideas for the perfect bench! my work benches were salvaged from a retail distribution facility. 2 1/2” maple tops 30”x60” and they were setting them out to the trash! the truth is as long as they are flat and you have a sturdy base thats all you need. it sounds like you got a great deal. i would caution you on refacing the top with the flooring. you may run into problems with the 2 layers contracting and expanding at different rates which would cause cracking or cupping. I work in a cabinet shop so i had the luxury of cleaning mine up on a wide belt sander at no charge but its not uncommon for us to do something similar for a customer off the street for a minimal charge. i bet if you strip the old finish you could find a local shop to do the same. you can still put the 3” aprons on the sides. Otherwise if the the top is flat theres nothing wrong with a little character! i filled the holes in mine with solid maple plugs.

-- Ten seconds of patience, Ten years of peace.

View Toolz's profile


1004 posts in 3706 days

#2 posted 08-17-2013 01:08 PM

I think that is a good score. COngratulations

-- Larry "Work like a Captain but Play like a Pirate!"

View Kaleb the Swede's profile

Kaleb the Swede

1821 posts in 1933 days

#3 posted 08-17-2013 03:01 PM

That looks smart. With plenty of storage (something we all need more of)

-- Just trying to build something beautiful

View RichCMD's profile


393 posts in 1905 days

#4 posted 08-17-2013 03:09 PM

A great solution.

-- Ride the bevel!

View Buckethead's profile


3194 posts in 1833 days

#5 posted 08-17-2013 03:33 PM

I like that bench very much. I would also agree that resurfacing it might be over doing it. I’d just clean it up, and maybe…. Just maybe… refinish it.

Curious… How much did it set you back?

-- Support woodworking hand models. Buy me a sawstop.

View Tedstor's profile


1643 posts in 2597 days

#6 posted 08-17-2013 04:09 PM

Thanks for the replies and input.
The only reason I might re-surface the top is that I’m concerned about the brads/pins/nails that are embedded in the top. Far too many to remove…even if I could find them all. I’d be apprehensive using my planes/chisels of the off-chance that one of the nails would come into play. Maybe I’ll just slap a piece of masonite on it and call it day. Or maybe I’ll just roll with it as is, and perhaps make a new top for it down the road.

View JoeinGa's profile


7735 posts in 1971 days

#7 posted 08-17-2013 07:34 PM

”And it cost me less than the price a new 10” saw blade. ”

And I’d say that statement right there will get you a big ol’ YOU SUCK !

Nice score!

-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward

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