HF bench beef up and mods

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Forum topic by unbob posted 09-11-2013 04:17 PM 1458 views 0 times favorited 2 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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810 posts in 2077 days

09-11-2013 04:17 PM

I intend to build a nice bench in the future. The WB smack down thread is full of great ideas, hard to decide at this point the exact direction to go for me. Anyway, I really needed a bench of some sort mainly for work support in front of my Delta 12”-14” table saw. I was using a roller stand, but that was not so good, never could get it in the right spot, or straight enough. I do some serious ripping with that 7hp saw, everything has to be right, any small problem can become a big and dangerous problem in an instant. This bench is works well for that saw support. It ended up just slightly lower then the saws table at 34”. I glued the table together, hand planed the connection of the top of legs and the table under mount, added lags/screws. Hand planed the top, a few bumps there. I found hand planning on this bench much like trying to hack saw a piece of steel holding it in my hand. The bench moving-flexing is counter productive to my effort.

Front of bench.

In another thread, I showed an antique leg vise, and an extra screw I found. I remade the wood parts out of hard maple. Here is how I fixed it to the left end of the bench, using more or less a bridge to retain the vise nut. Also, I added a laminated maple piece across the back side equal to the tops edge, handy for some clamping and helped stiffen things up.

The end vise supplied was pretty bad, but it did work. I used the extra screw I got with the leg vise, had to make a nut for it on the Monarch EE metal lathe. The screw is an odd 1 3/64” diameter 4 threads per inch, much faster acting then the smaller and finer thread original screw, 1 turn of the handle has 1/4” of travel. I used a salvaged piece of induction hardened chrome plated hydraulic rod for the two guides-1” diameter. I set those guide rods just above the screw, I didn’t like the way the original vise was, where the screw would bear against anything put in it, now the work rest only on the rods. Made the vise a bit longer so as to make use of the benches far row of holes. Not much room because of the drawers for a deeper vise, but this was an improvement over the original.

The lower shelf mounting is really bad with the barrel bolt things, I placed cross pieces under the shelf, then tied that together with a 2X6 screwed and carriage bolted down under to the legs.

Theses mods worked out well, the bench is much better overall and more usable.

That’s my story, and I am sticking to it.

2 replies so far

View dschlic1's profile


442 posts in 2143 days

#1 posted 09-11-2013 06:14 PM

I have the same bench. I made two mods. The first I lowered the bottom shelf. I have a collection of tools that are in plastic carting cases, and many of these cases are too high to fit with the OEM shelf position. The second mod I made was to place lockable castors under the bench. I have a very small shop and moving the bench is a biggie.

I really need to plane the top of my bench flat, it dips about 1/8” in the middle.

View unbob's profile


810 posts in 2077 days

#2 posted 09-11-2013 06:29 PM

This one was humped up about 1/8 in the middle.
I would like some type of kick down casters for moving it. I have to muscle it around because of the same “need room” problem.
The lower shelf, I did not glue that, may want to change that at some point, I have over a hundred pounds of cast iron there.
I have this stuff in my basement, its a build myself out of this predicament situation. I just did the roof, and working my way down, then a new shop for everything.

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