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Forum topic by sandhill posted 1975 days ago 1218 views 0 times favorited 15 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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sandhill

2081 posts in 2425 days


1975 days ago

Topic tags/keywords: resource jig tip question trick

I was going through some older Magazines and came across a number of issues claiming there “Dream Wood Workers Bench”. In some plans it calls for soft Maple for the top, some call for Plywood and some boast 2X6’s are the way to go. All had a number of things I disagreed with so I am going to design a bench for what I consider to be the best fit for my shop based on what I do the most of and put the few dollars I have for this project to the best use. First I think Hard Maple on the top would be a better choice and birch ply for the case components. Red Oak for draw fronts, rails and stiles, I have enough red oak on hand so no cost there. My problem is the vice or vices and how to install having never done one all I have ever used was clamps on cabinet saw extension to hold things in place (Main reason for the new bench) What the advantages and disadvantages are do I need a tail vice as wide as the bench 2, 3 or 4 rows for the dogs how far apart should they be? So based on everyone’s experience what do you find the most useful? What would you change and why? One idea I have is to float the top to allow for storage under the top for longer hard to store items such as taper cutting jigs or the stuff that ends up cluttering benches.

-- Bob Egbert AKA Sandhill http://www.sandhillwoodworks.com/


15 replies so far

View Thos. Angle's profile

Thos. Angle

4433 posts in 2464 days


#1 posted 1975 days ago

I have 2 benches in my shop, neither of which is remotely like anyone else’s. That’s because they work for me. Both my benchs have tops made of 2 layers of particle board and one layer of hardwood plywood. The older bench is going on 18 years old and still going strong. I llike my tail vice very much and use it a lot. Same with the 2 side vises.You can see my benchs in “My Workshop” but design yours around what you do.

-- Thos. Angle, Jordan Valley, Oregon

View John Ormsby's profile

John Ormsby

1263 posts in 2238 days


#2 posted 1975 days ago

I recommend you use red beech for the top if it available locally. I used maple because I got it for an incredible price years ago. Red beech is the primary wood choice for a work bench because while it is hard it is also soft enough to be gentle on chisels. In my area beech is much less expensive than maple and readily available.
There is a photo of my bench in my projects to see if the style will work for you.
John

-- Oldworld, Fair Oaks, Ca

View sandhill's profile

sandhill

2081 posts in 2425 days


#3 posted 1974 days ago

Red beech? Interesting it is native to New Zealand I would think it more then maple in cost. Would you say soft maple would be better to use? I came up with 32” X 86” X 3” due to the work area I will also have a trough about 5” or 6”” X 24 in the middle for chisels because I tend to drop them on the concrete and it never fails to fall point down. I think I would like a double tail vice.
I like the idea of a side vices that Thos. Angle has for his bench I still like the idea of floating the top about 4” above the cabinet though, I may download Sketch Up and try an attempt at drawing it.
Thanks for the feed back fellow Jocks

-- Bob Egbert AKA Sandhill http://www.sandhillwoodworks.com/

View John Ormsby's profile

John Ormsby

1263 posts in 2238 days


#4 posted 1974 days ago

Red beech that is in the US generally comes from Europe and should be available in Florida. You might try calling some local hardwood suppliers. The cost should be less than rock maple. Soft maple would also work for a bench. However, beech is the prefered wood to use. It is very stable and easy to work. John

-- Oldworld, Fair Oaks, Ca

View sandhill's profile

sandhill

2081 posts in 2425 days


#5 posted 1974 days ago

I sent out or a quote for 80 BFT to see what the cost is a friend of mine wants to build one as well.
Thanks

-- Bob Egbert AKA Sandhill http://www.sandhillwoodworks.com/

View Loren's profile

Loren

6760 posts in 2149 days


#6 posted 1974 days ago

The problem with a tail vise that goes all the way across is racking.

I had a Emmert vise I used as a tail vise for awhile – but that’s a different
class of tool than what you’ll be looking for – racking wasn’t
a problem.

I’ve seen the Veritas twin-screw tail vises. I talked to a guy once who
l had one and he said it was always jamming.

I own a Record 53ED – the big one. No longer made… and honestly it’s
more trouble than it’s worth… the quick action feature is always jamming
and malfunctioning.

I’ve used the Veritas bench pups for awhile and I like ‘em. They go in
a 3/4” hole which is also sort of compatible with Workmate and Festool
stuff.

I have vacuum -clamping gear so these days I use that stuff more. I bought
a Gast vacuum pump on Ebay and my life has been easier ever since.

View Joey's profile

Joey

275 posts in 2317 days


#7 posted 1974 days ago

My bench is more of a cabinet. Due to my limited space i built drawers under my top. My top is layered MDF. I read in an article about this several years ago and also saw one that a local furniture maker has. You can do it 2 ways. Layer the MDF in 2 to 3 layer all glued together. you do one layer at a time useing screws to get the clamping pressure, you remove the screws after the glue dries. But 3 layers is heavy and if you want a movable bench you can use a solid MDF bottom, than on the second layer you use MDF pieces all around the edge and then strips every several inches with hollow spaces between. And then a solid MDF piece on top. You edge the top with any kind of wood you want either rounded over or chamfered and put several good coat of gloss poly on as a finish. The MDF will absord the first coat of poly like a sponge and then start building after the second coat. you probably need to take into account the type of vises you will be useing before you start so that you can design around them.

-- Joey, Magee, Ms http://woodnwaresms.com

View sandhill's profile

sandhill

2081 posts in 2425 days


#8 posted 1974 days ago

I came across a Emmert vise used for $628.00 on eBay, I don’t need to get that carried away how ever $200.00 for a good vice should be just fine. I have a Welch 1397 18 CFM 1HP that will pull down to the militor range

-- Bob Egbert AKA Sandhill http://www.sandhillwoodworks.com/

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sandhill

2081 posts in 2425 days


#9 posted 1973 days ago

...Maybe someday I will get around to using it for a clamping system or vacuum bag. I have tried to use MDF before and it seems to get out of whack with the humidity here in Florida so I have decided to go with solid wood and hopefully this will be my last bench.

-- Bob Egbert AKA Sandhill http://www.sandhillwoodworks.com/

View Joey's profile

Joey

275 posts in 2317 days


#10 posted 1973 days ago

I’m in mississippi, our humidity is pretty high too, MDF is considered a stable surface as long as it’s not getting wet. With the humidity we have down south and wood being dynamic when it comes to changes in moisture in the air, wood will change more than MDF

-- Joey, Magee, Ms http://woodnwaresms.com

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sandhill

2081 posts in 2425 days


#11 posted 1972 days ago

All that being true I have found that the ones I made in the past do not hold up after 3 or 4 years and after two years I had to replace my table saw extension because it was getting a crown that gave me problems with the fence.

-- Bob Egbert AKA Sandhill http://www.sandhillwoodworks.com/

View John Gray's profile

John Gray

2366 posts in 2387 days


#12 posted 1972 days ago

Dimensional Lumber Bench. Here’s a link about using dimensional lumber to make a bench if I made a new one that’s what I would really consider. http://www.popularwoodworking.com/article/175_Workbench/
And here’s another source of information about workbenches, I have the book it’s great, it’s by The Schwarz how could you go wrong. http://www.popularwoodworking.com/workbenches
For vises watch Craig’s List, want ads in the paper, and auctions for vises, I got my best vise for $10 at an auction.

-- Only the Shadow knows....................

View sandhill's profile

sandhill

2081 posts in 2425 days


#13 posted 1972 days ago

I have that issue by Christopher Schwarz I had not thought of Crages list for a vice I looked for a bench there but no luck so far.
Thanks

-- Bob Egbert AKA Sandhill http://www.sandhillwoodworks.com/

View John Ormsby's profile

John Ormsby

1263 posts in 2238 days


#14 posted 1972 days ago

You will want to use a urea resin glue or an epoxy glue so it will not de-laminate in the high humidity. Your bench will last for a very long time using one of these glue types. I use Unibond 800 urea resin glue mostly for large glue-ups.

-- Oldworld, Fair Oaks, Ca

View sandhill's profile

sandhill

2081 posts in 2425 days


#15 posted 1972 days ago

Thanks John, That may have been the problem I had.

-- Bob Egbert AKA Sandhill http://www.sandhillwoodworks.com/

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