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New (to me) workbench - now what?

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Forum topic by Eddie posted 286 days ago 761 views 0 times favorited 25 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Eddie

211 posts in 546 days


286 days ago

Topic tags/keywords: workbench

Hey guys,

Up until yesterday my “workench” was two solidcore doors on top of base cabinets against a wall. I have been really trying to move more and more to hand tools and not having vices & dog holes was getting tough.

I played with the idea of making my own bench but decided that i didnt have the time (newborn at home) or money (newborn at home…) to build the workbench that I would be satisfied with making – i didnt want to take time to just make an ‘okay’ bench.

It seems that the majority of my generation (mid 20’s) have little interest in woodworking, especially with hand tools.
So I spammed my facebook asking if anyone had a woodworking bench that had been handed down to them hiding in their garage somewhere and wanted to get rid of it.

Sure enough someone replied. $20 and a case of beer later, i brought this little guy home.
Now i know its nothing special and not something i would take the time to make. Its too light…top too thin…put together with screws not traditional joinery….

BUT this little bench brings capabilities to my shop that I never had.

PLUS in the drawer, there was this marking gauge and these card scrapers :)

Now, my question—

What do you guys think would be best to stiffen/beef this guy up? (please save the throw it away and start over comments)

Thanks in advance


25 replies so far

View lumberjoe's profile

lumberjoe

2824 posts in 843 days


#1 posted 286 days ago

Looks fine to me. Have you used it enough to determine that it even needs any “beefing up”?

-- www.etsy.com/shop/KandJWoodCrafts

View chrisstef's profile

chrisstef

10363 posts in 1601 days


#2 posted 286 days ago

I don’t see any issues with that bench at all, well unless youre right handed. Its set up for a lefty but im sure you can move the vices around. The only issue I see is that its in your house and not mine.

If for some reason its not weighty enough for handplaning and the like id just toss a few bags of sand on the bottom shelf for some stability.

For 20 clams … im jealous.

-- "there aren’t many hand tools as awe-inspiring as the #8 jointer. I mean, it just reeks of cast iron heft and hubris" - Smitty

View Eddie's profile

Eddie

211 posts in 546 days


#3 posted 286 days ago

@lumberjoe- No I havent used it enough but the little I have used it it racks a bit while planing (granted im currently planing a 4’ slab for a coffee table) but it scoots around the shop a bit too. The other issue is that the top is not quite as thick as it looks. the border is thicker, i havnet measured but im assuming its about 1”.

1” is probably too thin for holdfasts right?

Also, it came with a couple of bench dogs but also came with taller pegs(?) for the dog holes….what are their purpose? Im tempted to cut them down to have additional dogs

View Sandra's profile

Sandra

4121 posts in 670 days


#4 posted 286 days ago

I agree – ya done good. Unless there’s a lot of flex to the top, the only issue would be keeping the whole bench from moving. Loading up the bottom shelf will take care of that.

If you don’t already have one, a basic bench hook is easy to make and would be a good addition.

-- No, I don't want to buy the pink hammer.

View chrisstef's profile

chrisstef

10363 posts in 1601 days


#5 posted 286 days ago

If its just screwed together with fasteners you could laminate something underneath the existing top. 1” is probably a little shallow for holdfasts but it really wouldn’t take much to beef up the top so theyd work well for ya.

Again that’s one hell of a start for 20 semolians.

-- "there aren’t many hand tools as awe-inspiring as the #8 jointer. I mean, it just reeks of cast iron heft and hubris" - Smitty

View Don W's profile

Don W

14582 posts in 1163 days


#6 posted 286 days ago

If it’s just moving adding weight will do it. If its racking, show us how the top is attached and well come up with a way to stiffen it up.

-- Master hand plane hoarder. - http://timetestedtools.com

View Sandra's profile

Sandra

4121 posts in 670 days


#7 posted 286 days ago

+1 on Don’s comment. A picture of the underside would be helpful.

-- No, I don't want to buy the pink hammer.

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile

Smitty_Cabinetshop

9561 posts in 1213 days


#8 posted 286 days ago

^ Ditto to all of the above – likely needs some help against racking forces if you’re planing rough stock, but otherwise it’s weight that will help the most. Even something as low tech as rubber (old inner tubes from bicycle tire?) below the legs to keep if from sliding.

Like Don said, how’s the top attached?

And yeah, biggest problem is it’s not is Stef’s garage. He really, really needs a bench but can’t seem to get out of the kitchen lately. ;-)

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

View Eddie's profile

Eddie

211 posts in 546 days


#9 posted 286 days ago

Haha thanks guys, for the encouragement.

I’m in the office today but will get pics asap.

If I remember correctly, it is only connected by 6 screws. In-line with the legs, there are cross pieces under the top that have three screws in them each.

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile

Smitty_Cabinetshop

9561 posts in 1213 days


#10 posted 286 days ago

Yeah, a very good question is if it can be switched from ‘wrongway.’ You right handed?

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

View Eddie's profile

Eddie

211 posts in 546 days


#11 posted 286 days ago

Lucky for me im left-handed ;)

But I have been known to use a saw and plane with either hand.

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile

Smitty_Cabinetshop

9561 posts in 1213 days


#12 posted 286 days ago

A lefty, a $20 bench, free pair of scrapers and a rosewood gauge for a case of beer?

This is approaching ‘you suck’ territory, my friend. :-)

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

View chrisstef's profile

chrisstef

10363 posts in 1601 days


#13 posted 286 days ago

Destiny i say.

-- "there aren’t many hand tools as awe-inspiring as the #8 jointer. I mean, it just reeks of cast iron heft and hubris" - Smitty

View Don W's profile

Don W

14582 posts in 1163 days


#14 posted 286 days ago

approaching??

He’s so far into “You Suck” territory !!

-- Master hand plane hoarder. - http://timetestedtools.com

View 7Footer's profile (online now)

7Footer

851 posts in 543 days


#15 posted 286 days ago

I’m just gonna go ahead and say it… That’s the best $20 (+ case of beer) workbench I’ve ever seen, even if it needs a little beefing up.. Maybe I’m a little biased because I am left handed. ;-)

Great idea with the FB post man!

-- If a kid asks where rain comes from, I think a cute thing to tell him is "God is crying." And if he asks why God is crying, another cute thing to tell him is "Probably because of something you did." -

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