workbench plans that don't require a workbench? - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum

 
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post #1 of 18 Old 05-21-2010, 02:05 AM Thread Starter
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workbench plans that don't require a workbench?

I'm setting up a new workshop and right now all I have are the basic small stuff: compound miter/circular/jig saw, drill, etc.

I'm looking for workbench plans but the ones I'm finding all seem to presume that I have all those other tools plus a workbench (other than a trashpicked desk) to put them on!

If you know of plans for a good sturdy workbench that can be built with just the basics, until I get further along with this, I'd appreciate the recommendation!
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post #2 of 18 Old 05-21-2010, 07:04 AM
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Check this thread

Need a new workbench

I like to use solid core doors supported by saw horses, 2 same height file cabinets, or 2 kitchen base cabinets, I cover the door with a same size piece of MDF or 1/2" plywood. It's sturdy and heavy enough to not move around.

Once you get a work surface think about building this:

http://www.finewoodworking.com/Works....aspx?id=28530
New Fangled Workbench
bill

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specfic. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo

Last edited by woodnthings; 05-21-2010 at 10:40 AM.
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post #3 of 18 Old 05-21-2010, 07:34 AM
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Virtually anything can be a workbench on which to build your new workbench.

Even the FLOOR. The floor is a huge workbench. The only problem is that you have to sit down to work on it.

Just use a little imagination.

George
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post #4 of 18 Old 05-21-2010, 10:27 AM
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Use your circ to make 2 saw horses, throw 1/8' and 2/10' 2X4s on them then a sht of 1/2 or 3/4 ply on the 2Xs. When you end up getting a port TS extend the 2/10' past the horses enough to support the TS and you have an 8' outfeed table to boot.

I use this setup on site with a DCS miterbox and assorted hand and power tools. You can't pound on it, too much rebound but it works great for 99% of everything else.

I made the bench below with a circ, drill, hammer, screws, nails and a couple wrenches on the shop floor. It's the same hgt as the TS and acts as an outfeed table plus you can pound on this one
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post #5 of 18 Old 05-22-2010, 10:01 AM
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Hate to say it if theres a Sams Club in your area they carry a workbench for less then a couple of hundred hard maple top steel frame. I've got one solid as a tank.
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post #6 of 18 Old 05-26-2010, 03:25 PM Thread Starter
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Hate to say it if theres a Sams Club in your area they carry a workbench for less then a couple of hundred hard maple top steel frame. I've got one solid as a tank.
Hey, I am TOTALLY not above just buying one if it's cost effective to do so. Closest Sam's is 50 miles away but it's also just a mile down the street from the closets Indian and Vietnamese restaurants, that I'm always wanting to go to... just need to find a friend with a Sam's membership (shouldn't be too hard).

The one issue I have to contend with is height: Since I'm vertically challenged, I need to either build something that will be comfortable for my height (5'2 and shrinking!) or buy something that I can cut off or adjust.
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post #7 of 18 Old 05-26-2010, 07:45 PM
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I built mine upside down on the floor. Then just turned it over when I was done.

Built the table top frame from 2x6s. Added legs. Braced the legs. Flipped it over. Set the plywood on top, and trimmed it flush with my router. My table was just shy of a full sheet of plywood.
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post #8 of 18 Old 06-02-2010, 12:28 AM
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My workbench was build on the floor as a top and bottom frame that got lag screwed to the wall studs. 2x4 legs are spaced on the front of it and there is one 3/4" plywood shelf on the bottom frame and the top is 1 1/2" worth of plywood (2 sheets). I then have a 1/8" hardwood top that I can replace when needed or just sand down as needed.

You can see mine as post 590 in the below thread:

Show us your shop!

Mark
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post #9 of 18 Old 06-05-2010, 11:28 PM
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This page, at finewoodworking.com, has a few videos that show you step-by-step how to put together a nice workbench.

http://www.finewoodworking.com/getti...season-two.asp

have fun
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post #10 of 18 Old 06-10-2010, 11:23 PM
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Newfangled Bench

After spending some time looking at the "New Fangled Bench", I realized that it has both good, and bad features.
Among the bad is, in my opinion, that it seems a bit . . . less than substantial. I can see that not holding up over years of abuse.

So I set in & did some redeisgning. This design incorporates the pipe clamps & such from the New Fangled Bench, and some old, traditional design elements that are meant to last a lifetime or two.

Now this is a bench I just may get excited enough about to build.

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post #11 of 18 Old 06-10-2010, 11:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WoodRic View Post
Now this is a bench I just may get excited enough about to build.

Sweet bench!



What material would you use?

Scott
OH, wait a minute ............Yep!.............That's what he said!

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post #12 of 18 Old 06-10-2010, 11:55 PM
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Sweet bench!



What material would you use?
Most of it is just good old fashioned 2x4 studs.
I suppose you could spend a whole lotta money and build it out of Maple, or Birch. But I designed my parts of this to be made from good old fashioned 2x4 studs to keep the costs down.

The whole bench is a model of economy.
Instead of expensive vices, it uses pip clamps. So that keeps the cost down (and is what I loved about the new fangled bench). That coupled with the inexpensive 2x4 stud construction, and it's an economical winner.

Now, keep in mind, the clamping system is not my design work. That was the creative work of John White at Fine Woodworking. What I did was take his clamping system, and adapt it to a more conventional, and solid workbench design. The marriage of the two seems to work pretty well, and would save a couple hundred dollars over conventional face & tail vices.
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post #13 of 18 Old 06-11-2010, 12:12 AM
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Economical is great!

Especially in this economy!

I've seen the design.

Your interpretation, in pine. built corectly, could be handed down to your childrens grand children!

Alas.........Time and tools my friend!
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post #14 of 18 Old 06-11-2010, 02:02 AM
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Originally Posted by mdntrdr View Post
Economical is great!

Especially in this economy!

I've seen the design.

Your interpretation, in pine. built corectly, could be handed down to your childrens grand children!

Alas.........Time and tools my friend!
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Time & Tools indeed.
However, in this case, I need a bench anyway. I've been working on a sheet of 3/4" ply tossed across 2 saw horses, so I'm getting desperate! I've been tossing several designs around, and this one is really coming out as a low cost, high function winner. Most of the construction techniques on this are pretty basic, as are the materials. So it really won't be that much of a challenge to build with what I have on-hand.

The only real negative I can see at this point is that the plates will bounce around if I'm beating on something. Not a huge issue, just an annoyance. Maybe I could stick some thin velcro on the backsides to hold them in place.
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post #15 of 18 Old 06-11-2010, 12:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WoodRic View Post
After spending some time looking at the "New Fangled Bench", I realized that it has both good, and bad features.
Among the bad is, in my opinion, that it seems a bit . . . less than substantial. I can see that not holding up over years of abuse.

So I set in & did some redeisgning. This design incorporates the pipe clamps & such from the New Fangled Bench, and some old, traditional design elements that are meant to last a lifetime or two.

Now this is a bench I just may get excited enough about to build.

Having built the new-fangled bench myself I disagree with your assessment of it. I have found the base to be very sturdy and it can be tightened up if it loosens up over time. The weak point would be the worktop as it is 2 x 4 construction with holes in the frame work. If I were to reinforce the top I would build it with 2x6 on ends instead of 2x4s. The base structure on the original has met my every expectation.
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post #16 of 18 Old 06-11-2010, 12:55 PM
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Having built the new-fangled bench myself I disagree with your assessment of it. I have found the base to be very sturdy and it can be tightened up if it loosens up over time. The weak point would be the worktop as it is 2 x 4 construction with holes in the frame work. If I were to reinforce the top I would build it with 2x6 on ends instead of 2x4s. The base structure on the original has met my every expectation.
Hey, good to see an assessment of this table from someone who is actually using it. My opinions of it are based solely on looking at the plans. I'll agree with you about the top needing a bit of reinforcement though, it does have a couple of weak spots.

But to me, the base was just a poor design. It was done for aesthetics as well as function, and "to me" going with a purely bolted up design is leaving room for things to loosen up. A well designed bench should be built tight, and stay tight.

But, I'm really more interested in how the vices are performing for you. They're a novel concept, and I'd like to know how that design is working out for someone that's actually using it. Are they actually useful in that configuration, or just "different". Do you find it better than a conventional bench to work on, or again, just different?

Thanks again for your insights on this. Not many folks are actually using this bench yet (at least not here), and first hand experience is good to see.
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post #17 of 18 Old 06-11-2010, 03:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WoodRic View Post
Hey, good to see an assessment of this table from someone who is actually using it. My opinions of it are based solely on looking at the plans. I'll agree with you about the top needing a bit of reinforcement though, it does have a couple of weak spots.

But to me, the base was just a poor design. It was done for aesthetics as well as function, and "to me" going with a purely bolted up design is leaving room for things to loosen up. A well designed bench should be built tight, and stay tight.

But, I'm really more interested in how the vices are performing for you. They're a novel concept, and I'd like to know how that design is working out for someone that's actually using it. Are they actually useful in that configuration, or just "different". Do you find it better than a conventional bench to work on, or again, just different?

Thanks again for your insights on this. Not many folks are actually using this bench yet (at least not here), and first hand experience is good to see.
Unless you are using wood that has been acclimated to your shop for a long period you will have some kind of movement. This design will allow you to tighten up when needed but it should only need to do it once. When it is tight (and mine has not loosened up) I was able to stand on it (250 lbs) with no wobble. The stringer underneath provides great strength.

I would redesign the top with 2x6 to increase the strength with all the holes drilled through it. It may not be needed as I haven't had a problem with it, just something that would make me feel better.

The vises are great. I have used all three on many occasions. I was surprised at how often I've used the planning vise. I have my CMS mounted on a base that allows me to clamp it in the tail vise.

The front vise I will eventually change to have longer pipes so that I can use it for larger pieces. I am thinking 30" would be about right.
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post #18 of 18 Old 06-12-2010, 02:07 AM
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The face vice is the one that I was the most curious about.
With the limited throw to the pipe clamps, I would think it would be fairly limited. But then with the full length vice on the table top, I don't guess you'd need it for much more than working a smaller piece that you needed to clamp.

I'm still rolling between two different designs. I suppose I'll make my final decision just before I go buy the supplies.

Thanks again for the feed-back.

I now return this thread to the original poster. Sorry for hijacking your thread!
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