Seeking workbench advice - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 10 Old 02-26-2013, 09:28 PM Thread Starter
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Question Seeking workbench advice

Well this is post #1 for me. I used to have a nice garage woodworking shop about 10 years ago but sold it off due to a lack of time for this great hobby (plus a divorce thrown in for good measure). Now I've got a lot more time on my hands and I'm ready to start out again. I've got a nice two-car garage full of junk that is going to get cleaned out and made into my shop. So I'm starting completely from scratch - I've got to get tools, bench, the works. Obviously I can't afford everything at once so I've got to do it in stages.

This long-winded intro brings me to my first question - what should I do for a workbench?

I want a versatile bench for working with both hand and power tools. I want it big enough to mount things like a router jig and sturdy enough to plane a board without the bench moving all over the place. It will also probably be my glue-ups on it.

Now my dilemma is that I don't have anywhere near enough tools to build a good workbench. I'm planning on getting a table saw to start with so I'd have that.

So my question is should I buy a workbench or can someone suggest a good set of plans that I get / buy for a bench that can be built with just a table saw? I'm not prepared to fork our the $$$ for the nice Veritas bench. However I see General International sells one - anyone have any experience with these?

Thanks all for any advice you may have to offer
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post #2 of 10 Old 02-26-2013, 11:04 PM
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A bench is a great first project! Do a search on this and other sites and you'll find several good examples. Some great benches have been made from just regular construction lumber or even salvaged wood all the way up to beauties made from exotic woods.

There are a number of books out on building workbenches.

For just a little more, you can do it yourself.
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post #3 of 10 Old 02-26-2013, 11:18 PM
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Originally Posted by ottacat View Post
This long-winded intro brings me to my first question - what should I do for a workbench?

I want a versatile bench for working with both hand and power tools. I want it big enough to mount things like a router jig and sturdy enough to plane a board without the bench moving all over the place. It will also probably be my glue-ups on it.

Now my dilemma is that I don't have anywhere near enough tools to build a good workbench. I'm planning on getting a table saw to start with so I'd have that.
You could monitor this thread. Chris Curl is building his second bench with mostly hand tools. Looks like a good design and would work with power tools or hand tools.

http://www.woodworkingtalk.com/f11/n...h-build-49002/
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post #4 of 10 Old 02-27-2013, 12:32 AM
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I built a bench using mostly hand tools. The only power tool used was a circular saw for the plywood. There's a not-quite-build-log here. Oh... and a cordless drill to drive some screws, but that could have been done by hand if I wasn't lazy.

You could easily build something like that with a circular saw, an electric drill, and a 3/4" chisel. It'd be a little less polished, but it'd still be sturdy.
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post #5 of 10 Old 02-27-2013, 12:43 AM
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I am building one of the "new fangled" benches as we speak. I started a build thread on it the other day, in the Hand Toos section. I expect it to provide all the flexibility I will need. To build the only machine I will use is a table saw for ripping some of the 2x3s. The rest will be done using hand tools.

Here is Paul Sellers building a workbench using hand tools only.

http://paulsellers.com/series/building-a-workbench/
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post #6 of 10 Old 02-27-2013, 12:57 AM
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I built this fine woodworking bench as one of my first projects about 2 years ago due to it's simplicity and requirement of only a few basic tools, and I haven't regretted it since. It comes with the full plans for free and a video tutorial series, and it's quick to build. It is intended for beginners, but I think it does a great job and buys plenty of time before I get around to doing a more complicated bench. The mdf also aids in making this thing weigh plenty. It's not a forever bench, but it will get the job done for awhile and then some.

Also, the harbor freight woodworking bench http://www.harborfreight.com/60-inch...nch-93454.html seems to get relatively good reviews for its astonishingly cheap price, especially with a coupon. But, that kinda defeats the purpose of this hobby buying something you could build yourself.

Last edited by jfriesen; 02-27-2013 at 02:26 AM.
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post #7 of 10 Old 02-27-2013, 04:55 AM
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I built this fine woodworking bench as one of my first projects about 2 years ago due to it's simplicity and requirement of only a few basic tools, and I haven't regretted it since.

That bench is awesome!!
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post #8 of 10 Old 02-27-2013, 01:17 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks all for your advice.

I'm currently looking at the two bench plans from Fine Woodworking

Rock-Solid Plywood Bench
Workbench from Getting Started in Woodworking series

Neither one is large enough for my tastes but I think either one could be scaled up in size.

I'm leaning towards the Rock-Solid Plywood Bench version.
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post #9 of 10 Old 02-27-2013, 03:12 PM
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I built this with nothing more than a circular saw, miter saw (could have done it without it) and a drill, with the exception of the slots for the t-track. Originally, it was just a 3/4" plywood top until I added the oak flooring on top, the vice and t-track last month. I used it in its previous form for 9 years.

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post #10 of 10 Old 02-27-2013, 03:23 PM
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you might want to incorporate two things into your bench plans. (1) make it mobile, for work flexibility. (2) make it just slightly less in height than the table height of your TS. in a pinch, it can double as either an infeed or,more probably, an outfeed table for the TS.

there's a solution to every problem.....you just have to be willing to find it.
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