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post #1 of 19 Old 02-22-2014, 06:58 PM Thread Starter
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Don't hate me...

...but it's another workbench related thread. I'm designing a workbench and seem to be having trouble figuring out the best way to attach the top to the base. I'm trying to avoid just screwing it down. I was thinking about gluing some cleats to the bottom and bolting those cleats to the frame. Something tells me that's not the right way to do it. Is there a standard way to attach a flat bench top to the base that I'm simply unaware of? How is yours attached?
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post #2 of 19 Old 02-22-2014, 07:18 PM
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How large , and how heavy is the bench , and how thick is the top ?

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post #3 of 19 Old 02-22-2014, 07:30 PM Thread Starter
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I plan to make the top about 32"x96"x2". How heavy? Ummm, pretty heavy. I plan on building the frame out of 2x8s with a shelf on the bottom for storage. Shelf will likely be 1xsomethings.
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post #4 of 19 Old 02-22-2014, 07:40 PM
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I would suggest bolting it thru the top to the carcass , and jam fit plugging the hole above the bolt head.

Hardwood or Softwood ?

Last edited by Manuka Jock; 02-22-2014 at 07:44 PM.
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post #5 of 19 Old 02-22-2014, 09:37 PM Thread Starter
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Hardwood, very likely maple. I'm actually trying to avoid going through the top like that. Have considered it though.
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post #6 of 19 Old 02-22-2014, 09:47 PM
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What a reservations do you have with going thru the top ?
This is a work tool , not a dining room table .
You will want the solid top on solidly.
If the top is weighty enough and is sitting directly on the top of the legs , how about blind pegs ?

Can you post a drawing of the bench so that we can see what timbers the top can be attached to .

Last edited by Manuka Jock; 02-22-2014 at 10:48 PM.
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post #7 of 19 Old 02-22-2014, 10:36 PM Thread Starter
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Well, I'm not exactly up to par with my joinery techniques. I'd like to use the workbench as a learning tool in addition to just a workbench. Ideally, I'd like to use old joinery techniques that don't rely on mechanical fasteners so that I can learn more about them. If I mess one up, I can probably still fall back on bolts and screws and still have a completely functional bench.

I'll make a sketch sometime tonight, or tomorrow and post it up. I do most of my planning in my head so I'm not great at sketches.
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post #8 of 19 Old 02-22-2014, 11:56 PM
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Blind Pegs is what I know them as , not sure what if any , the proper name is .
This , from Sawmill Creek
Quote:
Quote:
The top is most likely heavy enough that you aren't worried about it lifting. So what about drilling a hole in the top of each leg and inserting a dowel. Drill corresponding holes in the bottom of the bench and she should sit on top just fine. I would chamfer the top of the dowels a little so that they find the bench top holes easier. The real thing you are eliminating is lateral movement (i.e. when planing) and the dowels should do that no problem.
Quote:
Jeff touched on my method I learned from Ian Kirby. Over the last 37 years I have built 24 benches and the last five I used "bullet dowels" as mentioned by Jeff. You should use an end stretcher as mentioned to re-inforce and counter rack.

But.. you can drill a hole 3/4" or 1" in the center of the four top post. Glue a corresponding dowel in the hole and let it stand proud 3/4"-1". Drill corresponding holes in the bottom of the table. Round the exposed dowel off at the top so it looks like a bullet and slightly sand the sides of the dowel so the dowel glides into the hole.

Just sit the top down (two of you) onto the dowels and trust me.. gravity will keep it down. That's a lot of weight in that top and if you properly made the base.. it will not rack nor will the top come off until you and a freind decide to lift it off.

Sarge..
http://www.sawmillcreek.org/showthre...ch-Top-To-Base
A workbench is a great way to learn , and if it has design issues later we learn some more , eh
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post #9 of 19 Old 02-23-2014, 01:49 AM Thread Starter
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I plan on cutting my boards 2.5" wide and gluing all the face grain together to laminate the top. That puts side grain on the tops and bottoms. If I understand wood expansion and contraction correctly, the vast majority of the movement will be in the thickness of the top, not in the length or width. Is that right?
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post #10 of 19 Old 02-23-2014, 12:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Miller Woodworks
I plan on cutting my boards 2.5" wide and gluing all the face grain together to laminate the top. That puts side grain on the tops and bottoms. If I understand wood expansion and contraction correctly, the vast majority of the movement will be in the thickness of the top, not in the length or width. Is that right?
Correct.

The tools don't make the craftsman....
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post #11 of 19 Old 02-23-2014, 01:03 PM
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If you want to get fancy, you could use sliding dovetails cut into the bottom, and pin the top on the front side to keep things aligned for the vise. Or, the alternative is to make pseudo dovetails with cleats.

The dowel pins others have mentioned are perfectly serviceable, and easy to do.
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post #12 of 19 Old 02-23-2014, 03:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Miller Woodworks View Post
I plan to make the top about 32"x96"x2". How heavy? Ummm, pretty heavy. I plan on building the frame out of 2x8s with a shelf on the bottom for storage. Shelf will likely be 1xsomethings.
You planning on storing your automobile on top of the bench to keep it out of the way?

George
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post #13 of 19 Old 02-23-2014, 07:59 PM Thread Starter
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lol, no. I've always heard that heavier is better when it comes to workbenches. I already have the 2x8s left over from building a deck up at the hunting camp, so they're essentially free. Why not use them on the bench? I have a habit of finding something to place on every horizontal surface I have, so I thought 8 feet should give me enough room to store a few items and still have room to work. Is 2" too thick? 1.5" be any better?
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post #14 of 19 Old 02-23-2014, 08:09 PM
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If you want a really massive bench, build the bottom stringers into a torsion box filled with sand. Using your 2X8s you could add an extra half ton to your benches weight. Certainly wouldn't move around if you were planing or pounding on chisels.
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post #15 of 19 Old 02-23-2014, 08:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Miller Woodworks View Post
lol, no. I've always heard that heavier is better when it comes to workbenches. I already have the 2x8s left over from building a deck up at the hunting camp, so they're essentially free. Why not use them on the bench? I have a habit of finding something to place on every horizontal surface I have, so I thought 8 feet should give me enough room to store a few items and still have room to work. Is 2" too thick? 1.5" be any better?
2" is good , so is 3", 4'' is even better
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post #16 of 19 Old 02-23-2014, 08:20 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Manuka Jock View Post
2" is good , so is 3", 4'' is even better
Though I'd love one, I don't have enough wood for a 4" top. Actually, I have about 150 bf of maple, so I do. I just don't want to use all of it on the bench. What good is a bench if I don't have any wood left to make use of the bench?

To all - Thanks for all the advice so far. I appreciate it.
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post #17 of 19 Old 02-23-2014, 09:46 PM
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I you have stretchers going between the posts, you could run lag screws up through the stretchers and into the top. It'd be removable, and invisible from the top. I did a desk that way, and it won't be coming off anytime soon.

Acer
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post #18 of 19 Old 02-23-2014, 11:13 PM
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I recently built a simple workbench from some 2 x 4's and and old counter top (with laminate removed). I simply connected the sides and the middle braces to the counter top with pocket screws (from the bottom). I also used pocket screws to hold the legs together, btw. The workbench is solid and I can remove the top, if need be.
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post #19 of 19 Old 02-24-2014, 01:04 PM
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http://d2amilv9vi9flo.cloudfront.net...oltzapffel.pdf

Drawbore mortise and tenon, no glue.

I built something like that bench and the drawbores went a lot smoother than i was expecting.
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