Need some help with workbench on cleat. - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 15 Old 09-29-2016, 07:18 PM Thread Starter
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Question Need some help with workbench on cleat.

Well, it is official... my tiny workshop lean-to style shed is complete. And now I have to wait 72 hours for the floor paint to cure. Agony.

But in the mean time it gives me a moment to hopefully figure out some stuff.

I will be using french cleats at every 8 inches down the longer walls until I get to the work bench on one side and rolling carts for saws on the other.

The trouble is the bench. I like the idea of keeping things mobile since I really don't know how to organize this tiny space and will probably need to move things around a lot to start with until I get fully settled. I also like the idea of keeping the legs off the floor if possible. So I thought about putting the bench itself on a larger cleat and then using pipes somehow to brace it up.

Here is a picture to get an idea of the design...



Big questions here...

1. What size/thickness does the cleat need to be for a workbench? I am guessing larger than the 3/4 inch thick that the wall cleats will be?
2. Does anybody know what and how to get pipes and fittings that would attach to the bottom of the bench and wall support at a 45 degree angle?
3. Is this a completely silly idea altogether and won't work for some reason?

This is the general idea for begining my tiny workshop...



Here is a bit of the tiny workshop if you might be wondering... The interior is just over 7ft by 13ft.

BEFORE & AFTER


INTERIOR

Three table saws... of course that isn't enough.

Last edited by Taf; 09-29-2016 at 07:31 PM.
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post #2 of 15 Old 09-29-2016, 11:40 PM
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I don't know much about it but I would be concerned that a hard push would pull it off the wall, damaging the work, work surface and possibly yourself.

I would say it might need to be a little more permanently attached. In my experience cleats are great for wall hangings but I'm not sure I would trust them for something I'm going to be physically working on with large and heavy items.

Good luck on your shop though. Even if its small, its more than I currently have. I work between my basement and my dining room right now. lol
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post #3 of 15 Old 09-30-2016, 07:22 AM
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I do not understand your concern about having this workbench portable. This is a work shed.

For the top back of the bench I would fasten a 2x4 to the wall with screws. Then place the bench top material on top of this. This will enable you to move it in the future. Remember, it is a work shed. Who cares if there are a few screw holes in the studs when you move the bench.

Then I would support the front edge with slanted 2x4's instead of pipes. Pipes are an unnecessary complication. The top is also made of 2x4's laid wide dimension down.

I have exactly this work bench is a shed in my backyard. The only difference is I use this bench for gardening work. Potting plants, etc. As this bench will not see heavy work I only support the front with one 2x4.

George
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post #4 of 15 Old 09-30-2016, 08:34 AM
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Make your bench into several smaller benches, then you can move them around as you see fit.
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post #5 of 15 Old 09-30-2016, 09:06 AM
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If you make the french cleat out of a hardwood and about 3" wide it should work alright. Given that it is for a countertop I believe I would use glue it down at the time of installation. Normally a french cleat handles more vertical weight rather than outward.

The pipe if you would drill a hole not all the way through where it mounts you could just glue it in with some epoxy. The weight of the counter is going to be pushing down on the pipe instead of trying to pull it out of the socket.
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post #6 of 15 Old 09-30-2016, 10:01 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you all for the thoughts and ideas!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Neul View Post
If you make the french cleat out of a hardwood and about 3" wide it should work alright.
That would be 3" in height (as placed against the wall), yes? Would 3/4 inch thickness be okay at that point, or should I be looking for a larger depth as well?

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Originally Posted by Rodrat View Post
I would be concerned that a hard push would pull it off the wall
That is one of the thing I have been worried about... I am usually pretty careful, but I can picture slipping on something and knocking into it. Have been thinking about that a lot and thought this might help:

The bottom block should help keep the bench from bumping up and off the cleat, right?

However, you are probably right and screwing down to the back (in whatever way it is made) will probably be the best insurance while still making it movable.

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Originally Posted by mikechell View Post
Make your bench into several smaller benches, then you can move them around as you see fit.
I like this idea and was thinking that at least two benches with a space between might be best to roll a saw in place or swap out items in between. I also have a shopvac that will hang on the wall and leaving space for that (and it's pre-collection can under it) will also take some space away from the bench(s).

Three table saws... of course that isn't enough.
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post #7 of 15 Old 09-30-2016, 12:19 PM
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3/4" thickness is sufficient for the cleat. I've seen 5' tall MDF cabinets that have been on the wall for years with MDF cleats so hardwood should be good even if someone sat on the counter.
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post #8 of 15 Old 09-30-2016, 03:40 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Neul View Post
3/4" thickness is sufficient for the cleat.
Thank you. I will see what I can find for hardwood at the store next time I am in town.

Three table saws... of course that isn't enough.
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post #9 of 15 Old 09-30-2016, 04:41 PM
where's my table saw?
 
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workbenches shouldn't move

I would use two french cleats, one along the top, the other along the bottom. Then to prevent it from lifting up, I'd screw a few screws into the studs which can be removed later if necessary.

Another approach is to use plywood panels for braces instead of the pipes which will be difficult to attach being round and all.... :frown2: If the design is meant not to have legs protruding into the shop or on the floor, that's cool, but you will want as many braces as possible, like every 36" or so. That's about the limit for a span of 3/4" material. If you double it, two layers, it will make a better bench top also.

One long bench can be held in place by the weight of the "stuff" you place on top. If you like a clean work space then you will need some screws to hold it down. If you mount a vise, you will especially want it very secure. A slip with a chisel may mean a serious injury.
I don't see the need for individual sections of shorter lengths myself, but you may have other reasons...?

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)
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post #10 of 15 Old 09-30-2016, 05:21 PM Thread Starter
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The top will be made with some very hard one inch thick particle board that has a smooth finish on each side and is 22 inches wide by 7ft long.

I am not sure how to describe how durable it is... it isn't like any particle board I have seen before it. It is incredibly hard and doesn't seem to bow much, but weight may bow it over time, so I will probably need some sort of support over the length. Was kinda thinking about some angle-iron along the outer edge. I would like to keep the underside with as few supports as possible since I may also need to put rolling cabinets under it as well.

Three table saws... of course that isn't enough.
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post #11 of 15 Old 09-30-2016, 06:38 PM
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Check out April's folding work bench. Maybe they will provide some inspiration for you.

And another one...
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post #12 of 15 Old 09-30-2016, 06:47 PM
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I'd also be a little concerned about the whole bench falling off the wall with a push in the wrong direction. My workbench gets pulled up, down forward, backward, side to side and every other direction when I use it. Hand planing, sawing (pulls saws and push saws, used vertically and horizontally), drilling, shaving with a draw knife or spokeshave, etc.

I don't know if you'll be performing any of those operations, or even whether you'll have a vise on the bench, but if you are I'd recommend a more traditional bench with some of those casters that you can sort of retract so that the bench foot is on the ground when you want it to be stationary. Like these:

https://www.amazon.com/Workbench-Cas.../dp/B005W0UWCY
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post #13 of 15 Old 09-30-2016, 07:57 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeremymcon View Post
those casters that you can sort of retract so that the bench foot is on the ground when you want it to be stationary
It sounds like mounting the bench a little more secure is the way to go, but I LOVE these casters you suggested. Not so much for the bench, but I have been trying to figure out how to mount my saws (table saw and router table) to a rolling cart of some kind, but then I feared they would not be secure enough when I roll them outside to make cuts. Those casters would work great. They do stick out quite a ways though.
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Three table saws... of course that isn't enough.
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post #14 of 15 Old 09-30-2016, 07:58 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MT Stringer View Post
Check out April's folding work bench. Maybe they will provide some inspiration for you.
Not quite what I am looking for, but you are definitely right... they are giving me inspiration for a couple other ideas I have been thinking about.
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post #15 of 15 Old 09-30-2016, 08:04 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeremymcon View Post
casters that you can sort of retract
I was originally thinking about something like these... https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...AMRW6HJT3Z478K
casters with the brake pedal. Do you think it would still move around too much on patio-paver bricks?

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