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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
It's been a couple of years since I first built my "versatile" workbench and I thought it was time to rate its' performance since I have rebuilt it with a few changes. The original post is buried in the forum, but if anybody wishes to re-read it, here is the link...
http://woodworkingtalk.com/f2/versat...-unique-40361/

I did replace the bamboo with a tempered hardboard, but I know I've made a few trade offs in the process. The bamboo flooring served me extremely well for the past couple of years. It's a very good looking workbench surface and it's pretty tough - held up very well. What I liked the most about it is the fact that I could glue up my projects, stain them, paint them etc and not worry about anything sticking to it. It's the easiest surface to keep clean. The only drawback was the seams. They did remain tight but developed a minor bump along the tongue and groove seams that only presented me a problem when I was assembling picture frames.

So I replaced the whole bench - new (used) door which is thicker and made of solid wood. I covered it with a 3/4 inch hardboard and a tempered 1/4 inch hardboard on top of that. I was told the tempered board would resist the glue, stains and paint like the bamboo flooring did - but that seems to be an overstatement. Glue sticks to it...

The other bench features have remained. I have liked the T-tracks so much, I've added a few more. And the pipe clamps have remained because they also have performed very well. A major improvement is that my bench is now "HEIGHT" adjustable because my shop has low ceiling.
 

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Bernie, I always like to see your solutions to things, because they are very unique. Your setup for a variable height bench is one such example.

I see there are slots in the back two support rails, I assume there are bolts or something to secure it at the desired height?

Also, what kind of support structure do you have for the top? From the pictures, it is hard to see what is holding it up. It is just that it looks like if you lean on them or put something heavy on a corner that it might sag under the weight.
 

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Bernie, all I can say is wow. Didn't think you could improve on the original, but you did. Thanks for posting! Oh, you used the Rockler t-tracks, yes? I was looking at the Incra @ woodcraft, and they're nice, but spendy. Thanks!

WCT
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Chris - I am using bolts for the slots to hold the back. They are a bit clumsy and no where as smooth as the FWW adjustable bench... but considering how often I will need to change the height, I can live with the issues. My shops low ceiling has caused me hardships with only a few builds in the past 12 years.My solution was a quick cheap fix that will work fine for me keeping in mind a workbench need only be functional.

The bench is fairly stable as you see it but you're right Chris... it needs support in the front. So I have secured temporary legs for the front. They are 2X6 boards screwed into the short frame and fit snugly under the bench setting (which will be my most useful height). The other most useful height will be at the bottom (on top of the old frame). I may need an intermediate height in the next few years and I will cut temporary legs to fit my needs.

The jack is an RV jack which travel 2 ft up and down,

It's late and I need to run very early errands. I will take more pics in the morn...

Camden - you're right... I used Rockler T-Tracks. They have worked very well.
 
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