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Discussion Starter #1
So, I'm building a small workbench (maybe ~60" long x ~24" wide)

The design I've come up with though will look great and function well, but in the end it's going to be heavy. Judging by just the weight of the lumber I'll be using - I'm estimating ~400 lbs.

Ordinarily this wouldn't be a problem, but I'd like to be able to take it apart in a year when I move and ship it across the country.

I was wondering if there are any tips or tricks to making furniture capable of being taken apart and put back together again without sacrificing aesthetics? I'm particularly stuck on one aspect of the design where the sides and top interlock box-joint style. In order for it to work properly, I need to glue the joints. If I glue the joints though, I can't really take it apart later.
 

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So, I'm building a small workbench (maybe ~60" long x ~24" wide)

The design I've come up with though will look great and function well, but in the end it's going to be heavy. Judging by just the weight of the lumber I'll be using - I'm estimating ~400 lbs.

Ordinarily this wouldn't be a problem, but I'd like to be able to take it apart in a year when I move and ship it across the country.

I was wondering if there are any tips or tricks to making furniture capable of being taken apart and put back together again without sacrificing aesthetics? I'm particularly stuck on one aspect of the design where the sides and top interlock box-joint style. In order for it to work properly, I need to glue the joints. If I glue the joints though, I can't really take it apart later.
Which is the overriding requirement? Gluing the joints or the ability to take it apart? That is your call.

If it was me and I knew I was going to move in a year I would design a much lighter workbench.

George
 

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Without a design it would be impossible to get into specifics. I would make the components in as big of sections as you can live with and install tee nuts in it to where the bench could be bolted together.
 

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Put it on some large locking casters. Then make sure you have a flat path to get it out to the big truck you'll rent to move it in. Hire some burly movers to lift it when the time comes.
 

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Tee Nuts

Without a design it would be impossible to get into specifics. I would make the components in as big of sections as you can live with and install tee nuts in it to where the bench could be bolted together.
I was in exactly the original poster's situation many years ago. I went down the Tee Nuts path and it worked very badly for me. Maybe due to my own incompetence, I don't know. But the tee nuts really didn't seem to hold in place very well - given the stresses a work bench is subject to.
 

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You could always use nuts and bolts with washers. You could crank 'em as tight as you need and still be able to take it apart when needed.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
You could always use nuts and bolts with washers. You could crank 'em as tight as you need and still be able to take it apart when needed.
The only way that would work with the current design is if I embed the nuts. How do the big furniture companies do that, drilling/cutting hex holes?
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I'll think some more about this. I came up with a design medication that might solve this. It involves a considerable amount of additional work, but if I have to, I'll go with it.
 

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I'd look at bed bolts and embedded square nuts or use barrel nuts. T-nuts are great for lots of things, but the threads can strip and where there is risk of a lot of tension, I wouldn't use them.
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
I'd look at bed bolts and embedded square nuts or use barrel nuts. T-nuts are great for lots of things, but the threads can strip and where there is risk of a lot of tension, I wouldn't use them.
How do you embed the square nuts? Mortise with a straight router bit?

That's great. :thumbsup:

Where do I buy good bed bolts and bench bolts? Hardened stainless steel if possible. Rockler? Maybe they have them at my local hardware store. I'll call today.

I wake up early, (4:30 AM) daily, and out of curiosity, looked at some of the furniture in my apartment to see what was used. I found a lot of T-nuts. Some appeared to be glued in place with epoxy. Still, I like the bed and bench bolts more.

EDIT: I just checked my Woodcraft catalog and they have a small selection. 1", 2", and 3" bolts, and doesn't specify size beyond that, nor does it specify metal details. They look somewhat thin. I'd like to find some that are more robust.
 

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TCWood said:
How do you embed the square nuts? Mortise with a straight router bit?

***See page 2, photo3 of the PDF

Where do I buy good bed bolts and bench bolts? Hardened stainless steel if possible. Rockler? Maybe they have them at my local hardware store. I'll call today.

***The bolts shown in the article are just regular hex head bolts. Notice that the bolts are not "all thread".

***Those bolts are available at any hardware store. I know that Lowes has them in stainless but they're a lot pricier.
....
 
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Discussion Starter #15
I found the hardware, t-nuts included at the Ace Hardware a mile away from me. So, I'm good there.

Thanks!

One more question that's related to this -

Is there a formula to calculate the max dimensions furniture can be when it has to make a 90 degree turn as it's exiting a doorway? I'm sure if I sat with a piece of paper for a few minutes I'd figure it out, but I'm speeding through reading a few cases for one of my law classes that starts in an hour! :laughing:
 

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I found the hardware, t-nuts included at the Ace Hardware a mile away from me. So, I'm good there.

Thanks!

One more question that's related to this -

Is there a formula to calculate the max dimensions furniture can be when it has to make a 90 degree turn as it's exiting a doorway? I'm sure if I sat with a piece of paper for a few minutes I'd figure it out, but I'm speeding through reading a few cases for one of my law classes that starts in an hour! :laughing:
Get a big piece of heavy cardboard such as a refrigerator box from an appliance store (or glue smaller pieces taped together) and make a template the size you think you need and see if it will fit through the door. That's much more simple than explaining the math for this. You will also see very quickly if the problem is more about the length or the width and you will also see how much of a problem is going to be about where the people who carry the load are going to stand and walk, etc. What you won't be able to see is the doorway and the bend in the hallway for the place you move into a year from now.

Here is the voice of experience: "Don't think for a minute that this is the last bench you are ever going to build".
 

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I was wondering if there are any tips or tricks to making furniture capable of being taken apart and put back together again without sacrificing aesthetics? I'm particularly stuck on one aspect of the design where the sides and top interlock box-joint style. In order for it to work properly, I need to glue the joints. If I glue the joints though, I can't really take it apart later.
I haven't seen this chest but I'm betting it was assembled with kreg screws and it works well for the wood worker that built it. As for the need for box joints and aesthetics, make the joints tight so they need to be assembled with the mallet and forfeit the glue. That in conjunction with the screws you'll be good to go at disassemble and reassembly time.
 

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