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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all, new to this site and kind of a newbie overall.
Little history about myself, I have some experience with woodworking as woodworking was compulsory in my high school. Thanks to a good teacher I learned the very basics of woodworking and have always wanted to get more involved, but you know, stuff got in the way. Now that my kids are older and out from under my feet I have some spare time. My intention is to start with a bench in my basement that I can utilize for future projects. I picked up some wood yesterday at the Home Depot for this particular project but now that I have it sitting in front of me I am unsure of how to proceed!

What I would like is a decent (as in large) bench as I currently have some room in the basement. This is only temporary as I plan to move to my garage when the weather changes (Spring). So I guess it needs to fit through my kitchen door eventually....

Anyway, I plan to use this bench for constructing shelves, repairs and basic cabinetry.

Tools I have are:
Circular saw
Power drill (battery and electric)
Jig saw
Router
Compound Miter Saw
And my tool box - measuring tape, hammer etc.

Wood I have:
4 2x4
2 4x4
Sheet of MDF 6ft x 3ft (with miscellaneous pieces left over)
Miscellaneous pieces of wood in my garage of 2x4 and some plywood
Also, a couple of spare doors.
And - A Rockler heavy duty quick release front vise
Also, willing to spend a few more dollars to get whats needed but it needs to be a pretty simple design as I do have limited skills.

Any ideas/designs that would set me up to get back into working with wood would be greatly appreciated. :yes:

Thanks,
Joe
 

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Hi all, new to this site and kind of a newbie overall.
Little history about myself, I have some experience with woodworking as woodworking was compulsory in my high school. Thanks to a good teacher I learned the very basics of woodworking and have always wanted to get more involved, but you know, stuff got in the way. Now that my kids are older and out from under my feet I have some spare time. My intention is to start with a bench in my basement that I can utilize for future projects. I picked up some wood yesterday at the Home Depot for this particular project but now that I have it sitting in front of me I am unsure of how to proceed!

What I would like is a decent (as in large) bench as I currently have some room in the basement. This is only temporary as I plan to move to my garage when the weather changes (Spring). So I guess it needs to fit through my kitchen door eventually....

Anyway, I plan to use this bench for constructing shelves, repairs and basic cabinetry.

Any ideas/designs that would set me up to get back into working with wood would be greatly appreciated. :yes:

Thanks,
Joe
I would start with searching on the site. Making a workbench is a popular topic. Many examples in the Project Showcase and other forums on the site.

This is one recent thread.
http://www.woodworkingtalk.com/f13/havent-seen-one-these-posted-before-43704/
 

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There are many plans here and many plans on the internet for workbenches.

When I built my bench I had most of the same tools and lumber equipment you have. I used a plan from a video series on another site that specifically used your gear.
 

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You can certainly build a fine table using only the tools you already have. I built the "New Fangled Workbench". I like the simplicity of the design and functionality at a budget price. Here's my thread, where I detailed some of the design mods I did for it. I think it has a link to the original plans too...
http://www.woodworkingtalk.com/f9/another-workbench-thread-21819/

Edit: And here's the actual thread I was looking for, with pictures and everything!
http://www.woodworkingtalk.com/f13/newfangled-workbench-my-way-24485/
 

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If it's just temporary I would build three sawhorses and put a sheet of plywood over them.


Exactly what I was thinking. Or maybe use a door on top of the horses.

No point in building something fancy, and having the size limited by door width, and having to move it in a few months.

George
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
I guess my main issue is what to use for a top! Because I have to mount the vise at one end I am unsure.
I think I remember reading somewhere that using a door was a bad idea. Also, I think I will keep this in my basement and make another for my garage later.

Any suggestions for a good top?
 

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If the door is solid it's fine to use a door as a top. Just don't use one of the ones that is luan panels over a frame.
 

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Make two of these folding saw horses...

You can make two of em in less than an hour. All you need is 4 -3" hinges & 4-2" Hinges and 6-8' 1x4's . If you're budget is tight check around construction sites and ask for discarded wood or shipping crates/pallets. Prolly find enough free wood to build em.
Then check Craigslist for some Solid Doors. Makes Great Temporary Bench Tops. I got 5 of em for my shop benches for $10 bucks a piece from the local Habitat for Humanity warehouse. Make the legs on the Saw Horses 40" long, that will put the bench at a good working height.
 

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I bought the top from sears outlet. It is a workbench top. I paid them $52.00. I waited till they had one locally. I cut the slots and installed the T-tracks which I got from Rockler. Total I think I have about $160.00 into the bench.
 

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Bob Van Dyke recently had a workbench build in Fine WoodWorking magazine.

It is a simple but strong design that can be built in a weekend. You seem to have most of the materials and tools needed.

The top is built using a 3 layer sandwich of high density MDF and Particle board (plywood could be substituted for the particle board).

Here is a link to the workbench.

http://www.finewoodworking.com/item/42784/build-your-first-workbench/page/all
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
(Against the grain) - Currently, that is probably a little out of my league. Possibly a little down the line I will attempt something like this.

But it did give me some ideas. I think I will try 3/4 ply and somehow attach the mdf - maybe with glue. Then attach some kind of 1" edging. this would make attaching the vise easier.


Does this sound like a good/bad idea?
 

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(Against the grain) - Currently, that is probably a little out of my league. Possibly a little down the line I will attempt something like this.

But it did give me some ideas. I think I will try 3/4 ply and somehow attach the mdf - maybe with glue. Then attach some kind of 1" edging. this would make attaching the vise easier.


Does this sound like a good/bad idea?
Attaching the ply to the MDF is fine. Use the MDF on top. A couple coats of poly will help protect the MDF from moisture and potential spills. Apply glue liberally and attach some screws from underneath the plywood through into the MDF .Use pilot holes . Weight it down overnight. Should work fine.

You can also leave an 1/8" lip above the MDF with your trim pieces and cut a piece of hardboard to fit on top of the MDF. A lot of people do that. When the hardboard gets dinged up just flip it over.

You said you had a router so I figured you could cut the dado's and rabbets for that bench I linked to. Probably easier with a table saw but the dado's are only 1/2" deep.

Get a dado bit for your router and a few straight boards for guides. Once the dadoes and rabbets are cut and the lumber is cut to size its just a matter of assembly with hardware.

You could also use the a hand saw and make a bunch of cuts side by side about a 1/4 -1/8" apart inside the dimension of the dadoes and then clean them out with a sharp chisel and mallet.

I suppose pocket holes might work. But dadoes will ensure a bench that is steady and won't be wobbly.
 
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