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Discussion Starter #1
My table saw takes up a ton of room, then there is my brewery, as does my large Mac toolbox I had to bring home from work. I'm left with an apartment garage with limited space. I need a work bench though. I'm interested in using hand tools a bit more. I don't have room for a traditional workbench, so I was wondering if I could make a work bench top that I clamp on top of the table saw. This seems fairly straight forward, and easy to store when I'm not using it. But, as far as clamping goes, I thought maybe of just using some 3/8 thick hard wood wedges and bench dogs to hold the flat work pieces for planing, carving, clamping, etc. I can't figure out how I could clamp anything vertically for planing the edges of the boards, or cutting dove tails. Any thoughts?
 

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In History is the Future
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If you have solid stops on the bench you can use wedges against it for supporting work on edge for planing and such.

For dovetailing and the likes you could build a little auxiliary vise, commonly but inaccurately called a Moxon vise. It can be secured to the top edge of a work bench with a few clamps. A quick search came up with Swartz's (big surprise) take on it - http://www.popularwoodworking.com/w.../declaring-victory-with-the-double-screw-vise

Good luck
 

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Use hand-screw clamps laid on their side to hold the piece vertically and then other clamps to hold the hand-screw clamps in place.

Kind of like this picture only imagine the hand-screw clamps on top of the bench without a vise.
 

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My table saw takes up a ton of room, then there is my brewery, as does my large Mac toolbox I had to bring home from work. I'm left with an apartment garage with limited space. I need a work bench though. I'm interested in using hand tools a bit more. I don't have room for a traditional workbench, so I was wondering if I could make a work bench top that I clamp on top of the table saw. This seems fairly straight forward, and easy to store when I'm not using it. But, as far as clamping goes, I thought maybe of just using some 3/8 thick hard wood wedges and bench dogs to hold the flat work pieces for planing, carving, clamping, etc. I can't figure out how I could clamp anything vertically for planing the edges of the boards, or cutting dove tails. Any thoughts?

Give the sawtop bench an apron on each side of the saw (front and back). Then there are a few possibilities.

1) Use long pipe or bar clamps that go from the back of the saw to the front to clamp things to the front of the bench.

2) Drill dog holes in the front apron, and use a set of dogs to support a board from the bottom, and use dogs and wedges to hold it from the sides. Or just wedge it from the sides... that would probably work just fine as well.

3) Inlay T-track into the apron, and use clamps that slide into the T-track to support your workpiece. That's probably the most versatile, but also probably the most expensive and most work.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Wrangler said:
Check out Veritas WonderDogs. I use them in place of an tail vice.
It says they're min. 7/8" tall. How do you set up for work thinner than that? Do you have to have a bunch of hard board laying around to put under the board you're working?
 

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It says they're min. 7/8" tall. How do you set up for work thinner than that? Do you have to have a bunch of hard board laying around to put under the board you're working?
Yes, I use pieces of 1/4" and 1/2" plywood to hold thin pieces above the bench dogs.
 

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Master firewood maker
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Or you could build a new-fangled bench top that lets you use pipe clamps for holding stuff. something along these lines ...
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Wrangler said:
I like this approach; also don't forget holdfasts!
Yeah, I like the table design there too. Are holdfasts a smaller diameter than the 3/4" dog holes? Do they have some kind of a bend in them in order for them to stay stuck in your bench top? I have a friend who is an amazing blacksmith. I may see if he could make me some if I get some dimensions on them.
 

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a little more detail on what i was thinking ...

the center inserts are 3/4" thick MDF. you can put stops of different heights on one side of them if you want for planing or whatever.

then you can simply flip one of the inserts over to use that, and then flip it back when you are done.

also note that there are other holes in the center pieces that let you put the clamps in different spots as desired.

i can add more detail later if there is any interest for it.
 

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sorry ... not trying to spam the thread or anything ... just one more angle ...

you could even have a floor on the thing and have a well where you can stash stuff you use alot
 

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Yeah, I like the table design there too. Are holdfasts a smaller diameter than the 3/4" dog holes? Do they have some kind of a bend in them in order for them to stay stuck in your bench top? I have a friend who is an amazing blacksmith. I may see if he could make me some if I get some dimensions on them.
The hold fasts that I use are 11/16" dia. And wedge in the 3/4" dod holes in my bench top. If I had a friend that was a blacksmith, I would have hand forged ones. Mine were all purchased from WoodCrafters, and were machine forged in Korea.
 

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+1 on gramercy holdfasts. I had trouble with them at first and thought they needed tweaked, so I roughed up the shaft with some sandpaper as they mention on their webpage and then glued on a leather pad. After that they weren't much better, but playing around I realized it was my technique. Now I can set and release them with the heel of my hand.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Chris Curl said:
sorry ... not trying to spam the thread or anything ... just one more angle ... you could even have a floor on the thing and have a well where you can stash stuff you use alot
Spam away my friend! I'm a bit confused on the removable MDF panels though. Do you pull them all out, put the work piece in their spot, and tighten up the pipe clamps?
 

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Well, a "real" new-fangled workbench has clamps going lengthwise as well. The inserts are there for primarily 2 reasons: (1) so you can hold stuff on the top of the table, and (2) to make it easy to move (or remove) the front clamps.



But they can also do other stuff, like putting a planing stop on one side of an insert, or as a disposable place for drilling into, or probably a bunch of other things that don't come to mind yet.

I have found this approach to be extremely flexible. So I was thinking along those lines as I was brainstorming about what you are looking to do.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Chris Curl said:
for reference, here is a video about the new-fangled workbench ... http://www.finewoodworking.com/workshop/video/new-fangled-workbench-revisited.aspx
I'm having a hard time deciding between the versatility if the NF and the small portability of the Moxton. With the Moxton, I need a small bench top to put over top of my saw, but it wouldn't be taking up space like the permanent permanent like the NF. Maybe I can make the NF top without legs, and just add them when I get a house.
 
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