Bruce's Workbench

Ok, another Bruce Johnson creation hits the airwaves. Bruce builds a new workbench!
Anyone watch this episode? He starts by explaining how bad and wobbly his old workbench is, then decides on building a new one! I had high hopes when he specified hard maple for the frame. He made M&T joints and did the large mortises in the legs by dadoing two 2x4s and gluing them together. He even used the clipped head brad trick (also shown by Mr. Marks on his show today) to keep the large glued surfaces from sliding around. So far, no major screwups, just some poor fitting tenons that "will get cleaned up with some sanding", and some cheap hardware to hold it all together. I knew things were going downhill when he used basically a draw bolt arrangement to hold the legs together and had a flat washer and nut inside a 1" hole gripping against the curved side. I still was maintaining my composure until he decides to top off this hard maple workbench base. Did he use more hard maple? Noooooo! He decides on three layers of 3/4" MDF. Awesome dude! He spritzes on some yellow glue around the middle of one sheet and without even stopping to spread it out any slaps on the next sheet and installs about 100 screws "to give it incredible strength". Next layer and a few hundred more screws and he has a nice particle board workbench.... He did decide to protect the MDF from dents by banding the top with some more maple (attached to the MDF with brads, no glue) He went on to say that since he is always spilling cans of varnish and his coffee, he'll give the top a nice durable coat (2) of poly to protect this fine piece.
He claimed a total cost of $4-500 (including a small Record vise attached with lag bolts into the MDF).
I admit I've built benches this way, but I down graded his hard maple lower section to pine 2x4's and upgraded the top to some nicer plywood. Total cost about $20-30 (vise not included)
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build one, I would have glued better and maybe used a chunk of real wood sandwiched between the MDF in the corner for the vise. That said, I'd own it, and use the hell out of it.
Dig
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"Digger" <DW> wrote in message

I don't recall (saw this episode months ago), but did he use bolts or lag screws to mount that vise. I've never used MDF, but I've heard it said it doesn't hold screws very well, so lag screws might not be the best choice. Poly on a workbench doesn't sound too repairable, either.
Cheers, Eric
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if not a truck, through the hole in the top of the tenons in the "family heirloom table" and even my wife walked up to the boob tube and pointed it out and went "What the hell is this?" LOL I don't even have any problems with you pointing out the man's shortcomings (he's definately got them). My concern was that of my understanding of the show, and my conceptions of being able to make good use of that bench for the uses I described. It was also on my thinking that on the tenons that finishing to size was better than too loose. I will admit that I learned to cut MDF paterns for parts and run them through the router to make clean curves and stuff. It works very well. As a newbie in the WW stuff (IT/Network regular job), I have a ton to learn, and that is why I was questioning your comments, not defending Bruce.
Digger
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"Grant P. Beagles" wrote:

I made the workbench and I think it's good for an inexpensive workbench (if made from 2x4s and not maple). The problem is that the workbench is not Bruce's at all. The plan, every idea, every tip, etc., comes from a Workbench magazine article/plan written by another woodworker. If you try to get the plan from DIY you will be directed to a pay plan web site.
Brenton
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Brenton Olander writes:

Try getting a plan from David Marks' site. You have to pay just to get a materials list, or so I'm told.
Charlie Self
"The California crunch really is the result of not enough power-generating plants and then not enough power to power the power of generating plants." George W. Bush
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