Building workbench...how to level legs?

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I am wanting to build a workbench, but am unsure how to handle the slope/unevenness in my garage. Do I make one leg longer than another? Doing this would make it unlevel if I ever move. The legs/body is going to be from hard maple and design is based off the how-to bench from DIY network's show woodworking.
Any thoughts or ideas?
Thanks in advance - Clayton
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You could install adjustable leveling feet in each of the legs, you could just shim the short one(s), or you could build a level platform and set the workbench on top of it.
Lee
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On Mon, 08 Aug 2005 12:23:37 -0700, Dooler wrote:

I have a slope in the floor of my garage. I placed the table perpendicular to the the slope, and used shims to get everything level. Given the table is a couple of hundred pounds, everything is solid and level. If you have serious unevenness, this solution may not work. I did consider building a raised floor for the shop tools that I would make level. Did that once with the back porch when we converted it to a sun room. Compound slopes in two directions. It was tough to level out.
DGA
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Well, my afternoon project is addressing this problem on my workbench. I'm using these leveling feet available at Rockler http://tinyurl.com/9ao8v . I'll let you know how it works out. If you really want to go beefy, see charlie b's website at http://home.comcast.net/~charliebcz/MT/CBbench20.html . Mine cost $2.50 each. I think Charlies are $15.00 each. Guess which one is bigger and more heavy duty?
I found levelers on other websites similar to mine that quoted load bearing of 300 lb each. That should be sufficient. My biggest concern is whether they will cause the bench to slide around or not. I'll let you know.
BTW, my workbench is solid maple with 2 1/4" thick maple top, but its small (28" x 54"). With its heavy bench vise and a drawer full of planes I am guessing it weighs about 120 lb.
The DIY bench calls for mounting the vise directly to the edge of the bench. I recommend you mortise the rear jaw into the bench and below the surface. That allows you to have one continuous surface on top and the rear jaw of the vise is part of a continuous surface with your bench apron. I put a 4'" x 3/4" apron on my bench and extended it across the rear vise jaw. Its makes for a much friendlier clamping situation.
Bob
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"Dooler" wrote:

If I were faced with that problem, I'd build the bench with all legs the same length/
Then cut 4 extra pieces of leg material, say 12"-18" long.
Put the bench in place and then using a small hydraulic jack and some shim packs made from say 1/4" plywood, (The shim pack can be say 2"x6"), level the bench.
When you have the bench totally level. then clamp a 12"-18" piece to each leg so that it touches the floor and clamp in place with some C-Clamps.
Wait about 2 weeks, recheck bench for level. If level, bolt leg and piece together with some 3/8 bolts and large fender washers, then remove clamp.
SFWIW, ever wonder how they level out a 20 ton boat when they put it in a cradle or a house when they move it?
Same way.
Lew
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Lew Hodgett wrote:

What I describe above comes under the heading of BFU (Butt F**K Ugly)
Use only the shim packs.
If you make them 3x6 the you can turn successive layer 90 degrees.
Another approach is to drill a hole in the bottom of the leg, then install a 1/2-13 S/S Tee nut, then screw in a 1/2-13 x 3"-4" S/S carriage bolt with a lock nut.
If you are on a concrete floor this works, a wood floor, stay with the shim packs.
Lew
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I would think that 1/4" is way too thick to make fine adjustments on bench level. As little as a 1/16" inch can make the difference between rock solid and wobble (depends on how far apart the legs are but not much).
Bob
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BillyBob wrote:

So include some shims from a door skin.
Lew
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Couple of things to consider re: leg levelers for your bench
1. you want some friction at the contact area where the leveler meats the floor. The ones I used are 3 " in diameter
2. you want the foot to swivel so it'll sit flat on the floor
3. the easier they are to adjust the more apt you are to relevel as things settle. The ones I used are adjustable from the top using an allen wrench - much easier than trying to get two wrenches under a leg/base
I don't know what the bench you're doing look likes. The leve levelers I used work great on a sled base - won't work on four leg bench though. I also don't know if this is the first of several benches you intend to make. Most folks start out with a quick and dirty bench which later becomes an assembly bench and then build a better, more useful one later. Some go through several "ideal benches" before settling on their "final bench".
Before I built Das Bench I went through Scott Landis and Allen's workbench books along with all the magazine articles I could find on benches and bench building. Asked questions here and from a few woodworkers I know.
As strongly recomended, I bought the hardware (vises) before working out the first of many iterations of scaled "plans".
Enjoy building your bench, you'll learn a lot.
charlie b
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I installed them and they worked like a champ. I am using in a garage on bare concrete. I move the bench around on a wheeled carriage frequently so i have a need to re-adjust the feet often. I did not detect in slippage on the concrete floor. I found the ability to use screw adjustment as opposed to shims to be superior and more easy to get right quickly. Prior to this, I was using wood shim wedges under the legs. The screw adjustment is much more precise and allows me to get it perfect which adds to the stability.
Bob
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BillyBob wrote:

I'd go for Footmaster leveling foot castors, a combined castor and screw down/jacking foot, put a set on a 6'x6'x16' steel frame we needed to be able to move at work, it carries a 1000lb plus weight split furnace, no problems with movement or stability.
Niel.
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Nice product. I could only find the Japanese home web site. Where do you buy these in the Western hemisphere?
Bob
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On Wed, 10 Aug 2005 17:53:27 GMT, BillyBob wrote:

I found them at http://www.castersupply.com
Be prepared for sticker shock.
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Art Greenberg wrote:

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BillyBob wrote:

RS components in the UK: http://www.rs-components.com/index.html will get you a map, they do world wide shipping...
Niel.
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wrote:

The way I leveled my router table was to get four 3/4" bolts and matching nuts from the hardware store, and use them as heavy-duty levelers. Basically, I just drilled a 3/4" hole in the bottom of each leg as deep as the bolt could go, then a slightly larger hole for the nut to fit into. Six taps with the chisel turned that larger hole into a nice hex-shaped mortise, and then the legs could be leveled with a wrench no matter where I put it.
You can buy levelers as well, but this approach seemed more sturdy. FWIW, I wouldn't make the legs different sizes. At worst, you're better off just shimming them.
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I like your idea. If I had seen it originally, I wouldn't have wasted the money on levelers.
Bob
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On Mon, 8 Aug 2005 20:04:04 -0600, BillyBob wrote

I read about using lag screws the same way (no nut needed) -Bruce
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that's how I have my big bench set up. the loegs are 4x6, with 1/2" lags in from the botom, prolly close to a foot of thread engaging wood. it lets me "tune" the height and level as things around it shift.
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On Tue, 09 Aug 2005 02:04:04 GMT, "BillyBob"

Funny thing is, I went to the store to get levelers, but all they had were skimpy ones, so I went with that. Works nice, and I'm sure you'll be making more tables, benches, etc. at some point, so I'm sure you can try it out some other time!
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