New shop open, my first workbench is finished, just not finished...


I've been saving money and building my small 20x20 shop for the last two years. I equipped it all at once with new machines, tools, etc. (since I didn't have anything to begin with).
My first project, naturally, is a workbench which I completed today. It still needs finish, I'm thinking shellac to seal the thirsty MDF and then varnish. I'm very pleased with my first attempt. I honestly don't have a piece of furniture this nice in my house which is o.k. since I don't live in the house anymore. I LIVE IN THE SHOP! (I'm a bachelor).
The front vise is Lee Valley's import quick-release which works great. The end vise I made with Lee Valley's vise screw and some iron pipe. The top is three layers of MDF glued up. Very flat, very strong, very heavy.
It's quite an ongoing learning experience. It's amazing how many mistakes you can make on one single piece of wood :) I'm hooked now, woodworking is like a drug, although more expensive than any drug I've ever heard of :)
I've got lots of pictures if you'd like to have a look:
http://members.cox.net/spam1/index.htm
gotta get back out to the shop, later, john
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Good goin' John.
I love that smooth curve on the side leading to that monster end vise. I trust that you will now buy a full complement of bench dog goodies from Lee Valley for your bench top.
And once again, love that monster end vise. It looks good and I am certain can grip some mighty big projects either in its jaws or with the bench dogs.
One comment about benches. I have used a lot of them over the years and two features that I like a lot is a tool tray and a shelf a few inches under the top. Not everybody likes them. I do. It is what I have on my bench.
On a big bench like yours, a tool tray would have to go in the center. Ehich could be problematic when working on a big project.
The thing I like about the shelf under the top is that you can stash tools under there while working on the top. Thereby leaving more room on the top for your project.
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Very nice! A guy could make a decent living with all that equipment at his disposal. Now for some plans...*S*
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Hell, for what it cost, he could probably live comfortably on the invested interest.
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Nice shop and nice bench. You did a good job if equipping it also. I'm sure you will have many pleasant hours out there making things.
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Edwin Pawlowski wrote:

So, John? Whattaya think about Grizzley Tools?<g>
I see you have A/C out there, what are you doing for heat?
Nice shop. Enjoy it.
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Thanks for the replys everyone. I still need to make cabinets, etc., a stand for the sander, lathe, mortiser, and so on...
I am impressed with the quality of the Grizzly tools. The only problem I've had was a bad chuck in the drill press and they had a replacement at my door the next day.
The air conditioner is awesome. I live in Oklahoma and I do not like the summers here. The shop will be my refuge from the heat. I spent a small fortune on insulating the shop but it was worth it. For heat I have a small propane heater to knock the edge off the chill. We had several days well below freezing and the shop was still in the 40's without using the heater.
As much as I'd like to be in the shop today I really need to get out of town so I'm riding the Valkyrie to Texas for a day trip.
"sawdust, it's not just for breakfast anymore...."
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Workbench looks real close to mine, which I built over 20 years ago with an mdf top, two layers. Still going strong. Mdf is replaceable of course but mine has taken a beating and is still functional. Ugly, but functional.
I have never added a vice to mine but would like to at some point.
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Hope you will show us your new cabinets and storage systems. I bet they will be creative. Excellent work on the bench...a beauty. Let's see your assembly table (you will hate assembling cabinets on the workbench) when you get it built.
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