Sensitized to formaldehyde/need workbench

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Thank you! Do you use so many couplings to protect the nipples???
Some of the terminology that goes along with the pipes is finally starting to make sense--and it didn't come to me particularly easy. ;) If it wasn't for the Internet I might have my 4 by 4's and 2 by 4's bolted together by now. Instead I'm preparing to build a "millipedes" with twelves to fourteen 48" legs---heavy ones too! I seem to learn something new every day.
Bill
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"Bill" wrote:

Industry standard, one coupling per length of pipe, in this case a 48" nipple.
Coupling protects threads on free end, fixed end pipe clamp protects other end.
Enjoy.
Lew
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Lew,
So it would start out at 1 1/2 inches thick (before flattening). Will that be adequate for a 7' by 30" top (I realize there are other variables, and I'm planning a 3' section in the middle which will have to deal with gravity on its own...)? You may have seen my preliminary design pictures at a.b.p.w.
What if I were to cut the lumber into two inch wide strips instead and glue the (factory) faces? For one, I'd be "guaranteed" good glueing surfaces, no? By the way, I used my raincheck and picked up the last of my 15 pipe clamps. I picked up another rub brick too--I wore the first one out...when those screws in the rub brick hit the concrete it's worse than chalk on a chalkboard....I'm still cringing. I wore the darn thing out and then some.
Bill

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"Bill" wrote:

You are making a mountain out of a mole hill<G>.
1) Start with a 2x8 and sand one side with some 100 grit.
2) Rip 2x8 approximately in half.
3) Glue and clamp sanded faces together with factory edge down for registration (Alternate clamps up/down).
4) Repeat above to make 10 sets for a 30" wide bench.
5) Repeat process above making 5 sets, gluing sanded faces together.
6) Repeat process making one set 18" wide and one set 12" wide, gluing sanded faces together.
7) Repeat process to form 30" wide top, gluing sanded faces together..
8) Head to the drum sanding shop and end up with 30" Wide x 73" long x 3-1/2" finished top ready for final trim.
9) Return home, Pop-A-Top, maybe 2-3, and enjoy the fruits of your labor.
Question for the CW folks:
Where did the phrase "Pop-A-Top" come from?
Lew
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I'm not sure where Pop-A-Top actually started out, but where I used to hear it, when you heard it, the lights came on and that meant you had to leave...
Thank you for the detailed directions! If I'm going to make a mountain out of a molehill I want to do it right! At this point, the idea of a 3"+ top is starting to make me drool.
I've been putting more thought into vises and drawers. The machinist vise idea doesn't seem as right anymore (the problem is that's what I grew up with...). I saw a likable looking "Emmet vise" in "The Workbench Book" (by Landis). That made me drool too. I haven't checked availability or prices. Some dang fool requested the book at the library, so I had to return it. So I ordered it from Amazon (along with another book along the lines of "fun with concrete").
I think among my first posts, we were talking about minstrel style banjos...
I try to keep working towards these goals...I'm on my 2nd rub brick, and am getting pretty good at SketchUp. Came home and raked leaves. I have a job. Life is good. Hope everyone herely mostly feels as good, or better.
Bill
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Bill wrote:

I don't have anything to add Bill other than I enjoyed reading your post. You seem like a right nice feller. :-)
--
"Even if your wife is happy but you're unhappy, you're still happier
than you'd be if you were happy and your wife was unhappy." - Red Green
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Steve Turner wrote:

Thanks Steve, I'm glad you enjoyed my post. -Bill
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"Bill" wrote:

Depending on the bar, it was "Good Night Ladies" or "They All Get Better looking At Closing Time", depending on the clientelle.

If you really want to guild the lilly, knock out any knots and then back fill proud with epoxy fairing putty, then sand when cured.
Do this before any glue-up work.
Lew
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Bill, I'm with several others here. I built mine out of SYP. Very heavy and stable. After a couple of years, I planed the top, thinking the wood had probably moved and I would be reflattening it. Not so! I merely removed some shallow scratches, and when I saw I was taking uniform thin shavings, decided that I wouldn't take the chance of messing up a good thing going after a few errant chisel marks.
If you have a jointer and planer, it can make stock prep for the glue-up MUCH easier, but unless you have an aircraft carrier size jointer, you will not flatten the finished bench with that. Some have suggested taking it to a commercial shop to get the top finished on their wide belt sander. That would be a lot easier than doing the rough flattening with planes (as I did). But I don't see how that process could make it flat (if that is important to you). Maybe someone who has used that approach could address that. After the final flattening of my bench with my #8, it is nowhere convex, and concavity is on the order of 0.001" per foot. Specifically, anywhere on my top, I can only fit a 0.002" to 0.005" feeler gage under the center of a four foot straightedge.
--
Alex -- Replace "nospam" with "mail" to reply by email. Checked infrequently.

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"alexy" wrote:

Typical drum sander has three, 48" wide, sanding drums, about 12"-15" diameter, each driven by a 20-25HP motor with coarse, medium and fine drums.
Operates much the same as a planer taking off the high spots about 1/64"-1/32" per pass.
You definitely end up with a flat surface.
Lew
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A drum sander doesn't have the feed rollers that a planer has, it has a conveyor belt underneath, and a fairly long table. So it is better at flattening than a planer if you flip it over after each pass. But it depends on how thick the stock is and how bad the problems were. It's much more effective to use a sled and shim under it and flatten one side then flip it over, that's really the only way to get it *flat* if it was bowed or twisted to start with. But for something workbench top size it really should end up flat without much trouble as the thickness means it's not going to deflect very much. If you glue it up with a serious bow or twist in it then you may have issues, but if it's reasonable to start with it should end up pretty darn flat.
But if that's what you have to resort to then I'd say you're better off buying a premade slab from Grizzly or Ikea.
-Kevin
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wrote:

Drill all the parts before you glue them together - pass a length of allthread through each set of holes and tighten the nuts. No external clamps required. If you like you can put another peice over the end of the althread, or better yet counterbore the outer boards and put plugs in on the "front" side to hide the fasteners. The workbench will NEVER split.
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Bill wrote:

Sensitization sucks--one of the best painters at Enormous Aerospace where I used to work walked into the plant one day, picked up the same spray gun he had been using every day for 20 years, puffed up like a balloon, and had to be rushed to the hospital. He couldn't even come into the plant anymore after that.
A club I belong to has a rule on all club functions--NO STRAWBERRIES--one of the founder members walked into a party one time and keeled over--turned out that there were strawberries just sitting in a bowl and unbeknownst to him he had become sensitized--he didn't even touch them, they got him from across the room--and we'd rather have him than the strawberries.
What kind of projects do you want to do? If you're talking furniture crafting or cabinetry then you need a flat top somewhere for a reference surface--on the other hand a machinists vise sticking up will get in the way of that kind of use. If you're looking for a mechanic's bench throwing something together from 2x4 and 2x6s should work fine. If you want it to be immobile then fasten a 2x4 cleat to the studs on the wall and fasten one side of the benchtop to that--it's not going to go anywhere unless you manage to knock the building down.
Ideally if you're doing both mechanical and woodworking projects you want both anyway--no matter how careful you are you're going to get metal chips and oil and whatnot on the mechanicking bench and using it for woodworking will result in the chips scratching your finish and oil and grease getting onto the unfinished wood.
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This is an excellent book:
(Amazon.com product link shortened)
I think it's appropriate for you because it covers a wide variety of approaches the topic of "workbench" ... from traditional european to Japanese to conteporary plywood designs... even a chaper on the ubiquitous "Workmate".
A great book book if you're not sure what type of bench to build. And by "bench", I mean, loosely defined, shop work surface.
That said, I have arguably 4 "workbenches" in my shop. Different shapes/designs and materials work better for differnt operations.
For instance my TS outfeed table is made from a sheet of melamine. It's totally inappropriate as a "pounding surface" but it makes a fantastic assembly table and finishing space because it is flat, I can get in three sides of it and neither glue nor finishes stick to it.
A single bench is just about never good at everything. It really depends on what you want to do with it.
Regards,
Steve
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wrote:

...
Hey Bill, I built my (large) workbench from 2x4s. After 18 years it is banged up, stained, gouged, etc. From time to time I use a belt sander on it to clean it up a little.
I know about formaldehyde. Once I worked in a new building and several of us got headaches every day from the outgassing of man-made materials (particleboard, carpeting, chairs, ceiling tiles, glues, etc.) You can "age" ply in the garage for 3-4 months, but I would not recommned it if allergic.
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Thank you for all of the thoughtful suggestions. Since I grew up with one workbench, I hadn't considered having more than one, but that's makes more sense--one to "fix mechanical things or open a can of paint" on and one to pursue woodworking on. I am interested in developing skills in luthiery (e.g. setting up the bridge or sound post on a fiddle) and perhaps eventually building a whole instrument or three. I'll start small :) It hadn't really thought about how oil from one project could really muck-up woodwork in the other. I'm going to review all of the books and materials that were recommended. I'm always grateful for your thoughts and suggestions!
BTW, I noticed Woodcraft has 2" thick granite surface plate (tool shop "A" grade) and a honing guide on sale this month. I intend to try the "scary sharp" sharpening technique. I have a new plane and a new set of chisels that have never been used.
http://www.woodcraft.com/Product/2004864/7535/Granite-Surface-Plate.aspx
http://www.woodcraft.com/Product/2003114/576/Honing-Guide.aspx
Please let me know whether you can vouch for this sharpening solution. I'll keep thinking about workbenches! :)
Thanks, Bill
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I am interested in developing skills

A related note:
The absolutely coolest special-purpose workbench I have seen was at a luthier.
It had adjustible posts with pads that to which you could strap an iregular (carved back) guitar. This allowed hin to secure the guitar for things like dressing frets.
The really cool feature was that the whole top could pivot along it's long axis so that rotate the guitar into playing position (to test it) without unsecuring it from the bench top.
-Steve
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*snip*

*snip*
I've got something very similar, and it's useless. Maybe the Woodcraft version would be better, but mine doesn't seem to lock down tight or match the contour on the chisel (that's probably part of the problem.)
You might get better results cutting an angled piece of wood (I hear Skil makes an angle finder ha ha), and applying a rare earth magnet to the top. Then add a couple small wheels.
Puckdropper
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reason why all trees have to be grounded..." -- Bored Borg on
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Bill wrote:

Can't you get shots?
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Nope, I asked.
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