Thoughts on metal-working station for woodworkers

I suck at metal working, right bad. But there is not escaping it; some needs to be done here and there. I finally picked up a mechanics vise (real nice one surplus at Lee Valley) and I have to say, a lot better then trying to hold something in a wood-faced vise (easier on the vise too!).
Now I am wanting to permanently mount it to a sort of "metal working station" with some drawers beneath, that sort of thing. Having never done such a thing I thought I would solicit some thoughts.
So, ideas? Lessons, great examples? Weight might be a big deal, since one might tend to bang things one it, or kind be pulling on this or that...otherwise, I am at a loss other then a cabinet with the vise mounted.
PK
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My house came with one. The fella either built it himself, or got it from his factory job. When I thought where I'd put a metalwork vise, lo there were bolt holes already there. Anyway, it's big and ugly. 4x4 legs, 2x6 apron and cross members, two crossed layers of 1x T&G for the top. Carriage bolts hold it together. It's 28" square and 34" high. I use it to hold my drill press, grinder, buffer, and coffeemaker.
I made a wee anvil from a mending plate and scraps of maple and oak. It suffices for the occasional rivet.
--
"Keep your ass behind you."

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"Paul Kierstead" writes:

You need to start "networking".
Find a couple of metal working machine shops, especially ones with welding fabrication capabilities.
A little conservation, maybe a case of beer, and an offer to swap some woodworking.
Suddenly, you have a metal working station in your wood working shop.
SFWIW, I can do metal working, but don't, especially since there are so many that do a much better job than I am willing or can do.
HTH
--
Lew

S/A: Challenge, The Bullet Proof Boat, (Under Construction in the Southland)
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What's "metalworking" ? Does it make iron filings? Hand filing is OK, powered angle grinders will throw black oak-staining iron dust all around the workshop. Think very hard about the dirt management problems - I keep a 40 mile distance between my woodwork and metalwork benches (seriously - a friend and I segregate our workshops. Admittedly we do a lot of welding.)
Any heat involved ?
Any oil involved ? Lots of metalworkers have a "clean" bench for working on, and would no more dismantle a car engine on it than woodworkers would.
Bench tops for metalworking needn't be metal, but they should be something like melamine laminate (Formica) at the least. It's harder on the bench surface than woodworking.
When sawing, woodworkers push downwards, metalworkers largely push horizontally. Diagonal bracing front-to-back becomes even more important.
A bench is much less important for metal than wood, and the vice is much more important. You can do a lot of metalwork with "a vice on a stick", and you rarely need to lay a piece down flat for planing.
Drawers are a bad idea. Metal crud is even more pervasive than sawdust. If you do go for this, make sure they're well sealed. A door may be better than drawers.
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"Paul Kierstead"

<snip here and there
Paul, I have both. I am admittedly a tool junkie. I enjoy welding, metalworking as well as woodworking. This however presents big problems. In order to be a good woodworker you have to have some metalworking skills anyway. Sharpening tools, ect.
I have to clean up all of the sawdust/shavings from under benches and tools to prevent fires from welding/grinding. Cover all of the machine tool (wood and metal) prior to welding/grinding. Clean up all of the metal shavings from the drill press and lathe before starting a woodworking project. All of the metal working tools and welders get a dust coating that needs attention before use. And on and on.
There are also many benefits. I make my own jigs, hold downs, clamp racks, fences, gates and much more. I can not tell you how many times I have fixed a problem with a quick cut, fit, then weld.
My main metal working/welding grinding is on a very heavy, sturdy, mobile cart with a 1/4" thick steel plate.
http://www.teamcasa.org/workshop/metalworking.htm
Here are some pictures.
Dave
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If you have a nice, sturdy, well-mounted woodworking vise, and the mechanic's vise is not too big, you can mount the mechanic's vise to a block of wood, and clamp it in the woodworking vise when you need it.
--

Larry Wasserman Baltimore, Maryland
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Paul Kierstead wrote:

[snip] Lots of good advice here so I won't belabor the points. Just one more thing: Go to www.grizzly.com and look under metal working (paper catalogs are neat too). Once you can get your mouth closed and the drooling stopped, look into the availability of adult-ed metal shop classes in your area.     mahalo,     jo4hn
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I second the "metalworking vise bolted to a block of wood held in the woodworking vise" idea. You can also hold a small bench grinder that way.
I also have a piece of exterior grade MDO plywood with a cleat along the front that covers part of my woodworking bench for metalworking and sharpening sessions. I use under waterstones, oilstones, when wet sanding rusty flea market handsaws with WD-40, and other messy operations.

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Weight Is a big factor. The heavier the better. Start thinking in terms of hundreds of pounds. You will be glad you did.

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