Want to make a workbench in basement. Bunch o' questions.


I'm finally going to create a hopefully large workbench in my fairly large basement.
1. Are there any spectacular sets of diagrams for workbenches that people here particularly like?
2. Should the table-top of it be (true) 1 1/2", 1", or some thick plywood or particle board?
3. What's the "good" height and depth?
4. Is there an advantage to having it angle across one of the corners of the basement?
5. Should it stand against the wall?
Here's some of what I hope to do with it, off the top of my head.
1. put a small tablesaw on it. 2. Fix chairs 3. Hoist a lawnmower up on it to replace the wheels. 4. Bolt my anvil vise to it. 5. Use it for holding boards I hack at with a hand-circular saw. 6. Possibly mount (no clue) a mitre saw or similar 7. Build very simple bookcases, shelving, etc. 8. Cut crown molding (etc., etc.)
Any tips and or pointers and or things you *wish* you had thought of before putting one together yourself?
THANKS!
--
"It's easier to be terrified by an enemy you admire."
-Thufir Hawat, Mentat and Master of Assassins to House Atreides
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I'd strongly recommend "The Workbench Book" by Scott Landis/Taunton Press, and a couple of your expectations point to an easily replaceable topskin in the final design. Tom
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putting one together yourself?
Lawn Mower, anvil vice and a large basement? I would say you should build a nice "utility" bench that just happens to have a nice face vice on it. Put the anvil vise on a board that you can clamp into your face vise so that you can remove it in case you want to have the entire top clear. You need something to start working on, but it doesn't have to be your ideal woodworking bench. This can be a nice bench that later handles you grinder, anvil vise and sharpening stones or whatever. After a while, you will want to upgrade your bench and then you will have a better idea on what to make.
djs
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I'll second that recomendation. And add that I have a strong preference for a free-standing bench. Being able to get around all sides of something is really handy.
-Steve

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wrote in message

Fine Woodworking's annual tools and shops issue (on the shelf now) has a decent bench you can build for not too much money.
You might build that bench, or use that design for a starting point. A nifty suggestion is to go to a building surplus store and get a blemished solid core smooth door to use for the tabletop. It might cost you $30 or so, but will be plenty flat and inexpensive compared to making the same thing out of plywood or MDF.
1/2 your height is a good rule of thumb for bench top height. Other considerations are whether you want to store anything under it. My bench is just high enough so I can slide my two roll-away tool chests under it.
Unless your space is limited, you might build both a workbench - i.e. a large, flat, sturdy surface which is good for assembling stuff and doing layout work, AND a workstation for your tools. If you bolt all that stuff to the top of your workbench, you'll probably run out of room on the tabletop...
KB
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Kyle Boatright said something like:
...[rip]...

Hmmm, seems like sound advice. I was also wonderring if it might make sense to have a bi-level section. Some lower part of the workbench. Might be a waste though.

This has been a concern of mine. Having a different section for all that might really make sense, thanks. Though I like the idea of a more modular approach with the facing vise, though still not entirely sure how feasible it really is.
--
"Gentlemen, you can't fight in here! This is the War Room!"



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How about a torsion box top? http://web.archive.org/web/20030216032558/www.americanwoodworker.com/200111/projects/index.html
Mike
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On Sun, 01 Jan 2006 17:26:12 GMT, "Thomas G. Marshall"

You can't really go wrong making it too thick. Having it really solid when you need to pound the crap out of something and all the other stuff piled on top of it doesn't jump off onto the concrete floor is nice. A single layer of 3/4 plywood is adequate, double layer is nice. A layer of 1/4" masonite/hardboard gives a replaceable top.

The rule you hear a lot for height is to put your arms down at your sides and then put you hands out with palms down. The bench should be right at palm level. If it is equal in height to the table saw you can use it to support long boards, but you don't want it higher as it will get in the way.
For depth ideally you want to be able to reach across it without stretching. Up against the wall about 24" is good, anything over 30" is hard to reach.

If you have it against the wall you can bolt it to the wall and have a sturdy bench without overbuilding it. The disadvantage is if you have something wider than your bench then it can only overhang on one side, and for some projects you want to be able to get around to all sides. I have mine with one of the short ends up against the wall.

The table saw does not want to be on your workbench. To get a comfortable working height for your bench would mean an uncomfortable height for the saw. You say you have a largish basement, put the saw on its own stand with a mobile base.

The miter saw wants to be down in a recess so that its table is the same height as the rest of the bench to support long boards. For the type of projects you say you want to do I'd put this high on the list.

You are going to make bookcases on the floor unless you have a really big assembly table or they are narrow bookcases. Make sure you can get the bookcase out of the basement before gluing :)

No matter how much horizontal surface area you have it isn't enough, so as long as you don't run out of space you will always find whatever you make gets used. Don't worry about getting it perfect for everything you conceivably want to do because it will never happen, just get something built and get on with what you want to do.
-Leuf
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Leuf said something like:

Yeah, others seem to say/hint at that.

EXCELLENT! I was ponderring this very notion.... A shorter section of the WB might be a very useful thing for other projects as well.

Ah....of course. Thanks.

Please don't tell me you found this out the hard way....

This is a failing of mine: I research things and design them to /death/ before action. The result when creating something is that it is almost always /way/ over-engineered. I built a wooden stand for a fishtank one time---it could have held up a car.

--
"Gentlemen, you can't fight in here! This is the War Room!"



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Hi Thomas,
See my <Paul Stewart> posting in alt.binaries.pictures.woodworking group dated Sunday, January 01, 2006 10:17 PM Subject line that reads; Great workbench for 80 bucks
I have the plan attached in Acrobat pdf and pictures of how I altered the plan to fit my own needs.
Later Gator,
Paul
finally going to create a hopefully large workbench in my fairly large <BR>basement.<BR><BR><BR>1. Are there any spectacular sets of diagrams for workbenches that people <BR>here particularly like?<BR><BR>2. Should the table-top of it be (true) 1 1/2", 1", or some thick plywood or <BR>particle board?<BR><BR>3. What's the "good" height and depth?<BR><BR>4. Is there an advantage to having it angle across one of the corners of the <BR>basement?<BR><BR>5. Should it stand against the wall?<BR><BR><BR>Here's some of what I hope to do with it, off the top of my head.<BR><BR>1. put a small tablesaw on it.<BR>2. Fix chairs<BR>3. Hoist a lawnmower up on it to replace the wheels.<BR>4. Bolt my anvil vise to it.<BR>5. Use it for holding boards I hack at with a hand-circular saw.<BR>6. Possibly mount (no clue) a mitre saw or similar<BR>7. Build very simple bookcases, shelving, etc.<BR>8. Cut crown molding<BR>(etc., etc.)<BR><BR>Any tips and or pointers and or things you *wish* you had thought of before <BR>putting one together yourself?<BR><BR>THANKS!<BR><BR>-- <BR>"It's easier to be terrified by an enemy you admire."<BR>-Thufir Hawat, Mentat and Master of Assassins to House Atreides<BR><BR></BLOCKQUOTE></BODY></HTML>
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