Why so little triangulation for strength under a workbench?

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On Sat, 13 Aug 2005 08:58:15 -0400, "Owen Lawrence"

I wonder exactly the same thing. The work bench I built used doubled up two by fours for strength but I used diagonal bracing on three sides for rigidity. See http://tinyurl.com/bqd4k
This bench doesn't move when it's not lifted on its casters.
TWS
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wrote:

Nice. How do the casters work?
- Owen -
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On Sun, 21 Aug 2005 08:35:37 -0400, "Owen Lawrence"

twists an angle iron under the bench, which, in turn, pushes up on 4 2x4s that act as lever arms to press the casters to the floor. When retracted the casters fully retract so the bench is sitting on solid wood feet. When lifted up the feet are raised a little over 1/4 inch and the bench is moveable. If you want the gory details, email me and I'll send you a more detailed description. You can find my email address on my website.
TWS
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I think I understand your explanation. I will definitely have some sort of retractable wheel mechanism on my next bench, and your way gives me one more possible approach.
One thing I also want to add is an easy (really easy) way of levelling the table. No floor I've ever encountered is completely flat, so if you move your bench (and if it's got wheels, you will), you have to level it again. I haven't thought about it much, but I worry that anything like extensible feet would just ruin the structural integrity gained by all those triangles.
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On Sun, 21 Aug 2005 21:45:48 -0400, "Owen Lawrence"
<snip>

I wanted the bench top to be flat but I see no reason why it needs to be absolutely level. If it were used to align with another piece of equipment or table then I could understand why that might be useful but, to me, the value of having a rock solid feel is significantly higher than having the table level. As you point out, it will be very difficult to make levelers that will be as solid as the base with the diagonal bars. While it is possible I don't see that it is worth the extra effort.
TWS
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Don't let the semantics distract you. It's flatness that I'm really interested in. If the table support frame is absolutely rigid, unless it only has three legs it's going to rock until the fourth leg's length is adjusted to meet the floor. It's an overconstrained system. If the frame isn't absolutely rigid, it's going to change its shape to match the floor, which is also bad.
I already experience this with my new router table. I'm always moving it around, and it's very rigid over its four legs. When I need to lower it from its wheels I just shim one of the legs (or keep moving it until I find a better spot, which is a pain). But a router table is a lot lighter and takes less abuse than a workbench so it's not a huge problem. I expect I'll get away with an extensible foot if I ever get around to adding one.
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On Mon, 22 Aug 2005 01:22:45 -0400, "Owen Lawrence"

also not planar then you have lost the advantage of the rigid base - the rigidity actually works against you. In my case the garage floor is reasonably planar so I can always find four points of contact by jockeying it around.
Let me know when you've finished your bench and what you come up with.
TWS
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