I am about to build a new workbench in our basement. I have my own
ideas but would like to get ideas and potentially plans from
Anybody know where I might find such helpful information on the net?
Tue, Nov 9, 2004, 6:28am (EST+5) email@example.com
(Jeffrey J. Kosowsky) asks only:
<snip> Anybody know where I might find such helpful information on the
Viet Nam, divorce, cancer. Been there, done that. Now, where the Hell
are my T-shirts?
SURE! The best: http://www.geocities.com/plybench/bench.html a MASS
of links related to your request. Enjoy, but it will take a while to through all
of it. BTW these links are related to classic woodworking benches, not garage
benches ("I think"). For that I would laminate a bunch of 2x2 DF and sheet
over that of plywood, on a basic 2x4 leg frame, or go with "2x4 basics" stuff.
On Tue, 09 Nov 2004 06:28:08 GMT, firstname.lastname@example.org (Jeffrey
J. Kosowsky) wrote:
Scott Landis' Workbench book from Taunton Press.
<(Amazon.com product link shortened)>
I believe they've a new one out too, by Lon Schleining
<(Amazon.com product link shortened)>
Workbenches are expensive and you have to live with them a long time
afterwards. Read both books. Tell us what you think of the second one!
"Workbenches" is too broad a subject to really give a single answer.
How much space have you got ? What will you do with it ? How much
money or time can you spend on making it ?
My own most recent workbench is a stretched Tage Frid design, from his
3rd book. I'm not sure I'd do it again - nice top, love the moving
dogs, but I wouldn't do another shoulder vice on my "main" workbench.
I'm not sure what I'd do, just that I don't like the shoulder vice.
It's a good vice for holding bulky half-built things, but it's useless
for small stuff. There's a large wobbling wooden jaw, closed by a
steel screw two inches below the top level. You can't hold anyhting
less than 3" tall, or the jaw just tilts.
I'd probably go for the largest and widest cast iron vice I could
find, with wooden jaws added.
Here's the best one I've seen, a 3-in-1 shoulder vise:
I might just do it if I could get it going with the large tapping and threading.
I mean it looks really easy and innovative, all you need is front vise hardware,
put in a longer jaw that goes off to the right a bit further, tap and thread, have
a block of wood as the spacer and you're on all the way. Even then, you might
be able to use a shorter bench screw instead of tapping and threading. With that
you'd need to be able to remove the face that's on that bench screw.
The front vice and shoulder vice seem to be straightforward and as you
described below. I'm wondering about modifying the shoulder vice so the
screw could stay in place and go into a horizontal recess in the tabletop.
In use one would simply place the face on the screw and be on your way. Of
course the screw would have to come out when long items are in the front
I appreciate any thoughts and insight.
Hard to picture, but I'd think that would take away area/space when in face mode
and maybe limit the tail mode for movement.
Yes that's the problem if using a bench screw for the shoulder mode. how does the
face attach to the screw's end? No hands-on experience here.
Did you see the pictures of the whole plan? I wouldn't include the tail vise part
myself because of the space I have. You can see the tail jaws in the top picture.
Awesome design altogether.
I built that Frid bench about 10 years ago too and I hear ya on all points. I
really don't dislike the shoulder vise, in fact it really fits in well with the
way I work. But I do miss a conventional vise sometimes and I've often felt an
Emmert clone on the opposite end from the tail vise would be great. Three vises
on one bench might be a bit over the top... but still ;)
P.S. Its always good to have a smallish/medium sized machinist's vise mounted
on a board that can be trapped in one of the vises on your bench. Very handy!
Friend of mine has one of these as his only woodworking vice. It's
very useful, but a bit of a pain to use. You don't often want to tilt
or wedge it, but there's no good "off" position where the wedging cam
will sit still with the jaws square. It's a bit slow to work with, as
you're always having to tweak it back square.
It's nice and wide for an iron vice though.
I'm a bit wary of that - most of my work is in one of two materials;
oak or welded steel. I'm pretty paranoid across cross contamination
between them and iron staining. Mainly I use two workshops, 40 miles
apart - I think that's enough separation! For cleanliness I keep the
small metalworking vice that's in the woodworking shop on my old
bench, not the "clean" bench.
Andy, I noticed you built the top from oak. While typically maple is
recommended in the States, I have a (extremely current, extremely
reasonable) source of kiln-dried oak. I am also becoming well aware of the
limitations (sturdiness, mostly) of my first bench, built of construction
timber three years ago.
Would you do yours in oak again? Or Euro beech, or similar?
I'd think about changing the shoulder vice, but I've no complaints
about the benchtop material.
I used oak because I was offered it basically for free. I didn't
really _need_ a new bench right that minute, but clearly these couple
of 2" boards had "new bench" written on them. The only timber I
actually bought was the 3x4 thick stuff for the ends.
With a year's wear on the top I've put a couple of saw nicks into it
but it's holding up pretty well. No impact or surface damage or
staining. I don't often use it for assembly, but when I do so I pad
the assembly table with a blanket of quilted cheap fleece (printed
with little snowmen and teddy bears, which is why it was so cheap !).
I don't hold with this idea of "soft benchtops" to avoid damage.
I could have had beech. There's a fair bit of 2" beech around, and
it's a little cheaper than the oak. If I was paying for it, it's
£25/cube foot vs. £35/cube foot for 2" boards..
Maple is unheard of round here. I have a little of it, but it's
skinny, lumpy boards. Anything big enough to build a bench would be
imported, and the imported timber shop is twice the price of the local
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