Anybody got any pointers to designs for woodworking benches?
I'm sketching-out some ideas for a woodworking bench top to fit on an
existing sturdy metal frame. The top's going to be 1500x660 (overhanging
slightly at each end), a tool well at the back, a quick release vice set
on the front and a standard vice on the end. Probably also a removable
panel to drop-in a router.
Buying/laminating loads of Beech strips seems like too much work and
expense so I'm thinking of laminating 3 layers of 18mm ply (or maybe
MDF) and edging it with some 30mm wide Beech. There'll be a sacrificial
layer of 6mm MDF on the top that will get changed when necessary. Does
this sound sensible?
Any suggestions for (UK) stockists of thicker ply? or HDF, or Beech
kitchen worktops at a sensible price?
(I'll post this in alt.woodworking too)
Google has lots of info. See also the following books:
"The Workbench: A Complete Guide to Creating Your Perfect Bench", Lon
"The Workbench Book: A Craftsman's Guide to Workbenches for Every Type
of Woodworking", Scott Landis
"Making Workbenches: * Planning * Building * Outfitting", Sam Allen
Well, the other source to look into is pretty much anything by Chris
Schwartz, one of the editor types at Popular Woodworking, a US based
magazine. That, and Woodworking, which is sort of newstand only in the
States, and no ads. A great bit of publishing that may or may not live.
Chris also has a book on benches and their use due this fall. What I
use is similar to what the OP talks about, from the magazine about 5 or
6 years ago. Hasn't caused sufficient grief to build ME another bench,
although I did a simple one for my dad a couple of years back.
The gist of the story is 'build it heavy and stronger than you think you
will need. Be willing to modify it, if needed. Don't make it too fancy
with finishes, if you intend to do real work on it.'
It's a workbench. Think of it as part of your biggest clamping system.
And have at it.
The current issue, Issue #162, June 2007, has a compilation of "Rules
for Workbenches". Nothing you don't already know, probably, but
several things it'd be good to keep in mind during the design process.
I violated a couple of them building mine a few years ago and I'm
seriously considering tearing it down and rebuilding.
My first bench that I just finished was made by taking a second-hand
Oak butcher block kitchen table about 1" thick and backing it up with
two layers of 3/4" plywood.
To keep it flat while screwing I put the top on the TS and clamped a
caul across the center and screwed it down then moved the caul toward
the end and screwed again. When I reached the end I went back to the
center and worked toward the other end. Then repeated fo the second
layer of plywood. The top came out amazingly flat using this method.
If you want to do this plan ahead for dog holes and leg & vise
mounting so you don't end up drilling through one of the screws. I
used the cutoffs from the table top to wrap the edges. The top was so
heavy I could not use my TS to trim the ends because the saw would
Sorry about the Royal measurements but the Queen is in town...
Ikea http://www.ikea.com/ sells Birch, Beech and Oak counter tops..... I
thought the price reasonable (I bought several) and the one I installed so
far looks very good.
The magazine with the recent article on bench design was Popular
Those (of which I already share) senior moments are either a sad state of
affairs<G> or a new explanation for what used to be youthful
exuberance.....My omissions haven't changed just what I call them...Rod
Although my own memory is not that good, I've been told (by a 92 year
old aunt who remembers every damned embarrassing moment in the lives
of her many nieces and newphews) that my "senior" moments seem to have
started just about the time my second tooth came in.
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