I am looking into work bench designs for my garage based shop. I do a fair
amount of automotive repair work as well as some wood working.
I would mount at least one vise (metal) on it,, and I am sure I will take to
beating on it with a hand sledge from time to time,, driving out a bushing
etc,,,,,, I will probably cover a portion of it with 1/8' steel plate.
The dimensions will be eight feet long by at least thirty inches wide.
I am considering using two by fours on edge to make the table,, glued and
Any thoughts on a good solid rugged table?
It ain't gotta be pretty!!
Think about where the force will go from your pounding spot. You
may want to reinforce the area, use a better material than
particle board, and position a leg of the bench directly under it.
I have seen pictures an old table with the tenon of the leg going
up through the bench top so the workman could pound directly on top
of the leg.
In the past, if I needed a down & dirty bench for beating on, I'd look
around for an old solid core door. You won't get the 8' length, but a
well built door makes a good foundation when looks don't matter.
This is pretty much the route I took when I built my bench 10 years ago, but
I didn't go quite this heavy. I used 4x4's for my front legs and 2x4's to
frame the top in, with framing every two feet between the front and the back
rails. The back and one side are anchored to the wall and sit on 2x4 cleats
that run along the wall under them. The front face of mine is has three
drawers on one end, a rack of drawers on slides in the center and an open
area for a roller cart to fit in under the other end. The area where the
three drawers are is framed (combination of 2x4 and 2x2) and those are
covered over with dimensional lumber. I used dimensional lumber just
because I had it and I like the look more than using plywood. The top of my
workbench is nothing more than 7/16 OSB screwed down to the top frame. The
workbench itself is 8 feet long and 2 feet deep.
My workbench gets a workout. What really testifies to the strength of my
workbench is the amount of clutter it seems to be subject to. Damn - one of
us should come up with a workbench that just isn't flat - until you need it.
I do a lot of automotive work - repairs and body work, as well as
woodworking, and general fix it stuff. I've got a big vise on one end - the
end that the roller cart fits under and it gets a work out. Things get
heated up there, bent there, beat on there, and of course the vise often
makes a handy place to set down a cup of coffee for just a minute. We have
manhandled some awful stuff on that vise and never once saw a moment of
What I lack - and someday I'll fix this problem, is a small steel table to
weld and cut on. Right now I do most of that on the floor or on a pair of
horses and this is only a marginal solution at best. In my opinion, you
should have two tables - one for the dirty stuff like welding and one for
other stuff. Both can collect junk, but you really don't want to worry
about things that should not be getting grimey coming into contact with
grimey stuff. I wouldn't go the route of making both functions a part of
the same work bench.
Well - that's my story.
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