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Thread: Workbench Legs

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Location
    Plano, Tx
    Posts
    131

    Workbench Legs

    My original plan was to laminate some 2x6s into legs for my workbench. I already have the 2x6 material but the big blue store currently has some pretty clear/straight looking 4x4s in Douglas fir. Is there any benefit to the slightly bigger leg dimensions of 2x6s or would 4x4s be adequate? Per Paul sellers’ plans each pair of legs would have to mortise and tenoned cross braces. Thoughts?

  2. #2
    Brian,

    Once a bench gets into the 300 lb. range any extra weight is for bragging rights. If the stretchers are thick enough, the M/T are thick and deep enough, and the "box" is closed, that sucker ain't going to move if the legs are ~4X4 or ~4X6. It makes no never mind. Build what is easier and quicker so you can get on to making stuff.

    BTW, I've found with good design much lighter benches work as well as the heavy ones. Comes down to what blows your skirt.

    ken

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Lafayette, Indiana
    Posts
    1,106
    If you aren't going with a leg vise, then I think you can get by with 4x4 (3.5 x 3.5) legs. If you want to potentially accommodate a leg vise down the road, then a wider leg would be better.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    So Cal
    Posts
    2,541
    You should consider how they will look if the top is thick they might look too small.
    I might be worth the trouble to go bigger to keep your bench looking proportional.
    Aj

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Forest Lake MN
    Posts
    297
    Either likely would be fine. Last one I did I used laminated 2x6 but that had as much to do with ease of lap joints. I wouldnt overthink it too much.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Bridgeport, Texas
    Posts
    88
    As what has already been mentioned is if you want a leg vise on the bench. If that does not appeal to you then it would not really make a hill of beans if it is 4x4 or 4x6. Would be just your choice then. good luck

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Sioux City, IA
    Posts
    784
    Blog Entries
    3
    I somewhat took the easy way out building the "2 day" Schwarz workbench which utilizes two 1.5" butcher block counter tops. The reason I mention it is that the leg assembly laminates 2 4x4s in each corner and it is a very solid and system.. There is no M&T however as he uses metal fasteners. Took me three days to build and so far, I'm very happy with it. It's just a grown up version of what I've been using for years. No leg vise though, I went with a record style which is best for me.

  8. #8
    Re leg vise installation: How wide the leg needs to be depends on the diameter of the vise screw, Wood screws most likely would need a wider leg. A 4" leg should be wide enough for metal screws. BTW, "leg" vises do not need to use the leg. The best working "leg" vise I've made/used is a wood screw vise mounted to a vise backer board that floats in M/T joints between the slab and the bottom stretcher. In fact my next full size bench will have the same vise set up.

    legVise180507dscf2692.jpg

    Click it to big it,

    ken
    Last edited by ken hatch; 06-16-2018 at 10:09 AM.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    Borger, Texas
    Posts
    1,363
    Brian,

    One thought on the 4X4s. Often they are cut from the core of the tree, so the center of the tree goes up the center of the 4X4. If that is the case the 4X4 will eventually split as it dries out. You probably already know this so if that is the case I did not mean to offend. If not, look at the ends of the 4X4s to make sure that such is not the case in what you buy. If you buy ones with the center of the tree in the 4X4 you will live to regret it.

    Stew

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Michiana
    Posts
    1,587
    I used laminated 2x6 lumber and finished at 5 1/2 square. YMMV.

    Sharp solves all manner of problems.

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