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Thread: Easiest workbench for weakling

  1. #31
    Quote Originally Posted by Tony Wilkins View Post
    Julie, looked up those and they are still available but the cost is $1,400 and shipping is on top of that. That’s about double what even maple would be for a Roubo from what I found last time I looked. Does look like a very workable bench though.
    Tony,

    If you can find a solid commercial bench for $1500 USD do it. Depending on Wood most of my bench builds have cost over $1000USD. I wouldn’t think of sellling one for less than $3000USD. BTW most companies have very good shipping rates, cost of shipping shouldn’f Be a big problem.

    ken

  2. #32
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
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    United Kingdom - Devon
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    396
    Julie, great bench for the price. Tony, Ken beat me to it, but $1400.00 is great value.

  3. #33
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Location
    Jasper, GA
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    4
    I'm in north Georgia, and I have about a half dozen folks within 30 minutes of me that are hand tool (Neanders) guys. There are probably another half dozen or more with an hour of me.

  4. #34
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Michigan
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    Hi Tony
    To me $1500 sounds like a lot of money. And it seems that you want to build your own. Let's see what we can come up with that you can handle and still meet your needs.

    1. Does it need to be movable?

    2. How much should it weigh? I have one at about 150 pounds and one at 400 pounds. The heavy one is better but not a lot better.

    3. What vises do you need? Mine have full width twin screw types across one end that is adequate for almost anything and I have a clamp on machinist's vise for metalwork. This can save cost and work better than traditional woodworking vises.

    4. A very capable top can be made with heavy edges and a thinner center.

    5. Careful planning can get you thru most of the build of relatively light pieces and a single flip over event. (friends and pizza)

  5. #35
    I'm curious about what happened to OP.

    Everything okay? Did you ever get that bench taken care of?
    How heavy can you lift? What are you using the bench for?

    Also, after reading this thread...I'll probably either stick a door on a base, or buy a fancy workbench in the future a la Julie.
    sadly, no time for a Roubo build.

  6. #36
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
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    Lubbock, Tx
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    900
    Still here, still havenít decided totally though Iím leaning towards a Nicholson design. Iíve got an 8/4 cherry plank that is 7Ēx5íish that Iím think about staking on some legs to make a Roman bench.

  7. #37
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Perth, Australia
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    5,780
    Quote Originally Posted by Tony Wilkins View Post
    I have a disability that weakens my strength. That’s part of the reason I haven’t built myself a bench. I’ve collected a few plans, videos on building one over the years (benchcrafted split top Roubo, Moravian workbench, English woodworker).

    I’m fed up with my situation now because it takes more energy to kludge workholding. So what is the easiest workbench to build in my situation?
    Tony, what are you using presently as a bench?

    This is an important question since I (and many others here) are aware of your physical limitations and that your energy comes-and-goes. The question is "what is reasonable?" must be factored in ... especially as it is apparent that much of the advice given in the past, to questions on your part that are asked with the best of intention, are not carried through. You get a great deal of input here (and on other forums) from willing members (including myself) but, having started out with enthusiasm, your strength drops away, and everything grinds to a halt.

    If I were in your situation, I would be focussing on priorities ... get a useable bench! Right now you are both building (or planning to build) a bench and building a toolbox. My estimate is that neither will be completed. You are over-extending yourself. My advice (hopefully you take this on board) is the same as others here - forget about building a bench from scratch. Either put one together from parts, or buy a completed one. Look at the used market as well. Get on with building pieces on it, rather than dealing with the current frustrations.

    Regards from Perth

    Derek

  8. #38
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
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    Lubbock, Tx
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    Quote Originally Posted by Derek Cohen View Post
    Tony, what are you using presently as a bench?

    This is an important question since I (and many others here) are aware of your physical limitations and that your energy comes-and-goes. The question is "what is reasonable?" must be factored in ... especially as it is apparent that much of the advice given in the past, to questions on your part that are asked with the best of intention, are not carried through. You get a great deal of input here (and on other forums) from willing members (including myself) but, having started out with enthusiasm, your strength drops away, and everything grinds to a halt.

    If I were in your situation, I would be focussing on priorities ... get a useable bench! Right now you are both building (or planning to build) a bench and building a toolbox. My estimate is that neither will be completed. You are over-extending yourself. My advice (hopefully you take this on board) is the same as others here - forget about building a bench from scratch. Either put one together from parts, or buy a completed one. Look at the used market as well. Get on with building pieces on it, rather than dealing with the current frustrations.

    Regards from Perth

    Derek
    Right now Iím using a gladiator garage works commercial bench meant mostly for car and general work. The top is thick enough but it has a slick finish. I have drilled a few holes for dogs but hate to drill to many because I want to be able to use it for general garage stuff and car work. It also has a metal base but not heavy enough to keep from moving with planing and sawing. I built a moxon vise to help and it works well for usual moxon vise things like joinery. However, it puts things way high for anything else and itís heavy to remove being made out of 8/4 walnut.

    I know what you mean about waxing and waning ability and I know Iíve asked this question repeatedly over the years. I just havenít been able to get over the hump to build one and canít bring myself to spend multiple thousands on a good one from plate 11 or Benchcrafted.

    Another thing that slips into the back of my mind is that I can extend my use of it if I can find a way to use it seated, which is my reservation of the Nicholson style which would be the easiest for me to build.

  9. #39
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Perth, Australia
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    5,780
    Tony, my previous bench (replaced by my current Roubo several years ago now) was light and quite unsuitable for planing. I used it for 20 years, however, and it did most if not all I needed. I replaced it as it was just worn out. The reason it worked was that I bolted it very securely to the wall behind it. As a result, it did not rack no matter how hard I pushed on it. That is one solution for you.

    Another for your bench is to strip the top of its slick finish. Slick and work holding do not go together.

    Lastly, decide what you want the bench to do, that is, where its priority lies. If you want a mainly woodworking bench, and an occasional general purpose bench, then (if this was mine) I would drill out for dog holes, etc, and keep a MDF or masonite top that could be laid over it for the few occasions you want to do something else.

    Regards from Perth

    Derek

  10. #40
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Location
    Greenville, SC
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    Tony,

    The Roman Bench style may be a good solution for you. Check out Christopher Schwarz's blog at lostartpress.com. He has researched early benches and work holding extensively and published "Ingenious Mechanicks" from that research. There are lots of posts and pictures on his blog.

    The benches are low to floor and enable the woodworker to use simple work holding techniques, including the woodworker's own weight. He was on the Woodwright's Shop with Roy Underhill (season 36 Episode 10) showing a Roman bench and some of the work holding techniques. You should be able to find and watch the episode from the Woodwright's Shop website.

    I hope this helps.

    TonyC

  11. #41
    If you find your energy completely on the wane (as I find myself some days), you may also really want to look at the Blum Bench Horse.

    If you look at the Underhill folding workbench--it's pretty much exactly the same thing, but with steel legs and no crochet.
    While I prefer a hand made, solid wood bench, This works great.

  12. #42
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Lubbock, Tx
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    900
    Thanks for the replies. I have CSí book and thatís whatís making me think low bench.

    Also been thinking of my current gladiator workbench. I have slowly gotten where I can so all the face operations on the top. What has me totally stumped is edge planing. I havenít figured out how to replace the functionality of a leg vise or front apron. Any ideas?

  13. #43
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
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    twomiles from the "peak of Ohio
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    Use a pair of F style clamps, that can reach all the way across the bench top. Clamp the board to the side of the bench with them...lay the clamps as flat as you can, so the plane will miss them..

    I use one such clamp, and my leg vise. There is a use for the tool well....nice place to set the end of the clamp...
    IMG_5634 (640x480).jpg
    Something like this...

  14. #44
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
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    Lubbock, Tx
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    Quote Originally Posted by steven c newman View Post
    Use a pair of F style clamps, that can reach all the way across the bench top. Clamp the board to the side of the bench with them...lay the clamps as flat as you can, so the plane will miss them..

    I use one such clamp, and my leg vise. There is a use for the tool well....nice place to set the end of the clamp...
    IMG_5634 (640x480).jpg
    Something like this...
    Thanks, Iíll have to try that!

  15. #45
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Location
    Greenville, SC
    Posts
    14
    Tony,

    If you can find the time, take a look at the Woodwright Shop I mentioned above. CS demonstrates all manor of work holding for planing (surface and edge) and sawing. The bench has holes for different length pegs that he uses to hold a board on edge for planing.

    TonyC

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