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Thread: finding a bench building shop

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2020
    Location
    Mayfield Ohio
    Posts
    20

    finding a bench building shop

    I know building my own bench is a good learning experience. For personal reasons I was hoping to find someone to build it for me.

    But none of the custom woodworking shops around Cleveland have responded when I sent drawing of what I wanted. They are probably busy with their stock in trade work that doesn't require:

    • ripping and face gluing 8/4 stock for a split top of two 78" long sections 11" and 14" wide
    • 4 bridle joints
    • 8 mortise and stub tenon joints
    • 12 mortise and through tenon joints
    • excavating underside of top for two 7" single screw Record style vises
    • etc.


    Maybe I just need to cast a wider net to any shop in Ohio or close adjoining states.

    Any ideas of someone you could trust to find good kiln dried hard wood (at least for top) that will be stable in the unheated garage the bench will stay. And take care to arrange boards so that the grain is running in the same direction throughout the laminations, for easier hand planing the top when surface needs to be leveled or cleaned.

    Couldn't get 3 pages/views of bench into a small enough file size to send.
    Thank you,
    Tim
    Last edited by Tim Monroe; 06-01-2021 at 8:00 PM.

  2. #2
    Plenty of shops would do this. They're just going to not be cheap. Off the top of my head, I'd start north of 4k for such a build.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    SoCal
    Posts
    825
    Benchcrafted has some in stock - if I read their Instagram correctly

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2018
    Location
    Eagle, WI
    Posts
    58
    You might explore possibilities with Mark Hicks at Plate 11 https://www.plate11.com/workbenches.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2020
    Location
    Mayfield Ohio
    Posts
    20
    Thanks guys. Didnít realize it could cost that much but Iím hearing a lot about lumber prices being high. I have no practical understanding of the labor involved. At each of the 4 houses Iíve lived in, I built my workbench into the garage wall. So a free standing bench with M & T joinery and a face glued top is new to me. And I have no planer, jointer, or drill press so Iíd doing (learning to do) all work with hand tools.

    Benchcrafted has some nice benches, but I got my mind set on a different design. Iíll upload plans to Mark Hicks and see what he says.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Perth, Australia
    Posts
    8,023
    Tim, raise this on the Hand Tool forum. You will get plenty of advice on how to do the build with hand tools.

    I would suggest that you consider different materials for this free standing bench. For example, LVL will make a great bench top, and it is both cheaper and quicker to glue up.

    https://www.popularwoodworking.com/w...ch-plans-free/

    Regards from Perth

    Derek

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Columbus, Ohio, USA
    Posts
    3,242
    I purchased a bench from Woodcraft. The vices are not the best but I have gotten many years of use out of the bench.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Peoria, IL
    Posts
    2,352
    Here's a split top Roubo for less than a grand. https://www.highlandwoodworking.com/...s-package.aspx

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Location
    Silicon Valley, CA
    Posts
    923
    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Coers View Post
    Here's a split top Roubo for less than a grand. https://www.highlandwoodworking.com/...s-package.aspx
    Uh, it says:

    The Benchmaker's Package DOES NOT include the wooden part of the bench or any of the wood required to make the wooden part of the bench.
    so not close to what the OP ask for. (But seems to be a good way to get the Benchcrafted vises and hardware, if you want their style and are building it yourself.)

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2020
    Location
    Mayfield Ohio
    Posts
    20
    Thanks guys. I like that idea about posting this in the Hand Tool forum. Hearing about the tools required for chopping mortices and drilling dog and holdfast holes in bench top will be interesting, in case the quotes are too high and I have to do this myself.

    And the Woodcraft and Highland sites helped me get a good idea of minimum costs for available benches.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2019
    Location
    USVI
    Posts
    163
    I saw this while searching for something else, might be of interest if you could arrange shipping.
    https://westernmass.craigslist.org/t...330343025.html.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2019
    Location
    USVI
    Posts
    163
    https://westernmass.craigslist.org/t...330343025.html
    Came across this looking for something else. I remembered this thread so figured I would throw it out there. I have no idea how good a deal it is or what kind of shipping arrangements you would need.

    ETA:sorry for double post, didn’t think the first one “stuck”
    Last edited by Steve Fish; 06-03-2021 at 7:45 AM.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2020
    Location
    Mayfield Ohio
    Posts
    20
    Steve, I appreciate that link. I emailed owner asking about size, how much tail vise sag, moisture in bottom of legs, etc. I told him I'd rent a van and drive from Cleveland to inspect and purchase. Now I'm searching for information about evaluating used benches. It looks like a well made bench from a good company.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Location
    Swampscott, MA
    Posts
    110
    Bob Miller at Masswoodworks posted about a commissioned bench he was building on IG a while back. Not sure about shipping from Boston, but might be worth checking out

  15. #15
    As Johnny mentioned above, there are plenty of professionals, myself included, who would build a commissioned custom workbench, but you may not like the price.

    Do you have a particular budget in mind that you cannot/will not exceed? I know that I wouldn’t even consider a commissioned bench like you described for less than $4-5k (off the top ballpark figure) and potentially more depending on the details and I live in a fairly rural area that doesn’t have the same type of overhead/expenses as somewhere more populated.

    If you have the time, patience and hand tools it could be a great skill building exercise and is certainly somewhat of a right of passage to build your own bench.
    Still waters run deep.

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