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Thread: Different Idea on a work bench (using what is available) 10 pics

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
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    extreme southeast Nebraska
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    Different Idea on a work bench (using what is available) 10 pics

    I admire those of you who have shown your nice more or less traditional shop work benches with the nice tops, drawers and undercarriages. I decided to show my not traditional bench in my basement shop, nothing fancy just usable.

    I came about my basement work bench purely by accident. A rather tight customer came into my blacksmith shop with some 5 by 2 and 2 by 2 aluminum tubing in pieces from a salvage yard many years ago. He gave me a dimension sheet to piece together the aluminum tubing complete with folding 2 inch square legs so that he could put a sheet of plywood on top and have a portable butchering table to work on.

    After the aluminum tubing was cleaned up and welded together then cut to dimensions and welded into the proper dimensions, he really thru a fit about the cost we had agreed on. I think he thought he was gonna get it at much lower cost by complaining, but he got fooled. We came to an agreement and I paid him for the aluminum and took the frame home to my woodshop. I screwed on a 4 by 8 sheet of 3/4 plywood to the frame and then glued and screwed another piece on top of the first one to use as a wood working bench.




    A friend found out about the bench and told me had gone to a school surplus auction and had purchased 2 wood vises and a bench vise and he had no use for them so I paid him the $10 apiece he had paid for them and drug them home and installed the two wood vises on the end of my new workbench. I put a mini apron between them and when I need a face vise I just use a short piece of 2 by 4 across both of them.




    I was unable to mount my patternmakers vise on the bench because of the tubing frame, so I came up with another way of using bench dog holes and a means of securing a long board for working on it.




    I cut a long rectangular slot clear thru both pieces of the plywood top and then rebated the sides for a lip for the sliding block with 2 bench dog holes in it and fastened a retaining piece on the bottom of the block.




    I then made a dummy plug to fill the extra gap and different sized spacers and wedges to use to put holding pressure on the workpiece I wanted to hold. 3 turned brass bench dogs of different heights finished the rather different holding system.




    This is a picture of how it works.




    This is another handy gizmo I use with the bench dog holes for edge planing.




    This is what it looks like in use. Instead of a normal V, I went with an offset V notch as it has a tendency to hold the work from flopping around better and I occassionally put a wood bench dog in one of the holes and use a wedge to secure it a little more. If I used it a lot I wood drill another hole even with the left side so the wedge and dog would make it more secure with a two sided grip.




    This is another little gizmo I use for a quick stop when planing occasionally.




    This pictures shows it in use. Its a quick drop in stop and as it is made of oak and has the ends beveled a little, it doesn't leave marks in the end of the piece you are planing.




    I don't use holdfasts with this bench as the top is only 1.5 inches thick, so I just remove the sliding end of a 1/2 in pipe clamp, drop it down thru a hole and slip the end back on, its a quick and positive clamping system.

    Most of you will probably frown at this more or less crude bench, but it has served me well over the years and its due for replacement with a smaller more traditional one someday. But it will bring a chuckle from you Good Wood Workers. LOL
    Jr.
    Hand tools are very modern- they are all cordless
    NORMAL is just a setting on the washing machine.
    Be who you are and say what you feel... because those that matter... don't mind...and those that mind...don't matter!
    By Hammer and Hand All Arts Do Stand

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
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    Harry, I love your bench, it has high gizmosity.

  3. #3
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    I like that bench.

    One of my favorite projects and one of favorite tools in my shop is my bench. I use it on almost ever project.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
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    Northern Virginia
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    Junior, the only frown you'll get from me is that I didn't think to make a sliding clamp arrangement like that for my bench. Lot's of good ideas there.

    Maurice

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
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    Western N.Y.
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    Harry, How Cool!

    I love the big buck toys as well as anyone, but I admire people making things with what is at hand. I'll bet you get a chuckle each and every time that you use it.

  6. #6
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    Jun 2005
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    Brentwood & Altamont, TN
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    Nice post Harry! I like your bench. I am currently in day 2 of a professional turning class and it is very interesting to see how "pros' work versus the rest of us "wannabees." Your work bench is a great example. Utilitarian, functional, form following function, and coated with the patina of many years of being used... and hence, loved. It's a bench that invites you to build and create!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
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    Near saw dust
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    My benches are made from what I had too. Looks like you scratched the finish with your chisel or something. You'll have to sand it down and brush on a few more coats.
    Strive for perfection...Settle for completion

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
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    Menlo Park, CA
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    See the problem with making a bench from "what I have" in my case is simple: what I mostly have are weird little exotic shorts, a bunch of 3' and 4' hardwood dowels, and a few pieces of hardwood lumber, mostly figured, shorter than 4'.

    Such a bench would look very weird, be very small, and be very expensive.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Columbia, SC
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    Harry,

    That bench will be an elegant antique some day. I can see it in a grand dining room surrounded by 12 chippendale dining chairs,complete with sterling candelabra and all the trimings. The owners and their friends will marvel at the quaintenss and the utility of the piece and how it fits perfectly into the eclectic decor. Meanwhile, you should treat it gently and don't ruin the patina!

    Hank

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Antrim, NH
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    I agree with you harry

    I built mine for about $50 plus the vise. All the materials came from the dump, to include a 36x72x1 1/2" maple top

    The drawers are from an old desk the legs on the far end are oak from table the rest of the oak came from a 2x12x10' rough sawn blank I found.[URL="http://i56.photobucket.com/albums/g179/sweeper54/Bench.jpg"

  11. #11
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    Near saw dust
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    Kevin- that's the highest number of "steal your faces" I've seen on any workbench ever. I have one on my shop fridge but not several overhead. Must be great mojo in there.
    Strive for perfection...Settle for completion

  12. #12
    The rotten thing about Kevin is that he has this "special relationship" with the folks at one or several of the local dumps/transfer stations in central NH. What makes it rotten is that he won't tell which ones he scores all his stuff at. I've known some folks who are pretty good at dump picking over the years, but Kevin is without a doubt the state of NH, if not the New England champion. You just can't believe the great stuff he manages to scarf up. I'll bet that 3/4 or more of the stuff pictured on that wall came from the local dumps.

    Care to comment Kevin?
    Dave Anderson

    Chester, NH

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Perth, Australia
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    8,770
    Harry

    Thanks for sharing your ideas. My bench has a few similar features.

    I built this one about 10 years ago when we moved into our (then) new house, as a "quickie" to get on with the building of items for home. I have always planned to build something more in keeping with a traditional caninetmaker's bench butnever had the time. So this bench just underwent modifications .. add this, take away that.

    Built of Karri (a local hardwood), the bench is small (about 6' long) as it must fit against a wall. It is bolted down and very solid.

    I used to use two face vises in the way you do - as a long face vise for dovetailing - but eventually just built the add-on below.

    Those twin face vises have recently proved invaluable - while I am right handed, my young son is a leftie and works from the other direction.

    I always wanted a tail vise. Over the years I have come to rely on a benchstop. Now I realise that I have become comfortable with this system. Below is the adjustable height benchstop I use.

    Regards from Perth

    Derek
    Attached Images Attached Images

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Antrim, NH
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    259

    Dave you are closer then you think...

    with that 3/4 number. All the "Yankees" are, but I did buy a couple egg beaters and the braces the rest are from the dump. Also 95% of the 17' of hardware you see in the background is from the dump, along with the shelving.

    My super asked me this morning if I was going to the dump. I told him I was, he said pick up a fan.
    What kind of fan? A small oscilating one or a 2' box?
    make it a 2'
    I'm empting the paper an a man next to me hands his son a 2' box fan to throw out.
    Does it work?
    Yes.
    I need one. Thanks.

    Dump pick'n is a lot like fish'n, those favorite holes you don't tell anyone about. Which brings me to the four full tackle boxes 12 rods and reels, 2 john boats and an electric trolling motor I found this year. I now have something else to take me away from WW'n

    Dave I'm still looking for that Ivory. Almost had it a year ago but they wanted to give the whole piano away and wouldn't let me part it out.

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