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 Post subject: Bench improvements
PostPosted: Sat Aug 10, 2019 7:39 pm 
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Joined: Tue Dec 17, 2013 10:52 pm
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First name: Don
Last Name: Parker
City: Charleston
State: West Virginia
Zip/Postal Code: 25314
Country: USA
Focus: Build
Status: Amateur
Well, it was a productive Saturday in my shop. I carried out some needed improvements on my workbench, which included:

1. Replacing the 1 ¾” thick top with a 2 ¼” top. The extra thickness should help it stay flat longer, and give me some extra thickness to plane off when I need to flatten it in the future. The 1 ¾” thickness is really my only regret on this workbench that I put together about 12 years ago. I love my bench, but I should have put a thicker top on in the first place.

2. Drilling 34 dog holes in the pattern I am used to: 3” in from the edge all around, 6” apart, and a row of holes up the middle. I use a lot of bench dogs, holdfasts, and jig knobs that screw in from the bottom, through the dog holes. My bench is basically a large clamping jig.

3. Putting better skids on the feet of the cast iron legs.

4. Re-installing the twin screw end vise.

5. Letting it drink up some butcher block conditioner (mineral oil and wax). The top I bought this time came as an oiled top, rather than a polyestered top. I’m going to like the oiled top better.

Photos of the end result:

Attachment:
Workbench full view.JPG


Attachment:
Workbench side view.JPG


Attachment:
Workbench vise view.JPG


Attachment:
Workbench end view.JPG


Attachment:
Workbench edge.JPG


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 Post subject: Re: Bench improvements
PostPosted: Sat Aug 10, 2019 7:40 pm 
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Joined: Sun Mar 06, 2011 12:04 am
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First name: Chris
Last Name: Pile
City: Wichita
State: Kansas
Country: Good old US of A
SWEET!

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 Post subject: Re: Bench improvements
PostPosted: Sat Aug 10, 2019 11:14 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jan 08, 2014 7:58 pm
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First name: Leo
Last Name: Pedersen
City: Bowen Island
State: British Columbia
Zip/Postal Code: V0N 1G2
Country: Canada
Focus: Build
Status: Amateur
Beautiful bench!


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 Post subject: Re: Bench improvements
PostPosted: Sat Aug 10, 2019 11:43 pm 
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First name: Don
Last Name: Parker
City: Charleston
State: West Virginia
Zip/Postal Code: 25314
Country: USA
Focus: Build
Status: Amateur
Yeah, it’s a decent looking butcher block. The one I bought 12 years ago was one of those Grizzly industrial benchtops. It was fine, but this one is a Boos block, and I do think it is built better. And both of them have saved me the trouble of laminating a top myself, which I appreciate. If I put a ton of time into a laminated benchtop, I would probably baby it too much.


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 Post subject: Re: Bench improvements
PostPosted: Sun Aug 11, 2019 5:58 am 
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Joined: Fri Jul 10, 2009 4:44 am
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First name: colin
Last Name: north
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Nice! Looks a bit top heavy with such a small base. Maybe I'm just used to seeing workbenches with a leg more or less in each corner.

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 Post subject: Re: Bench improvements
PostPosted: Sun Aug 11, 2019 8:35 am 
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First name: Don
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Colin—

It’s pretty stable. The cast iron legs weigh about 120 lbs for the pair with the tension rods and stretchers. The top weighs about the same amount on its own, and the twin screw vise, with wooden jaws, probably adds another 35 lbs. A person would need to do more than push in order to tip one of these over; she/he would need to lift, too. The legs are 23” wide, and my benchtop is 30” wide, 60” long. I can slide it with some effort, but I would really have to work hard to get it to tip.


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 Post subject: Re: Bench improvements
PostPosted: Sun Aug 11, 2019 9:38 am 
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First name: colin
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[:Y:]

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 Post subject: Re: Bench improvements
PostPosted: Sun Aug 11, 2019 3:24 pm 
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Cocobolo
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Joined: Sun Oct 09, 2016 12:18 pm
Posts: 115
State: West Somerset
Country: UK
Focus: Build
Status: Amateur
Yes Flatness.

I was pretty P**ssed off when I found that my 2 times threequarter ply top had a serious dip towards the vice. No wonder my planing of thin strips wasn't working well. I will use plywood again but make sure it is flat and supported properly with framework next time.

Dave


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 Post subject: Re: Bench improvements
PostPosted: Sun Aug 11, 2019 3:42 pm 
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Location: Andersonville
State: Tennessee
Country: USA
Focus: Build
Status: Professional
Cant beat a stand alone workbench.


Last edited by Clinchriver on Thu Aug 15, 2019 2:59 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Bench improvements
PostPosted: Sun Aug 11, 2019 5:02 pm 
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Joined: Tue Dec 17, 2013 10:52 pm
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First name: Don
Last Name: Parker
City: Charleston
State: West Virginia
Zip/Postal Code: 25314
Country: USA
Focus: Build
Status: Amateur
Dave--

Have you thought about building a torsion box workbench top?

I really don't need a laminated maple benchtop to build guitars. I built several of my early guitars on top of either plywood or MDF workbench tops. But I do enjoy working on the laminated maple, that's for sure.

To Clinchriver's point, yeah, being able to walk all the way around the bench is great. I highly recommend a stand-alone bench for those who can make it work in their shops.


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 Post subject: Re: Bench improvements
PostPosted: Sun Aug 11, 2019 7:55 pm 
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First name: Ed
Last Name: Minch
City: Chestertown
State: MD
Zip/Postal Code: 21620
Country: United States
Focus: Build
Status: Amateur
Looks just right Don

Ed


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