My first woodworking bench is nearly complete

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Majones1
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My first woodworking bench is nearly complete

Post by Majones1 »

A couple of months ago I began a simple fine woodworking project that required more planning, skill, and knowledge than I had, so I began reading and learning. My woodworking benches were a Husky portable job site bench and a pair of sawhorses with 2x4s and 3/8” plywood. Both were so unstable I quickly figured out that I could not really do what I wanted to do without something I could cut, route, and sand wood safely. I began reading about woodworking benches, but wanted something that would fit my one-car garage, and still allow me to park my car there most nights. I found a plan for a “Simple, Sturdy Workbench on Fine Woodworking magazine, and chose to use two layers of 3/4” plywood instead of the MDF they used. This led to redesigning the top so I could could protect the edges of the top. Trying to miter 2x4s with an old cheap circular saw on either of my rickety workbenches was dangerous and certainly not refined; I had to constantly watch for collapsing sawhorses.

Then, in the middle of this workbench distraction from my initial project, my friend Mickyd gave me the ShopSmith 10ER he resurrected in 2010 (thank you Mike!); so this became my distraction from my distraction. I WILL get back to that original project, but both of these distractions will make it easier for me to do a quality job on that piece, and all others in the future. And all this while my day job tries to take up all my shop time.

Anyway, today I fitted my bench top to the base, and it is now looking like a workbench. I still have to connect the top to the base, install the 7” woodworking vice, notch and install the shelf, cut the 3/4” round dog holes, sand the top and base some, and then do a light finish on it. The bench has already made my work easier the past 3 weeks; I’ve been using clamps to hold the unfinished 2-layer plywood top to the base and that has been very sturdy. Looking forward to getting this distraction completed.
Woodworking bench almost completed, but already helpful
Woodworking bench almost completed, but already helpful
EDC71378-9B47-4FDA-8DE0-B9D728444A47.jpeg (540.25 KiB) Viewed 426 times
Marc Jones

Model 10ER (1952), s/n: 72883 (MickyD restored in 2009/10) / Variable Speed Changer / A-34 Jigsaw / Jointer-Shaper Fence

Mark 5 Model 500 (1955), s/n: 309828 (MickyD restored in 2008/09) / Magna Jigsaw Model 610 (s/n 65001) / Yuba 11” Bandsaw Model 630 (s/n 39807) / Magna Jointer Model 620 (s/n 17792), to be restored / Magna 6” Belt Sander Model 640 (s/n 13742), to be restored

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garys
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Re: My first woodworking bench is nearly complete

Post by garys »

It looks like it will do a great job for you. My shop is a bit on the small size so I needed a bench that would fit there. I decided to permanently mount a bench on one wall and make it capable of hanging down flat to the wall when not needed. To make it completely useful, I added two vises, an end one, and a side one. The vises are the most expensive part, but the bench would have limited usefulness without them.

If I had more room and could use a movable bench, I would simply buy this one ready made from Harbor Freight. It has an end vise, and the entire bench costs barely the cost of the vise. You could easily add a side vise if you wanted, and it would still be cheaper and more useful than anything else in its price range.
https://www.harborfreight.com/60-in-4-d ... work+bench
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mickyd
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Re: My first woodworking bench is nearly complete

Post by mickyd »

Nice work Marc. The project end is in sight. Love the rolling caster design on the legs. How about posting a close up and link to them.
Majones1
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Re: My first woodworking bench is nearly complete

Post by Majones1 »

Thanks. I built this partly for the experience, but I think this will stand up to more intensive woodworking projects, and will last longer, than the Harbor Freight table. That one looks good, but the reviews are worth reading before buying. The legs on mine is from a 4” x 4” x 10’ kiln dried Douglas fir piece of wood that cost 2/3 of the price of the Harbor Freight bench, so mine wasn’t exactly cheap. But it has been fun to build. And redesigning the top challenged me to learn more about what goes into strengthening the different types of joints. I haven’t been completely successful in all my joints on this bench, some ended up a little rough, but I didn’t get my SS until a couple of weeks ago, and I didn’t have the use of a stable work surface until I finished the base of this bench and glued the two sheets of 3/4” plywood together. I’m kind of new to this level of woodwork, so it’s all a learning process for me. And it’s been fun!!!

I didn’t want my bench to be too big, but I did want it to be 24” across. I’m thinking of building a cabinet with drawers to install between the legs. I’ve discovered that I need to replace all my open shelving in my garage with closed units to try to keep out the dust generated by my SS.
Marc Jones

Model 10ER (1952), s/n: 72883 (MickyD restored in 2009/10) / Variable Speed Changer / A-34 Jigsaw / Jointer-Shaper Fence

Mark 5 Model 500 (1955), s/n: 309828 (MickyD restored in 2008/09) / Magna Jigsaw Model 610 (s/n 65001) / Yuba 11” Bandsaw Model 630 (s/n 39807) / Magna Jointer Model 620 (s/n 17792), to be restored / Magna 6” Belt Sander Model 640 (s/n 13742), to be restored

Professional Planer Model M5082 (s/n 003918)

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Majones1
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Re: My first woodworking bench is nearly complete

Post by Majones1 »

Thanks Mike. Did you notice how I made sure to get the SS in the photo? :D

I’ll get that detail of the castors and the link to where I got them. They were less than 1/3 the Rockler price and look to be similar quality. But you do need a thin wrench to hold the wheel bolt when you tighten the nut holding it on to the bracket. I would assume that the Rockler design for that connection would be better. But I had a hard time justifying $86 for castors.
Marc Jones

Model 10ER (1952), s/n: 72883 (MickyD restored in 2009/10) / Variable Speed Changer / A-34 Jigsaw / Jointer-Shaper Fence

Mark 5 Model 500 (1955), s/n: 309828 (MickyD restored in 2008/09) / Magna Jigsaw Model 610 (s/n 65001) / Yuba 11” Bandsaw Model 630 (s/n 39807) / Magna Jointer Model 620 (s/n 17792), to be restored / Magna 6” Belt Sander Model 640 (s/n 13742), to be restored

Professional Planer Model M5082 (s/n 003918)

DC3300 Dust Collector (circa 1998)
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nuhobby
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Re: My first woodworking bench is nearly complete

Post by nuhobby »

That'll work!

I built my bench in 2007, not knowing exactly what I wanted. But it has worked well enough, and has been up-grade-able enough, that I never got rid of it .... 14 years later with a lot more projects done.

Enjoy your projects!
Majones1
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Re: My first woodworking bench is nearly complete

Post by Majones1 »

Below are photos of the castors in action. In the first photo you see the castor in the up position, and you can see the wheel mounting nut, there is another nut between the metal cone and the wheel housing. I added a pointer showing the gap where the thin nut is located. That gap does increase a little bit, but it feels a little forced. They do include a thin wrench; it is a bit too thick but it still works.

This is where I got them:
https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B08 ... =UTF8&th=1

When the castors are all in the down position the legs are raised 3/4" and the bench is easy to roll around. Since my garage is pretty small, this allows me to move it to the wall opposite of the ShopSmith, and my car can just fit in the middle. I have about 3" clearance on the passenger side and maybe 20" on the driver side. Oh, and I have a small car. Making it work!!! :)

One nice thing I see with the Rockler model is that they also have a mounting clip that you can screw to the bench legs instead of the castor, which allows you to have a single set of castors and just install several sets of mounting clips to other benches or devices, and then you can simply move the set of castors to the device you want to move. And you could pop off the castors and keep them in a drawer to get them out of the way.


Castor in the up position, bench is fully stable.
Castor in the up position, bench is fully stable.
Castor-Up (edited).jpg (159.56 KiB) Viewed 360 times
Castor in the down position, bench is movable.
Castor in the down position, bench is movable.
Castor-Down.jpg (174 KiB) Viewed 360 times
Marc Jones

Model 10ER (1952), s/n: 72883 (MickyD restored in 2009/10) / Variable Speed Changer / A-34 Jigsaw / Jointer-Shaper Fence

Mark 5 Model 500 (1955), s/n: 309828 (MickyD restored in 2008/09) / Magna Jigsaw Model 610 (s/n 65001) / Yuba 11” Bandsaw Model 630 (s/n 39807) / Magna Jointer Model 620 (s/n 17792), to be restored / Magna 6” Belt Sander Model 640 (s/n 13742), to be restored

Professional Planer Model M5082 (s/n 003918)

DC3300 Dust Collector (circa 1998)
Majones1
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Re: My first woodworking bench is nearly complete

Post by Majones1 »

Nuhobby, thanks. I am also expecting this bench to last me for as long as I need it. I may build a better one some years down the road, but who knows.
Marc Jones

Model 10ER (1952), s/n: 72883 (MickyD restored in 2009/10) / Variable Speed Changer / A-34 Jigsaw / Jointer-Shaper Fence

Mark 5 Model 500 (1955), s/n: 309828 (MickyD restored in 2008/09) / Magna Jigsaw Model 610 (s/n 65001) / Yuba 11” Bandsaw Model 630 (s/n 39807) / Magna Jointer Model 620 (s/n 17792), to be restored / Magna 6” Belt Sander Model 640 (s/n 13742), to be restored

Professional Planer Model M5082 (s/n 003918)

DC3300 Dust Collector (circa 1998)
Hobbyman2
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Re: My first woodworking bench is nearly complete

Post by Hobbyman2 »

Majones1 wrote: Mon Jun 14, 2021 10:00 am Thanks. I built this partly for the experience, but I think this will stand up to more intensive woodworking projects, and will last longer, than the Harbor Freight table. That one looks good, but the reviews are worth reading before buying. The legs on mine is from a 4” x 4” x 10’ kiln dried Douglas fir piece of wood that cost 2/3 of the price of the Harbor Freight bench, so mine wasn’t exactly cheap. But it has been fun to build. And redesigning the top challenged me to learn more about what goes into strengthening the different types of joints. I haven’t been completely successful in all my joints on this bench, some ended up a little rough, but I didn’t get my SS until a couple of weeks ago, and I didn’t have the use of a stable work surface until I finished the base of this bench and glued the two sheets of 3/4” plywood together. I’m kind of new to this level of woodwork, so it’s all a learning process for me. And it’s been fun!!!

I didn’t want my bench to be too big, but I did want it to be 24” across. I’m thinking of building a cabinet with drawers to install between the legs. I’ve discovered that I need to replace all my open shelving in my garage with closed units to try to keep out the dust generated by my SS.
-------------------

I bought a harbor freight bench several years ago and while they do work for light duty projects it is not near as strong as your appears to be .I have rebuilt the legs 3 times , nice job and don't fret the joinery it will come to ya , the more you do the better you will get. a bench is a tool used for clamping supporting and providing a good flat surface "and" collecting clutter so pretty is just a state of mind lol , functionality is all that matters. that said are you going to be installing any vice's T track or clamping systems ?
Hobbyman2 Favorite Quote: "If a man does his best, what else is there?"
- General George S. Patton (1885-1945)
Majones1
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Re: My first woodworking bench is nearly complete

Post by Majones1 »

Thanks Hobbyman2. As much as I wanted the joints to be as pretty as I had envisioned them, I value functional more and I accept my skill limitations. My goal is to continue learning and gaining skill as I try to frequently challenge my abilities. This bench has done that, but I believe it’s going to be Just fine.

I have a 7” quick-release vice to install on the front left of the bench. The piece of wood that will be screwed into the front movable jaw will be a little thicker than the rear piece of wood, and it will have 3 dog holes that line up with a series of dog holes in the bench top behind the vice. That’s it for the initial build. Who knows what I’ll decide I need in the coming years.
Marc Jones

Model 10ER (1952), s/n: 72883 (MickyD restored in 2009/10) / Variable Speed Changer / A-34 Jigsaw / Jointer-Shaper Fence

Mark 5 Model 500 (1955), s/n: 309828 (MickyD restored in 2008/09) / Magna Jigsaw Model 610 (s/n 65001) / Yuba 11” Bandsaw Model 630 (s/n 39807) / Magna Jointer Model 620 (s/n 17792), to be restored / Magna 6” Belt Sander Model 640 (s/n 13742), to be restored

Professional Planer Model M5082 (s/n 003918)

DC3300 Dust Collector (circa 1998)
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