Sunday, December 16, 2018

"Mobile Workbench"

The materials are plywood and MDF, don't turn your nose up ha, ha, this is a solid little bench, with good work holding options, and it's mobile to move around the shop. Construction is relatively simple but the design has nice lines and looks more difficult than it is. For the small shop, with a DIY'er doing a variety of different work, this would be a very handy bench.

The bench is by Bruce Kieffer and was in the September 2010 Handy issue.

To download the 5 page article click Mobile Workbench - 876 KB - pdf.

So I hope this selection of workbenches finds interest in anybody looking for ideas on building a workbench. This is a small selection of what is available out there, and often the best bench for a particular person does not come in a plan but is a compilation of various ideas, assembled to suit the type of work you plan on subjecting it too, and the space available.

So I am going to take a break from the computer for a couple of weeks. Check back around Xmas, if my slow connection co-operates, we might be able to get a few goodies under the tree.

So a heads up, I don't know yet if I will be re-newing this blog, when it comes up for renewal in the spring. It was never ment for long term, it is more of a bucket item I can put behind me now, and it takes time away from other things. I initially tried to avoid it by posting on forums, but it quickly became clear that was a waste of time.

"New Fangled-Workbench"

And now for something different. Here is a plan for a large, solid, workbench with lots of clamping and support options, and not a single vice to be found. For a large solid workbench this is about as inexpensive as it gets, 6 standard 3/4" pipe clamps and some construction grade lumber is all you will need.

This plan was in the Fine Woodworking, November, 1999 issue. John White did the article and the build.

Its a short article so rather than a pdf, here are the images, expand to max. before saving.




"Building The Holtzapffel Workbench"

Recently one of my favorite sites WKFineTools.com shut down and has disappeared (except for on the wayback machine). Loved the submitted articles and there cleaned up old tech books. It's a big loss.

David Pearce submitted a number of articles documenting a number of projects. David started out a relative newbe learning the craft of woodworking. One of his first documented projects was a Holtzapffel workbench back in 2008. Without alot of experience he produced a nice solid bench that would provide long service.

In David's words "In my attempt to learn the craft of woodworking, I have discovered that one of the most valuable tools a woodworker needs is a good workbench. Rather than delve into the details of my journey from doing general carpentry with power tools to learning the more traditional woodworkers methods using hand tools (which drove my reasoning to build a good, solid workbench), I want to take the approach of showing the process of building the bench using limited resources and relatively basic knowledge and skill of woodworking."

I made up many pdf's of the articles on WK Fine tools over the years, so it feels good to know not everything is lost. I have a few other of Davids projects. David if you see this and object to being reposted, message me and I will remove it.

To download the 54 page build document click Building The Holtzapffel Workbench - 2.5 MB - pdf.



"Building A Roubo-Workbench"

Every workshop needs a workbench, and every workbench is the most used piece of equipment in a workshop. I have posted plans for benches before and of course I documented my most resent workbench build here Classic Inspired Workbench. My workbench adopted aspects of both the classic Roubo and Holtzapffel designs in addition to a few ideas of my own, such as a built in clamp storage rack. Over a lifetime I have built at least half a dozen workbenches, small and large. I paid the most attention to building this one, and it has turned out to be the most used piece of equipment in all of my shops.

So In the following four posts I am going to present a number of different workbench designs, starting with a dream of a top end Roubo bench that will make anyone salivate with envy, and finishing with an easy, portable, solid, plywood and MDF bench.

The first is a reproduction of a classic Roubo bench built and documented by Guido Henn a German Master Craftsman. www.fine-tools.com (an online German fine tool seller) has its name all over the documentation and may have sponsored this build to promote the "Benchcrafted" hardware used, which they sell. No two ways about it, this bench is high end, from the hard maple used, to the top quality hardware, this bench takes your breath away.

To download the 42 page build document click Building A Roubo-Workbench - 6 MB - pdf. 


Saturday, December 15, 2018

Novice Machinist 6 - Bending Jig

This project is also from "Machine Shop Projects". This project is a versatile bending jig. It looks like a great little plan for bending flat stock up to 3/4" wide, into hooks, circles and scroll work. A must for the smith that does decorative metalwork such as gates or railings.



Novice Machinist 5 - Small Tools

So here are 3 more plans for the novice machinist to practice his skills in the machine shop with. These small tools are must haves for the small shop and it is always satisfying to work with tools you have made yourself.

This group and the following post of a bending jig come from "Machine Shop Projects" by Roy E. Knight, and published by McKnight Publishing, originally published in 1943, this second edition in 1982.

These were originally published as project manuals for machinist students in the schools. I mentioned it before and it is unfortunate, but many schools are phasing out this kind of training. I guess what the manufacturing industry needs now-a-days is code writers and programmers. The few jobs that still require "get your hands dirty" machinists have all been shipped overseas or are limited to small "design concept" or "one-of" shops.

First up is a nice depth gauge that will find lots of use in any shop.


Various lathe tooling, wood or metal turning, will benefit greatly if you can turn accurate Morse tapers such as the MT 2's used here.


A versatile V-Block and clamp is just the thing for accurate working of round stock.

Friday, December 14, 2018

My Portable Bandsaw

So as mentioned before here is my solution for a portable bandsaw. I didn't build anything here, ha, ha, it was solved with money, but I waited for the right deal.

For many years Canadian Tire had a nice, small, portable, 18V, metal bandsaw branded "Maximum", their top in house brand. The price was $200 for the saw, charger and one battery, ell cheapo (me, ha, ha), couldn't see spending that kind of money. So I waited. I walked into the store one day and the saw and all accessories were on for half price, and they were willing to haggle a little. Turns out with the onset of ion batteries the saw was being discontinued and they wanted to clear inventory.

So for a little more than the regular price of one saw unit, I got everything you see in the picture below, except for the power supply of course. I use the saw with the mounting base in the machine shop for doing small material cut offs. I got the base for $10. Half price pus a further discount for the damaged box that looked like it had been kicked around in the warehouse for years.


I got two extra batteries with the deal but it was clear they were not going to be available for replacement in the future. I have had alot of use out of these saws for 6 or 7 years now and the batteries are holding out well. I have broke two blades in that time, but that is to be expected with such small wheels.

As a backup for when batteries can no longer be replaced I purchased a adjustable power supply. This should handle all my older battery operated tools as they die. They will then become corded tools, rather than scraping them. The power supply will handle 0-33 amps adjustable from 10-18 volts which will cover all of my older cordless tools.


Speaking of dead batteries, when I pulled the materials for the drill press, I found a old dead battery, 12V, Ryobi drill, that I had taken apart, I saved the the chuck, drive and electrical. Lots of power in this little unit. It took two battery charges, but when I built this place, I used it to drill a 1 1/4" disc out of the side of a 8" well pipe. This might be a good idea for the power unit for the sensitive drill press.



Portable Metal Cutting Bandsaw

Here is a plan for a portable metal cutting bandsaw from the January 1956 Popular Science magazine. This is definitely in the class of advanced hobby machinist. Some would say it's easier now a days to just buy one, but most know that price isn't everything, there is alot of knowledge and enjoyment generated from producing a project like this yourself.

The most difficult is probably the gear reductions, mainly the bevel gear drive box. A easier solution might be to use the bevel drive box from a angle grinder. Some might say "Why not use the whole angle grinder as the power unit?". Speed is not reduced in a angle grinder and the output speed would be to high.

I have always considered one of these, very useful for working with smaller metal shapes. Check out the next post for my solution. A saw like this won't eliminate use of a hacksaw all together, but it comes close.





Thursday, December 13, 2018

Now Where Did I Store Those Big Hunks Of Aluminum?

So not much to post today. That nice sensitive drill press plan got me thinking about materials. I know I had a couple of thick hunks of aluminum stored somewhere that might do. After a quick look through some storage boxes in one of the shops I found what I was looking for. They are both 6" long and over 2" thick at the min. point. I should be able to scale up the plan by close to 50%. While I was at it I pulled out a few other parts and materials that should help. I am in no rush on this project, probably early January, if I leave the materials out to remind me, ha, ha.



Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Sensitive Drill Press

So to make up for the other drill press plan, I did't upload, here is an excellent and easy (compared to most other plans out there) plan for a sensitive drill press. This plan comes from the "Metal Projects Book 3" by John R. Walker, mentioned previously.

Construction materials are mostly thick aluminum plate and cold rolled steel. If you can't find a couple of small 1 1/4" aluminum plates for the drill head and table support, you can cast then if you have a furnace and it will be good practice in setting cores. I have lots of small drill presses, so my preference would be for the option on page 4, I have lots of Dremel type tools and this would be perfect over the flimsy mounts they usually come with. Maybe after New Years if I feel energetic.

Check this out, enjoy.