Saturday, June 24, 2017

Classic Workbench Revisited

Well after putting my workbench to work and being very happy with it's performance, I should get some finish coats on it now that it is well normalized to my shop conditions. When I assembled the bench I painted the underside of the top with a baby blue oil paint that I had left over from the planer rebuild. The last couple of days I finished the rest of the bench with 3 coats (4 on the top) of urethane, sanding lightly between coats.

My old bench, which I built on top of my former mobile radial arm saw stand was no longer needed, so I cut it in half and turned the mobile stand into another tool stand. I placed the new stand against my built in benches, and then placed the new workbench up against it. This creates a new work center. In my shop reorganization I also created two other work centers, a planer and jointer grouping and a table saw-router stand grouping. The rest of my machines and tool boxes are arranged around the wall perimeter. The result is lots of room to access machines and benches and all machines that require large in-feeds and out-feeds have at least 8 ft. of clearance.

A tip that some may not be aware of, when building tool stands and benches keep the height the same or slightly lower than your table saw. This will prevent interference for large work on the table saw and provide extra support for over size pieces.

Here is the new tool stand against the built in bench.


And here is the new workbench against the reworked tool stand.


The finished classic inspired workbench.


And here is the other half of the old bench. Its 1 3/4" thick laminated popular plywood and very solid. I decided to use it as a work surface for rough work and preserve that nice new bench top a little longer.


So here are a few pictures of some of the work holding abilities of this bench. First jointing a long white pine board with the leg vise and outboard support.


Next is the two end vises, in use here as a small capacity moxon vise. This is only a small example of what these two vises can do, working together or individually and in combination with the bench dogs, and hold fasts, there are many glue-up and work holding functions they can perform. For frame glue-ups they can eliminate  the need for clamps in a wide variety of sizes.


And here is the moxon vise, ideal for working the ends of panels. Turned the flash on, and the picture is darker,go figure. This moxon will clamp a 20" wide panel, solidly across its full width for dovetailing, moulding, planing, edge banding etc.


The bench is very large, solid and heavy. The clamp rack will be loaded with clamps as soon as the finish cures adding lots more weight to the bench and keeping my clamp collection very handy,close to where it will be used.

The full build document for this workbench is at this link: