Author Topic: PeterE makes a workbench  (Read 7926 times)

Offline PeterE

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PeterE makes a workbench
« on: March 21, 2015, 07:25:52 AM »
In between model building and other work on the house (inside and outside) I have to do some woodwork as well. I did not have any useful workbench as it was, but now I have.

Having surfed on the internet I found several sketches and articles on workbenches and the one I made below is the sum-up of what I found.


(Aplogies for the untidy benchtop to the right.)

This bench is 600x1200 and including the 25x50 edging the table surface becomes 650x1250 mm. The top is made from three layers glued and screwed together to form a heavy and stable tabletop. The bottom layer is a 12 mm MDF, the middle an 18 mm plywood, and the top is an 18 mm stripwood ready-made "bench-top". Two layers of 25 mm ply or lengths of 50x50 mm wood would work equally well. I just happened to have two of the three layers at hand at the time from other projects.

The side legs are made from 75x75 mm parts and the beams between the legs are 50x75. The total height is 92 mm to the top (which is half my height) as this was deemed as the best approximation for a good working height in several articles. It feels right, not only for hand planing, but also all kinds of work so far. Good rule I must say.

The vice is bought from Axminster UK (even though I live in Sweden we dont normally have that type here). Then I made a small cabinet as well to store planes and other woodworking items close at hand. Even the grinding machine finds it place here.

In the picture below I pulled out the drawers a little to give an idea of the actual volume of the storage space provided. Very good actually.



There is a double row of bench hook holes to get the best possible facilities for holding all sorts of items. the distance between the holes is 100 mm (4") as the vice opens to 160 mm minus the thickness of the wooden pressure pad. In UK and US the holes would probably be 19 mm (3/4") but in Sweden where I live it is 20 mm that is the rule as it looks.  So all made 20 mm. The B&D Workmate bench hooks works perfectly as does my home made wooden pegs.



On the leg to the right I have fitted a bar or beam with 20 mm holes to act as right-hand support for larger items nipped in the vice. Say you have to edgeband a piece of plywood the right hand support is very useful.


Finally an overview of the front of the bench showing a peg in the right leg support to cooperate with the vice at the left.


Now the only trick is to avoid finding the wife using another horizontal surface (this one)  for storing stuff that is not desired indoors.  This is one of the reasons why my benches looks cluttered   :med:

BR

/Peter
Always at the edge of my abilities, too often beyond ;-)

Offline fatoftheland

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Re: PeterE makes a workbench
« Reply #1 on: March 21, 2015, 07:47:24 AM »
Excellent looking bench, I'm a bit jealous!

Offline PeterE

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Re: PeterE makes a workbench
« Reply #2 on: March 21, 2015, 07:48:52 AM »
Thank you very much!

/Peter
Always at the edge of my abilities, too often beyond ;-)

Offline kuutiopää

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Re: PeterE makes a workbench
« Reply #3 on: March 21, 2015, 07:58:46 AM »
Lovely bench, thanks for showing it to us.

Cheers,
Jami

Offline backofanenvelope

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Re: PeterE makes a workbench
« Reply #4 on: March 21, 2015, 08:59:10 AM »
Nice work Peter, looks neat and like the peg hole ideas which I may pinch for my slowly evolving bench.  :thumbup:
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Offline PeterE

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Re: PeterE makes a workbench
« Reply #5 on: March 21, 2015, 09:07:31 AM »
Thanks for nice comments Jami and backofanenvelope!

... and by all means use ideas if you find them useful, that's kind of the idea to show things I think. I scanned interweb to find ideas, measurements, and solutions and made my own thing by combining what I found.

/Peter
Always at the edge of my abilities, too often beyond ;-)

Offline Arbalist

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Re: PeterE makes a workbench
« Reply #6 on: March 21, 2015, 03:17:28 PM »
Nice job, the half height idea is interesting.

Offline RobWilson

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Re: PeterE makes a workbench
« Reply #7 on: March 21, 2015, 03:26:38 PM »
Cracking bench Peter  :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap:


It looks to be very sturdy  :thumbup:



Rob

Offline PeterE

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Re: PeterE makes a workbench
« Reply #8 on: March 21, 2015, 05:29:09 PM »
Thanks for kind comments Arbalist and Rob!

Yes the bench is sturdy and can take some hefty planing if needed.

About measures, that is an interesting area as one height mostly doesn't fit all persons. We are too different for that but I found two rules of thumb for workshop interiors.

The first is for the height of a bench vice used for filing etc. This should be at the height of a person standing straight with a 90 degree angled elbow. measure from the surface you are standing to the elbow and that is the perfect height for you.

The second one is the one described here about the workbench. For a correct height for planing and other work on a benchtop and not getting a sour back one should aim for half ones height. I was unsure at first but it does work.

B t w, I have my machines, both the lathe and the mill, placed on top of the same bench that i have my filing vice and that also seems to work out right to avoid back problems. The machine handles will be at the same hight as the vice top.

BR

/Peter
Always at the edge of my abilities, too often beyond ;-)

Offline krv3000

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Re: PeterE makes a workbench
« Reply #9 on: March 21, 2015, 05:37:16 PM »
in a word brill

Offline vtsteam

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Re: PeterE makes a workbench
« Reply #10 on: March 21, 2015, 06:23:58 PM »
Great bench,Peter!  :thumbup: :thumbup:  :clap: :clap:
I love it when a Plan B comes together!
Steve
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Offline PeterE

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Re: PeterE makes a workbench
« Reply #11 on: March 22, 2015, 08:10:30 AM »
Thanks krv and vt!
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Offline Joe d

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Re: PeterE makes a workbench
« Reply #12 on: March 22, 2015, 08:16:54 AM »
Peter

That turned out really well.  Wish I had room for one!

Cheers, Joe

Offline PeterE

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Re: PeterE makes a workbench
« Reply #13 on: March 29, 2015, 05:02:00 PM »
Thanks Joe, sorry for the delayed answer, must have missed it while looking at the interresting banjo build above.

/Peter
Always at the edge of my abilities, too often beyond ;-)

Offline PeterE

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Re: PeterE makes a workbench
« Reply #14 on: April 06, 2015, 09:35:05 AM »
Well, Easter brought some new tools to the workshop. Five of my ToDo's got finished or almost finished making room for a further clean-up of the ToDo list. It turns out that the ability to make ones own tooling sure saves the wallet. I so far saved a fair bunch of money (if you don't count the hours spent of course, but who counts fun time?). At least some of those tools are also difficult to obtain in Sweden. The workshop time resulted in the following things:

First a simple small brass hammer 25x75 mm. it makes less "damage" in the wrong places than a steel one does, and it is also good to have for both wood and metal working.


As I had a suitable chunk of brass so I also made a carvers mallet, kind of medium size I think. 45-ish mm diameter and 50 mm long with a turned maple handle.


In a drill box there was a smallish center punch, a little too small to my linking so I made a brass handle as an extension.


The last tool for the wood working part of the shop is a luxury marking gauge. 45 mm diameter front face and almost all in brass with a turned inlay of Juniper. The adjustable stem is 8 mmx 175 mm long (could easily have been 200 mm). Prepared for both a scratch pin and a circular cutting edge. A circular edge can be pulled into the front face and is then protected.  No it will not roll off the bench, the locking screw prevents that as well.


Finally, some tools for the metal part of the shop. A set of hand turning tools with HSS blanks to be ground when the grinding machine has been properly set up (upcoming project).  The handles are from a cut down Cherry tree some years back - yes I am raiding the woood pile for turning material. Turns out that most of our wood in scandinavia is very blond, Fir, Juniper, ash, maple, birch, pine, etc are all very light in color so that is what I use.


Five smallish projects done! The pile get slightly smaller.

Happy Easter everyone!

/Peter
Always at the edge of my abilities, too often beyond ;-)

Offline RobWilson

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Re: PeterE makes a workbench
« Reply #15 on: April 06, 2015, 11:04:51 AM »
wow !  ,,,A beautiful  set of tools you have made there Peter ,they look way to good to use  :) .


I do like the design of your scribing tool   :thumbup: , I could do with a tool like that for marking out on box section/sheet metal  and the likes . 

Top job  :clap: :clap: :clap:


Rob

Offline awemawson

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Re: PeterE makes a workbench
« Reply #16 on: April 06, 2015, 12:00:18 PM »
Very nice Pete, they will compliment your superb workbench beautifully.  :bow:
Andrew Mawson
East Sussex

Offline PeterE

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Re: PeterE makes a workbench
« Reply #17 on: April 06, 2015, 12:59:17 PM »
Thank you Rob and Andrew,

It feels very good to be able to make tooling and dare to show them. I am not completely satisfied with the hand turning handles though, they are a bit too different but I will write that on my low experience in wood turning (just started to practice that) but they will serve well anyway I hope.

Rob, if you are looking at making that kind of marking gauge I would recommend to do at least the front face in steel rather than brass unless you happen to have a hard brass variety. Steel sheet edges are very good att cutting into softer things including brass - don't ask me how I know  :palm: otherwise it is a very handy tool to have. This one replaces an old worn-down wooden version for me and so far I very happy with that type of design.

BR

/Peter
Always at the edge of my abilities, too often beyond ;-)

Offline S. Heslop

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Re: PeterE makes a workbench
« Reply #18 on: April 06, 2015, 01:00:15 PM »
Those are some beautiful looking tools.

Offline RobWilson

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Re: PeterE makes a workbench
« Reply #19 on: April 06, 2015, 02:25:06 PM »

Rob, if you are looking at making that kind of marking gauge I would recommend to do at least the front face in steel rather than brass unless you happen to have a hard brass variety. Steel sheet edges are very good att cutting into softer things including brass - don't ask me how I know  :palm: otherwise it is a very handy tool to have. This one replaces an old worn-down wooden version for me and so far I very happy with that type of design.

BR

/Peter

Hi Peter ,

I was thinking of making the hole thing from  steel   :thumbup: 

What project do you have in mined that requires hand turning tools ? 



Rob

Offline PeterE

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Re: PeterE makes a workbench
« Reply #20 on: April 06, 2015, 03:15:16 PM »
Thank you Simon!

Rob, Of course an all-steel one would be very good and would be quite ware resistant.  When it comes to projects, I have no particular one in mind. I just find these tools suitable for breaking edges on finish turned items as well as making decor cuts on various items where I think it is proper.  Having read G H T's Workshop manual I can see the multitude of small usage areas for such tools as they are quick to put into use.

BR

/Peter
Always at the edge of my abilities, too often beyond ;-)

Offline modeldozer

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Re: PeterE makes a workbench
« Reply #21 on: April 06, 2015, 04:53:27 PM »
Very nice. :clap:  :clap: :thumbup: :thumbup:

Cheers
Abraham

Offline PeterE

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Re: PeterE makes a workbench
« Reply #22 on: April 06, 2015, 05:08:51 PM »
Thank you Abraham!

/Peter

(Sorry for the ½, it should have been a "!" - changed it now).
« Last Edit: April 07, 2015, 11:47:35 AM by PeterE »
Always at the edge of my abilities, too often beyond ;-)

Offline vtsteam

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Re: PeterE makes a workbench
« Reply #23 on: April 06, 2015, 08:46:10 PM »
Beautiful!  :clap: :beer:
I love it when a Plan B comes together!
Steve
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Offline PeterE

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Re: PeterE makes a workbench
« Reply #24 on: April 07, 2015, 11:46:50 AM »
Thank you vtsteam!
Always at the edge of my abilities, too often beyond ;-)

Offline Joe d

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Re: PeterE makes a workbench
« Reply #25 on: April 07, 2015, 12:00:52 PM »
Hi Peter

Some fine looking tools.  If you don't mind, how is the handle attached on the carving mallet?

Cheers, Joe

Offline PeterE

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Re: PeterE makes a workbench
« Reply #26 on: April 07, 2015, 04:52:09 PM »
Thanks Joe!

The handle goes right through the brass head and is attached using epoxy and a conventional wedge. The diameter of the brass head is 45-ish mm and the through-hole is 20 mm (about the size of a normal broom-stick).  The walls of the hole is purposely not very smooth making for good adhesion of the glue. The handle was finish turned after it was glued in place. Then I could hold the head in the lathe three-jaw and shape the handle to fit and shape as desired. The head is 50 mm long and the handle about 120 mm.

Hope this helps.

BR

/Peter
Always at the edge of my abilities, too often beyond ;-)

Offline sparky961

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Re: PeterE makes a workbench
« Reply #27 on: April 07, 2015, 06:21:04 PM »
Did you use the same method for the small brass hammer?  It seems one might be applying a bit more force to that one, so you'd want to make sure the head was well-attached.

I applaud your efforts.  Truly some tools to be proud of.

Offline Meldonmech

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Re: PeterE makes a workbench
« Reply #28 on: April 08, 2015, 09:23:42 AM »
 
  Hi Peter,
                    A well made bench and tools. I made a similar bench, a good few years ago now, one of the best and most useful things I've made.
                                                Good Luck and Enjoy

                                                                                Cheers David

Offline PeterE

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Re: PeterE makes a workbench
« Reply #29 on: April 08, 2015, 03:29:08 PM »
Thanks sparky and David!

Yes the bench will be a good addition to my shop. It has already proven to be the right size to stay put even if it is not fastened to the floor as I planed some wood the other day.

The hammers, yes, I took a new picture from the head end to show how I did:


The carvers mallet handle goes right through and is 20 mm dia as stated earlier. Glued with epoxy and uses a standard wedge to secure. It should stay in place.

The hammer is done in the same way. Nice fit and epoxy + wedge. the rough inner walls will make the glue stick well.

Hope this helps.

BR

/Peter
Always at the edge of my abilities, too often beyond ;-)