Time for a real bench

Rwe2156

DrBob
Senior User
DrBob,

I really like that bench slave, probably not the best name considering the times. But, I will be building one in the near future.
Oh geez, yeah I didn’t even think of that I hope that didn’t offend anyone.

How about “post support”?
 

tvrgeek

Scott
Corporate Member
Thought process:

First rule of grad school:
"To copy one is plagiarism. To copy many is research"
There is a lot in the Schwarz book to digest. Hindsight is clearer than foresight. Reminds me of one of the great Peanuts cartoons. Snoopy was doing "McEnroe. Mist a shot. "Should-of got that." Mist another "should-of made that." Last frame: "Too bad we are not playing should-of"

Thought about a split top. But I can see me dropping my chisels through it. You all have convinced me against a tool tray. ( see comment further down)

Pretty convinced to do a 3 inch top, not a 2. No apron.
One foot needs to be adjustable. 1/4 inch should do it. It will need retractable wheels.

Speaking of retractable. I was thinking of hanging several retractable spool extension cords in a few places. Amazon has one with 12 gauge cordage. Not all my tools are cordless yet. Or is that "anymore"

Been thinking about the tail vise vs. just using my old Record face vise. I put my Grizzly back on my outfeed table.
Cabinet Maker's Vise at Grizzly.com. Not a great vise. Sloppy actually.

I have the '70's version of the Record face vise. It IS a good machine.

A day rebuilding the TS outfeed, moving the router table etc, I can see where a little higher might be smart. Not sure if as sturdy, but two heights might be clever. My saw/outfeed is 38 inches. 40 may be better. But for some things, lower is better. I'll have to think about that. Lots of space in a 5 inch leg to get creative and some space is available for hold-fasts or below the stretchers.

Leaning away from the English design. I like that bench slave. Easier to clamp on the top and more room for storage. If the leg vise is floppy enough, then it can still clamp a tall panel with just a block of wood taking up the space as a pivot on the other side of the screw.

As far as joinery, I was thinking on using the laminated leg-through tenon-offset peg construction for the trestle and through tenon wedge to hold on the top.

I was thinking splayed legs as it will be short-ish due to space limitations but considering a 3 inch maple top is not going to kick up with any force I can put on it. If a tail vise, that end may still be a good choice.

Just got my first Narex chisel. Guess I am afraid to really use it as I seem to grab my old ones first. Grandfathers who-knows and my old yellow Marples.

I use an old office chair base with a small top to keep my most used measuring, marking tools, push blocks, and of course reading glasses on. It can follow me machine to machine or bench.

I am sure the rude awakening will be when I visit the Hardwood store to get the top material. Trestle will be BORG lumber milled true.
 

tvrgeek

Scott
Corporate Member
Oh geez, yeah I didn’t even think of that I hope that didn’t offend anyone.

How about “post support”?
In English, context matters. I refuse to succumb to "New Speak" as Orwell warned us.

A slave is:
"a device or part of a device assisting or controlled by the other"
"to be controlled by an attitude," i.e. "a slave to fashion"
It is also a term used for the dark propensity of the human race to exert control over others. Historically as well as contemporary. The action is offensive. The word is not.

Just as a bitch is a female dog. Now if you have owned a female Jack Russel, you know why that word has an additional contemporary meaning when applied to a person or process. One definition is derogatory and it is meant to be so. Another is only offensive when used in an offensive context. Getting an e-clip on can be a bitch. Derogatory for the process. Not offensive. The teacher who had a friend's kid expelled for a paper on their family breeding of champion dogs who referred to their national champion bitch was, well the offensive definition fits.

Before anyone protests this is a political statement, it is not. It is a social statement. A tool is still something I use in my shop, not a derogatory term for person. An idler pulley is still a slave. A bench slave is a support assisting use of the bench. If one is offended by the proper use of an English word that was not meant in a derogatory fashion, then "get a life" and I do mean those otherwise very innocent words to be used in a derogatory context. :eek:

FWIW: "Political": 1)Related to Government or public affairs 2)Related to the ideas or strategy of a political party, 3)Interest in the fore mentioned.
 

tvrgeek

Scott
Corporate Member
I was thinking last night about how to make it raise and lower. There are times when working on a bigger something, it would be nice for it to be low. Other times, high.

If 3 x 3 posts, slipped into 5 x 5 hollow legs, and a small car scissors jack under the CG, then it seems one may be able to have some options and still have it rigid enough. Posts would have holes for pins so it would not be supported on the jack. Low position would be sitting on the storage top, so no room for holdfasts, but then raise it to working and full room again.
 

bob vaughan

Bob Vaughan
Senior User
Like others, I like that bench slave post and I'm going to build one shortly.
I can do without one using a steel trash can and a piece of plywood :) .

1    bench slave - 1.jpg
 

Roy G

Roy
Senior User
Scott, you have a substantial bench planned there. With your 3" top I don't think you need too much joinery to hold it down. I made a bench like Tage Frid showed in FWW. I used 2" stock for the top and it's held on by a dowel in each trestle. No mechanical connection. I can see your wanting adjustable height because it's nice to have a lower bench for planing and a higher bench for detail work. Depends on what you intend to do on it.

Roy G
 

tvrgeek

Scott
Corporate Member
Here is something similar to what I was thinking:
download.jpg


I think I can go 6 foot. So think of this lift concept but on a European or Shaker style bench. May have to be clever how the leg vise works. Of course, thick slab top, more overhang at least on one end...

Need to search all the FWW issues for ideas too. Progressing with the shop re-layout. Got the DC back together. one less elbow, 12 feet of duct, 6 feet of 6 inch flex removed and added in for the miter saw. Next is to but the drawers from the old router cabinets into my outfeed, so I can rebuild it as my mechanical portable bench. Screw cabinet, and then the new bench.
 

tvrgeek

Scott
Corporate Member
Looks like a lot of folks had the same idea. Most take up too much space under the table. Standard automotive jacks seem to have about a 12 inch lift. To keep enough overlap in the legs full lift, that is probably close to the limit, so 30 to 40 inch or so.
 

Rwe2156

DrBob
Senior User
I've been doing this a while, I've never felt the need to have an adjustable height.

If I were going to do it, I'd go all the way & look at a motorcycle lift, or some type of hydraulic.
 

NOTW

Notw
Senior User
My concern with an adjustable top is there has to be some form of play in the legs in order for the bench top to be able to move up and down. If you are using hand tools this would take a lot away from how sturdy and stable the bench is. If you are more power tools then it is not as big of a deal.
 

tvrgeek

Scott
Corporate Member
Bad back that does not like to stoop. My TS/outfeed has served as my bench does get to me. It is 37 1/2. 40 would be better. But too many times I am standing on a stool doing something up high, so dropping to 30 might be nice. Or, I should have a fold up platform about 24 inches and just make the bench solid about 40 inches.
I was looking at bike lifts as they are double scissors and can lift higher, but take up even more space. Hydraulic is too slow. But considering the lengths of legs and the amount of overlap within the leg segments, I think about 12 inches of lift is all that would work anyway without adding too much slop, so a single car type jack should work. Originally I was thinking just a pin through each leg, but another thought was a screw clamp of some sort that may make it more rigid. I am not adverse to steel. 4 junk drill presses, use the posts and the tables as the sliders?
 

NOTW

Notw
Senior User
ok this one is pretty slick and has a nice top, he even has plans for free in the description of the video
 

tvrgeek

Scott
Corporate Member
Yup. Saw that one and about 10 more. He made his own scissors.
Ripped up LVL is an interesting idea. Anything that is stable, which is not framing lumber!
 

tvrgeek

Scott
Corporate Member
So, paid Ed a visit to see his bench. A bit different. Anyway pretty much sold me on even taller. Another happy Nova drill press owner. Darn. They would have me if the benchtop was just a cut down full size. I have thought about cutting my post and going back to benchtop but with the full depth.

I think rather than variable height is to build tall, and then just cut down the legs of a cheap card table when I need a short bench.

Two projects left before the bench, so time to change my mind 10 more times.

PS: Glad I did not drive the MG. 97 degrees and an hours drive I would have been wiped out! It is a lot more fun at 65 degrees. :cool:
 

tvrgeek

Scott
Corporate Member
OK, narrowing down requirements:
Fixed height is smarter. Easier, stronger, sensible. If I need a short platform, I should cut down an old folding card table for about a 24 inch platform.
We all agree on massive. No question there. No fun when you are planeing, sawing, or chiseling and the bench moves.
About 18 to 20 wide. Don't really see the need for more as I have my TS and outfeed for assembly ( 5 x 7 roughly)
Probably about 6' long. I can mock that up. All my long list of projects are not terribly big (long)
Will probably match the 38 1/2 height from my TS. A little higher may be perfect, but there is utility in common heights. I have thought about bringing the saw up to 40.
About 16 inch overhang on both ends. A place so I can sit when fine tuning joints.
Legs flush with front and back, but the trestle/shelf needs to give ankle room. 2 inches I think.
That gives about 42 inside the legs. I am tempted to use the shelf for a couple drawers leaving a gap for clamps, holdfasts etc, but it may be smarter just for the open shelf.
I will rebuild another bench ( lathe base) to hold the hand tools as they are still in close reach. Something is to said for the extra weight of tools, but a layer of cement pavers on the shelf works too.
Pretty much convinced on the leg vise. Never used one, but the basic form is flexible enough if I don't like it, I can always fit a modern face vise.
For the end vise, I am going to use my Record, but with a heavy wood liner so I can put pegs to hold close to the edge, or wider for larger widths. One peg at the bench centerline as the far reach. Also thinking about some arrangement using pipe clamps. With an internal cam to lock them in place.
Somewhere around 3 to 4 thick. I still like a Formica surface as I tend to be sloppy.
Not convinced on fold-fasts. I have several other ideas. Easy enough to drill some holes later.
A few holes in the right leg for pegs, or just clamp a hook for holding a long heavier board. Probably pretty rare for me, so does not have to be fancy.
I think a removeable peg instead of a crochet left of the vise.
Don't care about the looks, no fancy work or exotic wood just because. This is a tool.
I will likely use mostly framing lumber. I happen to have some slightly aged 2 x 12's that would make the 5 x 5 legs. Not sure what BORG some think you can get yellow pine in. It would be better for weight though. Might use oak for the top just for the mass if not too expensive. I have not checked this weeks prices at Gibsonville yet.
Simple mortice and tenons, glue, etc. It does not need to come apart. As laminating, just "lay up" the joints.
It does need to move, so a set of, I am sure expensive, retractable casters unless I come up with some clever idea. Keeping them out of the way maybe the trick.
Have not thought hard about leveling feet. Floor is pretty flat, but may not be perfect. I will test first. My previous benches were flexible enough to sit. This one won't be.
I will use power tools, so a drop down retractable cord and the hose for my shop vac is close.
I have thought about a stripe across the end for a 2 x 6 s as a sacrificial drilling/chopping base. Maybe something like a T slot on the bottom of it to hold it in place.

Anyway, todays analysis. Another night of sleep, another day fixing up the rest of the shop re-arrangement and it may change again.
 

tvrgeek

Scott
Corporate Member
Sat there with my coffee. I was correct. Totally changed my mind.
I need the open floor, not redundancy. My existing outfeed serves several of the needs already. Just needs a tweak or so. I need a smaller, lower bench. Thinking more like 20 x 48. More like a table to sit at. Still massive. May have to use denser wood to get it heavy enough. Thinking split top and there is not much that can't be held down with just a couple of clamps.
 

tvrgeek

Scott
Corporate Member
Yup. Much denser wood needed. Using fir, the top would be under 100 Lbs. Estimate under 200 total. Marginal maybe.
 

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