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Thread: latest workbench mod

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    a short distance from my body

    latest workbench mod

    I've been planning to create a shop tour post for some time, but my shop layout is always changing as I work through a project. I'm forever re-arranging to make room for a 10 ft board to go through each step from dimensioning to re-sawing. A two-car garage just does not hack it anymore.

    My workbench is forever changing also. I have many plans for it. But if I wait until it is finished to post pictures, it will never be seen. Sooo, this post is just a snapshot of a work in progress. I've learned a lot as I've made changes. Both fun and frustrating; changes that work are exciting, while the errors are just lessons learned.

    General specs are;
    • table top = 73" x 34" x 3.5" with
    • 4.5 wide by 2.75 deep tool tray down the center.
    • top construction = laminated ipe over a solid core door base.
    • Richard Wilcox 10" vise expanded to 15"
    • Emmert turtleback vise type T4 (per
    • Wooden end vise 16 wide, 12 reach my own kludge design
    • Noden Adjust-A-Bench legs.
    • weight estimate approx 450 - 500 lbs.
    You can see my original version of this bench (circa 2005) at that other vBulletin web site, . Many lessons learned since then.

    I've got more pictures of this bench now than I do of my wife after 18 years of marriage. Think my priorities are bit messed up? Maybe, but this bench is my third, fourth, and fifth hand. Thanks for lookin. Questions and comments are welcome.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails emmert open a.jpg   emmert close twisted a.jpg   my vise open a.jpg   my vise closeup a.jpg   bench from wilcox side a.jpg  

    speed bump in tool tray a.jpg   bench overview a.jpg   one mo close up a.jpg  
    Last edited by rick fulton; 01-31-2007 at 06:17 AM. Reason: add mo pics
    "I tell you, we are here on Earth to fart around, and don't let anybody tell you different." - Kurt Vonnegut

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    ABQ NM
    Dang Rick, my wife would absolutely kill me if I installed vises and drilled dog holes in the dining room table like that.

    Not only does your bench look gorgeous with the ipe, it looks very usable. too. You've got about all the components I'd want in a bench...adjustable height, flexible clamping arrangements, and beautiful wood.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

  3. #3
    ok Rick... now you're just showing off! All kidding aside, great work. You should have mentioned the works in progress in the pictures!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    London, Ontario
    As if the wheels weren't enough, you've got an Emmert also!


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    very nice rick!
    [SIZE="1"] associated with several importers and manufacturers.[/SIZE]

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Charlotte, NC
    Great looking bench. I had to make mine mobile also. Can you show how you solved the mobility issue?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Tokyo Japan
    Good gravy Rick, is that ever nice!!

    That Emmert Turtleback is sure nice, I bet you paid for that, but I hear they are unparalleled!

    Super nice bench, I'd be afraid to use it, I'd drill a hole in it, or spray some paint on it

    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
    William Arthur Ward

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Forest Grove, Oregon USA
    Nice bench, Rick. Just says "I'm solid!"

    fwiw, I would have pictures of my shop, but without the right lense it would be difficult to actually stand in it and take a picture it's so small.

    Now about that lack of pictures of your wife...<g>

    Take care, Mike
    Wenzloff & Sons Sawmakers

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Zushi, Japan
    It's a beauty Rick and an inspiration. Just tonight I finished installing an end vise (Veritas Twin Screw) on my bench so I've got how-can-I-make-this-a better-bench on my mind all week.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    a short distance from my body

    mo pics

    Thanks all for the kind words.

    Vaughn, I hate to admit it, but when the bench is clean, it looks better than our dinning room table, which is also ipe.

    Brent, the works in progress were mostly added to show the capabilities of the bench and to show off my latest neander tool finds (stealth gloats); a Bedrock 604 and a Mathieson 843 infill smoother. Both are in excellent condition and work like a dream.
    One of the work pics includes a piece from my kitchen remodel; the “frame” is the smallest of 5 structures that will hang from the ceiling at 2-ft intervals. Half-inch Solid stainless steel rods will run between the frames, creating open shelving between the kitchen and dinning room. Each side of the frame is a 2”x2” QSWO post built using the quadra-linear technique common to Stickley and arts & crafts furniture.
    Another work pic is my first attempt at butterfly inlays to stabilize a free-form(?) walnut slab (Nakashima style). The inlay is ipe. It is a practice piece, so it will likely just end up as a seat for a shop stool. I'll attach a few detail pics of the work below.

    Ed, the wheels are also from Noden A-A-B. The structure holding the casters is very beefy, but it does have its limits. Locking the casters does not provide a stable enough bench for hand planning. 99.99% of the time, the wheels are raised so the bench sets on its feet.

    Stu, the Emmert is one of the most useful tools in my shop. It may cost more than a modern pattern-vise, but hopefully its value will appreciate even further as a modern emmert copy would be depreciating. I’ve got many a scratch, ding, dent, and gouge in the tabletop already. But glue, varnish, and paint seem to peel or pop right off the ipe. Unfortunately, that feature of ipe has caused a few problems with the stability of the bench top laminations. I’ll post more about those problems later.

    Alex, the next mods I want to make include drawers under the table and a European type tail vise. But I must finish some other home remodel projects first. :-( Haven’t seen any post of your twin-vise install, but your post on building wooden bench dogs is great.

    Thanks for lookin.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails mathieson infill.jpg   closeup of QL post-to-ql post.jpg   test of butterfly inlay.jpg  
    Last edited by rick fulton; 02-03-2007 at 10:23 PM. Reason: grammer check
    "I tell you, we are here on Earth to fart around, and don't let anybody tell you different." - Kurt Vonnegut

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