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Thread: TNNW - The Next "Next" Workbench

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
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    No, not all of SoCal is Los Angeles!
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    TNNW - The Next "Next" Workbench

    Long ago and far away I posted a thread on my "next" workbench. I called it that because I knew it wasn't my last workbench. This one isn't the last one either (I don't think) but, I have learned enough in the last few years to make a significant stride toward the bench that I may eventually make as my "final" workbench.

    This build will go in a couple of phases as I have some things going this month. I figure many of you will be at the gathering at Jonathan's so a break in the action won't hurt.

    A workbench is a fairly personal thing. Despite all the books (there are some really good one out there) about workbenches, no one can really tell you, or me, what will work best for them. It is a learning process as, when it comes to this craft, we sometimes end up far from where we thought we might. So here is my third step in the evolution of what works for me. Perhaps some of the ideas will work for others or spark ideas to ponder while designing your own.

    Things I will keep:

    • The MDF work surface
      • the current MDF top has taken incredible abuse and still looks great.
      • It was treated with BLO and then paste waxed with the wax getting renewed every year or so.
      • Any serious dings can be filled with epoxy and the dog holes have held up without fail.

    • A laminated sheet goods top
      • the current top is all MDF, I want to use less support in the base structure so I will use a combination of BB ply and MDF
      • two laminated sections of 3/4" BB ply for support and strength
      • two laminated sections of MDF for the balance

    • Drawers
      • I like having drawers under the bench.
      • The current drawer unit will get reused.


    Things I will change:
    • The front vise will be a twin screw.
    • The tail vise is to be determined but, I will build for another twin screw.
      • Wonder pups and so forth will suffice at the tail for now.

    • The height will be about 2" shorter.
      • This will make hand tool work more comfortable.
      • My bench-on-bench will take care of any elevated work.

    • The size will reduce from about 30" x 88" to about 27" x 74".


    Well, enough yapping . . . let's see some work. Here's is the current bench. He's been great but, his days are numbered. He already has a new home to go to where I know he will be appreciated.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    I toss some foam board on the floor and rough out the four layers of material for the top

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    I rip the top layer to width and use my larger sled to cross cut it.
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    I have a strip of wood with a couple of recessed bolts/oval nuts in it that I lock into the miter slot of the router table. This helps to support longer stock.

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    The second layer is oversized by about 1/4" each way. I use screws and weights to "clamp" this to the finished-sized layer. The screws are later removed (something I failed to do in my last top). The green tape you see in the lower right corner of the picture with the weights is a shim to assure that the finished-sized layer is dead flat.

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    cont'd
    Last edited by glenn bradley; 07-04-2015 at 01:09 AM.
    Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
    - Arthur C. Clarke

  2. #2
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    I will then use the finished-sized layer as a template and flush route the oversized next layer to it. Now I know how much we all love to free hand route MDF. I use the vac attachment on my Milwaukee plunge base and rig the hoses and power cords overhead. I don't normally worry about the cords and hose getting in the way but, I will be performing the same actions several times before I am done so, it is worth the effort. This old hook leftover from when I thought I needed compressed air all over the place came in handy.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Wow! Amazingly little dust considering I just routed a 3/4" high x 1/8" deep section of waste from around the entire perimeter .

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    I then add the next layer (plywood this time) and repeat the trim routing operation. I do this one more time and end up with 2 layers of MDF and two layers of BB ply all laminated together.

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    When I set this thing up on edge I hear the theme to 2001 in my head for some reason.

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    Most important right now is assuring that the edges are square to the top. Any issues here I want to correct before moving on to the trim.

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    Last edited by glenn bradley; 07-03-2015 at 06:41 PM.
    Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
    - Arthur C. Clarke

  3. #3
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    Here is a case of practicing what I preach. You may have caught me sounding off in posts about proper material support being the cure for a myriad of woes when using machines like jointers, planers, tablesaws and sanders . . . pretty much anything that relies on a controlled and accurate feed path to work at an optimum level.

    I could muscle this large material across the jointer but, the end result would suffer. With just a couple of roller stands I can maneuver the material accurately and repeatedly without knocking myself out.

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    I am laminating some think stock to make a blank suitable for the front chop.

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    I am going to break for some lunch now and go back at the trim afterwards.
    Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
    - Arthur C. Clarke

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
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    Billings Missouri near Springfield Mo
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    A Turn N Time
    Components for John Smith Organs and the Hobby Organ Builder

    Frog Pond Guitars


    Before you criticize someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes. That way, when you criticize them, you're a mile away and you have their shoes.

  5. #5
    Join Date
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    Jay, you sure do eat a lot of popcorn! Are you getting anything else done?

    Thanks, Glen. I am going to have a make a visit soon, I can see!
    ++++++

    Some say the land of milk and honey; others say the land of fruits and nuts. All together my sort of heaven.

    Power is not taken. It is given. Who have you given yours to? Hmmmm?

    Carol Reed

  6. #6
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    I have to go back and tell the tale of this simple glue-up.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Two flat boards about 8" x 38" laminated together; how hard can this be? I go through the requisite dry run that assures success in all-things-glue-up so all my clamps are in the right place, my glue and spreader is at hand, I'm ready to go.

    I want a nice even layer of glue spread out across the surface. Given the size this is no small amount of glue. It is a little warm in the desert basin this morning so I have to move quickly. I am about 90% done spreading the glue when I realize I am spreading it on the wrong side . . .

    --- queue the Keystone Cops music maestro! ---

    I speak a few blue words of self encouragement and dash to the sink. I soak a few paper towels and return to wipe off the glue.

    Need more paper towels, back to the sink, back to the bench.

    Need more paper towels, decide to grab the whole roll. In grabbing the roll off the hanger I bump the router template storage that is over the sink.

    The router templates come down like Fibber McGee's closet while I dash back to the nearly cleaned off material on the bench.

    I get the glue all cleaned up and set the board off to dry while I restore order to the router template storage.

    The way this is going I am now afraid the cleaned up side of the board may not be clean enough so, I lay down some silicone sheet to prevent myself from gluing the whole assembly to my current bench.

    I successfully apply too much glue but, that's OK, I will just scoop up the excess with the spreader and toss it in the box I keep nearby for just such emergencies.

    I successfully scoop the glue off onto the silicone sheet where it promptly slips under the show face of the assembly and makes a mess.

    I clean this up as well as possible while applying clamps before my open-time runs out.

    None of this shows in the picture except maybe a bit of waxed paper I put between the show face and a clamp that got caught. All in all a success but, you have to wonder. I have glued up dresser carcasses with web frames with less fuss. Murphy, thou art a cruel one today.
    Last edited by glenn bradley; 07-03-2015 at 07:18 PM.
    Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
    - Arthur C. Clarke

  7. #7
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    Gotta say, I would have paid money.....
    ++++++

    Some say the land of milk and honey; others say the land of fruits and nuts. All together my sort of heaven.

    Power is not taken. It is given. Who have you given yours to? Hmmmm?

    Carol Reed

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
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    Wapakoneta, OH
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    610
    here I thought such things only happened to me!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
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    Billings Missouri near Springfield Mo
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carol Reed View Post
    Jay, you sure do eat a lot of popcorn! Are you getting anything else done?
    Its to hot in the shop so I go to the AC office to cool down and play on the computer Carol

    Glen I'm so glad this NEVER happens to me...............
    A Turn N Time
    Components for John Smith Organs and the Hobby Organ Builder

    Frog Pond Guitars


    Before you criticize someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes. That way, when you criticize them, you're a mile away and you have their shoes.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Oceanside, So. Calif. 5 mi. to the ocean
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    OK what is in the suitcase? Your trombone? My Christmas present? Other?

    Enjoy,
    Dad
    First of all you have to be smarter than the machine.
    VOTING MEMBER

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