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  1. #31
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
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    The Fabulous Gold-plated Coast.
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    My bench is a patched together blend of traditional joinery base with a chipboard shelf unit as its top. Two full span drawers and a vice bay-the drawers end up collecting all manner of junk, cannot be accessed when a long board is in the vise.

    One good aspect is the very light grey melamine top which repels most of the stuff that I manage to spill on it. Dog holes for Veritas bench hardware, but best of all: they also fit the plastic dogs that come with Workmates-cheap but usable stops that are plane-friendly.

    My next bench will have (I think) two solid mdf cabinets with two-way drawers, fitted in a traditional base, and a solid timber top 100mm or so above the drawers. I will have a tail vise, simply because I bought one years ago

    The temptation is to have a holding device at every corner, and power points, and an air manifold, and and....

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  3. #32
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Victoria
    Posts
    5,215

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rusty

    I might pinch Lignum's idea of a trolly for hand tools, consumables and pencils etc.

    Rusty.
    Rusty this is my preference to a Tool-well. It has everything i need for all projects. Srews, brads, drill bits, screwdriver bits, pens/pencils, all chemicals ie; turps, metho, wd40, Windex, glues, stains, putties, scotch brite, masking tapes. Also the raised clipboard at eye level with calculator i find a must. Brush and 600mm rule at the front. Three holes at the side for cordless drills, full-with magnetic strip at the back for various scrapers, rules etc. Paper-towel holder, extension cord, and tool box for all those tools you use once in a blue moon but seem to need all the time. Its simple, not over cluttered with plenty of space for planes, chisels, hammers etc when you are working and is on castors and follows me where ever i go. Its my right hand man. I like a clean uncluttered main bench and this makes it possible for me to achieve

  4. #33
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Victoria
    Posts
    5,215

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    This pic is my Clamp-up bench. I couldn't do with out it. It will Handel comfortably, tops of 2.400 x 1000 right down to small frames and because the spacing blocks were fitted square everything thats clamped tends to come out square even if you don't check it. Best part is when something is glued up you just take it out and lean it up gone a wall and keep clamping. And when not clamping the ply behind sits on top for another utility bench

  5. #34
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    East Bentleigh, Melbourne, Vic
    Age
    65
    Posts
    4,494

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    Hi Lignum,

    When I have some more space, then I'll definately be making a clamp up bench rather like yours - and likely a tool 'butler' as well.

    In the meantime I sometimes place a 900 x 600 sheet of 18mm MDF on top of the router table (after dismounting the fence), and use that for lay-up/clamping work. Occasionally the 1800 x 600 deck table gets pressed into service as well :eek:

    Cheers!

  6. #35
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Victoria
    Posts
    5,215

    Default

    Steve A good idea if your pressed for space, is to make a smaller version (1.8 x .600) and dont put legs onto it. Just lean or hang on the wall and when you need it just lay it straight on your workbench. Its something once you have used it you wonder how you ever went with out it

  7. #36
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
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    Lost in Space
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    51
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    Default

    Great stuff fellas

    I love your 'righthand man Lignum' and really do think gregoryq is onto to something:

    "The temptation is to have a holding device at every corner, and power points, and an air manifold, and and...."

    and i say why not???........... but lets work out what we really need and what we don't??? Perhaps not holding points at every end BUT 1-2 solid holding points and a 'system' that provides all round worksurface holding capability??

    Which brings me to my next question. What tools are we always reaching out for at the Workbench????

    For me its:

    1. Marking & measuring (LArge/medium/small straightedges/rulers n the like)
    2. Chisels
    3. Hammers (Heavy/Medium/Light)
    3. Drill/Driver
    4. Router
    5. VArious Fastners

    My point being that if we were to go with a base Similar to Markseys then a small storage utility area could be incorporated into the design to allow for storage of the essentials often used at the workBench!!!

    .................One of Lignums righthand man's could be used for the rest?????

    Regards Lou
    Just Do The Best You Can With What You HAve At The Time

  8. #37
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Melbourne, South East Subs.
    Posts
    395

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Lignum
    ... my Clamp-up bench. I couldn't do with out it...Best part is when something is glued up you just take it out and lean it up gone a wall and keep clamping. And when not clamping the ply behind sits on top for another utility bench
    That truly rocks. I use a mix of pipe clamps and Bessey K-bodies, though (...remember the great Lee Valley clamp buy of ought five?) so If I made a frame like that I spose the spacers would have to alternate in width or something. I need to buy a few lengths of pine tomorrow, might just chuck a couple of extra sticks in the wagon.

    The tool butler is insane (in the good sense). Mine would also have to include bog, hardener, sanding disks and my drinking water bottle. And lots of pencils, which seem to be "single use only" in my workshop.

    I delivered a hall table to a mate tonight who gave me his old temporary front door (insurance job). It's solid core and way big. Hello, new benchtop!

    Later,
    Rusty.
    The perfect is the enemy of the good.

  9. #38
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
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    51
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    Default

    Gidday

    Heres some interesting accessories that I think would be worthwhile intergrating into a modern style of workbench:

    Vacuum Clamps
    http://www.vac-clamp.com/

    Kreg LArge Bench Clamp
    http://www.kregtool.com/products/pht...?PRODUCT_ID=68

    T-Track
    http://www.woodworksupplies.com.au/category4_1.htm


    Regards Lou
    Just Do The Best You Can With What You HAve At The Time

  10. #39
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    The Fabulous Gold-plated Coast.
    Age
    67
    Posts
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    You can get similar sized hold down clamps (like half a pair of vise grips)
    for drill presses. eBay price was 19.00 shipped for my last one. They have a 12mm stud, so 12mm nut plates would have to be installed.

    I have that vacuum clamp-it works so well that I have a similar fence for my slider on the to-do list. My only complaint is the constant hiss from the air needed to blow the venturi.

    You also mentioned the pattern maker's vise. The originals were Emmert and are prized things. I read a review of the Chinese clone that said they made nice boat anchors.

    I am making a set of air clamps for my machines, I'll do a post on the process. I am 6 weeks or so away from getting to it. I plan on being able to use them as hold-downs on my bench.

    Greg

  11. #40
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Victoria
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    Quote Originally Posted by gregoryq

    I am making a set of air clamps for my machines, I'll do a post on the process. I am 6 weeks or so away from getting to it. I plan on being able to use them as hold-downs on my bench.

    Greg
    Greg What kind are you doing? Are they top mounted pneumatic or table inserted vacuum. Iv always had it in my mind (when i get a big saw with sliding table) how id love a row of six spring loaded vacuum nipples along the sliding table, and when boards are being ripped just hit the toggle suck the board down and perfect straight accuracy would be a sinch

  12. #41
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    Jul 2003
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    Hi Lignum...

    There is a guru on the Felder Owner's Group who made the originals, and they are commercially available, but way too exxy at $800.00/pr. I am making mine from eBay parts for approx $40.00 each.

    The other thing I want to make is a vacuum rip fence for the slider for thin pieces of stock. Since the stock gets fixed to the fence, this is possible. I am using an incra fence attached to my outrigger for this now.

    Here's a pic:

  13. #42
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Victoria
    Posts
    5,215

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by gregoryq
    Hi Lignum...

    There is a guru on the Felder Owner's Group who made the originals, and they are commercially available, but way too exxy at $800.00/pr. I am making mine from eBay parts for approx $40.00 each.

    The other thing I want to make is a vacuum rip fence for the slider for thin pieces of stock. Since the stock gets fixed to the fence, this is possible. I am using an incra fence attached to my outrigger for this now.

    Here's a pic:
    Great idea, especialy using cheaper parts as $800 is alot of cash. The vacuum rip fence sounds the go. I can see it in my mind clearly how i would do it, but do you have a pic of your set up?

    Vacuum power is one of the great workshop tools thats sadly over looked my the majority as they think its to hard/expensive. A household vaccuum, a piece of MDF and a round rebate with rubber door sealer will cost three or four dollars and twenty minutes of mucking around and even the weekend hobbiest can have a basic hold down

  14. #43
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    The funny thing is that they are the same parts, just supplying my own late evening labour. Making jigs and workshop aids is one of my favourite things, so it's not even like work.

    I have a few PDF files from the Felder group that show member made devices-please send me a pm with your email address if you'd like copies.

    Greg

  15. #44
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    Default Base Design ......Contributors welcome

    Gidday

    Well my CAD skills arn't fantastic but I'm getting to the stage where I can slap together a reasonable concept drawing.

    Heres my initial concept drawing for a Base (Pic1). Perhaps we can get to joinery after an initial design concept is established. I think I can dimension it up once we finalise a design.

    Well I've been on a roll and added a base with tusk tenions(Pic2) and through wedged Tenons (Pic3)

    Does antone think a rail is needed Uptop?

    .............All design suggestions dimensioning ideas really appreciated.

    Regards Lou
    Just Do The Best You Can With What You HAve At The Time

  16. #45
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Sydney
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    Here's my 2c worth Lou, not a new idea, been brought up before, but anyhow...

    My first benchs are "mostly" built. Got 1 finished and had to move, so its twin is in pieces waiting my next visit home for assembly.
    25mm square box section steel and 30mm box section steel. I used a wall thickness in 30mm so that the inner dimensions are about 0.6mm larger than the 25mm outer dimensions.
    Top 'stretcher' is 30mm box, welded to legs, legs 30mm. 25mm pieces form "elbows" so rails slip over them. Basically 3 leg assemblys, ends and middle of bench top. 4 rails in total, 2 each side front and back (between each leg assembly), bolted on for security.

    Benchtop is 2 sheets of 25mm thick 6 foot x 3 foot MDF sheets. I got a heap as "seconds" (they were overweight for spec) at $9 each. Sheets are glued together (one on top of the other) and faced with tempered masonite, bottom side painted to seal it. Edge banded with "Tassie oak". Top joined to rails via self drilling screw (recessed into MDF and bogged over).

    Its a POS from the traditional perspective, but:
    its cheap, the top is heavy and absorbs hits when bashing stuff (which I try to stay away from doing), masonite is sacrificial and replaceable. I can put clamps off the steel rails, its big, its flat, its stable. Did I mention it is cheap?

    Couldn't be fussed with rails and dogs, I'll just screw down battens as needed.

    The plan is to have one as a work bench, and one as a glue up table (this one on castors). If you think about adding shelves and drawers its just a matter of another leg frame or box section uprights.

    I was all set for a traditional benchtop, but I'll leave that for when I have spare cash. This lets me get on with the job and I'll put the money I save on the home loan.
    They will be able to be broken down if/when I move house, so that was a consideration. I try to think "modular", same for shed power and stuff like lighting.

    If it racks I'll weld in a cross brace, if it moves I'll bolt it to the slab or something. The vise is on the go, basically waiting for me to weld in a mount frame.

    Thats my (bloody ugly) Alternative Workbench.
    Bloody Ugly, but she is practical and works. Fancy is for later, and affordable is for now.
    Cheers,
    Clinton

    "Use your third eye" - Watson

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/clinton_findlay/

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