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Building a workbench

Discussion in 'The DIY Tool Shed' started by moosie, May 20, 2017.

  1. Johnson johnson

    Johnson johnson Tele-Meister

    Age:
    45
    407
    Dec 30, 2016
    Memphis
    Looking good sir, nice drill press you picked out.
     
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  2. Telenator

    Telenator Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

    Sep 19, 2005
    Vermont
    I saw the dowels and threaded rods. It's be a good sturdy bench to set things on top of. But as soon as you clamp something to it and start sanding, sawing, or carving, it's gonna wiggle like Olive Oyl tied tied to the railroad tracks! ack ack ack ack ack! Blow me down!
     
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  3. moosie

    moosie Poster Extraordinaire

    Age:
    60
    Jul 18, 2010
    Western Connecticut
    Thanks!

    It was pointed out to me in another thread that I should really get the floor-standing model, for more capacity along that axis. I opted for the bench model for a couple of reasons. First, I decided I wanted Grizzly, but couldn't afford the floor model that's the sister to this one. This one is less expensive, AND was on sale. Floor model was not. Also, due to space constraints, I'll need to be able to move the press around. The wheeled cart seemed a lot more attractive than manhandling / walking the big beast. Speaking of which, I have no idea how I'll mount the head on the post... I don't have a helper.

    Regarding capacity, I'm hopeful that in a pinch I can swing the table out of the way, and if necessary pivot the head 90 degrees so the foot isn't in the way, and somehow clamp a tall piece for drilling without a table. The press will be bolted to the cart, of course, but even that may not be stable enough. I'll cross that bridge later.
     

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  5. moosie

    moosie Poster Extraordinaire

    Age:
    60
    Jul 18, 2010
    Western Connecticut
    Much progress.

    The tabletop is complete, and the vise is mounted. I still need to make the hardwood vise jaws, and drill bench dog holes.

    The top is 2 layers of 3/4" MDF, glued and screwed from the bottom.

    IMG_3945.JPG

    IMG_3946.JPG


    I was afraid the soft edge would crumble easily, so I reduced the top dimension by 1" on all sides, and framed it in 5/4 pine. Hickory would have been nicer, but all the hardwoods were too pricey.

    I temporarily glued on some triangular wood clamping blocks, to pull the mitered corners together. To make sure they came off easily with one sideways 'whack', I applied glue to the block, and then pressed a strip of newsprint into the glue. Then pushed the whole mess onto the work. I got the idea from a reader letter to some woodworking magazine. The paper keeps the glue from adhering too strongly to the wood. I will have to sand or scrape some newsprint off, but it'll go quickly.

    20170603_195357.jpg


    The vise required a mounting / spacer block to lower the lip of the vise to 1/8" below the table top. I used a piece of the 1x4 hickory I purchased for the vise jaws, padded to thickness with a layer of masonite. Glued it into place under the table, and attached the vise with 3/8" lag screws and washers. I pre-drilled the hickory / masonite layer cake to nearly full width of the lag, including threads. But I stepped down a size when drilling into the MDF. The vise feels solid.

    20170605_023504.jpg
     
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  6. moosie

    moosie Poster Extraordinaire

    Age:
    60
    Jul 18, 2010
    Western Connecticut
    The drill press has been assembled, and with one big grunt, I was able to lift the whole thing up onto the cart by myself.

    20170603_195537.jpg


    I've been designing and re-designing a woodworking table for the drill press. I'm leaning towards something fancy with a couple drawers below, T-track fence / clamps / stop block, built-in rulers, dust collection, and a sacrificial center table panel, with alternates for drum sanding, and rudimentary dust collection.

    But for now... I just needed to drill these bench legs, so I can wrap this project up, and start using the workbench. So, I slapped together this table / fence / stop out of leftover MDF.

    20170605_023546.jpg


    With the help of that, I got all the legs drilled and countersunk for the threaded bolts.

    20170604_181208.jpg

    20170604_183706.jpg


    The travel on this drill is 3-1/4". Not quite enough to reach through the 4x4. I drilled the countersink with the big Forstner bit (big to accommodate the flat washer), on all legs. Then I set up like the above pic shows. The twist bit is below the surface of the 4x4, and I had to gently tilt the piece into place, underneath the bit. After drilling as far as the press allowed, I unclamped the piece, but didn't touch the table, stop, or bit height. I don't know if you can see in the pic below, but I slid a piece of 3/8" plywood scrap under the 4x4, to lift it enough so the bit could finish the hole. This cut began with the bit already in the 3/8" hole a little bit. I clamped the crap out of it, just in case it wanted to grab, but there were no problems.

    20170604_183714.jpg

    I'm really pleased with this drill press. I've been trying to get a sense of how much runout there is, and it seems to be near-zero. It's a quiet machine. My new best friend in the shop.

    Tomorrow I hope to assemble the base.
     
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  7. Obsessed

    Obsessed Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Nov 21, 2012
    Montana
    Nice work and nice tools. When I moved up here to bare land, the first thing I did was built a workbench (on rough ground:rolleyes:) and set it next to my 20' travel trailer under the awning. It moved to the woodshed then to a pad of concrete that became the carport and now that we are moved into the house, the workbench is in the cabin-now-shop with a thin piece of Masonite on the top and the legs finally releveled. Umm, yeah, not near as sweet as yours, but it has lasted 20 years now.
     
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  8. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Poster Extraordinaire

    Age:
    57
    Mar 2, 2010
    Maine
    Cool projects and nice bench!
    I can never decide on a permanent perfect bench based on everything I'll decide to build before I die, so I end up letting excess materials determine the outcome. One workbench is 3' or so wide bunch of ten foot 2x6 cleated together. The other with the drill press is a couple of 4' HD steel shelves with a half sheet of plywood on top and hardwood edges. Punky but I get by.

    My drill press started out on a small stand like yours, but eventually I opted for a bigger bench to accommodate my obsessive tool mess.
    Drill press table?
    Again, i cannot decide what all my projects will be so I keep changing it.
    Also, I drill as much metal as wood so a table gets oily, which is bad for wood that will get a finish. Ideally I should have a metalwork drill press and a woodwork drill press. Ha ha yeah right.

    One trick for drilling beyond the travel of the press is simply to loosen the chuck and pull the bit out a little. I do that pretty often.

    I really wish I had your new drill press, mine is so beat and ragged, probably worse than your old carpentry tools.
    I have two of those old Makita table saws and still use on in one of my shop spaces. The bigger Delta with unifence is in the garage where I have tarps hanging to keep the dust off the old car and other dust free occupants.
    Looks trashy but worthwhile. Even with a big dust collector on the table saw there's a lot of dust flying around.

    I was going to suggest not assembling that drill press alone, I'd be out for a week if I lifted that beast!
    Running the body in cycles of pain vs function is a PITA...
     
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  9. Blue Bill

    Blue Bill Friend of Leo's Ad Free + Supporter

    Feb 15, 2014
    Maine
    Nice work, Moosie, can't wait to see the projects that come out of your new shop!
     
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  10. moosie

    moosie Poster Extraordinaire

    Age:
    60
    Jul 18, 2010
    Western Connecticut
    Assembly time...


    20170605_191500.jpg


    I placed these dowel centers in the stretchers' dowel holes. Did a dry assembly, and gently whacked with a hammer to mark the mating leg.

    20170606_201229.jpg

    20170605_185235.jpg

    20170605_192226.jpg

    20170605_210043.jpg


    Almost done... With these bolts cranked down, even without the stabilizing effect of the top, it's solid as a rock. Heavy as one, too.
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Jun 6, 2017

  11. moosie

    moosie Poster Extraordinaire

    Age:
    60
    Jul 18, 2010
    Western Connecticut
    Attaching the top, with the whole mess upside down on the garage floor:


    20170606_165150.jpg

    20170606_202125.jpg




    TA DA !!! Mostly all done! :D



    20170606_182730.jpg

    20170606_185708.jpg



    A few details remain... Vise jaws; a thin sacrificial masonite top (attached with a few brads, or perhaps just double-stick tape); dog holes in vise and bench (thru masonite); and a lower shelf. And a quick pass with a block plane to clean up some glue marks.

    My floor isn't quite level, so I shimmed a bit, for now. I'm not sure the table will live in this spot. The table is very solid feeling, zero racking or squeaking (though I haven't yet clamped a board...). But there is more bounce than I expected, and it's not dead flat. Too soon to tell if that will bug the CRAP out of me. Well, I guess it's not. Too soon, that is... It's a nice workbench, and worst case I either build a new top, or a whole new table, using this for assembly, glue jobs, power tool mounts, etc. This is certainly going to get me going.

    I may let the remaining bits ride for now. I'm anxious to design and build the drill press table.
     

    Attached Files:

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  12. R. Stratenstein

    R. Stratenstein Doctor of Teleocity

    Aug 3, 2010
    Loganville, Ga.
    Nice bench. It might not hurt to rip a couple of 3/4" plywood strips to set edgewise under the bench top, to help stiffen it up a bit. But I think I'd wait if I were you, to see if it's really an issue that bugs you when you're actually working on a project. You're putting a critical eye on it right now because it is the project itself.
     
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  13. moosie

    moosie Poster Extraordinaire

    Age:
    60
    Jul 18, 2010
    Western Connecticut
    Yep. For now it's fine.
     

  14. Larry F

    Larry F Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

    Nov 5, 2006
    Iowa City, IA
    That is one handsome bench.
     
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  15. moosie

    moosie Poster Extraordinaire

    Age:
    60
    Jul 18, 2010
    Western Connecticut
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  16. Robbied_216

    Robbied_216 Tele-Afflicted

    Nov 25, 2008
    Sydney to L.A.
    I may have missed it, but were there some plans you were following for this?
     

  17. moosie

    moosie Poster Extraordinaire

    Age:
    60
    Jul 18, 2010
    Western Connecticut
    Yes. There's a link in post #9, and a picture in post #12.
     

  18. Quacky

    Quacky TDPRI Member

    64
    Aug 19, 2012
    Sparks Nevada USA
    Necessity is the Mother of invention or so they say good job if you ask me :)
     
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  19. moosie

    moosie Poster Extraordinaire

    Age:
    60
    Jul 18, 2010
    Western Connecticut
    Just a follow up note on the bench. I've never noticed any racking or looseness. It may as well be carved from a big stone block.

    But, the other day, I had the correct ratchet in my hand for use on something else, and I casually tightened the threaded rods embedded in the stretchers. I was really surprised how much they moved. I got several full turns out of every one. I can't imagine it's wood drying out in our humid weather...

    Anyway, if it was solid before, now it's even more so. You can feel it. The bounce in the top I mentioned earlier... it's really minimal. Considering I didn't make a butcher block top, it's pretty darn solid.

    All told, so far, I can't see this thing needing angled truss members, even though it looks like it would. The threaded rod system is crude joinery perhaps, but quite effective, and very easy to execute.
     
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  20. dkmw

    dkmw Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    62
    Mar 30, 2016
    Florida USA
    FWIW, I built a smaller, but very similar design, work table about 15 years ago and it's held up quite well. I just pulled the design out of my #ss.

    Mine is in a workplace, not at home. It's been abused. But we've got other fixtures for high-torque work. If you clamp something down and start pulling a draw knife (for instance) you might see the need for more bracing.
     
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  21. R. Stratenstein

    R. Stratenstein Doctor of Teleocity

    Aug 3, 2010
    Loganville, Ga.
    Probably what happened is that when you first tightened the nuts on the rods, some wood fibers were crushed and broke, others just crushed. Increased humidity swelled the crushed fibers, causing them to break, relaxing some of the tension, so the nuts seemed to have loosened. The rods may also have stretched a bit. It'll likely stabilize more over time, staying tighter, and retaining its solidity.
     
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