Workbench Top, Top Bumpers, and Lighting Questions!

Vizcaster

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Joined
Sep 15, 2007
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5,339
Location
Glen Head, NY
Colt's right - y'all need another table. My "reality" is there's always one surface that's cluttered - so plan for it. I have an old bench that my father in law had in his basement (he was a custodian, and this thing looks amazingly similar to the benches they use in schools...) and it's used against the wall to hold up my tool boxes and collect clutter.

My main workbench is nowhere near 4' x 8'. If you can't reach across the thing it gets useless. take a look at the woodworking benches in the specialty catalogs, and if you really feel compelled to go big, then expand those dimensions a touch.

My bench top is made from two pieces of 3/4" plywood with a "replaceable" skin of 1/4" hardboard on top. You don't want it much thicker because then hobby vises and clamps and lamps won't be able to clamp to the edge of the thing.

The idea for the hardboard top was for it to be able to withstand being chopped into with chisels or handsaws and I could peel off the skin after backing out a few screws and replace it. Let's just say the Masonite hardboard top has been on there since before MDF became readily available.

For years I had a hole drilled in the edge to hold an incandescent swing-arm lamp, but lately I've got one of those magnifier-fluorescent swing arm lamps that I need for soldering (don't ask me why I didn't need it a few years ago, I'm still sensitive about the whole bi-focals thing). The shop has a mix of fluorescent and halogen main lighting.

Lousy shot but it actually shows you the sandwich construction:
IMG_3519.jpg


You can also see my system for letting the jigsaw signal me when the blade reaches the top of the bench. I took a cue from the woodworking benches and added a tool tray off the back edge so that the tools i'm using can be dropped out of the way and the workpiece can be slid around the top (only half your tools get knocked over this way). Because of the dimensions, it's still easy to reach into that tray, or to lean over and see what's in there.

I wouldn't recommend a permanent carpet covering. Unlike the guys at the music store, you'll have splinters and wood chips being generated in your shop, and they'll become a permanent part of the carpet. Instead break out a clean towel when you need to lay down a polished instrument.
 

Colt W. Knight

Doctor of Teleocity
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Jan 21, 2007
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Garland, Maine
I wouldn't recommend a permanent carpet covering. Unlike the guys at the music store, you'll have splinters and wood chips being generated in your shop, and they'll become a permanent part of the carpet. Instead break out a clean towel when you need to lay down a polished instrument.

Bench Cookies! hehe
 

Sarrkazztic

Tele-Meister
Joined
Sep 30, 2009
Posts
100
Location
Pelion, South Carolina
Strat....not trying to talk you out of the table or the lighting....but at your age....you had better plan your spesh-ul moments...wouldn't want to come and go at the same time....if you know what I mean :)
 

Uodnelome

NEW MEMBER!
Joined
Jan 16, 2009
Posts
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Age
37
Location
Olympia, WA
Sadly, I lack the self-discipline to have a neat workspace, though I certainly admire those who do. I think I could compete in a "most disorganized shop" contest. I've never mastered the art of putting away a tool when I've finished using it. I sometimes have to stop mid-project to clean up in order to find a missing tool. At my advanced age I'm not likely to change my work habits. I have two 8' x 2' work tables. One from Costco and one home built.

(pictures of tool/project-covered benches)

I acquired a six foot segment of formica countertop that I extented three feet in length (about 25" deep) with solid lumber underneath, and still somehow manage to consume the available real estate, perhaps owing to a perplexing compulsion to spread out given the slightest chance.

More a guideline of general woodworking benches, if the work surface will be along the length of a wall, two feet is about the widest recommended to make wall-hung tools easy to grab, but if you're building it the dimensions can be to your liking. Christopher Schwarz's books / articles discuss more about bench design than any one person could know.
 

Stratavarious

Tele-Meister
Joined
Nov 16, 2010
Posts
250
Location
Los Angeles
A couple more delays... Hot stuff tripped and threw out her shoulder. And, I feel bad...she tripped running after the UPS truck to make sure I got the part I was waiting for... Hot stuff's Mustang broke down (transmission's gone, motor needs work). The tools that arrived from StewMac were...well, wow, junk. Delays, delays, delays.

Today, we're gonna be looking at a few cars and we're gonna finish shopping out the wood, tomorrow she's going to the doctor.

I'm still stuck on a big table, for many reasons. It's gonna be in the middle of the living room. It's gonna double as a hang-out spot. Two people need to be able to use the table at the same time. There's gonna be a computer monitor, keyboard and mouse on the table. This table is not going to be used for any woodwork outside of sanding a nut slot and maybe sanding a fret board.

If we get into woodwork, we'll either get a place with a garage, or a warehouse and use the smaller tables for workin' wood.

And Sarrkazztic, I still got it. Nothing's changed since oh, about 1973! The only planning I need to do in that regard is...do I need to do anything else for the next 8-hours and is there least 6 cigarettes close by! Thank you for your concern, however! ;)
 




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