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PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2018 9:56 am 
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Cocobolo
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I try not to sit down while building unless I'm doing something really delicate like cutting pearl. I tried a stool once and it was just in the way most of the time.

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PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2018 10:52 pm 
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First name: Aaron
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I just replaced a HF bench with this one. Still not quite finished, but I like the size, weight, and height. It’s just over 5 ft by 24 inches. 36 inches to the top of the table. It’s a few inches higher than tradition would dictate based on my height (5’ 10 1/2”). Paul Sellers and a few others have promoted the idea of a bit taller bench, and I’m liking it so far. You can always build a platform that slides under the bench if need be for certain work. It’s hard to make a short bench taller.

The HF bench is a good deal, but don’t trust it when it comes to flatness. Mine was swayback with at least a 1/4” dip in the center. I’d recommend adding bracing similar to Woody’s photo above. I think the weight of the drawers is too much for the thin top, and the braces help reduce racking when planing (still far from ideal though IMHO - it’s much better suited for a light duty jig/assembly table).


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PostPosted: Fri May 18, 2018 7:30 am 
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Brazilian Rosewood
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I picked up an HF bench for $15 at a yard sale. For guitar making it would be O.K.. Most of the work we do doesn't require a massive jointer's bench (although nice to have). One advantage to a light weight bench is that it is easy to move. The bench I use for most work is a sturdily built Post Office cast off - relatively small compared to a traditional bench but large enough for lutherie projects.
Over the years I've used all sort's of tables and other flat surfaces for instrument building, most of them were discards from other uses. Old laminate countertops, a section of an old bowling ally (thick maple), flat metal doors - the one common thread is that they were cheap or free.
Recently I started doing some lutherie work in the house. I'm using a tall "hutch" with cabinets for tool storage above and below and a work surface in between that I've added a sacrificial top to . Convenient but a little limiting because of dust making considerations.


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PostPosted: Fri May 18, 2018 7:49 am 
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jac68984 wrote:
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I just replaced a HF bench with this one. Still not quite finished, but I like the size, weight, and height. It’s just over 5 ft by 24 inches. 36 inches to the top of the table. It’s a few inches higher than tradition would dictate based on my height (5’ 10 1/2”). Paul Sellers and a few others have promoted the idea of a bit taller bench, and I’m liking it so far. You can always build a platform that slides under the bench if need be for certain work. It’s hard to make a short bench taller.

The HF bench is a good deal, but don’t trust it when it comes to flatness. Mine was swayback with at least a 1/4” dip in the center. I’d recommend adding bracing similar to Woody’s photo above. I think the weight of the drawers is too much for the thin top, and the braces help reduce racking when planing (still far from ideal though IMHO - it’s much better suited for a light duty jig/assembly table).


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That is just too beautiful for words. As much as I'd love to have one like it, I don't have the time or money right now for that. I need to quickly build a shoestring shop to get myself started again. I sold or gave away most of my power tools and benches when I had the brilliant idea to try living in a camper,my retirement plan. [headinwall]

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PostPosted: Fri May 18, 2018 9:06 am 
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Brazilian Rosewood
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" I had the brilliant idea to try living in a camper,my retirement plan. [headinwall]"

I've seen some you tube videos put out by Bob Wells (cheap RV living), extolling the virtues of living in various RVs and other mobile contrivances. There appears to be a community of retirees doing that in the western states, where they can move to different elevations to find hospitable climate conditions. It seems like it might be fun for awhile,but a bit more onerous for long term living.
What did you find to be the major drawbacks to that lifestyle?


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PostPosted: Fri May 18, 2018 9:27 am 
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I did it prior to retirement and I live in the North East. The frost on the walls and small bedroom clinched it. I missed my shop as well. Other than that, it was awesome. Cheap living and I loved being in a campground environment.

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PostPosted: Fri May 18, 2018 10:10 am 
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Aaron

Great bench. It is actually easy to make a short bench taller - any number of feet can be made to put under each leg - you can actually experiment with different height feet til you find what you like. As an example, make a 1" and a 2" set, then you can see how look 1", 2" and 3" changes


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PostPosted: Fri May 18, 2018 12:37 pm 
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Ruby50 wrote:
Aaron

Great bench. It is actually easy to make a short bench taller - any number of feet can be made to put under each leg - you can actually experiment with different height feet til you find what you like. As an example, make a 1" and a 2" set, then you can see how look 1", 2" and 3" changes


That’s not exactly practical unless you have a strong helper constantly with you in the shop. That’s a 4 inch solid oak top and 5 inch timber framed base. Didn’t weigh it, but I assume it’s more than 400 lbs assembled. For dialing in a single, final height, sure. But for switching heights quickly (lower for planing, and higher for binding or jig work), a higher bench and a light raised platform you can kick under the bench when not needed will fit the bill much better. Or a lower bench and a smaller bench top mini-bench for added height when necessary (something like this http://www.finewoodworking.com/2008/03/ ... htop-bench), but that takes up more storage space than I’m willing to give up presently. Regardless, I find 36 inches to be very comfortable for the type of work we generally do, so I don’t intend to use a platform.

This is worth a read too: http://www.finewoodworking.com/2017/11/ ... ght-height


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PostPosted: Fri May 18, 2018 5:47 pm 
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Brazilian Rosewood
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Rather than the elaborate finewoodworking mini bench posted above I've used a 5 inch tall plywood box that can "raise " a 33 inch high bench to 38 inches by setting it on the bench or "lower" it to 28 inches by putting it on the floor and standing on it. You could put a vacuum cleaner port on one side, pegboard on the bottom, flip it over and use it as a downdraft table also. I can work comfortably sitting at a 33 inch high bench so that works for me also.

Hutch wrote:
"I did it prior to retirement and I live in the North East. The frost on the walls and small bedroom clinched it. I missed my shop as well. Other than that, it was awesome. Cheap living and I loved being in a campground environment."

The North East would have more things to overcome than the South West. There they summer in the mountains and winter in the desert. And plenty of free camping on BLM land. It sounds like fun, but as someone once told me - "I'd like to go, but my stuff is here" pizza


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PostPosted: Sat May 19, 2018 7:14 pm 
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First name: Brian
Last Name: McDonald
City: Okanagan Centre
State: British Columbia
Zip/Postal Code: V4V2H6
Country: Canada
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Build a bench that will suit your space and working methods.
I built this bench earlier this year and couldn’t be happier.78”x 28” x 36”h

Another good option is grizzly tools, they have a large selection of bases, tops and complete benches, most reasonably priced.

B


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Last edited by Bri on Sun May 20, 2018 5:13 pm, edited 2 times in total.


These users thanked the author Bri for the post: banjopicks (Mon May 21, 2018 8:05 am)
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PostPosted: Sun May 20, 2018 1:03 pm 
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City: Mt. Pearl
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Country: Canada
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Brian, what a clever use of space. A bench on the ceiling, how you do that? I like.:)


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PostPosted: Sun May 20, 2018 1:27 pm 
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Ken Lewis wrote:
Brian, what a clever use of space. A bench on the ceiling, how you do that? I like.:)


Ken, I am not sure what you are seeing, does the pic show upside down?

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PostPosted: Sun May 20, 2018 1:36 pm 
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Ken Lewis wrote:
Brian, what a clever use of space. A bench on the ceiling, how you do that? I like.:)


I was thinking maybe he has shop space on the International Space Station.


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PostPosted: Sun May 20, 2018 3:18 pm 
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The Canadbench!! Nice.


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PostPosted: Sun May 20, 2018 5:55 pm 
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Ok, that was a bit weird. My Ipad, which is my normal means of internet usage, did not show the pic upside down. On the PC it was inverted. I had to get my wife to edit this for me because learning new things on the computer hurts my brain.
Now I wonder how many other pics I have posted upside down.

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PostPosted: Sun May 20, 2018 10:43 pm 
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Brazilian Rosewood
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Joined: Fri Dec 14, 2007 3:21 pm
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Location: Alexandria MN
Charles Fox showed us a great design for a workbench. I built these 14 years ago and they have served me very well. Build boxes 2' X 2' and as high as is right for you using 3/4" HD particle board and put 3/4 X 2" runners on the bottom with four 3/8 T nuts in them and screw 3/8" carriage bolts into the T nuts as feet/levelers.

Bolt the boxes together in whatever configuration you want with carriage bolts. I have a 2" X 4" island and a L shaped bench. Top with two 3/4" layers of particle board or as I did Melamine on top. That gives you a 2 1/4" top if you include the top of the box. Rock solid and it ain't goin' nowhere.

The boxes themselves can contain shelves, drawers, or just use the empty space to store bigger stuff.

Unlike a really nice woodworking bench you can beat up the tops, drill into them, etc and not care. If they get too bad just replace them.

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These users thanked the author Terence Kennedy for the post (total 2): Durero (Mon May 21, 2018 10:34 pm) • banjopicks (Mon May 21, 2018 8:03 am)
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