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Old 02-22-2020, 02:49 PM   #1
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Workbench Rebuild


About 24 years ago we bought our house. About a year after moving in, I built a workbench using a design from a woodworking magazine.

It is quite a robust design as the legs are doubled 2x6s with 2x4 lapped joinery for the side stretchers and 2x6 lapped joinery on the long stretchers. The top was two pieces of 3/4 inch MDF with 1x6 framing sandwiched between them.

The bench served me pretty well over the years but as you can see time and use has taken its toll. The top has drooped in the middle due to no longitudinal support (the plans in the magazine did not call for it). Years of gluing, painting and staining has made a mess of the top.





I later added the vice which I really like but its location created problems when making certain cuts.

I thought about building a new bench but hate throwing out something if it can be fixed. So I opted to rebuild.

The first thing I did was get rid of the top. There was nothing salvageable in it.

Using some 2x4 I had left over from another project, I re-did the longitudinal support for the top. I also took the opportunity to drill pocket holes for securing the top later.





I got seven 2x6x10s from the home center. They do not have the best lumber but after some digging found decent pieces. I really wanted 8 footers but they did not have any so I got the 10s. This turned out to be a blessing in disguise (more on that later).

I cut down the 2x6s to a couple inches over-sized and then ripped the edges to square them up as much as possible considering this lumber is not the straightest to begin with.

I setup a temporary work surface on my sawhorses and using all the bar clamps I had, glued up the table top using biscuits and Titebond II wood glue.

While the glued top was setting, I sanded and painted the frame.

The next day I cut the ends of the bench to get to the final length, and sanded it using my belt sander and 80 grit belts.

Remember those 10 footers I mentioned earlier? Well it turns out the cut-offs from the top was long enough to make the lower shelf. So I trimmed them to length and screwed them down. I was short one slat but luckily had a leftover price of 2x6 from another project with which I got the last slat.

Remembering how heavy the original bench was which made it a pain (literally) to move. I bought some retractable casters on Amazon and installed them. It was relatively easy as the wheels came with a template for drilling the screw holes and wrenches to secure the casters.



I oriented the top on the frame centering it front to back, with a 10-inch overhang on one side to accommodate the vice and secured it from underneath using pocket screws through the holes I previously drilled.

I know I needed a spacer to accommodate the vice I was installing. I cut down a 2x4 for end caps making the thickness consistent with what I needed for the vice. This way the spacer would be even with the end cap and both ends of the bench top would be symmetrical. I installed the caps using glue and counter-sunk screws which were covered in wood putty and sanded smooth.

Using the leftover 2x4 from the caps, I cut 2 pieces, squared them up and edge-glued them. I then planed it down until the thickness combined with the top equaled that needed for the vice to fit flush to the top. It was then secured with glue and screws.

The whole top was then sanded with 120, 220 and 320 grit using my ROS. I cleaned all the dust and laid down a coat of MINWAX Pre-Stain Wood Conditioner. Thirty minutes after wiping the excess, I laid on 3 coats of MINWAX PolyShade Classic Oak satin finish with 24 hours dry time between coats and a sanding with 000 steel wool.

I then re-installed the vice.

Here is the finished product.

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Old 02-22-2020, 08:51 PM   #2
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Re: Workbench Rebuild


Great job!!!

It's good that you could (and were willing to) reuse most of what you already had.

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Old 02-23-2020, 07:21 AM   #3
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Re: Workbench Rebuild


Thanks jproffer. I hate waste so I use what I have on hand whenever possible. That is what scrap bins are for.
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Old 03-25-2020, 04:49 AM   #4
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Re: Workbench Rebuild


Quote:
Originally Posted by jdvis0909 View Post
informative post.
Thank you
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Old 03-25-2020, 06:28 AM   #5
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Re: Workbench Rebuild


Nice job Drach. I have been thinking about something similar for my own shop. The 2 1/2 car garage I built 18 mos ago is slowly transforming to shop space.

Been working off make-shift temp benches.
I just built this stock rack which has helped with some of the clutter.
Workbench Rebuild-shop.png

Workbench Rebuild-stock-rack.png

Workbench Rebuild-stock-rack-2.png
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Old 03-25-2020, 07:40 AM   #6
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Re: Workbench Rebuild


Nice shop Yodaman.

I drew up plans for my bench for a friend. I can try to post it here. The dimensions can you adjusted to suit your needs.
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Old 03-25-2020, 08:23 AM   #7
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Re: Workbench Rebuild


I thew this small one together for my sister awhile back; mostly from scraps. Maybe this social distancing (quarantine to my shop) will allow me the time to get one built.

Workbench Rebuild-small-work-bench.png

Workbench Rebuild-small-work-bench-2.png
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Old 03-25-2020, 08:54 AM   #8
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Re: Workbench Rebuild


Quote:
Originally Posted by Yodaman View Post
Nice job Drach. I have been thinking about something similar for my own shop. The 2 1/2 car garage I built 18 mos ago is slowly transforming to shop space.

Been working off make-shift temp benches.
I just built this stock rack which has helped with some of the clutter.
Attachment 590367

Attachment 590369

Attachment 590371
Either you and my son are reading the same book or one copied from the other.
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Old 03-25-2020, 11:46 AM   #9
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Re: Workbench Rebuild


Yeah, looks darn close, I saw a photo on pintrest and thought that might fit my needs. I do need to change the casters. Currently they are a little spongy and makes the rack a bear to move. I have some harder ones that I picked up from Harbor F. (Drachs recommendation to buy their dolly's for the wheels).
Add it to the list................
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Old 03-26-2020, 04:32 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yodaman View Post
Nice job Drach. I have been thinking about something similar for my own shop. The 2 1/2 car garage I built 18 mos ago is slowly transforming to shop space.

Been working off make-shift temp benches.
I just built this stock rack which has helped with some of the clutter.
Attachment 590367

Attachment 590369

Attachment 590371
I love the retractable set of stairs (as a stair builder for years)
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Old 03-26-2020, 06:59 AM   #11
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Re: Workbench Rebuild


Quote:
Originally Posted by Myvalk99 View Post
I love the retractable set of stairs (as a stair builder for years)

Thanks; I keep telling my self that I still want to be able to bring in a vehicle if needed. But I am slowly losing the battle.
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Old 03-26-2020, 07:50 AM   #12
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Re: Workbench Rebuild


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Thanks; I keep telling my self that I still want to be able to bring in a vehicle if needed. But I am slowly losing the battle.
That is usually what happens once you start using the garage as a workshop.

By sister-in-law's husband had the right idea. He built a utility building large enough to have a garage and his workshop under the same roof.

The garage is large enough to park his three vehicles including his dually and small tractor with room to do repairs. The shop area is walled off so he can climate-control it.
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Old 03-26-2020, 08:06 AM   #13
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Re: Workbench Rebuild


This building was roughly 22x28; code enforcement limited me to 600 sqft without full frost depth footer. But I will likely build on shed roof carports on one or both sides soon.


The wish list includes 30 x 60 pole barn or steel building.
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