Best joints for workbench

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badger99

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Hello,

i'm about to start making a workbench and chop saw stand for my studio. They will be used for general workshop activities. The workbench will be on wheels while the chop saw stand will be stationary running down one of the walls of the studio.

I have a few questions about how to construct the workbench and chop saw stand. The legs will be made from 75mm x 100mm Redwood Planed Timber, Finished Size 69mm x 94mm. While the horizontals will be made from 50mm x 75mm Redwood Planed Square Edge timber, Finished Size 44mm x 69mm.

What would be advised as the best method to fix the horizontals to the legs? Mortice and Tenons seem to be used a lot, if this is suggested what sizes should the tenons be on the horizontals and how deep into the legs should they go? Would they only require gluing? Or would you suggest an alternative way of fixing?

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Thanks in advance
 
The chop saw bench looks like one that I made for my DeWalt Radial arm saw about 25/30 years ago. Everything was 4x2 tanalised timber from the workshop build. I machined everything true and square then used M&T joints on the end two frames that were 1.8m wide. and the centre area at about 0.8m wide. I included a lower front rail on the three area. I applied a top and base of 18mm plywood along wit a 9mm plywood back.
The bench at about 4.4m long was so rigid that I could put scaffold pole tubes under it when it came to decorating and move it around.
I've moved house twice since making the bench, taking it with me each time. I cut the centre section out and have re-fitted it together with the cross rails sitting on battens that have been screwed to the ends of the two remaining frames. It is nice and solid.

Colin
 
It's hard to argue with Adam tbf. But I have a preference for jointed end frames and knock down cross pieces(bed bolts+dowels)(dominoes + kd dominoes) it gives strength with movability and accuracy.
 
M&T as you have stated, then peg with dowels? Other options are available.
thank you. Do you have to fit the dowel peg all the way through both sides of the mortice or can it go through one side, through the tenon and then partially into the other side of the mortice? I ask, because on the corner joints it might be tight/ difficult to get the peg all the through both sides.
 
And if you want to really stiffen it up against "racking" then remember engineers love big triangles / diagonal bracing for a reason. Alternatively sheet over the back. You can still leave a gap for clamping to the rear benchtop and sheet between the rear legs and the rear stretcher. An "apron" across the front top adds to the stiffness but I'm guessing that isn't compatible with your design.
 
An "apron" across the front top adds to the stiffness but I'm guessing that isn't compatible with your design.
Always a nice feature especially if you have 20mm dog holes and microjig dovetail slots in it because then you can work corners with one side on the bench top and the other on the apron, idea I first saw in hooked on wood.
 
My long rails are 5" x 2" and set at different heights, the shelf being fixed on the top of the front one and sitting on a quadrant mounted at the near the bottom the rear one specifically to ensure no end to end "parallelogramming". The top members are set down from a few inches from the top so I can get all manner of cramps around and under the whole top (including down between the top baulks that comprise the top). Aprons and wells are the work of the devil.:LOL:
 
It's hard to argue with Adam tbf. But I have a preference for jointed end frames and knock down cross pieces(bed bolts+dowels)(dominoes + kd dominoes) it gives strength with movability and accuracy.
But good to practice them if new to joinery? Should be a third thick and go into a triangle point with the opposing tenon?
 
My first (actually only) bench was built in a style similar to the Sjobergs scandinavian benches but with a classic record woodworking vice on the front. It had a thick and wide (10-12") plank full width across the back and at about half height. The plank had bed nuts set inboard of all four corners and bolts through the back legs into these. The width of the plank and the strength of the bolted construction worked well to resist racking. The bolts allowed knock down and could be tightened to keep everything rigid.
This could be added to the tables in the first post if required.
 
My first (actually only) bench was built in a style similar to the Sjobergs scandinavian benches but with a classic record woodworking vice on the front. It had a thick and wide (10-12") plank full width across the back and at about half height. The plank had bed nuts set inboard of all four corners and bolts through the back legs into these. The width of the plank and the strength of the bolted construction worked well to resist racking. The bolts allowed knock down and could be tightened to keep everything rigid.
This could be added to the tables in the first post if required.
Hi,

thanks for the comment. I am still trying to figure out the best way to fix the top to the frame. What are bed nuts? my top is about 40mm deep in total. its made up of 18mm ply with 22mm solid beech floor boards on top.
 
Umm, Why fix the top to the base? - I built a workbench out of maybe 150mm deep Maple strips on the apron and ~60mm top so as to accommodate dog holes for a tail vice and I located this onto the base using 2 x 30mm square Sapele pegs located at the front that were morticed into the front uprights of the base.
This allowed the bench top to float upon the base so it can move depth-wise to allow expansion and shrinkage across the grain whilst providing a solid col-location of the top to the base
In use the bench is rock solid, no wracking when hand flattening large panels etc and yet the top can if required be lifted off to aid moving around etc.
 
I don't have any pics of the locating pegs but this maybe gives an idea and was built in 2011 so has seen a fair bit of use and abuse since and it's still very serviceable!!
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finished-bench.jpg
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What are bed nuts?
Properly I think " cross dowel barrel nuts".
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For my example given above, holes are drilled in the plank to take the nuts, the holes for the mating bolts follows the direction of the grain - coming out the end grain of the plank. Matching holes drilled in the bench legs so that a long bolt can go right through the leg, into the end of the plank and when it engages the barrel nut, the plank and leg are pulled together hard.

The slot in the end of the barrel nut let you rotate it so that the threaded hole is lined up with bolt that comes in from the side.

You can get these in all sorts of sizes up to pretty big. M10 thread or more would suit a bench.

I think of them as bed nuts because they are a knock down fixing that can be used to fix the long sides of a bed frame to the head and foot.
 

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