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Lonsdale73

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What would be the best way to 'firm up' a bench to prevent racking?

a) Single piece running from top corner to opposite bottom corner?

b) Two long pieces, St. Andrews Cross-style

c) Two shorter pieces from each top corner, meeting on or near middle of bottom rail

d) As above but from bottom corners to top middle

e,f) As c or d with central upright

Approx 4ft wide, depth 20" ish

bracing.jpg
 

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colinc

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Pete has a point, a wall would be better but I guess that's not an option?

Options C-F arise in bracing a system of reversing forces where the members alternate between being in compression and tension. Their shorter members are better at resisting compression (Euler's formula and all that). The price though is that they react into the horizontals so they need to be stiff too, otherwise you have a frame gyrating in all directions at once :D .

A is technically the most efficient form of bracing a force from the right, assuming that you are planing right to left , as it puts the brace in tension, but really it needs to be in tension before you apply any force to it, otherwise the initial joint movement will result in racking and that is hard to achieve in timber. Threaded rods and a turnbuckle would be the sort of thing to use in a big frame, but for a bench it's an OTT fix.

The extra member in B could contribute quite a lot because it is easier to jam in a bit of timber so that it is working compression from the start. Same logic as ledge and brace doors. It needs to be fat and stiff though to do any good.

Assuming my 'planing right to left' assumption is correct, perhaps just try a bit of 4x2 from top right to bottom left (as viewed from the front) first as that's easy to make a tight fit, but it's hard to say that either is going to be as effective a you want. If you stiffen up the front of the bench the force still needs to go somewhere so you will probably just start racking in another plane.

It might be time to build a new bench? I am mid-way through doing that myself now because the one I have used for years needs bolting to a wall to be usable and I want it free-standing.

regards,

Colin
 

Lonsdale73

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colinc":65yju9yn said:
It might be time to build a new bench?
It is a new build and was hoping to make it sturdier from the outset than it's predecessors.

I don't do much hand planing however I still want it to be sturdy. Having a small workshop I've got almost everything on castors so I can wheel them in and out as required. I also had th whizzo idea of 'levelling' the garage floor with some laminate flooring which looks pretty but sometimes even locked casters can slip when some pressure is applied. Plan is for this one to have wide feet that will 'hug' the floor when in use ad retractable wheels for when I need to move it in to position. For the most part, it will be 'docked' against a wall and serve as support when cutting long pieces on the mitre saw and as an assembley bench. A lower shelf will hold my bobbin sander and bench top thicknesser when not in use and possibly act as outfeed table for the latter. At least, that's the theory!
 

Orraloon

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As it's going to be a new built bench then perhaps a traditional Nicholson bench like Paul Sellers does on youtube. The deep aprons supply the bracing.
Diagonal braces will work but the tend to get in the way of mounting a vice for instance and limit under bench storage options.
Regards
John
 

Lonsdale73

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Orraloon":bg64yqsa said:
As it's going to be a new built bench then perhaps a traditional Nicholson bench like Paul Sellers does on youtube. The deep aprons supply the bracing.
Diagonal braces will work but the tend to get in the way of mounting a vice for instance and limit under bench storage options.
Regards
John
That was an idea I liked, reminded me of the woodwork benches from my school days with a tool well in the centre.

But then I also like aspects of this one: Powertool friendly bench WWGOA mostly the pull out, lift up machinery trollies.

I'm not overly keen on his method of wheel retraction though and favour something more like this.

And I want to incorporate some of Timothy Wilmotts design, mostly the MFT top with inset t-tracks for clamping options.

I do like the apron idea though and this is where I'm now at:
IMG_0378.JPG


I've spent today marking out the positions and routing the stopped dadoes so the apron sits on the legs. One dado is a bit snug but with no more than clamps holding everything in place there's no hint of racking and even without a top in place it already feels nice and solid.
 

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Benchwayze

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Pete Maddex":upx674lw said:
B

Or a sheet of ply.

Pete
Exactly.

I fixed mine with a sheet of MDF; which also provided the back for storage. Then I added
end panels and and sliding doors; and before I knew it, I had a bench with cupboard and drawer space underneath! If that's your thing of course.

HTH

Best of luck

John (hammer)

John
 

Orraloon

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I see you are a fair ways into a Nicholson bench so I would just focus on that for now. It can overload the sences a bit looking at all the different benches out there. Each one of us works in a particular way so tend to design a bench to suit that. Trouble is things change over the years so the aim for the ultimate bench is never fully attainable. Getting close is as good as it gets. I am on my 4th bench now and every one had modifications done down the track of time.
As to wheels , well these would be the easiest.
https://www.axminster.co.uk/axminster-w ... ors-507151
Regards
John
 

Lonsdale73

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Orraloon":3cobfoaj said:
I see you are a fair ways into a Nicholson bench so I would just focus on that for now. It can overload the sences a bit looking at all the different benches out there. Each one of us works in a particular way so tend to design a bench to suit that. Trouble is things change over the years so the aim for the ultimate bench is never fully attainable. Getting close is as good as it gets. I am on my 4th bench now and every one had modifications done down the track of time.
As to wheels , well these would be the easiest.
https://www.axminster.co.uk/axminster-w ... ors-507151
Regards
John
I was well on my way to a torsion box till you tipped me back towards Nicholson!

I'd looked at those wheels but thimk I would have problems locking/raising the back ones when they're against the wall
 
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