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Chicken/Egg situation. Need a workbench to make a workbench

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swisstony

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I am sure we have all come across this countless times. The item you are building is needed before you can actually build the thing you need. I will post up pictures of the workshop eventually but this was pretty much the first large item I had to build as frankly my other "benches' were rubbish. Two worktops slapped on saw horses and rubbish piled underneath. Something like this.

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So as I had just purchased my favourite tool and something on my wish list, a table saw, I wanted to incorporate a work bench , table saw and outfield table. It had to be cheap using basic available timber, be constructed really basic, have storage, mobile but also be flexible to clamp stuff onto it. So saw some ideas on youtube and various websites and drew up some basic plans which changed along the way. Just using plywood, CLS timber and my limited tools it was quite a fun build. My workshop is tiny, only 10x 8ft so I am limited on space !

First up rough dimension the wood

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Then start building it. As I said very basic, pocket hole where needed and mostly butt joints.

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Now I had the main structure, I needed to get the height of the table saw so it was just above the outfield table but also find a way to stop the table saw from sliding. So using my ham fisted attempt at free routing (which was pretty bad) I added some recesses for the feet. This kept it stable but got the perfect height.

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Then added in full length drawer slides for the two front drawers , gave it all a couple of coats of protection , put the castors on and middle shelf. Then positioned the table saw at last and built the side expansion table for wide sheet goods.

This is a fold up table on brackets which gives me access to the battery ( flex volt saw) and also provides the extra space for handling wider timber sheets.

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Kept it like that for a few weeks but had to tweak it . Always wanted some form of hold down system so added in some t-track ( god that stuff is expensive ) , a cheap vice and my handy measure holder which also has a pencil sharpener in it :)

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All in all does the job , fits in the space and gets used and abused
Hope you like
 

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ian33a

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Very nice bench there Tony.

I'm in the process of building a bench as well - but the end is a very long way off.
 

Duncan A

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That's a lovely little bench you've built there, very neat.
Regarding the chicken and egg situation, Richard Maguire, The English Woodworker, used to build some gorgeous workbenches but told me that he didn't actually use a bench to build them on.
He has now moved on to other things but still has a website where he has a video on how to build a workbench off a pair of trestles. I don't need a workbench but would give his approach a go if I was making one.
How to Build a Workbench | Woodworking Workbench | The English Woodworker
Duncan
 

thetyreman

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I like this blog written by the English woodworker: Saw Horses - Do You Need A Set? - The English Woodworker

I am currently making my own timber framing style trestles same as the one pictured in his blog out of 4 x 2 redwood pine, for the same reasons as Richard, I don't like the spider legs, you can trip over them especially in a small space.

p.s well done on the bench build!
 
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Cabinetman

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Hi Tony, very nice lovely neat job, but I’m a bit horrified to see you’re using one of those dangerous push blocks. Huge thread on here about how dangerous they are, please get yourself two push sticks, refit your crown guard and dump that dangerous yellow thing, we don’t want to see you losing any fingers. Ian
 

sometimewoodworker

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Hi Tony, very nice lovely neat job, but I’m a bit horrified to see you’re using one of those dangerous push blocks. Huge thread on here about how dangerous they are, please get yourself two push sticks, refit your crown guard and dump that dangerous yellow thing, we don’t want to see you losing any fingers. Ian
The GRR-RIPPER is not dangerous used correctly and for the cuts it is suitable for (usually thinner material), it is often better to use a push stick as well.
The one point that will enhance the saw is to continue the mitre slot into the outfeed table so a larger table saw sled can be used.
 

Cabinetman

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Hi Jerome, I don’t think it’s a good idea to say those things are safe to use at any time, in any situation the operators hand is ridiculously close to the blade. Ask the Americans who use them all the time, where there are 10 amputations every day on average in the US. Ian
 

Jacob

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The GRR-RIPPER is not dangerous used correctly and for the cuts it is suitable for (usually thinner material), it is often better to use a push stick as well.
The one point that will enhance the saw is to continue the mitre slot into the outfeed table so a larger table saw sled can be used.
They are inherently dangerous compared to push sticks. They bring your hands closer to the blade and shorten your reach, forcing you to reach past the blade.
 

Oraclebhoy

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A rather long one, then !
That’s exactly what I thought when I read the original post.

With regards to push sticks, Do people still buy them or just use off cuts? I got a plastic push stick that came with a table saw, used it a few times at the start but didn’t like getting hard plastic so close to the blade, I now use long pine off cuts that I have. Doesn’t matter if they get chewed up on the blade.
 

Jacob

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That’s exactly what I thought when I read the original post.

With regards to push sticks, Do people still buy them or just use off cuts? I got a plastic push stick that came with a table saw, used it a few times at the start but didn’t like getting hard plastic so close to the blade, I now use long pine off cuts that I have. Doesn’t matter if they get chewed up on the blade.
The standard plastic ones don't shatter they just get nicked/cut and are safe, but there are cheapo offerings which are brittle and do shatter.
I save a plastic one as a pattern and make copies from cheap 12mm ply or mdf.
The standard pattern is clever than it looks in my opinion and gives you good control.You get used to them very quickly and it starts feeling unnatural not to use them
 
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sometimewoodworker

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Hi Jerome, I don’t think it’s a good idea to say those things are safe to use at any time, in any situation the operators hand is ridiculously close to the blade. Ask the Americans who use them all the time, where there are 10 amputations every day on average in the US. Ian
Hi Ian
That is your opinion. Mine is different, but then I am using almost exclusively with material that is 15mm and under with the blade at around a maximum of 20mm protrusion. I disagree that my hands are as close to the saw blade as you suggest.
The material is flexible enough that it needs a certain amount of downward pressure to be cut cleanly.

For larger material I don’t use them. For deeper cuts I don’t use them.

They are safe used correctly.

Absolutely there are many table saw accidents in the USA. How many happened while using a Grr-ripper? That information is probably not available.

Read up on accident reports that are available, many are caused by removing blade guards and the tiny numbers of riving knives on saws there. Watch a user like John Heisz (1million subscribers) and consider that many will copy him
 

Jacob

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Hi Ian
That is your opinion. Mine is different, but then I am using almost exclusively with material that is 15mm and under with the blade at around a maximum of 20mm protrusion. I disagree that my hands are as close to the saw blade as you suggest.
The material is flexible enough that it needs a certain amount of downward pressure to be cut cleanly.

For larger material I don’t use them. For deeper cuts I don’t use them.

They are safe used correctly.

Absolutely there are many table saw accidents in the USA. How many happened while using a Grr-ripper? That information is probably not available.

Read up on accident reports that are available, many are caused by removing blade guards and the tiny numbers of riving knives on saws there. Watch a user like John Heisz (1million subscribers) and consider that many will copy him
Grippers put your hand and arm closer to the blade than push sticks. If anything goes wrong this increases the likelihood of an accident compared to push sticks.
Grippers also reduce your reach, sticks increase your reach.
It's very simple.
This vid shows chap coming to losing a finger, but oddly he doesn't seem to be aware of this and is more bothered about relatively harmless kick back.


He's doing several things wrong but if he used push sticks the only damage risk would be to the sticks, not his fingers.
 
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Cabinetman

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Hi Ian
That is your opinion. Mine is different, but then I am using almost exclusively with material that is 15mm and under with the blade at around a maximum of 20mm protrusion. I disagree that my hands are as close to the saw blade as you suggest.
The material is flexible enough that it needs a certain amount of downward pressure to be cut cleanly.

For larger material I don’t use them. For deeper cuts I don’t use them.

They are safe used correctly.

Absolutely there are many table saw accidents in the USA. How many happened while using a Grr-ripper? That information is probably not available.

Read up on accident reports that are available, many are caused by removing blade guards and the tiny numbers of riving knives on saws there. Watch a user like John Heisz (1million subscribers) and consider that many will copy him
You say "many (accidents ) are caused by removing blade guards and the tiny numbers of riving knives on saws there" . Quite agree but the problem is you have to remove the crown guard to be able to use a push block. We shall never agree so no point saying much more. They’re your fingers. Ian
 

sometimewoodworker

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Grippers put your hand and arm closer to the blade than push sticks. If anything goes wrong this increases the likelihood of an accident compared to push sticks.
Grippers also reduce your reach, sticks increase your reach.
It's very simple.
This vid shows chap coming to losing a finger, but oddly he doesn't seem to be aware of this and is more bothered about relatively harmless kick back.


He's doing several things wrong but if he used push sticks the only damage risk would be to the sticks, not his fingers.
You talk about the problems of using grr-rippers but then show a video of someone using a push pad. Also he is deliberately trying to initiate a kickback event (kickbacks are, sometime, not relatively harmless) while having neither a riving knife or top guard in place.

Had he been using sticks he would have been in greater danger from the kickback event he was trying to provoke as it did not go straight backwards but to where he would have to stand.

Yes his hands would have been well clear of the blade but his torso would’ve been in the line of fire getting a bruise at a minimum.

I don’t advocate removal of the riving knife (I always use one) I don’t suggest removing the top guard to use the grr-ripper. I do state that if the cut requires a below the teeth riving knife, or you have that kind fitted, then the grr-ripper is safe if used correctly.
 
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