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Emir Workbench

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stubtoe

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I have an (old?) Emir workbench I picked up from a college clearout . As you can imagine is been pretty knocked about with panel pins, nails, glue and who knows what else attached to the worktop, but it is sounder than anything I was going to build at my novice stage!

Pics here: https://stubtoe78.sugarsync.com/albums/thumb/7512392_288415

I initially did a bit of a tidy up of the worktop by planing off the worst of the mess, although, I gave this up after I dinked two blades on nails/pins I'd missed!

I'd now like to have another go at trying to get the workbench surface 'flat' after reading the recent thread (https://www.ukworkshop.co.uk/forums/post705671.html?hilit=winding sticks#p705671) but I have the following issues:

1. How do I go about flattening the top without risking any more dinked plane blades?

2. The front edge of the bench, i.e. in line with the tail vise, is coming un-laminated from the next section, so it is dropping downwards ever so slightly at the front edge. Its hard to explain and the photos I've taken don't really do it justice, but when I've got a board on edge on the worktop its noticeably leans over towards the front of the bench, and when boards are flat they rock from side to side (and I've convinced myself these are the reasons why I can't square or flatten boards - cough cough!! :wink:

Anyone have any suggestions how I can address the above two problems?

For no.2 I was thinking of drilling and then screwing with some substantial wood screws to pull the front edge back square with the next laminated section. Would this work?

Cheers

Jonny
 

MickCheese

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I am no expert, in fact far from it, but you could try a belt sander to begin with that may show up nice shiny metal bit that you can dig out.

On you other point I personally would try to avoid any more metal fixings as they present a danger to your sharp edges as you have already found.

Mick
 

stubtoe

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A belt sander could work I suppose. Have to try and find someone to borrow one off!!

I take your point about keeping any metal away from the work surface, but I was proposing to put them in horizontally from the front edge of the bench through the first laminated section and screwing into the section behind. I'm just not sure this will provide enough force to correct the dropping.
 

Argus

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You already have a bench to work on..... why not make a new top to your own specifications and then ditch the old one?

.
 

Cheshirechappie

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That looks a solid, well-made bench, and worth a bit of work to refurbish. To buy the timber for a direct copy would probably cost a couple of hundred pounds, and there would be a good few hours work in it.

The only solution to the panel-pin-in-top problem is to find them and remove them, unfortunately. It might be worth a bit of experimenting with one of those household pipe-and-wire detectors used to find buried metal in plaster walls, but failing that, a very careful systematic examination of the bench surface is probably the only way.

For the delaminating front strip, try gently wedging the gap open, working plenty of glue in (PVA such as Evostik Resin W would be fine) and then clamping up tight - a few sash cramps or lash something up. Wipe off as much as the glue squeeze-out as you can get at, allow to cure thoroughly, and pop the rest of the set glue off with a chisel. Then flatten the whole bench-top.

To do that, check it over carefully with a straightedge used longways and then across to find high spots. Check with winding sticks that there are no twists. Then using a jack-plane across the grain, take off just the highest spots. Check again, and trim high spots again. Be very careful near corners and edges - it's very easy to take off far too much here, and end up with a chronically low spot. Keep going, working slowly and with care, until all the trimmed bits join up, and the straightedge shows no dips more than half a milimetre or so. Then use a fine-set try plane along the grain, taking off just enough to leave a clean surface all over. Make a final check with the straightedge and winding sticks, correcting if you feel it necessary, and take the sharp edges off with a block plane or similar. Leaving the top unfinished is fine, but you can give it a coat or two of finish such as Danish oil if you wish. And you're done!

Don't worry about flattening to thousandths of an inch. You want it 'woodworking' flat (half a milimetre or so won't make much difference over the length of that bench), not 'engineering toolmaking' flat.

It's probably best not to use a belt sander to flatten the top. They are finishing tools, and will leave humps and valleys depending on where they are allowed to dwell. It could, however, be very useful for removing the crud from the surface to expose clean timber.

If all else fails, you could always resort to Argus' suggestion and make a new top with fresh timber; the frame looks solid and heavy, and well worth saving.
 

Duncan A

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Regarding the panel pins etc in the top of the bench, it should be possible to remove the top and, if it can then be broken down into manageable sections, an engineering workshop could mill the sections flat for you. I've been meaning to do it to my old square school bench for ages, but it's still useable so haven't bothered. Having flattened it, the plan is to add a couple of layers of MDF and a sacrificial layer of hardboard.
Duncan
 

Jacob

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I'd take off any protrusions such as blobs of glue but otherwise do nothing, except necessary repairs.
Then see if in use there are any problems, which there probably won't be. When pins show up either punch them in or remove them.
There's an obsession with "flatness" in woodwork circles - best ignored. Just get on and do some woodwork!
 

bugbear

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stubtoe":32rqwj0w said:
I have an (old?) Emir workbench I picked up from a college clearout . As you can imagine is been pretty knocked about with panel pins, nails, glue and who knows what else attached to the worktop, but it is sounder than anything I was going to build at my novice stage!

Pics here: https://stubtoe78.sugarsync.com/albums/thumb/7512392_288415

I initially did a bit of a tidy up of the worktop by planing off the worst of the mess, although, I gave this up after I dinked two blades on nails/pins I'd missed!

I'd now like to have another go at trying to get the workbench surface 'flat' after reading the recent thread (https://www.ukworkshop.co.uk/forums/post705671.html?hilit=winding sticks#p705671) but I have the following issues:

1. How do I go about flattening the top without risking any more dinked plane blades?
Planing is the best way to get a flat top. The question is then how to get the top clean enough to plane; I'd try either a surform or really coarse sandpaper (e.g. 60 Grit Alox) to get the top looking clean. Hopefully... any metal will be shined up by this, and can (somehow) be removed.

Alternatively, go to a car boot sale, and buy a really nasty, cheap, rusty plane, and use the blade sacrificially. If (when) it dings, either keep going (if the blade is still cutting) or just power-grind the ding out, roughly resharpen, and have at it. Once you've got the top "clean". you can flatten using your good plane/blade.

BugBear
 
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