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bp122

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Hi all

I have gathered a good amount of lumber for a medium duty workbench now.
Most of which comes from a good quality pine dining table (really nice flat top and 75mm square legs.

Now, the dining table legs are about 200mm shorter than they need to be for my workbench.
If I were to extend these legs, what would be the best way?

Options:
1. Use the four legs to make two right length ones and use the other bits I have to make two more - What type of Joint and reinforcement?

2. Use the other bits of wood available to make a "leg platform" upon which the existing legs will sit on and are all joined by stretchers to make it a solid structure - Is this viable and if so what joints are better in this case.

I'd like to point out that I have enough lumber (hardwood and pine) to make up the legs (including the dining table legs)

Any suggestions and alternative approaches and ideas are welcome.
 

thetyreman

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agree with phil, also there will be strength issues with making it into 2 pieces and it'll just look weird, best to just start again with longer (oversize) stock.
 

bp122

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Thanks guys.

Fair enough. I'll use the lovely legs for a workshop stool / step stool or a router table project.
 

MikeG.

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Mine is an old school bench, and was 6 inches too short for me when I was given it. I added a 6x2 skirt around the top of the base and it is sturdy as hell. However, it isn't like a table (just legs, skirt, stretchers & top). It's more like a box with a heavy lid, with solid sides and back, stretchers at the top and bottom all round. So if you could make a very sturdy sub-structure, having shorter legs wouldn't be the end of the world. However.......

........I detect a couple of worrying issues. Firstly "medium duty" worries me. There's no such thing in a bench. It has to be able to take large horizontal and vertical forces, including the ability to absorb heavy hammer and mallet blows without any bouncing of the workpiece. If a bench isn't heavy duty it isn't a bench.

Secondly, a table top is almost certainly not going to make a decent bench top. They really do need to be thick and heavy, a description that doesn't fit with most tables. Also "flat" is pretty unimportant compared with "sturdy" or "robust". My bench isn't flat, and I really don't care a jot. We have a resident theoretician who demands bench tops are flatter than a pane of glass. Pointless nonsense from someone who doesn't make anything.

So, if your table top is thick, heavy, robust, and big enough, and you have enough timber to make a really, really heavy and strong substructure, you can crack on and make your bench. I suspect, however, that this is wishful thinking and that you would be better storing this old table away for a lighter project once you made your bench out of something more appropriate. Or bought one, of course. They're on Ebay all the time.

This isn't far from you. With a little work this would make a fine bench.
 

woodbloke66

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MikeG.":34d79tfd said:
However.......

........I detect a couple of worrying issues. Firstly "medium duty" worries me. There's no such thing in a bench. It has to be able to take large horizontal and vertical forces, including the ability to absorb heavy hammer and mallet blows without any bouncing of the workpiece. If a bench isn't heavy duty it isn't a bench.

So, if your table top is thick, heavy, robust, and big enough, and you have enough timber to make a really, really heavy and strong substructure, you can crack on and make your bench. I suspect, however, that this is wishful thinking and that you would be better storing this old table away for a lighter project once you made your bench out of something more appropriate.
There are loads of different ways to make a bench, but Mike is spot on; mass is everything. The Schwarz in the ATC mentions that once a bench gets to around 130Kg it's not going anywhere, despite whatever mayhem is inflicted on it. Make it able to withstand horizontal ('racking' forces when planing) with a really thick, heavy top (several layers of 18mm mdf work well with a sacrificial hardboard top (exterior grade is the stuff to use) The easiest way to prevent 'racking' is to glue/screw a thick bit of ply across the rear frame. Building a good bench isn't rocket science; the main thing is to make it really heavy - Rob
 

AndyT

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Yes, heavy is good, but it can be expensive.
I reckon the single best upgrade to an ordinary bench is to screw it down to a solid floor.
 

woodbloke66

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AndyT":1gzwcrw0 said:
Yes, heavy is good, but it can be expensive.
Agreed Andy, it can be, but it doesn't necessarily have to be. A framework of 4x4" (say) dry fencing posts, something similar for the rails, three sheets of 18mm mdf glued and screwed together for the top + a bit of the same for the rear bracer (screwed and glued) + something sacrificial on the top and I reckon you could almost be within striking distance of "heavy". Any lack of suitable poundage could be made up by building in a lower shelf and stacking it with the requisite number of house bricks. Even better, build in some cupboards and fill them with some nice heavy tools :lol: - Rob
 
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