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Looking for a portable/collapsible workbench

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welly

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Hi all,

I'm looking for some kind of portable/collapsible workbench - less like the old Black and Decker Workbenches and more something fairly solid I could do some chiselling, that can take a bit of hammering. I'm looking at the Sjoberg Smart Workstation (http://www.sjobergs.se/en/products/hobb ... rtnr=33309) but wouldn't mind if there's other options.

Thanks!
 

MikeG.

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When I was doing lots of woodwork on my house, I built a couple of bench-height saw horses, and used scaffold boards across these for a bench. From that end of the range of possibilities to a pretty folding something for storage in a garage for occasional fine tool work at the other end of the range, there will be something which suits you. It would help if you let us know what you are trying to achieve, and what work you will be doing on it.
 

sunnybob

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I have an original B&D workmate 400, one owner (sadly not very careful), 46 years old now. Just this week i was thinking about refurbing it.
If youre hammering, sawing and chiselling, and then hanging it up on the wall till the next time, it cant be beat. Mine has moved house about 6 times and now lives abroad, but it is still useable.
 

Sideways

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I'm a big fan of the rare, early cast aluminium workmate but wouldn't want to crack them by over enthusiastic hammering.
Some activities need a bench with mass and that's a problem if you want to move it.
Consider building something that dismantles into sections that you can move and store, but assembles together solidly.
You could make a top from doubled up birch ply. 2x18mm makes a top that is heavy and will take all the hammering you want. It might only need to be a foot wide and three feet long. Less ?
Think of a way to add two leg frames, splayed outwards and or backwards to resist planing if you need that. one or two stretchers in between that are have wedged tenons that can be knocked in / out with a hammer so it all comes apart but clamps up tight. There are full size workbench designs that employ some of these ideas. Back in the middle ages, woodworkers used to haul their benches around and used knock downs like this. It's a fascinating and worthwhile project.
The Sjobergs is pretty but it's small, expensive and no better than the table you put it on.
 

sunnybob

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My workmate is pressed steel. Its been hammered, stood on, and many other unrepeatable actions. Maybe I should advertise it as an antique tool?
Wonder if i can get Paul Sellers to do an article on one?
(hammer) (hammer) :lol: :lol: 8)
 

AndyT

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Have a look at this on YouTube channel Pask Makes. It's like the Sjobergs one you linked to but much cheaper, even if you have to buy some wood to make it.

https://youtu.be/JMmvyaBUhO8
 

gmgmgm

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Have you looked at something like the "Triton SuperJaws" and related collapsing work holders? Some of them look meaty enough for hammering.

(No personal experience yet, but they are something I keep wishing I had for jobs!)
 

Sideways

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gmgmgm":3iqd1brw said:
Have you looked at something like the "Triton SuperJaws" and related collapsing work holders? Some of them look meaty enough for hammering.

(No personal experience yet, but they are something I keep wishing I had for jobs!)
I have the Superjaws in Elu guise, before they went to Triton. They are a great tool but limited application because there is no bench top and the base is a tripod which limits ultimate stability for planing etc.
The power of the vice has to be seen to be believed. I can take a metre long length of 6 or 8" black steel channel, grip it at one end and have the whole length sticking out to one side for easy access with the angle grinder.
I'm glad to have it but not as my only workholding device.
The same goes for the Walco workbench. Super versatile. Great for ripping sheet goods with a tracksaw, but the tables cantilever out from a frame and wouldn't be ideal for being hammered on and too tall / limited footprint to be stable for planing,
 

welly

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MikeG.":1aq1pwmr said:
When I was doing lots of woodwork on my house, I built a couple of bench-height saw horses, and used scaffold boards across these for a bench. From that end of the range of possibilities to a pretty folding something for storage in a garage for occasional fine tool work at the other end of the range, there will be something which suits you. It would help if you let us know what you are trying to achieve, and what work you will be doing on it.
Hi Mike,

Thanks for your reply (and everyone else who did!). What I’m basically looking for is a small, sturdy kind of work top/workbench not too dissimilar to the Sjoberg Smart Workstation that let’s me work on smallish projects - boxes, learning to cut dovetail (and other) joints, building jigs etc. basically small projects up to perhaps half a metre wide - up to slightly larger projects - planning on building a small bedside table.

My main interest is using hand tools - I’ve been studying a C&G in joinery and carpentry and the focus has been on hand cutting various housing joints, dovetail joints etc. etc. and that’s where I’d like to concentrate although I do have a few portable power tools - Dewalt mitre saw and table saw but have the dewalt folding stands for those, so that is sorted.

I feel like the Sjoberg thing is probably close to ideal although I suspect it’s probably a touch too small. But it ticks most of the boxes - has a decent vice, dog holes, is portable.

I did consider building one myself but when I initially looked into the cost of the wood and a suitable vice, it was beginning to cost more than buying that Sjoberg bench so decided against it. However, it would be a good project for a relative beginner woodworker so there is the benefit of that!
 

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