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My Cheap Bench Build!

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=Adam=

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Hi guys!

Well after my recent purchase of a Record Lathe it became clear that I needed somewhere to mount it as it is fairly long (roughly 1.5m overall).

I went through the obvious options which were to:

1) Buy a decent bench, I didn't want to do this because of the cost.
2) Buy a cheap metal bench from ebay, I didn't want to do this because I didn't want the bench to vibrate whilst working
3) Make my own out of scrap wood and cheap bits and bobs.

I decided to go down the DIY route not only because of the cost, but also it gave me something to fiddle with on the weekends!

Here is what I wanted:

- 8ft long to house the lathe and either a mitre saw, band saw, fret/scroll saw or bench grinder
- A nice sized shelf to keep my nice stock pile of timber
- A space to fit a storage rack in (already have this)
- Somewhere to store my tools

First of all I went to my local Travis Perkins where I picked up some 18mm MDF and two planks of 4x2 CLS, the total for these came to £32 which I was totally shocked about because that seemed a lot for what I got but hey ho.

My next stop was B&Q where I intended to get some lengths of 3x2 CLS as this was £2.60 for 2.4M lengths. However when I got there I realised that the 4x2 that I got in Travis Perkins was for sale for £3 odd a length and also to add to that, they had some coated chip board that was used for shipping of bathroom suites on offer for £1 for a sheet with the dimensions of 6' x 4' which was a bargain so I bought both of them! My total bill from B&Q came to £25 which included 7 lengths of 3x2 CLS, 2 lengths of 4x2 CLS and 2 6'x4' sheets of chip board.

(needless to say that I returned my TP haul!)

I then went to the workshop and managed to scavenge 3 legs worth of 4x4 softwood (scrap). Here I laminated the 4x2 in order to get 4x4 for the legs, cut the stock to the required lengths and then cut mortice and tenons in the stretchers (3x2) and legs (4x4). I also ripped the 6x4 boards down to 4 pieces with a width of 24". I then took one of the lengths and cut it on the cross cut into 3 sections of 24" (to give me 3 layers of 8')

Once all of the wood was machined I then took it all to my "workshop" where the bench was going to live.

I won't bore you with all of the details about how I assembled it as it was relatively straight forward, I will just give you some nice pics to look at now!

My initial idea:



Day one of assembly:




Yesterdays efforts:

Shelf constructed:


One layer of work surface screwed down:


Storage:


The Beast!!!:


Now the bench isn't complete as I have to fix the next two layers of chip board down and I have to box in the top of the radiator in order to stop it getting clogged up full of dust and shavings.

Before I put the work top on, I put horizontal cross braces in in order to stop any lateral movement and vibration.

The whole bench has been glued together using polyurethane glue and screwed on the joints to make sure that it doesn't come apart.

Thanks for looking.

Be gentle :oops:
 

MickCheese

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Looks good and solid.

The screws you use through the legs into the rails look a little close to the edge and why did you stop the rails short of the end of the dados or is that just the camera angle?

If the two rails are meeting in the centre of the legs you could have mitred the ends to get greater depth.

With weight of the top and the lathe I don't think this will be going anywhere fast.

Mick
 

=Adam=

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Sorry I am not sure what you mean by dado's. Do you mean the mortice's?

I am new to wood working (within the last 6 months) so please excuse any school boy errors :p
 

MickCheese

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Sorry, my error. Yes the mortices. From the look of the pictures it appears there is a large gap at the back of the open mortices.

Mick
 

=Adam=

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Yes the mortises were slightly off centre which meant that they fouled on one another, so to remedy this I cut them down, however I cut them a little too much!

Come to think of it mitring them would have been a good option, hindsight is a beautiful thing ehh? Haha!

I also forgot to add that for the tool storage I have decided against the peg board idea purely because of the cost, local suppliers want £15 a sheet. Instead of this, I have gone down a low tech route of using some magnetic knife holders which I sourced from wilkinsons for £2 each.... 4 of these should do and for less than half the price (when you take into account the pegs/clips to fix tools to the wall).

Happy days!


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I am here: http://maps.google.com/maps?ll=51.675579,-4.141151
 

Mark A

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Hi Adam

You've found out that Travis Perkins is expensive! I quite like Hancock and Brown down by Port Tennant - very helpful and reasonably priced.

Mark
 

Halo Jones

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I like the bench. It looks like it be very practical. Wish I had one! I did wonder about storing the wood blanks for you turning right in front of a radiator. I'm still a newbie so I am sure someone will correct me but could that not cause the wood to dry in a funny way?

H
 

=Adam=

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I thought that the radiator would be a benefit and act like a mini kiln ( I could be wrong though). In all fairness the radiator will hardly ever be on and when it is, it will be on very low (setting one or two).

Hancock and brown were helpful when I went there before but it was out of the way for me this time.

Thanks for the comments :)


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=Adam=

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Right I haven't updated this in a while so bare with me ;)

The bench was left as it was for 24 hours to make sure that the glue had set and hardened properly before I started fiddling and moving it backwards and forwards. The work top was then test fitted in order to get a feel for the actual size of the unit.



Plenty of clearance for my little boxes too :)



A shelf was then made by cutting a piece of chip board to size (in two sections) and cut outs were made using a jig saw to ensure a snug it around the legs.



The next step was to fit the work surface to the bench, before I did this I added in some cross braces between the stretchers for that extra bit of support. The boards were set flush to the radiator (leaving a small gap for safety) and then fixed into place using standard wood screws.

This method now meant that the top of the radiator was exposed to dust and debris, so to stop anything getting trapped and causing damage I constructed a simple but effective radiator cover which doubled as a storage shelf. I have no wip pics of this because I was in the "zone".

I will jump now to having the lathe and cover in place. The lines on the bench were to ensure that the lathe was secured square (I'm fussy like that).



I then took delivery of my bench grinder and at the same time, my girlfriends father got his scroll saw which were duly mounted to the bench. With the added bonus of a small vice :)





As you can see, all of the cables for the machinery run along the shelf and are tacked down for safety and aesthetic reasons :)

My grinder jig was then fitted after some jiggery pokery.



And finally I put some magnetic holders up on the wall to hold my chisels (not all of them) and small lathe bits and bobs. I got these from wilko for £2 each and they do the job perfectly!





Here is a nice shot of my small stock pile. This will grow quite nicely soon don't worry :)



That's it for the building process, I am all done. The area needs a decent clean up and the joints need sealing against the wall but apart from that, I am finished :)

Hope you enjoyed looking at this!





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No skills

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Some times a lack of comments can be a downer, but it matters not - if the thread viewed count keeps climbing then peeps are coming back and seeing your progress :)


Your new bench looks plenty sturdy, cant comment on its use for turning as I've never done any :oops: I would personally try to lip the bench top edge with something to tidy it up a touch and save you catching yourself on the sharp bits of chipboard.

JMO
 

StevieB

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I built something similar just for a general workbench, not for a lathe. Currently putting doors on the front - would really recommend this as it keeps the dust and shavings out.
 

=Adam=

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Thanks for the post!

Doors on the front aren't an issue for me as I am storing mainly wood underneath, the boxes are there to keep them out of the way really.

Thanks for the input though :)
 
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