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tony

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Can you professionals give me advice on making a workbench. The criteria is , it must be easy to make (no mortice & tenons), it must be cheap( i seen one on this site made from CLS ? but i think it was M&Ten).It will be just short of 8ft long & 2ft wide ? im 5,8in so what height does it need to be. Ive got a sliding saw , cheap pin drill, lathe, small bandsaw, router, cordless drill, the usual stuff. It doesnt have to have cupboards, just a decent surface to work on with a vice ? ps how do you insert smilies
 

clk230

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why not m&t you seem to have the tools to do them , if not then you could use corner braces/brackets.
 

DTR

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clk230":ttmefawq said:
why not m&t you seem to have the tools to do them
+1. My workbench with its M&T joints was the first thing I made when I took up woodworking :)
 

SurreyHills

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With regards to height - what sorts of stuff are you going to use it for? A good all round height is for the surface to be level with your knuckles - 32 to 36 inches.
 

Benchwayze

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If you can't make mortice and tenon joints, then by the time you have finished a good workbench, you'll be a past master at them. Honest!
Practice on some offcuts first.

There's nothing wrong with MDF for a benchtop btw.

John :D

For smilies, click on Full Editor, if you are using quick reply. If you use 'Post reply' the smilies come up on auto. :shock: :D :roll: :mrgreen:
 

baldpate

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Benchwayze":ofui7zgw said:
There's nothing wrong with MDF for a benchtop btw.
I totally agree.
When I remade my workbench a couple of years ago, I replaced the old top with one based on a cheap flush firedoor (27"x78"), 44mm thick, to which I bonded a sheet of 12mm MDF. Makes a good solid top. Add a sheet of 3mm MDF or hardboard on top as a sacrificial surface (so not permanently glued down) - if you're as messy a worker as I am you won't regret it : when it gets too tatty you can replace it cheaply and easily.
 

goldeneyedmonkey

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My next workbench is gonna be made from some decent timber, as will a sharpening station and assembly table, but the tops will all be 12mm sacrificial MDF that drops into a recess on the top. I've done fine with MDF benches in the past, just use some Redwood Pine or similar for the carcass. As for M&T's +1 for the advice above, just have a practice, take some time marking out and make sure your chisels are sharp, and whatever you are using to reference for routing is held nice and square.

Good luck, and if you have any questions then feel free to ask on this forum, they're a very helpful bunch :D.

Cheers _Dan.
 

Michael7

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DTR":3hwr3hh0 said:
clk230":3hwr3hh0 said:
why not m&t you seem to have the tools to do them
+1. My workbench with its M&T joints was the first thing I made when I took up woodworking :)
Me too. Got some old fence posts lying about my father in laws farm, cleaned them up and used pinned mortise and tenons to put it together Used 3 sheets of 18mm mdf and a sheet of hardboard for the top. Fixed the top with coachbolts.
 

condeesteso

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All good, agreed. mdf laminates make very good low-cost tops. But mdf is a bit soggy so I would consider 2 outer layers mdf, one inner ply. Also I like mixing materials as you get a combination of properties - ply is stiff, mdf is dead and really flat. For legs I'd suggest cheap builders timber - 4 x 2 doubled up to 4 x 4 ideally, but 3 x 2 doubled would be quite enough.
For an mdf top I wouldn't do m&t personally. The feature of a top like this is it's easy to modify, change a vice, scrap, re-surface. So I would just coach-bolt it to the base stretchers maybe. But I would run one long support under top centred to support it, as these sheets are a bit droopy really (esp on a span like this). I'd use a 4 x 2 probably, maybe 2 but set around 6" back from the top so you can clamp work on the top edge.
And please :wink: set the front legs and low stretcher flush with the top edge, then bore 3/4" holes in legs and low stretcher for dogs. Makes the entire front of bench a full work-holding surface - vital if you ever work the edges of a door say... but just good and useful all round.
 

tony

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Thanks to all for the advice , im thinking of trying M&T now, after some practice. Be prepared for further questions, as i think there will be, cheers Tony
 

dedee

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Tony, plenty of people around here have made same very simple but effective benches. Paul Chapman's was the inspiration for mine.

Here is my interpretation of the the "Chapman" bench. Not the prettiest bench in the world but I think will be fit for purpose.





M&T frames



MR chipboard flooring for the shelf, kitchen cabinet adjustable feet in two rows of four prevent sagging. Rails inset and screwed to end frames. The back is also MR chipbaord flooring. 1" chipboard desk top (no longer curved) as sub base for the the MDF bench top.



bench top is 3 18mm mdf individual beech lipping. Top layer MR due to availability. Glued and clamped without biscuits or dowels.



Dog hole drilling with mortiser and wood beaver bit. The holes were then "countersunk" using a Trend T10 router and small guided round over bit. Thanks to DaveL for the suggestion. I took a deep breadth, practised a few times first and I am very pleased with the result.



Top finished with cuprinol wood stain, to cover up the horrid green, and Ronseal diamond hard floor varnish.

Holdfasts from Richard T (UKW). First time I have ever used and boy are they incredibly simple to use and effective.

I have no plans to add any vises as I have a face vice on the Sjobergs bench

I will probably screw it to the floor but must rearrange the workshop before the bench finds finds it's final resting place.



Andy
 

Mikey R

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Im still fine tuning mine, but agree with the above, a bench is a great way to practice your M&T joinery!

 

condeesteso

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Hi Mike - how are you getting on with that twin screw face vice? I finished mine a month or so ago... and I'm still 'learning' it. Has big plus points but I do find it a little slow, I'll get better!
(Nice bass by the way.)
 

Mikey R

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condeesteso":2twupr6m said:
Hi Mike - how are you getting on with that twin screw face vice? I finished mine a month or so ago... and I'm still 'learning' it. Has big plus points but I do find it a little slow, I'll get better!
(Nice bass by the way.)
Hi Douglas,

Yep it is slow but that doesnt bother me so much. The problem I find is it doesnt hold stuff well if you only clamp at the top of the vice, the whole chop tilts outwards. I find myself putting wedges in bellow the level of the screws to keep the clamping pressure on.

Ive plans to improve it, by adding a leg vice style parallel guide - that was until I saw Richard Maguires vices at the Essex show last month, if I had the money I'd go for one of those in a second!
 

condeesteso

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Agreed re it slows me down a bit - but I'm getting more used to it, also it's still bedding in as I made it all quite tight from the start. I think you can engineer the vertical racking out almost completely if the face is very snug fit around the screws, and the screws are supported under the bench top so they don't sag. I've got very close to that on mine, and added a rake on the face so it closes at the top first (just a degree maybe is enough). RM is one of a very small number who really have tuned twin-screws to the max I think. And it has some very big pluses too - capacity, choice of horizontal racking for tapered work, ability to pinch stock at one end, then open the other screw a little... basically I don't think there is one perfect vice, they all compromise in one way or another IMO
 

tony

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If i do M & T the new bench , what kind of marking gauge do i need , pins or wheels, and will i need a marking knife , tenon saw. Recommendations please , ps im just going to be doing stuff as a hobby, but id also like to make a good lob of whatever i do, thanks
 
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