Opinions on these ex-school workshop workbenches.

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BearTricks

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I have the opportunity to buy one of two ex-school workbenches being sold locally. I’ve attached photos of the one that‘s in better nick.

They’re only small, but my workshop is only 8‘ x 10’ and will probably only be used for light woodworking so would free up a bit of space for something like a router table. The alternative would be the likes of Axminster’s basic bench which to be fair is twice as long and reasonably well reviewed.

Axminster DIY 1500 Workbench .

Keen to get going ASAP so looking at used and off the shelf. After timber and hardware, the price to build my own is approaching buying an off the shelf bench anyway.

They’re going for less than half the price of new. I’m not above doing a bit of fettling to tidy up the damage but would this be too light duty to do anything meaningful with? I’m also toying with buying both, tidying the more knackered one up and selling it on.

Opinions welcome.
 

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niall Y

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I have the opportunity to buy one of two ex-school workbenches being sold locally. I’ve attached photos of the one that‘s in better nick.

They’re only small, but my workshop is only 8‘ x 10’ and will probably only be used for light woodworking so would free up a bit of space for something like a router table. The alternative would be the likes of Axminster’s basic bench which to be fair is twice as long and reasonably well reviewed.

Axminster DIY 1500 Workbench .

Keen to get going ASAP so looking at used and off the shelf. After timber and hardware, the price to build my own is approaching buying an off the shelf bench anyway.

They’re going for less than half the price of new. I’m not above doing a bit of fettling to tidy up the damage but would this be too light duty to do anything meaningful with? I’m also toying with buying both, tidying the more knackered one up and selling it on.

Opinions welcome.
I noticed from your photos, that the benches have been heightened with a couple of softwood blocks to their base. Lots of school stuff seems to be less than standard height- remember those improbably small chairs from junior school. My own bench - modelled on one from a college I worked at turned out to be too low when I started to use it. Its still in use today, but is now lifted up on blocks a further 4 inches off the ground.
Re the benches, if the price is right they are definitely worth a punt. The tops are nice and solid, and you can always stiffen up the base with a few braces if needed
 

Jameshow

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I think they would be great especially for a smaller workshop.

The cheaper workbenches from aximinster / machine mart are rubbish tbh.

If you don't get on with it you can always sell on at a profit.
 
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Ttrees

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They’re only small, but my workshop is only 8‘ x 10’ and will probably only be used for light woodworking

Opinions welcome.

Light woodworking is a very un-descriptive comment , should one be looking for an answer.
It could mean no hand work and all power tools, since you mentioned want to have a freestanding router table, which is more akin to a carpenters/joiners workshop, and not freestanding furniture with all solid timbers kinda thing.

Whilst they are very short, it sounds like you have space to put one somewhere, maybe both?
should you have longer projects in mind and want a longer bench too.

Hard to know how hefty the thing is, but seems a bit more substantial than the Axi offering.
If you are planning on learning hand work, and the basics of furniture making, then looks like not too bad of a deal atall.
Nothing stopping one from having a big sleeper at hand stood upright against a wall for times when one might need to surface longer stuff which would need support when hand planing.

They do look nice, and should one take care of the bench, and not make $hite of it with saw cuts and chisel marks, and treat them with care, they could be sold again.

Should you have refined short projects in mind only, then very suitable IMO.
Having a stout top which is flattenable and won't deflect isn't as simple as it may seem, (considering cost)
should you be heading down that cabinetmakers journey seeking skills and not money.
i.e take a look at the few who work on Scandi benches, very rarely would you see manufactured
sheet goods on them.
i.e Frank Klausz, Tage Frid, Rob Cosman to name but a select few who you might find using one in video format.

Good luck

Tom
 

Richard_C

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If the price is right, I wonder if you could buy both, adapt the legs of the worst to make the best one 4 legged and more sturdy, use bits of one vice to add a tail vice or similar and some of the unused top as a fold out extension for assembly work, other odd bits of the sacrificed one perhaps as a cross brace on the back legs so you end up with a customised version for your space and needs. Plus a leftover offcut bits to practice your skills on and power your fire for a few minutes next winter.
 

Adam W.

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I have the opportunity to buy one of two ex-school workbenches being sold locally. I’ve attached photos of the one that‘s in better nick.

They’re only small, but my workshop is only 8‘ x 10’ and will probably only be used for light woodworking so would free up a bit of space for something like a router table. The alternative would be the likes of Axminster’s basic bench which to be fair is twice as long and reasonably well reviewed.

Axminster DIY 1500 Workbench .

Keen to get going ASAP so looking at used and off the shelf. After timber and hardware, the price to build my own is approaching buying an off the shelf bench anyway.

They’re going for less than half the price of new. I’m not above doing a bit of fettling to tidy up the damage but would this be too light duty to do anything meaningful with? I’m also toying with buying both, tidying the more knackered one up and selling it on.

Opinions welcome.
I like those Danish benches and the dogs look very good, I'd get them both just because it's handy having two benches sometimes.

They aren't cheap either....

 

kinverkid

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I would get both too for the right price. You could build a nice cabinet under one of them instead of new legs. I'm short of room too so cupboard/drawer space is important.
 

thetyreman

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I would use it as a sharpening station and build a second larger one as your main workbench or find a full-size one, it's worth taking both of them as the cost of wood is so high that wood can be re-used for something else.
 

--Tom--

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I have the same bench. Lervad makes decent kit. I do wish it was bigger though.

The footprint of the frame is small so either needs bolting down or reworking. Could do with being higher too. I fix mine in a super jaws to use it.

Clamping capacities are good for smaller pieces, but it’s a small bench.
 

Hornbeam

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I bought one for my neighbour for £30 and would not recommend as much too small, The larger Lervad benches are excellent.
Also consider whether that type of vice would suit you as compared with a leg vice or a record type
 

--Tom--

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Mine was £30 too. Just seen they seem to be on eBay for a fair amount of money, I’d pass at that price
 

Ttrees

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Twohundredandfifty is certainly a bit much for something which may not suit.
Seems like they are clean enough for someone to use as a coffee table or whatever,
even for some to make a bench on a bench with,
not being looking at used benches ever on the bay, but I'd guess the price may not drop.
 

BearTricks

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Some good opinions in here and I’m back leaning towards building my own again. Beech or Ash might just about fit the budget if I’m smart about it. They’re small and probably have their uses but I think something more suited to my space and able to handle the odd big project (assuming prices come down or a relative suddenly finds some 8 foot oak boards in their garage) might be a better investment in the long run after all.
 

Adam W.

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Twohundredandfifty is certainly a bit much for something which may not suit.
Seems like they are clean enough for someone to use as a coffee table or whatever,
even for some to make a bench on a bench with,
not being looking at used benches ever on the bay, but I'd guess the price may not drop.
That's quite an ask for an old bench.
 

skeetstar

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Looking a photos they appear very weighty work tops. But the legs dont look very substantial. If you buy one, I'd be looking to make some decent supports for the bench.
 

Trextr7monkey

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I ran a workshop in a school with a lot of Lervard benches. - some long and some short. With plenty of space they were arranged either side of a central well which acted as a spine. They were a bit low and as a group useful for clamping big stuff across 2 or 3 benches using the dogs
A single bench not so useful would certainly need raising and attaching to something solid. For similar money you could probably buy a traditional joiners bench with a couple of vices attached etc
 

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