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"Quick" solid bench for a friend

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theartfulbodger

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My first commission! :lol:

A friend has asked my to build him a bench, there's lots of plans on the net but I have arrived at this one

http://dreambuildfly.com/2010/08/building-workbenches/

According to the video they weigh over 100 lbs and look solid enough for an American person to sit and lie on :mrgreen:

Cheap, quick, solid are the only real prerequisites.

Any others to consider?

Thanks in advance :ho2
 

bosshogg

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Framing as per (personally I used 4" x 4" fence posts, dressed, M&T, and only 2 top stretchers) then a solid core door for the top if you have one, had mine now for more than 15 years...bosshogg
 

theartfulbodger

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Thanks, Bosshog! That was a quick answer :)

I'm more in favour of MandT joints than screws it has to be said..but screws would be a lot faster.

Is a stretcher the short "front to back" part of the frame that's under the top?
 

RogerP

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I use a cut down old pine farmhouse kitchen table with 4" x 4" legs and cross bracing fitted with an extra 25mm birch ply top that gets changed every couple years. Solid as a rock and been in use for 30 years - but if I'd known then what old pine farmhouse kitchen tables can be worth now I'd probably not have abused it :shock: :)
 

bosshogg

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theartfulbodger":3fdc2j9c said:
Thanks, Bosshog! That was a quick answer :)

I'm more in favour of MandT joints than screws it has to be said..but screws would be a lot faster.

Is a stretcher the short "front to back" part of the frame that's under the top?
Yea, one further thing, I fixed these in open mortises with 3mm clearance above the end grain of the legs this allows for any movement, warping/twisting etc. Iv'e had no problems so far and that in a seasonally affected wooden shed.
Hope this helps...bosshogg :)
 

condeesteso

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A fine bench - easy, quick and cheap. I have made silly deluxe benches but I honestly respect the simple 'workers'. Just please make the front frame flush to the top edge, then bore 3/4 holes in the legs for holdfasts, dogs etc (not Jack Russells as they don't fit 3/4 holes... see my avatar).
I am convinced that a very effective bench can be done well under a 'ton' [£100], and cheap softwood is great but go for quite big sections. I also hear old fire-doors are handy for tops.
 

MickCheese

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If you favour M&T joints then.......

The legs are laminated with two pieces of timber, if you use three pieces and leave a gap in the centre piece you have a ready made mortice, do the same for the stretcher but just have the centre piece longer then the outside and a ready made tenon.

I think it was Fine Woodworking that made a similar one from 18mm ply.

Mick
 

MickCheese

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I find leaving mine flush allows me to balance long boards on dogs jutting out of the legs or use my holddown in the leg holes to secure things.

Mick
 

condeesteso

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That's it - with stretcher and legs flush to the front edge of top, the whole front 'plane' is a clamping surface - vital for working edges of big boards, doors etc. This is a Chris Schwarz 'mantra' and I would say he knows a lot about what makes a good bench.
 

theartfulbodger

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That sounds like a plan! I see what you mean now..flush as in to hold vertical boards against the front of the bench, not flush as in flush if a board was laid on top.

if you see what I mean #-o

The plans suggest a laminated MDF and ply top and I figured that if the front "rail" covered the front edge of the surface then it would save a splintery chippy edge.

i think I'll plan for both :)
 

MickCheese

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I tried laminating two 18mm ply boards to make a thicker top, it was hell. Could not get enough clamping force across the boards to make them really tight and it's not really a one person job.

Keep an eye on eBay for some old wooden worktop.

Mick
 

MickCheese

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If you keep looking occasionally a beech one comes up or try your local kitchen place they may have some longish bits lying around.

The new beech ones from Ikea are not that expensive.

Mick
 

condeesteso

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Yes Artful - I didn't make it very clear, but if you imagine the front edge of the top as a datum, then both top (obviously) and front frame are built off that. To not have a flush front just throws away a load of clamping / holding capability. And I do think a bench has 2 roles - a flat work surface, and the ability to clamp any workpiece you can reasonably imagine. And I do credit C Schwarz for that insight... there is a lot to be said for that old basic Roubo slab of a bench I reckon.
Couple of thoughts - I've seen great bench-tops made from laminates of mdf, maybe shove one layer of ply in the middle. And do have a look at the old-fashioned holdfast - the fastest most versatile clamping device to keep near a bench I think. Richard T here makes them the trad way (hand-forged)... and no, I am not on commission :lol:
If you use holdfasts you'll need a top min (I think) 50mm but Richard is the expert on that topic.
 

Alan Holtham

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Hope its all right to post this, but I have just made a bench incorporating many of the features you have been discussing for the first of our Build it with Bosch series of videos. A quick and simple bench that doesn't require a lot of tools or skill. The plans and material list are available on the Bosch professional Facebook page. Hope you enjoy it, would appreciate any constructive feedback, thanks

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SeWeeY4R ... ature=plcp

Alan
 

marcros

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Benchwayze":2q2xqypd said:
theartfulbodger":2q2xqypd said:
Thanks again, fellas!

Who was it that said this was an unfriendly forum? (hammer)
Someone who was unsociable I would say. :wink:

John :D
also, tinytims wife hinted at it... :D
 
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