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stimpy

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Avon wanted about £70+VAT for the purple cos they were getting rid of the stock, and yeah 19mm indeed. Usually about £10 more I think?
Ok thanks. Then plus the carriage of course.... Which knackers it a bit, but certainly reality...
 

billw

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Ok thanks. Then plus the carriage of course.... Which knackers it a bit, but certainly reality...
Hardly anyone has violet in stock any more, I guess it's being phased out so I think right now my best option is to rent a van and drive down there and pick it up. Would save me about £60. I've not found the boards themselves for sale for less than about £130+VAT either, so Avon selling them at the price they do is clearly the best option.
 

stimpy

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Hardly anyone has violet in stock any more, I guess it's being phased out so I think right now my best option is to rent a van and drive down there and pick it up. Would save me about £60. I've not found the boards themselves for sale for less than about £130+VAT either, so Avon selling them at the price they do is clearly the best option.
Yes, I've seen other silly prices quoted too - £130... Which is insane!!.. Definitely worth you driving from the sounds of things - especially if you have the time. I'd like to use some of the black on my bench too but may just end up using moisture resistant green...

A shame you are not south of Birmingham, I'd say you could use my van and pick a load up!
 

billw

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I do like bench designs, and sketch up is a wonderful tool. How about dust extraction underneath, with all the holes kind of lends itself?
Extraction underneath would certainly be simple enough. The original plans for the router table had the router enclosed in a box with extraction at the bottom. I avoided that because having fence extraction and simple access to the router felt easier, although I can always fit a box later on if the extraction isn't working well enough.

I love the simple plywood bench plans. I originally started off wanting a Roubo bench in maple and black walnut, it would have set me back god only knows how much, and now I've settled on plywood. Much easier on the pocket if things go wrong, doesn't matter quite so much if it gets a knock or two, and good practice for me using the track and band saws.
 

Awac

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Bill, I also wanted a Roubo type bench but could not justify the costs.
I was going to use plywood (Plywood is underrated, look at what Charles and Ray Eames could do with it), and still consider it a great bench material, I can't wait to see your finished pictures!

I designed and made my "Poor Roubo" for about £100-£120, and was a good practice for the day I find the fabled black walnut slab for free....it is out there somewhere....
Construction grade 3 1/2"x3 1/2" legs and braces.
Tongue and grove skirting board, laminated together, to make the top 5 1/2" thick. Wood expansion is on the vertical plane when used this way, but you will see that I have a gap in the middle, which has been very useful for clamping through as well as sawing (plus I could lift it on my own, just!). I don't have latest photos which I have mounted a large 52 1/2 vice on one end centrally and a smaller vice on the other end. Which is a help with large sheet materials.
The lower shelf has large dovetails which pulls the legs together but easy to knock out if you wish to dissemble.
I bought the leg vice for the mechanism for £20 and need to make the vice part.
The braces have captive threads, so the studs can be unscrewed and the top removed, which sits on stepped M&T. I tried to capture a "William Morris" type aesthetic with the curves (that sounds pretentious LOL!), and have found the braces helpful to hold clamps rather than limit clamping.
 

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billw

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Lots of very boring components glued up - this is pretty much the whole stock of where two/three similar components could get glued together at the very start. The next stage is cutting all the leg pieces to length and getting the cut to be exactly 90 degrees. I noticed yesterday that the angle fence on my bandsaw was ever so slightly off 90 degrees, so I'm going to take a lot of care and test pieces tomorrow to make sure it's bang on before cutting through any components. Once the length is correct I'll have a dry run with the first set of cross-component fitting to make sure everything looks good.

If there's one thing I have discovered it's that patience really is a virtue, and doing small jobs one at a time works a lot better for me without feeling like I'm in a rush. Do one job well, then go off and get on with something else. If this bench takes me two weeks to do right, then so be it.
IMG_9120.jpg
 

billw

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BTW the piece on the very right - that was my second attempt at using the track saw on a full sheet length. A lot of the darkness is pencil marks, so the gap isn't as bad as it seems! You can also see a little wander on the near end of one of the same components, these things should really just vanish in the overall build all being well.
 

Awac

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Lots of very boring components glued up - this is pretty much the whole stock of where two/three similar components could get glued together at the very start. The next stage is cutting all the leg pieces to length and getting the cut to be exactly 90 degrees. I noticed yesterday that the angle fence on my bandsaw was ever so slightly off 90 degrees, so I'm going to take a lot of care and test pieces tomorrow to make sure it's bang on before cutting through any components. Once the length is correct I'll have a dry run with the first set of cross-component fitting to make sure everything looks good.

If there's one thing I have discovered it's that patience really is a virtue, and doing small jobs one at a time works a lot better for me without feeling like I'm in a rush. Do one job well, then go off and get on with something else. If this bench takes me two weeks to do right, then so be it.View attachment 97325

“Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.”


― Abraham Lincoln

Oh patience really does take time to learn.....I think doing small jobs rather than rushing is a good way. You have heard the saying Measure twice, cut once, swear profusely, repeat. Well apparently (can any Russian members confirm?) a famous Russian proverb takes it one stage further, measure your cloth seven times because you can only cut it once.....now that is serious!

How annoying is it when you cut a stack of wood and the fence is ever so slightly off......
 

billw

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The last days have been spent "carefully" glueing up things. 40 individual pieces of timber into the 12 main leg section components.....

IMG_9126.jpg


This has gone reasonably well, not perfect, but no horrendous failures. One of the long horizontal sections (the middle batch) has a slightly short middle piece, but I figure I'll fix this when glueing up, as I want to work from getting the outer dimensions correct and I'll simply patch up whatever gap remains.

Putting these to one side I started on the three box-like sections that make up the centre of the base, these are all being done individually and then will be glued together. Here's the first one in the veritas frame clamp, which I found really simple to use and adjust.

IMG_9129.jpg


This was repeatedly checked for being the correct length, width, and then across the diagonals which I'm glad to say I managed to get spot on after a few minor tweaks. One downside that I didn't spot was that whilst I thought it was sitting perfectly flat on the surface it turns out that after drying it has twisted ever so slightly. I am hoping that this can be corrected once I start the next stage of glueing.

At least the dimension across the glued up parts was spot on to the mm - 388 needed, 388 achieved.

IMG_9130.jpg


The outer boxes were slightly more complex, as each has one side that's made up of 5 components. Fortunately this was pretty easy to clamp up, and turned out OK. Phew. The red clamps are to stop it arching.

IMG_9127.jpg


Once dried, I checked its overall length against the plain side, and job done.

IMG_9128.jpg


I'm now glueing up that box section. The third one won't be done until I've done a dry run with the two finished sections and the parts of the third, as I need to make sure the overall length is spot on, so I can slightly narrow (or widen) that last section by a mm or two if needed.

So next up was a dry fit of the two main leg sections. I'm pleased, certainly not disappointed, although there are gaps. The good news is that the most of the gaps and places where two glued together boards aren't joined absolutely in line will be hidden by either being underneath the bench or covered by the shelf at the bottom.

More importantly, the dimensions of the first set, i.e. height because that's the important one, is spot on to the mm. The other one was 1mm out on one side, but then I realised that was because that's the piece that had an error and I'd not left a compensating gap. I nudged it up with a hammer and job done. I just have to remember that when I add glue!

IMG_9131.jpg


This was by far the worst effort.....

IMG_9132.jpg


I don't think it'll look quite as bad once I've tidied it up after glueing, and anyway it'll be attached to the underside of the base so not even visible.

On a final note I have to say that I really like the look of plywood as it feels more functional and "workshoplike" than a solid wood bench. I haven't decided what finish to use on it yet.

This has taken me a lot longer than I thought, but looking back if I'd gone any quicker I'd probably have just incorporated more mistakes.

next job is glueing up the two leg sections, once those are done I'll join them together. That will be my first use of pocket holes and I need to do a bit of practice first as my initial attempts were terrible.
 

billw

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I will say that, hands up, I absolutely completely and utterly see the value in a table saw now. I've had to cut stuff to length by first using a track saw (inaccurate) and then my bandsaw (fiddly to hold the piece) and being able to repeatedly put pieces through a saw for a clean cut at the exact dimension would have been a godsend.

However, making my workshop units aside, I think a basic mitre saw might do the job rather than a full blown table saw.
 

billw

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Oh another thing - I discovered my bandsaw table had slipped out of horizontal slightly, hence why there's a slope on the end of many pieces! Lesson - check EVERYTHING before using it.
 

billw

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Not sure if you've tried Cutlist? £120 incl Vat but they appear to have purple :devilish:
Cutlist-Coloured-MDF-Price-List-R11-2020.pdf
They are just off M40 J5
I have indeed Mike, they wanted £105+VAT for delivery sadly! I've discovered that if I get the sheet pre-cut into quarters (which is the biggest size I'll need) then I can get it up here for about £40. The only problem is that the max dimensions are 1.2m x 1m and therefore the sheet would stick out slightly. I wonder how strict the couriers are....
 

mikej460

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Sorry Bill, didn't clock that. In my experience couriers are very strict and slap you with a huge charge if you go over their max limit but this maybe 1.2m so it's worth looking around. I use Hermes collect and deliver which is good.
 

billw

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Sorry Bill, didn't clock that. In my experience couriers are very strict and slap you with a huge charge if you go over their max limit but this maybe 1.2m so it's worth looking around. I use Hermes collect and deliver which is good.
Too heavy for Hermes, but I've found a pallet delivery for under £50 so happy days!
 

Spectric

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Hi

The workbench made by Denis is really top notch and what stood out for me is that it had an apron so made it even more versatile especially for corner work. But this bench can be taken up another level by incorporating the micro jig system between the bench dog holes, The ULTIMATE Workbench because now you have the bench dogs for alignment and micro jig clamps to hold down so best of all worlds. Go up another level and now have a removable insert that can be just another area of bench, a router assembly in conjunction with the Incra fence system, a table saw or whatever you fancy and you have a very flexable system that potentially takes up less space whilst delivering the versaltility of the systems. Be a good challenge for MikeK !
 

mikej460

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Too heavy for Hermes, but I've found a pallet delivery for under £50 so happy days!
Pleased you got it sorted Bill and looking forward to seeing your progress as I'm planning to build the same.

good luck

Mike
 

billw

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I thought I'd add this from sketchup showing how the base unit is made up.

MFT Bench .png


At the moment I'm doing the three rectangular sections in the middle. Once they're all done (the last is drying now) I'll fit them all together and then wrap the outer panels around them. These are all mitred so I'll need to take care with my angles. Once that's done the horizontal panels on the underside will be fitted into place, again they're mitred against the outer panels.

At this point I should end up with something that's 1200x581x100mm. Inner panels are 82mm, then 18mm thickness of horizontal, and the outer panels are cut to 100mm so that all seems to work. Adding the thickness of the top (19mm), the length of the leg (674mm) and the castors (72mm) gets me to final 865mm which is exactly what I'm aiming for. So far so good.

I know 865mm seems a bit random, but it's basically 34" rounded - I used my current bench as reference for a comfortable height and since I'm making 100% of the workshop units myself, it doesn't matter what height I use really.

The Valchromat is FINALLY ordered, 1 full sheet of violet and 1 of blue. Courier cost £60 inc VAT and the materials, including getting them cut down, was £200. That is enough to make the bench, the router table, the flip-top unit and enough left over for another couple of units, one double one single (I think). THat should be enough workspace to keep me going for now. I don't see the point in using valchromat for the bandsaw stand either.
 
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