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phil p

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Hi,
Could I ask some advice please.

Ive been abit undecided over the last few weeks as to either buy or build a workbench, I was looking at a Sjoberg, however they're out my price range so Ive decided to build, and must admit I'll get pleasure out of building my own anyway.

Regarding the top, I was thinking of 4 x 2 CLS?

I want the top 2 foot wide so I was thinking of joining 3 lenths to give me a 1 foot wide board, as I have a 13inch thicknesser so I could run it through that, so to make 2 sections of 1 foot wide then join them?

Would it be O.K. to join the lenths with biscuits and just glue them up?

Would this work or would it be a load of hassle and just easier to use some sheet material?

I wouldn't mind having a go at trying to build something half decent, and I'm only the average DIYer so it would be a little labour of love also!

What do you think?

Any other tips or info would be welcome.

Thanks
Phil
 
Yes it would work. A few comments though:

You'll want to plane away the rounded edges so you will need to reduce the breadth or the thickness. Either way four boards will be quite a bit less than a foot width - you'll probably need nine in all.
Using nominal 2 inch timber will give you a fairly thin top. It may be fine for your needs but consider using 3 x 2 on edge. I think that's about right in softwood and it's how I did mine.

I would not bother with biscuits - there's plenty of glue area for a strong joint and it's not hard to line up the surfaces nicely.

Have a look at Paul Sellers' blog and YouTube videos on his bench build. He uses similar materials very successfully.
 
phil p":pvu4pq3z said:
..
I want the top 2 foot wide so I was thinking of joining 3 lenths to give me a 1 foot wide board, as I have a 13inch thicknesser so I could run it through that, so to make 2 sections of 1 foot wide then join them?

Would it be O.K. to join the lenths with biscuits and just glue them up?
No need for biscuits glue will do it on its own. If you have two 1 ft boards you could have a well which is much more useful than joining them together - and easier.
 
Hi,

I thought the biscuits would just the timbers level for Gluing?

And I'll have to show my ignorance here.................what's "a well", and more importantly, what is it use for?


Phil
 
Someone can post a link for a well (me being useless) but I would be tempted to use biscuits on any fairly large glue up - it helps stop the pieces sliding around. In this weather damp down the wood slightly, otherwise pva will be drying as you think about it.
 
Phil, it's true that biscuits won't add anything in terms of strength, but if you're new to gluing up tops and panels they can take a lot of the stress out of a big glue up by keeping the top surface reasonably level. It also helps to have a dry run first to check you've got everything worked out before applying the glue.

So if you've got a biscuit jointer I'd say take advantage of the fact and use it!
 
Either make sure your timbers nice and dry to prevent moving or just use a couple sheets. If you went down the sheet route you could flip the sheets over 3 more times and have a lovely new shiny top :)

Sent from my GT-I9300 using Tapatalk 4 Beta
 
A tool well is simply a part of the bench which is a couple of inches below the rest. it serves as a very handy place to put tools etc down without getting in the way of the work. I think it's a really useful idea but others prefer a bench which is plain flat like a table top.

biscuits might help if your timber is really straight to start with but do watch the Sellers videos to see how a plain glued joint lets you exploit the flexibility of the timber as you progressively clamp each piece.
 
AndyT":2ija6su4 said:
it serves as a very handy place to put tools etc down without getting in the way of the work.

Equally: it serves as a very handy place to put tools down where it's really hard to accidentally knock them off of the bench and onto the hard concrete floor!
 
AndyT has a good point but I've never bought into the knocking off argument as the tools are placed in the middle of the bench.

If you place tools on any bench in the middle you are very unlikely to knock them off and if you are worried about things rolling I'd check my levels. Maybe it goes back to school benches where things are more likely to be knocked.
 
Hello Philip,

Congratulations on choosing to build your bench. I think you stand to get much better value and also become a better woodworker at the end of the process. Edge jointing 4 x 2 CLS does not excite me too much although it can be done.

Others have mentioned the P Sellers bench which is good reference. I'm not sure if I like the tool tray concept or not, having never worked with one since college I would not like to judge too harshly. All I can say is that I don't miss it.

To save on edge gluing 4 x 2 CLS why not have a look at what your local builders merchants have in the shape of floor joist. Most merchants in my neck of the woods offer "regularised" (these days it means planed with the edges eased, similar to CLS) floor joist. Go for un-treated and 8 x 2 or 9 x 2. As long as you leave the stack nice and neat I'm sure you will find some nice bits in there.

Another could be a "seconds" kitchen worktop. You could have a hardwood bench top for very little if you time it right. Check with local kitchen suppliers like Howden's or Magnet.
 
Mr_P":176fd8pt said:
If you place tools on any bench in the middle you are very unlikely to knock them off

Actually, the closest I've ever come to knocking carefully-sharpened chisels off the bench they were placed in the middle - unfortunately that's exactly the area that the end of the bit of wood I was working on moved through as I rotated it around to cut a mortice in the other side. No part of your workbench is immune from having things knocked off of it!
 
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