View Full Version : Workbench/Banker
12-23-2005, 10:42 AM
Hi all, I want to build a sturdy bench that can take a pounding. Any thoughts, lessons learned, plans?
12-23-2005, 01:25 PM
I built a small and beefy 3'X3' table made from 4"X4" wood frame, braces and legs. Topped with 3/4" MDF ply and finally a 1/2" steel plate bolted down...
my 2 cents...
12-24-2005, 08:52 PM
Similar to Dan's. Doubled 2x4 or 4x4 legs, 2x4 top wrap and cross bracing, 3/4 inch ply for the top. Most have a lower shelf of sorts for tools, and collecting copius amounts of dust. No steel plates, but always a piece of carpet for the stone to rest on. I've built several in different sizes and heights. Right now have a 1200lb piece about 84 inches long (fireplace lentil) on a 2 ftx2ft table with no worrys, and have had as much as 4200 lbs on a 2ftx3ft table.
12-27-2005, 08:25 PM
Thanks for the help!
Any thoughts as to height?
12-27-2005, 09:32 PM
I have several in each of two basic heights. 30 inches and 36 inches. Then I might use some cribbing under the stone, or stand on a milk crate to get the stone or me to a more comfortable position. Of course there is always a lot of squating, bending,streching etc, but then, I do need to exercise somehow. Had an apprentist once who figured wanted a lift table so he could always get the stone to exactle the right height. Spent a lot of time wielding up this rig that turned out to be such a pita that it never got used after the first go. the perfect position doesn't happen very often, but then, it's the carvers job to move to the stone, not move the stone to the carver.
(paraphrase of a quote from Vincent Palumbo--Master carver on the National Cathedral).
02-21-2006, 11:04 PM
my workbench is 33 inches high--I stood with knees slightly bent and feet a little over shoulder width apart and then bent the elbows slightly and measured to ground then subtracted average tool height and came up with comfortable working range.
the top is made up of 4 glued up 6x6 lumber 7 ft long with a 12 inch wide 6 inch deep tool trough at the back
this top is drilled with many 5/8 inch holes for hold-downs, bench dogs and cam clamps the front has an almost full length vicec mounted on two heavy screws
this sits atop a box frame made up of 6x6s held together with morticeand tenon joints and then a screwed down shelf mounted on the cross framers and stretchers mounted on the back is a panel with a bunched ribbon for holding hammers.
when I hammer work on this bench it does not deflect and rob power from the blow
when I plane or sand or chisel work held in the vice it is secure in space and doesn't move when I work
which is what i expect of a good bench
the tenons from the stretchers mount into the legs with the fron to rear oned going through the side to side tenons and holding them firmly in place
I have used and abused this bench for about 20 years now, and replaned and flattened the poor brutalized top twice already
the front(free) plank in the long vice has a long crack in it and wants replacing if i can't find a stout beech plank, I'm thinking maybe hickory this time 'round
hope this helps
02-22-2006, 06:46 AM
For my bench, I used 4x4 for the main structure. For the top I used a 3/4" piece of plywood. I used a mortise & tenon joint to join the top to the main structure. The top can easily be removed and replaced when worn out. Also, put in a shelf halfway up that is the same size as the bench top to add support and storage. The height of the bench is set so that I can work in a standing position. This is what I use for carving. I have a second bench that is lower in height for other uses.
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