Do the box stores have tough enough wood for a workbench,or should I go to a lumberyard?Have the base built,just need the top. You can build a top pretty simply with minimal glue up. In the first bench I built, there is in fact NO glue up required. While it’s upside-down, screw those caster supports between the table legs and then fasten the casters in place. Design Overview: The general plan for this workbench is to create a reinforced frame of 2×4’s with a lower and upper plywood shelf.
So my recommendation for wood for a workbench is what ever is the heaviest although I would want a lot of lumber in it for mass so it would have to be affordable, probably maple or oak. After building the frame I placed the plywood top on and it wouldn’t sit flush on the sides and corners. The jaw has a face that contacts the bench top, and the dog holes are in line with the dog holes on the bench top.
This is probably best implemented in heavy gauge steel, as wood doesn’t really give enough resistance to the side forces that develop during heavy work. I personally would use a threaded rod or bench bolts to connect the stretchers on the base. Open bases are easier to build and there is less chance of the base hindering the work – plus, it is usually necessary to compromise the strength and rigidity of a base in order to accommodate storage.
Plastic and laminate workbench tops are affordable, lightweight, and non-conductive, so they are perfect for working on electrical appliances, however those same qualities makes them less effective for heavy-duty projects. I’ve already purchased the front vise, as I needed to know the precise footprint of the mounting bracket to make sure it would still fit with my modified design (i.e. the bracket would mount into solid wood without blocking any dog holes).
Since wood does splinter i would maybe have turned your beams upside down but left the steel attached to the 4x side. Check the weight each day to see if the wood is lighter and when the wood stops it will be acclimated to where it is. if it keeps going down it will have high moisture content and you will need to leave your wood until it loses no more moisture. Directly in front of me, an especially long bench top weighing several hundred pounds was being turned by four strong men so that the opposite long edge could also be smoothed.
I would use a sheet of 18mm or thicker mdf, nice smooth top to work on, if it gets too worn you just drop a 6mm sheet on top to give a new surface. It has a natural wood finish that is perfect for those of you who love DIY painting (do-it-yourself). I like epoxy because of its durability and it allows the wood color to show through, but I do agree about the downsides.
I have plenty of pictures that will communicate more than my words, so without further adieu, check out the beautiful styling of this toy workbench. This toy workbench includes a functioning vise, saw, hammer, sawing board, wrench, screwdriver, tool rack, wooden tools and storage shelves. I have also built a multi-function outfeed / assembly table / workbench and in doing so have started to think about the cusomizations I would like in my long-term woodworkers bench.
I’m currently in the process of outfitting a new shop space I was lucky enough to snag recently and in a bid to save money (I’ve got a new baby) I won’t be going for the standard solid maple top right now (I might add one in the future). When one side of the top gets too damaged (hasn’t happened yet) I can flip it over and use the other side. You can also find pressed wood over steel tops, which can sometimes give you the benefits of each.
For the corners of the trim you could use biscuits to strengthen the joint or even make it all purty like and use keys – dovetail or straight – using a contrasting wood. They might not be a necessity depending on the type of work you plan to do. But to me, a workbench without dog holes is like pizza without cheese. Now I want to get back in through the wood working way, probably carving because I am a stickler for details, the more the better. The DF that I am using for this workbench is mostly rift sawn wood and is about 99% clear.
The practical drawbacks of a plywood or composite bench top are that they don’t hold their corners and edges well, and they can’t be resurfaced with a plane – something that is needed from time to time. They’ve designed storage areas on the the top and both sides of the workhorse so your child has areas to store their stuff. Correction and addendum to mister spades answer workbench four wooden planks shaped as a square, made from the inventory. It is as strong as the wood under it. Cleaned it the other day with a shop vac and the mess never goes out the back side!!
Our goal for each workbench is an inexpensive, free-standing, movable table that can support a lot of weight (400+ lbs. A rough sawn oak bench top required lots of planing and scraping to smooth all sides of such magnificent wood into very flat surfaces. Also I have to say that a 4×8 sheet of stainless screwed down on the top would go a long way to preserving your table top. I splurged on the Benchcrafted Glide and Tail vises so the total cost for the wood and vises came in around $1100.
I bought the 10mm studding from an aircon ducting place on ebay, built the top from two sheets of 25mm mdf from B&Poo and lipped with hardwood. Chris S. has helped me tremendously with design and vise advice, but you were my original inspiration, and I would hate to think you have lost your love for the workbench. Of course, the legs warped a bit, but that made everything tighter and stronger.
Fortunately, Bo had the resources to bring some of those huge hunks of white oak wood back to his shops in Barnesville, certainly no simple or easy task. The bench has a backstop and the metal top was fit over the front edge as well as over the top of the backstop. By the end of the second day, legs were complete and some legs were temporarily inserted into the tops. And if you type French workbench” into the search field on that blog, you can read all about it, start to finish.