shop workbench

Tue Apr 19, 2011 9:13 pm

I am in the planning stages of designing a workbench for the shop. It will mainly be used for light to medium work. What are some of the features that i should "design" into it. I plan on having a vise and a grinder in the corners. Does anybody have any suggestions or advice?

Thanks in advance,
Brian

Re: shop workbench

Tue Apr 19, 2011 9:26 pm

Top on my list would be,

make it heavier than what you need today
make it bigger than what you need today
make sure it's DEAD level

I've made three so far and they have lasted a long time, still using all three :D I actually used 3/4 inch plate for the top, but I do alot of heavy fabrication.

adam

Re: shop workbench

Tue Apr 19, 2011 9:40 pm

This is my personal preference, but I like the grinder on a seperate stand. I move it outside to use when the weather is decent. Keeps all that dirt and mess out of the shop.

Re: shop workbench

Tue Apr 19, 2011 9:52 pm

I made mine a little taller than usual. Keeps me from being hunched over while I work on something. Consider whether you'll be standing or sitting on a stool when doing most of your work. Lighting and electric/air sources are very handy to have at the bench too.

Re: shop workbench

Tue Apr 19, 2011 9:56 pm

If you can, put that vise on a pedestal somewhere in your shop if you have the room. You never know when you would want to spin the vise all the way around no matter what's in it. But really it's all up to you, just put alot of thought into it, that's the main thing.

What's your plans with it? making it from metal, wood? i'm not much of a wood worker :(

Casters on the legs, stationary? Rubber caster aren't good in a plasma gun, torch shop, trust me.

Shelf underneath the table? I hang all my clamps off my big table underneath it, used 3/4 inch rod welded leg to leg.

adam

Re: shop workbench

Tue Apr 19, 2011 10:03 pm

I am also in the planning stages for a bench in my pole barn to do my metal working on. It will have to have provisions for a 5" vise. I already have a grinder setup so no need for that on the bench. My biggest concern is width. Probably going to be limited to 12" to 16" max width. Pole barn just isn't big enough :big give up:

I am considering building it out of stock lumber possibly 2x4 and 4x4 posts lap/saddle joints. Plan on using a 3/4" substrate and topped with a left over 3/4" plywood/stainless steel counter top from one of my restaurant jobs .. :roll: waste not want not :wink: I plan on storage underneath the bench as well. One of the main things that will be either incorporated into the bench or the back splash.. will be power bars. Always useful.

I am really interested in what others have come up with for their workbenches. Pics are always useful :D

Re: shop workbench

Wed Apr 20, 2011 6:10 am

I agree with Don on putting the grinder on a separate stand. I don't take mine outside as he does, but it's a lot handier on a mobile stand. I have a vice on my bench and one on a separate stand as well. I use the one on the stand about 80% of the time, because it's handier, but use the bench mount when more stability is needed.

Re: shop workbench

Wed Apr 20, 2011 6:20 am

one thing that i always insist on having on my benches is a lip. so i can have me my hand under "the lip" and slide what ever i may be sweeping up to my hand under the lip, and catch everything. i had one bench that didnt have a lip, i quickly put one on. ALl my benchs are covered in hardstock, so as time goes on, i can simply replace the cheap hard stock, and i have a new bench, without touching the structure.

Re: shop workbench

Wed Apr 20, 2011 7:58 am

Gary Dotson wrote:I agree with Don on putting the grinder on a separate stand. I don't take mine outside as he does, but it's a lot handier on a mobile stand. I have a vice on my bench and one on a separate stand as well. I use the one on the stand about 80% of the time, because it's handier, but use the bench mount when more stability is needed.

Here's the way my stand is set up...
The base is a 17 inch truck rim. Then about 3 feet of 5 inch pipe as a riser, with a plate welded on top. Grinder/wire wheel bolts to the plate. It's heavy enough to be stable. But, when I want to move it, I just tilt it and roll it on the edge of the rim. No lifting. I'll try to remember to take a photo and post it.

Here's the photo...

Image

I know, I know, no guards. It's a homemade setup and I didn't make it. Do not attempt this at home. :D
Last edited by Don McCombs on Wed Apr 20, 2011 3:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Re: shop workbench

Wed Apr 20, 2011 9:26 am

Some thoughts and ideas.

I made 3 work heavy duty benches and several storage racks constructed from commercial storage rack legs/standards and cross members used in large warehouses. The rack legs/standards were damaged and discarded. Cross members come in different lengths in 2 foot increments 4', 6', 8' etc. Cross members were picked up when a commercial firm was cleaning out a building. Cross members have a recess on the top edge that hold a 2 x 4 flat. Gasoline to pick up the cross members and standards was the largest expense.

I picked up a heavy duty wood work bench at auction for $2-.

Vise. One is mounted on top of a 55 gallon barrel filled with rocks and cement. Some times there is not enough weight in the barrel for the task. 2nd vise is mounted on an old cream seperator stand - this one I can slide across the floor to make is more usable or slide it out of the way. 3rd vise is mounted on top of a work bench - OK but frequently in the wrong location for the intended task.

Re: shop workbench

Wed Apr 20, 2011 11:21 am

I have my grinder mounted on an old BBQ base. Pipe up from base and plate mounted on that with grinder. Just tilt it back and wheel it wherever I need it. Grump

Re: shop workbench

Wed Apr 20, 2011 4:34 pm

weld that pipe on a larger disc blade as well, easy to move, just make sure its DEAD level

adam

Re: shop workbench

Wed Apr 20, 2011 6:19 pm

Brian,

If you mount a vise on the workbench, a simple thought, but apparently not always used, is to position it properly. If it is a swivel type, make sure to mount it solid in the corner, near both edges, so you can put longer stock thru it in the jaws it doesn't hit the workbench top (in front or side position). I have used others that are mounted back from the edge and putting longer things in them vertically is not possible.

Just a simple recommendation... :D

Good luck,

Re: shop workbench

Wed Apr 20, 2011 6:48 pm

I like the idea of putting the grinder on a separate stand due to flying debris possibly getting on other projects on the workbench. I will put my small vise on one corner for convenience and if I can find a good used large vise I can put it on a separate stand as well.

I thought of using 3/4 inch plywood for the top as a base and possibly sheet metal for the work surface. I'm thinking of making it about 10 feet long and about 3 feet deep.

Thanks for all the advice. Keep them coming.

Re: shop workbench

Wed Apr 20, 2011 7:13 pm

I have an insulated metal door that I'm using for the top of one of my work benches. The metal door has no window openings - probably came off of someone's back door or perhaps a garage side door.