Saturday, March 7, 2015

Work Bench Up Grade

  I have been thinking and talking about up-grading my small work bench for at least a year.  The small bench in my shop is 24 x 48 inches with a couple of shelves underneath it. This small bench has been rebuilt at least twice, always from left overs and so it is always a bit wobbly and slightly out of square.

 The last time I replaced the top I used MDF and a piece not quite large enough and one edge was a bit ragged since the MDF sheet had be broken before I salvaged it. The result was as you would expect.

  After spending a few hours in the shop today, this is the bench now. I used a new piece of construction grade 3/4 inch plywood for the top.  It is actually large enough, and I used part of the off cut for the back board too.  I screwed the top down with self taping screws that are seated will below the surface and put the back board on with KREG pocket holes. Also I put a solid wood face on the bench, the first decent wood that has been used on the bench yet.( though it is still recycled from another project)

  The thing that motivated me to up grade (repair) the bench was my getting back into wood carving. I really like to have a small manageable space to work on small projects where I can leave them out and not have them in the way. Having two work stations means that I can have two projects on the go at a time, one large and one small. This suits the way I seem to work.
    The other motivator was finally getting the KREG Clamp Vises for the front of my bench.

You can see in the back corner
I also have a heavy duty bench clamp system,
the KKS-KLBKSYS. Another excellent bench clamp.

  I put two Clamp Vises on the front of the bench.  As yet I've not drilled the 3/4 holes for the supplied bench dogs, I'll drill holes where I need them, when I need them, that way I'll be sure the holes are in the right place.

  Here you see that the KREG Clamp Vise will my small Bessey Vise so that I will have excellent clamping and access for drilling and sawing when working on small carvings or other small projects. The Clamp Vise will also hold my Moxon style vise when I need to use it.

  Once I took the drawers out and dragged the bench into the middle of the floor, I took a hour or so to square up the body of the bench and made sure all the pieces were tightly screwed together.  Now it is pretty sturdy and should be a very good work space for carving, painting and other small projects.

  Just a foot note, I was told that the Kreg Clamp Vise was being discontinued so don't wait too long to buy one. 

   If I ever get things cleaned up I'll load a short video or some photos of my work space now that I'm happier with it.

cheers, ianw

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