Quest for a workbench

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Radicaldude1234

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 30, 2009
Messages
387
Location
Front Range, Colorado
So I recently got a place with a garage and, with that, a place to build a workshop. After epoxying the floor, I decided to build the centerpiece of such a shop: the workbench.

But it couldn't be any workbench...I got a TIG welder during the holidays and had to both justify its purchase and practice welding. Plus it had to be 4x8' to process similar sizes of sheet metal.

So I designed and bought the following:

1x 4'x8'x0.75" Oak Plywood Sheet
1x 4'x8'x0.75 Particle Board (sacrificial sheet)
3x 2"x2"x32' Square Steel Tubing (Cut into 8ft sections for transport)
4x Leveling castors

TableCAD.jpg

The problem with jigging all this up was that I had no existing table...save for a relatively small folding workbench.

So I put the plywood sheet on top of the folding workbench, clamped the tubing to side of the plywood and tacked the sufrace together:

IMG_2125.jpg

Then squared the legs with tacking magnets and tacked those together. Also added plates on the bottom of the legs for the leveling feet.

IMG_2126.jpg

Gave it a good coat of paint. The toughest stuff I could find at the local hardware store was "refrigerator paint".
IMG_2127.jpgIMG_2128.jpg

Drilled and tapped the tubing to screw on the tabletops and viola:

IMG_2129.jpg

Accuracy: I have a digital level and it shows the surface is level to 0.2°, which is the tolerance of the tool.

Lessons:
-2x2 steel tubing is way way WAY overkill. I could probably park a car on top of that table and it wouldn't as much as creak.
-Tubing wall is too thin for tapping. The threading strips rather easily. Threaded components should be welded to the tubing.
-Do not paint in cold weather. It took a week and half for the paint to dry.
-The only table in a garage tends to pile up with stuff and is difficult to keep clear....maybe time for a smaller bench against a wall just for tools....stay tuned
 

Derswede

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Joined
Jan 6, 2016
Messages
899
Location
Central North Carolina
I finally surrendered to the tool clutter thing and bought a roller table with a small toolbox built in. It has a small table in front of the toolbox portion, so I have the tools I am using out on that, and a magnetic cup or two for bolts and other items which tend to wander off while working. After chasing a spring clip off of my Triumph Sprint around the garage a year ago, I decided to go with the separate table. Works the treat, big stuff stays on the big table while the little one can be moved to where needed. While rebuilding the carbs, I managed to save time just not having to search for the tool I needed or that darn spring that decided that IT wanted to learn to fly.

Derswede
 

Jay Kempf

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Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Apr 13, 2009
Messages
3,807
Location
Warren, VT USA
Gorgeous build!

I looked at doing what you are doing and decided the best way to do it would be to buy two roller cabinets from Home Depot and then just weld up a top and merge it all together. But I ended up building a welding jigging table instead.
 

Turd Ferguson

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Joined
Mar 13, 2008
Messages
4,957
Location
Upper midwest in a house
-Tubing wall is too thin for tapping. The threading strips rather easily. Threaded components should be welded to the tubing.
Ah yes, the three thread rule. Whenever I need to bolt thin tubing with something less permanent than welding one option I use is drill a hole all the way through, insert a round tube, weld in place and use a through bolt. Another option is weld in a threaded insert but I know not everyone has the means to obtain threaded inserts so you gotta use what ya got. I like the 2" tubing. I'd use that stuff all the time if it were not so danged expensive.

-The only table in a garage tends to pile up with stuff and is difficult to keep clear....maybe time for a smaller bench against a wall just for tools....stay tuned
It looks good and I like a dedicated work bench. Unfortunately, I'm a clutter person so I have to put shelves/storage underneath any bench I have or the top will never be clean.
 

Radicaldude1234

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 30, 2009
Messages
387
Location
Front Range, Colorado
So...working on a second bench to put my, well, bench treasures:

IMG_2299.jpg

IMG_2329.jpg

I've only finished the top as Amazon decided to take an extra week to ship my leg levelers and its much easier to weld those to the bottom of the legs before welding said legs to the table
 

Radicaldude1234

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 30, 2009
Messages
387
Location
Front Range, Colorado
Since we're back and there has definitely been a passage of time, I finished welding it and used the "refrigerator paint" I had left:

IMG_2330.jpg

IMG_2331.jpg

Doesn't feel as level ore sturdy as my assembly table...but it doesn't have to be as its a workbench where my tools reside.
 

BJC

Well-Known Member
HBA Supporter
Joined
Oct 7, 2013
Messages
10,525
Location
97FL, Florida, USA
Annnnnnd we're done...

Mounted the vise and put the table in the corner where I envisioned it.

Now to reorganize the rest of the shop! Luckily the big table has wheels for this very purpose.

View attachment 70532

View attachment 70533
Looking good.

I like to paint the walls and ceiling a gloss white. That makes the lighting better and makes the walls less likely to collect dust, and easier to clean when it does.


BJC
 

TFF

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Joined
Apr 28, 2010
Messages
12,277
Location
Memphis, TN
It really does help to paint the walls. It just feels better when working in that type of space. Makes the shop feel bigger too.
 

Radicaldude1234

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 30, 2009
Messages
387
Location
Front Range, Colorado
So my old Sieg X1 mill has been living on my 4x8 work table for a couple months. As it's interfering with my other projects, spent the afternoon giving it a home.

The frame is made with the same 1.5x1.5 tubing used for my 2x8 workbench. Next step is to convert the mill to CNC (already have the electronics kit to do so). All I need to do is machine the stepper mounts...

I'm planning on using the large space underneath to house a recirculating coolant system. Even without a weight on the bottom, the setup is rock solid.

IMG_2649.jpg

IMG_2650.jpg
 
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