What do you think of this workbench?

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Peterson

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May 25, 2014
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St.Rober, MO
There is a coupon in Flying magazine (probably all the other AOPA magazines too) for this hardwood workbench from Harbor Freight for $139. While you have to be careful what you buy from Harbor Freight, I have gotten some good prices on very usable tools from there in the past. While I wouldn't try to use their power tools on a job site, they're great for around the house. They had some inexpensive socket rails that allowed me to organize my much better quality socket set that didn't come with any type of organizer, and their engine stand had no problem holding a small block Dodge V8 while allowing me to rotate it for a rebuild. This looks like it would be a great garage or hanger workbench, and it would be hard to build something similar at the same price just buying the raw materials.

 

Aerowerx

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Dec 1, 2011
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Marion, Ohio
I really can't tell from the pictures, but how are the joints held together?

It looks like the screws are not very substantial. I would be tempted to put some T-88 on the joints.
 

Peterson

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May 25, 2014
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St.Rober, MO
I really can't tell from the pictures, but how are the joints held together?

It looks like the screws are not very substantial. I would be tempted to put some T-88 on the joints.
One of the customers on the website who gave it a 5 star review said that he glued the joints together during assembly and feels like that made it far sturdier. In stock clip, it's rated for 250 lbs. but gluing the joints would probably increase that by a considerable amount, especially something like T-88 epoxy.
 

don january

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The big question is, Is it straight on the building plain? would you build a elevator or rudder on it or RC wing's? my luck it would come out of the box all warped.:depressed
 

Turd Ferguson

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It's a woodworker bench made in china and satisfactory for a lot of jobs. The fish oil finish will fail first but you can just slop on some real varnish when that happens.

I like how they make it look big in the ads and when you go see it at the store it looks like a miniature version of the ad.
 

Peterson

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St.Rober, MO
width according to website is 60 inches. if it looks as good as the picture, it's probably well worth the price.
 

rbrochey

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Gallup, New Mexico USA
It's okay for the price really... I buy stuff from there if I want to dedicate something for a specific purpose, for example the sell (and I bought) a very inexpensive laminate trimmer... would I use it if I were a cabinet maker... maybe, maybe not but it works great for the purpose I bought it for and that is routing the binding channels on my guitars. The router bit never leaves it and I use it once a month or so. I recently bought a 1/2 power drill... oh yeah that made quick work of drilling a hundred or so holes for an electrical line I ran. So yeah, I like their stuff. But here's a suggestion for you guys setting up to build... I found a site (blog) some guy did on saw horses... these things are great! You mount 2X4 metal braces to it and you connect the horses with four foot sections the put a top on it... I used MDF... I can extend that thing 18 feet by just adding to it and it is as square and level as it can be... perfect for laying out the fuselage longerons and whatever. You can make them as wide as you want, I made mine 36 inches but they can be whatever you want. You could mount a trampoline on that thing and invite some kids over and it won't budge! Cost to make? Everything from Home Depot for about 25 bucks a set.... :)
 

FritzW

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Hi Peterson,

There are two different SKU's for this bench 93454 and 69054. One of them is absolute junk and the other one is just typical HF quality. It's some sort of a Harbor Freight shell game. I got one of the bad ones. If you do get one have them open the box there in the store.

Here's a cut and paste of the review I wrote on the HF website. (P.S. don't trust HF's rating system, they pad the crap of their "5 Stars")


>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
I bought this as a Christmas present for my wife to use in her sewing room. If it wasn't 2 days until Christmas I would have returned it the second I opened the box.

I'll try to be objective and use the same nomenclature as the assembly manual.

Still in the box, one of the cross braces was broken at a connecting nut hole. The grain was so bad on that end of the cross brace I had to sand off the oily junk they call varnish, glue on an 1/8" ply doubler and re-drill it for the connecting nut.

The connecting nut holes didn't line up with the corresponding bolts holes and had to be re-drilled. (reading the other legitimate reviews this seems to be a very common problem)

The screw holes in one of the leg assemblies were backwards (the top piece of the leg assembly was installed backwards at the factory) Again, more drilling and countersinking.

One of the (factory installed) vice guides was split in half at a screw hole and had to be glued back together.

The bottom shelf was cut too narrow. I had to add a cross piece under the shelf to pull the cross braces in and keep the shelf from being able to fall out.

The lower support was too long to fit between the legs and the slot for the sliding partition was cut in the wrong location. This piece is too far gone to repair, I'll have to make a new one.

The table saw used to cut the Rabbets in the drawer fronts wasn't 90 degrees to the table. All the drawer fronts had to be cleaned up with a file so the sides would fit.

The quality of the wood is horrible. They tried to fill in the worst holes with filler putty but they didn't bother to sand it. There are globs of it all over the bench. Two of the drawers had this filler putty smeared on the green felt liners.

The pressed fiber board used throughout the workbench is flimsy junk.

The hardware is the worst quality I've ever seen. Some of the cross point slots in the screws weren't deep enough to get a screw driver in. I just used my own screws. There were extra connecting nuts and bolts but not enough machine screws to mount the drawer pulls.

I've had pretty good luck with HF in the past, you get what you pay for. But this is just junk.

I can only add two photos, I wish I could add more to show how bad this thing really is.


BOTTOM LINE No, I would not recommend this to a friend

 

TFF

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Memphis, TN
Im not impressed with it. I have seen it in the store plenty and I dont want to build a model airplane on one. You can do much better. I like the tool boxes so Im not trying to be snobby. I have an old computer desk from an office I stuck a furniture grade 3/4 ply on and it is a great table. Cant break it and its flat.
 

thump

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Feb 12, 2011
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idaho
I,v seen it, we have a HF in our town. I do buy alot of things there but I don't think this is worth the money. JMHO.
 

don january

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I think 9.95 would be hard to get out of my pocket for the bench, I rather see what Manard's has for a good solid core door for sale and make a couple saw horses to fit my little short a$$. Guess the bench would be good for.......................................... Nothing comes to mind.
 

Aesquire

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Jul 28, 2014
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Rochester, NY, USA
I have one....apparently the good one. Glued together with Gorilla glue it's a usable bench.

Only buy on sale. Full retail is too high. The end mounted wooden vise is ok but not for precision work.
 

oriol

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Dec 31, 2009
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Barcelona, Spain.
I guess that for the price they are asking you can too build a work bench like mine (vise, painting and DM included). It was my first homebuilt project and I still use it, then followed the argon bottle and tools cart.



banco trabajo.jpg


Hope it might serve as inspiration for a possible metal alternative. Despite the workbench does not have drawers it is very practical and weights enough so that it is possible to use a metal saw without having to bolt the workbench to the floor.



Oriol
 

Rienk

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Oct 11, 2008
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Santa Maria, CA (SMX)
I bought one when it was on sale for $99 (you could also you use a PM or PS magazine 20% off coupon).
I got it for doing guitar work in my home shop, as something to easily move around, which it works fine for. Vice and dogs are almost worthless.
For my "real" workbenches, I bought Ikea butcher block counter tops, as I was too lazy to make my own (even with my 18" jointer). I cnc the dog holes on the spacing I want, am putting them on top of prefab kitchen cabinets from HD (with drawers, not doors), with adjustable roller heavy duty foot mounts (ebay) which is the best system for the money that I could come up with.
BTW, even building in a vacuum downdraft on one end of one such table. But I enjoy making the tools as much as the end product.
Also working on 18" buffing wheel system, and a portable paint booth (both wall mounted).
All great for guitars and wood-crafts, not necessarily airplanes!
 

Topaz

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The big question is, Is it straight on the building plain? would you build a elevator or rudder on it or RC wing's? my luck it would come out of the box all warped.:depressed
Yeah, that'd be my biggest concern. I have nothing in particular against HF, and have bought quite a few things there with which I'm perfectly happy, but you have to go in there knowing what you want and what qualifies as "adequate" for what you need to do. A regular workbench doesn't have the flatness requirements of building an airplane.

Trouble with this is that you won't know if the surface is flat until you assemble the darned thing. And then what? Return the fully-assembled item that you glued together as well as used the fasteners provided? :ermm:

If this is going to be a "side work" bench, for doing steps that don't require a flat surface, it's probably just fine. For everyday "puttering" of honey-do projects, it's probably just fine. Not sure I'd want to try building a rudder on it, is all I'm saying. You could get all fancy and set up the jig to compensate for any warpage or bowing in the table, but doing all that kinda defeats the reason in getting a "cheap and easy table", doesn't it?
 

joe nelson

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Jan 9, 2008
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Cincinnati,Ohio
Why bother with HF junk? Build it yourself to the exact dimension you require. I've built two from plywood. They weigh about 400 pounds each and are very square.
 

joe nelson

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Jan 9, 2008
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Cincinnati,Ohio
Gotta love those Chinooks! I was alway interested in them and never knew how much difference there was between single rotor helos and tandems.
 
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