Workbench Build #3: Not so traditional anymore....

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Blog entry by JL7 posted 05-16-2011 03:11 AM 16657 reads 3 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 2: Starting the glueup + the Sweetheart No. 62 Part 3 of Workbench Build series Part 4: aka - the tornado shelter »

So the project took a little turn today….....................

Before that,

The top is glued up into 5 sections, was shooting for four sections but it didn’t work out that way. The sections are pretty flat and square – just need a bit more fine tuning of the mating faces….....

I guess I’ll take some heat for this, but it dawned on me I still have a quantity of extruded aluminum piled up and waiting for a purpose – same stuff I used for my router table. Also have another set of those super sweet industrial casters that will raise onto solid rubber feet, making the bench rock solid.

This wasn’t the original plan, but it makes sense to me – the basement floor is horribly unlevel so the bench will always be true flat and the base will not rack – at least not under my power. The bench is really about the top so this works for.

Keep in mind, that I got this material at a very low cost, so this is why I chose to use it. I don’t think most folks would spend the dollars to purchase for this purpose. This material is Parker (IPS) which is similar to 80/20 brand.

These are the early photos – and much more work to come:

The notch on the right end will allow clearance for the tail vice:

I figure I will secure the top with 4 of these slotted “L” brackets:

Here is the top (still in sections):

I should note – the aluminum and all the components were used and VERY dirty. They were used in a rubber roll grinding area, so super sticky rubber dust is coated everywhere. Here is a castor as received and one that I cleaned up:

Here is shot of the bottom of the castor and you can see the rubber pad that can be lowered to the floor using the red toothed wheel you can see in the previous photo:

This frame design does not require any corner brackets, instead, all the holes are cross drilled and uses M8×1.25 cap screws with retainer brackets to holds the joints together – here are some photos on how the joints work:

Still to go:

- Glue the top together and flatten…
- Add a 6” apron around the top
- Add the vices
- Build some storage stuff below….

It looks a bit plain right now, but I think it will fill out with time.

Also this is whats left of the aluminum pile – so not you won’t have to suffer through too many more of unconventional builds….:)

Thanks for looking,


-- Jeff .... Minnesota, USA

11 comments so far

View bubinga's profile


861 posts in 3145 days

#1 posted 05-16-2011 03:49 AM

Is this aluminum stock, 80-20 stuff?
Looks like it
May I ask where did you get this stuff at a low cost ?
Use what you have !! dude.
Edit ,Ok I guess I was reading to fast, This material is Parker

-- E J ------- Always Keep a Firm Grip on Your Tool

View JL7's profile (online now)


8750 posts in 3443 days

#2 posted 05-16-2011 03:55 AM

Bubinga – As a mentioned above – it is made by Parker (IPS) but is nealry to same as the 80/20 stuff. I got it from work – if you scroll dione in the comments of this post – you can see the two original cabinets I scored…...


-- Jeff .... Minnesota, USA

View fernandoindia's profile


1081 posts in 3421 days

#3 posted 05-16-2011 06:59 AM

So you´ll have router table and bench with a “meccano look”

Interesting the parker extrusion joining. I am still unable to find 80 20 in this latitudes.

Castors look very smart too.

I can imagine now the gorgeous top. That´s fancy Jeff. And I believe on schedule too.

-- Back home. Fernando

View bubinga's profile


861 posts in 3145 days

#4 posted 05-16-2011 10:06 AM

I have purchased ,80-20 extrusions,and parts , for revamping a machine, and it is expensive,stuff
That was a good snag you got there Man !

-- E J ------- Always Keep a Firm Grip on Your Tool

View JL7's profile (online now)


8750 posts in 3443 days

#5 posted 05-16-2011 03:03 PM

Hey fernando – looks like another “meccano” table…...! I would think this material would bhe available worldwide…try an idustrial supply company, have you check the website for distributors?

But like bubinga said – it is really spendy stuff…....

Gotta travel for several days – so I guess the project is on hold!

Thanks for the comments.


-- Jeff .... Minnesota, USA

View bubinga's profile


861 posts in 3145 days

#6 posted 05-16-2011 06:29 PM

The distributor for 80/20 material is, 5 minutes from my home , but that does not make it Less expensive
You can have this material shiped to your door , if you have the bucks

-- E J ------- Always Keep a Firm Grip on Your Tool

View Bertha's profile


13567 posts in 3171 days

#7 posted 05-16-2011 06:53 PM

Few grand worth of extrusions where I live:) You won’t get any grief from me, as it looks like it will be rock solid. I’ve never come across casters of that caliber.

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View Dave's profile


11432 posts in 3317 days

#8 posted 05-16-2011 09:11 PM

Great job Jeff and I do like the base. I have a bench that has a metal base and have had to attach it to my wall joists at the end. It seams that heavy hand plane power causes it to walk. And the top is coming along nicely. Waiting for the outcome. I am thinking of the jigs you could hook on that t-trac. Cool;)

-- Superdav "No matter where you go - there you are."

View DIYaholic's profile


19848 posts in 3152 days

#9 posted 05-16-2011 11:06 PM

80/20 has a “Garage Sale” store (on ebay IIRC). They offer discounted pricing on “less than perfect” materials and close outs.
WOOD (this is my attempt to keep this post centererd upon acceptable content)!

-- Randy-- I may not be good...but I am slow! If good things come to those who wait.... Why is procrastination a bad thing?

View David Grimes's profile

David Grimes

2078 posts in 3117 days

#10 posted 05-17-2011 07:10 AM

Nice table !!!

On 80/20… yes the eBay garage sale site is pretty reasonable and NOT seconds for the most part, but drops and wrong cuts and new old stock.

I ordered a catalog, but within a couple of weeks had four of them ! One from 80/20 and three from distributors. These catalogs are HUGE (larger than the Atlanta phone book or McMaster Carr). I’m a fan, but have yet to apply any of it in a project.

-- If you're going to stir the pot, think BIG spoon or SMALL boat paddle. David Grimes, Georgia

View JL7's profile (online now)


8750 posts in 3443 days

#11 posted 05-19-2011 10:13 PM

Just got back from 3 rainy days in Detroit – YEY!

Appreciate the comments – Dave – I am curious to see how it holds up to hand planing, but I am guessing it won’t move…....time will tell.

Yes – the extrusion is huge $$ so unless you get a smoking hot deal – stick with wood!


-- Jeff .... Minnesota, USA

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