Mobile Torsion Box Workbench #7: Final Thoughts

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Blog entry by Ron Stewart posted 01-28-2013 12:22 AM 4706 reads 1 time favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 6: Materials, Costs, and Sources Part 7 of Mobile Torsion Box Workbench series no next part

In some ways, building a workbench was liberating. I generally build furniture-type projects, where I agonize over every little flaw. With this project, I didn’t have to worry about little dents, minor tear-out, etc. Of course, I wanted to do a good job, but I kept telling myself, “It’s just a bench. It’s going to get dinged up eventually.”

Having said that, I understand what leads some people to build showcase-quality benches that look nicer than most people’s furniture. For example, I worried (and still do a little) about the exposed plywood edges on the bench top. Will they hold up over time, or will they delaminate? I considered building a solid wood frame around them, but didn’t. In one brief moment of relative insanity, I thought of the partial roll of two-ply maple veneer in the storage room… I could veneer the sides of the bench top and hide those exposed edges. Never mind that I’d probably end up accidentally ripping off the veneer. So again I told myself, “It’s just a bench,” and left the veneer alone.

What else might I do to my bench? I’m probably going to install a 24” clamp rack on one side (or maybe on both sides; I need to count my clamps). They’ll nestle under the overhang, maybe six inches down, and they shouldn’t interfere with anything. And it will be nice having my clamps right there, instead of in a drawer in the storage room adjacent to the garage.

I’ve also thought about cutting a 1/8” thick piece of hardboard the same size as the top. I could varnish and wax it and use the bench as an assembly table (or as an outfeed table if the resulting height is appropriate). I’d glue four 1/2” plugs cut from a 3/4” dowel near the corners. They’d sit in dog holes and keep the hardboard in place.

The last thing I’ve considered is building a squat cabinet with two drawers and putting it on the shelf. That would keep other tools like squares, sanding blocks, etc. close at hand.

But now I just look forward to using this bench. I also want to say thanks to anybody who has taken the time to read or comment on this project or blog. Happy woodworking!

-- Ron Stewart

3 comments so far

View DIYaholic's profile


19921 posts in 4134 days

#1 posted 01-28-2013 05:02 AM

I hear ya, regarding; It’s only a…...

I’m currently setting up my shop and on occasion find myself saying the same thing. As important as it is (to me at least) to have “pretty” shop, there are other more critical considerations (and limitations ie, time, money & my severe lack of skills) like safety, available supplies and tooling/machines, that dictate what & how we complete shop projects. I’m utilizing my shop build to hone my skills, learn the basics (and not so basics) and familiarize myself with my tools & machines.

I’m currently working on organization and storage (french cleats, jigs, sleds, shelving and the like). My next major shop build WILL be a work bench.

So short story looooong, Thank you, for taking the time to document and explain your work bench build!!! It will go a long way towards my goal of a “pretty” shop.

-- 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 Tugboater78's profile


2798 posts in 3651 days

#2 posted 01-28-2013 12:14 PM

Congrats, you built a nice bench for sure. Gives me more food for thought when i get the opportunity to build my own bench! Thanks

-- "....put that handsaw to work and make it earn its keep. - summerfi" <==< JuStiN >==>=->

View jap's profile


1251 posts in 3513 days

#3 posted 01-28-2013 04:43 PM

enjoy your bench

-- Joel

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