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Re-purposing a shop bench to a woodworkers bench

Been awhile since my last post:

Randy aka Blackie asked that I show my rehabbed/recycled Hybrid woodworking bench. Please feel free to share your thoughts, advise and humor. It is appreciated.

So here it is! Looked and listened to some really good woodworkers here on LJ's like Paul aka Shipwright, and Kiefer. Have to give credit to Paul Sellers and his YouTube video of constructing a woodworkers bench and a more recent one regarding adding bench dogs to your existing bench. Also an excellent video on installing a Jorgenson Woodworking bench vise.

I thought about building one like my hero's, but I am being true to my Wabi Sabi self in recycling and re-purposing what I have, while learning from my imperfections….LOL!

Another step in becoming a better woodworker.

The first Picture is the bench vise I purchased last year after reading positive and negative reviews on Amazon. I have since learned more about different types and might now choose a different vise. But this one will have to be my workhorse.

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I built this bench from the materials that I used building a three section bench attached to the shop wall out of the construction material that was to be a shop floor. ( Before I found water leaking in under the walls of my shop…another long story…grrr) I had set it up to do metal work. Had a big machinist vise and an angle iron edge. Had built it to balance sheet goods when using my old craftsman belt driven table saw. Now have a Grizzly cabinet saw and height is different. It had been a modified tension box and deck type frame construction. So the 2×8's were glued and screwed to the bottom of the bench top for future bench dog holes. Otherwise the whole bench is anchored together with ceramic coated screws.

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This was another inspired innovation. LOL! I rehabbed an office chair and used star nuts for the levelers. I saw Shipwright's solution and looked at what the costs of bench wheels were at the woodstores. I purchased the castors with the stems, originally for my scroll saw stand. At least 150 pounds and locking hubs for wheels and pivot bearings. Had to run the threading all the way through the castor with WD Forty and a wrench. Mounted the star nuts with s sledge hammer. Drilled holes into the legs and screwed on the castors. Seemed like a great solution.

Until I turned the bench over! The star nuts really could not provide a stable anchor and the bench would rock with the brakes on! A couple taps with my hammer and they were dislodged! Back to the idea board? Oh yeah they made the bench too high.

I had to use a 2×4 laid on its face to provide the difference for me to have the right bench height. As I said back to the idea board. But it is working and I have used it for a couple projects so far.

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Not as expected!

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Next picture is mounting my "POS" 7 inch Harbor Freight bench vise, bought many years ago. Very sloppy , but I am using it to anchor pieces for planning against bench dogs until I can afford to purchase another one.

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Had some ceder fence boards that were sitting in the basement that were long enough to add a nice finish to the construction materials…LOL! They were also the same depth at the Jorgenson vise jaws. Hey I even hand planned the rough sides down to make finished boards. Got that brain storm while sanding and getting coated with saw dust!

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Well as I posted earlier in my shop notes blog this was a good idea that failed. I find my shop has gotten smaller with the assembly of all the shop equipment. The mobile bench was a way to set up tools in a work plan. When I have more woodworking time I will revisit the mobility issue. Until then it is now more functional, comfortable, and I found some ash to fit the vise jaws!

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As I've complained to my friends, I have to get some major maintenance done on my old Victorian, while I am able to climb ladders, hang out windows, and lift commodes to repair broken flanges in upstairs toilets! also to use the window of weather while I can?

Thanks for viewing!
very nice job on the bench.thanks for sharing glad blackie talked you into posting.


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After I finished working on the drill press table and posting it on LJ's I drilled out 30+ holes accurately for my next project. I am building a chainsaw mill bench/stand. I was pleased that I accurately drilled the holes for the carriage bolts in the supports and cross members.

My next task was to pre-drill screw holes in the support bracing that will hold the cross members and supports.

I stood there thinking "how am I going to drill these accurately," and it came to me that I needed an accurate extension arm very similar to the kind used on crosscutting sleds. I was very fortunate to find a pristine four by three-quarter piece of clear pine which is unusual for my shop.

I sanded the pine board up to 220 grit, and coated it with two coats Of Seal Coat. I apparently did a good job or maybe it was just a really good piece of wood, but with a slight rubbing of four ought steel wool it was ready for marking. I purchased a fine and an extra fine sharpie.

I wanted to set up an accurate rule in one-inch segments that extended from the center of the drill chuck. This indeed was the most difficult part for me in that I am easily influenced by Murphy toward impatience and inaccuracy. You can see in the first picture that it was time for a coffee break. LOL!

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After patiently marking the one-inch segments and accurately drilling holes at the zero, 10 inch, 20 inch, and 24 inch marks, two coats of waterborne poly were applied. After it dried. I attached the end piece that holds extended board with glue, nails and two screws.
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I scribed lines from top to bottom at the zero mark, and 2 inch mark in both directions from center.

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You can see from the back of the drill press the extended arm with stop. You can also see that I drew a line with the sharpie that goes through the center of the drill press table to line up to zero mark on the drill press fence and extension.

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You can also see that the extended arm can also provide one-inch reference points when necessary in order to drill other types of holes.

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Thanks for checking this out! As always, your comments, criticisms and witticisms are always welcome!
Great idea.
I need to build a do table like yours.
I also have no patience which is why I don't accomplish much!!!


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Yep, fellow lumberjock's another jig for resawing in a small shop from Charles Neil's video on resawing, which can be found now on his website if you want to see this in action. Several years ago Charles made a DVD on resawing, which I have. I think I asked him to make it, maybe not. But all the credit goes Charles.
I'm doing a small blog here on this which I posted as a project. It works great on my Grizzly G0555 bandsaw with the riser installed.

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I used materials available on hand in my shop. The dowel rod is 12 inches from base to the tip with some extra glued in the three-quarter inch plywood used for the base. As you can see it is a triangulated point to provide a stable base for clamping down to my G0555. After establishing the point of contact with the dowel rod I cut the base.

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I also cut 30°/60° right triangle measured from the tip of the dowel rod to the end of the base. Please note the groove in the end of the plywood, which provided a cradle for me to glue and pin nail the dowel rod after it had been glued into the base. I used 5 min. epoxy to provide a strong bond for the dowel rod insertion into the base, which I had bored with a Forstner bit.

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In Charles' video, he uses a magnetic clamp which you may have seen that will anchor jigs and feather boards to a metal saw table. This was too expensive for my tastes and pocketbook. So I epoxied two rare Earth magnets into the base in holes drilled to the depth of magnets with a Forstner bit.

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The magnets provide some holding power along with clamping the base of the jig to the bandsaw. It is important to make sure that this point of contact jig is in parallel to the bandsaw blade.

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These two pictures show a test cut using a scrap pine board and a half inch bandsaw blade.

Hope this is helpful. Your comments, criticisms and humor are always welcome!
Thanks for reading
Great jig.Looks to be very useful.thanks for sharing.


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