LumberJocks Woodworking Forum banner
  • Please post in our Community Feedback thread for help with the new forum software! If you are having trouble logging in, please Contact Us for assistance.
1 - 20 of 24 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
454 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Day 1 Complete

I managed to get started today and got a lot done, even with a short break to scramble some eggs for my wife (she's in nursing school and works damn near full time, so I do most of the cooking). I started out by clearing some room on the MDF sheets I'd laid out last night. I put a few of the 1×4's I bought under the sheets to keep them off the garage floor. I figured this was the flatest surface I was going to get for now, so I used it.

First up, I cut the outside frame for the top piece, being the largest I figured I'd start with that torsion box so when it was done, I could set it up on my saw horses for doing the rest. The outside frame consists of five boards, with one extra front board to make the total thickness there 3". This was done to facilitate the lag screws that will be used to attach the dog hole assembly later. After the cutting was done, I glued and screwed the two front pieces together using Gorilla wood glue. I clamped one end, and started putting screws in, forcing the two boards to align as I went. Don't know if that was a bad idea, with the added stress of the boards, but I figured with glue and screws it wasn't going anywhere.



I let the glue dry for a few minutes (Gorilla dries fast, and it was still clamped), then attached the sides and back. I did this with a counter sink bit and deck screws, making sure I lined up on the center of the sides to avoid splitting the boards. I also drilled very slowly, since my drill doesn't have torque settings, and turned it by hand a few cranks at the end to sink the screw just below the surface.



Next I put in the beams running the width of the top, using a speed square to try and get them as close to straight as possible:



All three done:



Now come all the small cuts… I did this the speedy way (and not the most accurate). I marked out the position of each beam, one for each foot of table top. I then took a 1x and laid it along this line, marking where the parallel boards hit them. I then used my carpenter's square to draw lines on the face, adding 1/8" for each additional block on the board to compensate for the kerf of my chop saw. This actually worked surprisingly well, as most of the cross members were a snug fit (only 2 had a noticeable gap). I made sure to measure the depth over each as I put them in to make sure I wasn't causing one end to bow out. I used a T50 stapler to attach the cross members, both top and bottom.



I had to stop here, as I'm expected over at my parent's house for Sunday dinner, but I did clean up my work area and created a temporary table to work on (MDF sheet on top of 1×4's on top of my saw horses). I really should have done that first, as my back is killing me from bending over this thing on the floor all morning…

I took my 4' level and started checking for flatness, and I am surprised at how flat it is looking. The picture below shows the level over one cross member, and there is no rocking and no gap. The entire top is like this from end to end, so I am confident I'll have at least one flat surface :)



There doesn't appear to be any gap around the bottom edge either, where it is sitting on the makeshift MDF table. For my next step, I plan to lay another sheet of MDF on top of this, lined up with a corner, and trace the outline. Then I'll cut it out, giving myself an inch or two for each edge that I'll clean up later with a router. I'm going to do it that way, because I did check the squareness of this and I'm about 3/8" out of square diagonally. I'm not unhappy with that, considering it's my first attempt, and I'm working with material as-is.

More to come!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,134 Posts
Day 1 Complete

I managed to get started today and got a lot done, even with a short break to scramble some eggs for my wife (she's in nursing school and works damn near full time, so I do most of the cooking). I started out by clearing some room on the MDF sheets I'd laid out last night. I put a few of the 1×4's I bought under the sheets to keep them off the garage floor. I figured this was the flatest surface I was going to get for now, so I used it.

First up, I cut the outside frame for the top piece, being the largest I figured I'd start with that torsion box so when it was done, I could set it up on my saw horses for doing the rest. The outside frame consists of five boards, with one extra front board to make the total thickness there 3". This was done to facilitate the lag screws that will be used to attach the dog hole assembly later. After the cutting was done, I glued and screwed the two front pieces together using Gorilla wood glue. I clamped one end, and started putting screws in, forcing the two boards to align as I went. Don't know if that was a bad idea, with the added stress of the boards, but I figured with glue and screws it wasn't going anywhere.



I let the glue dry for a few minutes (Gorilla dries fast, and it was still clamped), then attached the sides and back. I did this with a counter sink bit and deck screws, making sure I lined up on the center of the sides to avoid splitting the boards. I also drilled very slowly, since my drill doesn't have torque settings, and turned it by hand a few cranks at the end to sink the screw just below the surface.



Next I put in the beams running the width of the top, using a speed square to try and get them as close to straight as possible:



All three done:



Now come all the small cuts… I did this the speedy way (and not the most accurate). I marked out the position of each beam, one for each foot of table top. I then took a 1x and laid it along this line, marking where the parallel boards hit them. I then used my carpenter's square to draw lines on the face, adding 1/8" for each additional block on the board to compensate for the kerf of my chop saw. This actually worked surprisingly well, as most of the cross members were a snug fit (only 2 had a noticeable gap). I made sure to measure the depth over each as I put them in to make sure I wasn't causing one end to bow out. I used a T50 stapler to attach the cross members, both top and bottom.



I had to stop here, as I'm expected over at my parent's house for Sunday dinner, but I did clean up my work area and created a temporary table to work on (MDF sheet on top of 1×4's on top of my saw horses). I really should have done that first, as my back is killing me from bending over this thing on the floor all morning…

I took my 4' level and started checking for flatness, and I am surprised at how flat it is looking. The picture below shows the level over one cross member, and there is no rocking and no gap. The entire top is like this from end to end, so I am confident I'll have at least one flat surface :)



There doesn't appear to be any gap around the bottom edge either, where it is sitting on the makeshift MDF table. For my next step, I plan to lay another sheet of MDF on top of this, lined up with a corner, and trace the outline. Then I'll cut it out, giving myself an inch or two for each edge that I'll clean up later with a router. I'm going to do it that way, because I did check the squareness of this and I'm about 3/8" out of square diagonally. I'm not unhappy with that, considering it's my first attempt, and I'm working with material as-is.

More to come!
Looking good.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
363 Posts
Day 1 Complete

I managed to get started today and got a lot done, even with a short break to scramble some eggs for my wife (she's in nursing school and works damn near full time, so I do most of the cooking). I started out by clearing some room on the MDF sheets I'd laid out last night. I put a few of the 1×4's I bought under the sheets to keep them off the garage floor. I figured this was the flatest surface I was going to get for now, so I used it.

First up, I cut the outside frame for the top piece, being the largest I figured I'd start with that torsion box so when it was done, I could set it up on my saw horses for doing the rest. The outside frame consists of five boards, with one extra front board to make the total thickness there 3". This was done to facilitate the lag screws that will be used to attach the dog hole assembly later. After the cutting was done, I glued and screwed the two front pieces together using Gorilla wood glue. I clamped one end, and started putting screws in, forcing the two boards to align as I went. Don't know if that was a bad idea, with the added stress of the boards, but I figured with glue and screws it wasn't going anywhere.



I let the glue dry for a few minutes (Gorilla dries fast, and it was still clamped), then attached the sides and back. I did this with a counter sink bit and deck screws, making sure I lined up on the center of the sides to avoid splitting the boards. I also drilled very slowly, since my drill doesn't have torque settings, and turned it by hand a few cranks at the end to sink the screw just below the surface.



Next I put in the beams running the width of the top, using a speed square to try and get them as close to straight as possible:



All three done:



Now come all the small cuts… I did this the speedy way (and not the most accurate). I marked out the position of each beam, one for each foot of table top. I then took a 1x and laid it along this line, marking where the parallel boards hit them. I then used my carpenter's square to draw lines on the face, adding 1/8" for each additional block on the board to compensate for the kerf of my chop saw. This actually worked surprisingly well, as most of the cross members were a snug fit (only 2 had a noticeable gap). I made sure to measure the depth over each as I put them in to make sure I wasn't causing one end to bow out. I used a T50 stapler to attach the cross members, both top and bottom.



I had to stop here, as I'm expected over at my parent's house for Sunday dinner, but I did clean up my work area and created a temporary table to work on (MDF sheet on top of 1×4's on top of my saw horses). I really should have done that first, as my back is killing me from bending over this thing on the floor all morning…

I took my 4' level and started checking for flatness, and I am surprised at how flat it is looking. The picture below shows the level over one cross member, and there is no rocking and no gap. The entire top is like this from end to end, so I am confident I'll have at least one flat surface :)



There doesn't appear to be any gap around the bottom edge either, where it is sitting on the makeshift MDF table. For my next step, I plan to lay another sheet of MDF on top of this, lined up with a corner, and trace the outline. Then I'll cut it out, giving myself an inch or two for each edge that I'll clean up later with a router. I'm going to do it that way, because I did check the squareness of this and I'm about 3/8" out of square diagonally. I'm not unhappy with that, considering it's my first attempt, and I'm working with material as-is.

More to come!
Nice photo blog of the torsion box top.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19,674 Posts
Day 1 Complete

I managed to get started today and got a lot done, even with a short break to scramble some eggs for my wife (she's in nursing school and works damn near full time, so I do most of the cooking). I started out by clearing some room on the MDF sheets I'd laid out last night. I put a few of the 1×4's I bought under the sheets to keep them off the garage floor. I figured this was the flatest surface I was going to get for now, so I used it.

First up, I cut the outside frame for the top piece, being the largest I figured I'd start with that torsion box so when it was done, I could set it up on my saw horses for doing the rest. The outside frame consists of five boards, with one extra front board to make the total thickness there 3". This was done to facilitate the lag screws that will be used to attach the dog hole assembly later. After the cutting was done, I glued and screwed the two front pieces together using Gorilla wood glue. I clamped one end, and started putting screws in, forcing the two boards to align as I went. Don't know if that was a bad idea, with the added stress of the boards, but I figured with glue and screws it wasn't going anywhere.



I let the glue dry for a few minutes (Gorilla dries fast, and it was still clamped), then attached the sides and back. I did this with a counter sink bit and deck screws, making sure I lined up on the center of the sides to avoid splitting the boards. I also drilled very slowly, since my drill doesn't have torque settings, and turned it by hand a few cranks at the end to sink the screw just below the surface.



Next I put in the beams running the width of the top, using a speed square to try and get them as close to straight as possible:



All three done:



Now come all the small cuts… I did this the speedy way (and not the most accurate). I marked out the position of each beam, one for each foot of table top. I then took a 1x and laid it along this line, marking where the parallel boards hit them. I then used my carpenter's square to draw lines on the face, adding 1/8" for each additional block on the board to compensate for the kerf of my chop saw. This actually worked surprisingly well, as most of the cross members were a snug fit (only 2 had a noticeable gap). I made sure to measure the depth over each as I put them in to make sure I wasn't causing one end to bow out. I used a T50 stapler to attach the cross members, both top and bottom.



I had to stop here, as I'm expected over at my parent's house for Sunday dinner, but I did clean up my work area and created a temporary table to work on (MDF sheet on top of 1×4's on top of my saw horses). I really should have done that first, as my back is killing me from bending over this thing on the floor all morning…

I took my 4' level and started checking for flatness, and I am surprised at how flat it is looking. The picture below shows the level over one cross member, and there is no rocking and no gap. The entire top is like this from end to end, so I am confident I'll have at least one flat surface :)



There doesn't appear to be any gap around the bottom edge either, where it is sitting on the makeshift MDF table. For my next step, I plan to lay another sheet of MDF on top of this, lined up with a corner, and trace the outline. Then I'll cut it out, giving myself an inch or two for each edge that I'll clean up later with a router. I'm going to do it that way, because I did check the squareness of this and I'm about 3/8" out of square diagonally. I'm not unhappy with that, considering it's my first attempt, and I'm working with material as-is.

More to come!
Wow your zooming right along way to go
 

·
In Loving Memory
Joined
·
2,704 Posts
Day 1 Complete

I managed to get started today and got a lot done, even with a short break to scramble some eggs for my wife (she's in nursing school and works damn near full time, so I do most of the cooking). I started out by clearing some room on the MDF sheets I'd laid out last night. I put a few of the 1×4's I bought under the sheets to keep them off the garage floor. I figured this was the flatest surface I was going to get for now, so I used it.

First up, I cut the outside frame for the top piece, being the largest I figured I'd start with that torsion box so when it was done, I could set it up on my saw horses for doing the rest. The outside frame consists of five boards, with one extra front board to make the total thickness there 3". This was done to facilitate the lag screws that will be used to attach the dog hole assembly later. After the cutting was done, I glued and screwed the two front pieces together using Gorilla wood glue. I clamped one end, and started putting screws in, forcing the two boards to align as I went. Don't know if that was a bad idea, with the added stress of the boards, but I figured with glue and screws it wasn't going anywhere.



I let the glue dry for a few minutes (Gorilla dries fast, and it was still clamped), then attached the sides and back. I did this with a counter sink bit and deck screws, making sure I lined up on the center of the sides to avoid splitting the boards. I also drilled very slowly, since my drill doesn't have torque settings, and turned it by hand a few cranks at the end to sink the screw just below the surface.



Next I put in the beams running the width of the top, using a speed square to try and get them as close to straight as possible:



All three done:



Now come all the small cuts… I did this the speedy way (and not the most accurate). I marked out the position of each beam, one for each foot of table top. I then took a 1x and laid it along this line, marking where the parallel boards hit them. I then used my carpenter's square to draw lines on the face, adding 1/8" for each additional block on the board to compensate for the kerf of my chop saw. This actually worked surprisingly well, as most of the cross members were a snug fit (only 2 had a noticeable gap). I made sure to measure the depth over each as I put them in to make sure I wasn't causing one end to bow out. I used a T50 stapler to attach the cross members, both top and bottom.



I had to stop here, as I'm expected over at my parent's house for Sunday dinner, but I did clean up my work area and created a temporary table to work on (MDF sheet on top of 1×4's on top of my saw horses). I really should have done that first, as my back is killing me from bending over this thing on the floor all morning…

I took my 4' level and started checking for flatness, and I am surprised at how flat it is looking. The picture below shows the level over one cross member, and there is no rocking and no gap. The entire top is like this from end to end, so I am confident I'll have at least one flat surface :)



There doesn't appear to be any gap around the bottom edge either, where it is sitting on the makeshift MDF table. For my next step, I plan to lay another sheet of MDF on top of this, lined up with a corner, and trace the outline. Then I'll cut it out, giving myself an inch or two for each edge that I'll clean up later with a router. I'm going to do it that way, because I did check the squareness of this and I'm about 3/8" out of square diagonally. I'm not unhappy with that, considering it's my first attempt, and I'm working with material as-is.

More to come!
Keep it tight like a bulldog's bite. That's what my boss used to say to me. You're doin OK. Keep up the good work.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,838 Posts
Day 1 Complete

I managed to get started today and got a lot done, even with a short break to scramble some eggs for my wife (she's in nursing school and works damn near full time, so I do most of the cooking). I started out by clearing some room on the MDF sheets I'd laid out last night. I put a few of the 1×4's I bought under the sheets to keep them off the garage floor. I figured this was the flatest surface I was going to get for now, so I used it.

First up, I cut the outside frame for the top piece, being the largest I figured I'd start with that torsion box so when it was done, I could set it up on my saw horses for doing the rest. The outside frame consists of five boards, with one extra front board to make the total thickness there 3". This was done to facilitate the lag screws that will be used to attach the dog hole assembly later. After the cutting was done, I glued and screwed the two front pieces together using Gorilla wood glue. I clamped one end, and started putting screws in, forcing the two boards to align as I went. Don't know if that was a bad idea, with the added stress of the boards, but I figured with glue and screws it wasn't going anywhere.



I let the glue dry for a few minutes (Gorilla dries fast, and it was still clamped), then attached the sides and back. I did this with a counter sink bit and deck screws, making sure I lined up on the center of the sides to avoid splitting the boards. I also drilled very slowly, since my drill doesn't have torque settings, and turned it by hand a few cranks at the end to sink the screw just below the surface.



Next I put in the beams running the width of the top, using a speed square to try and get them as close to straight as possible:



All three done:



Now come all the small cuts… I did this the speedy way (and not the most accurate). I marked out the position of each beam, one for each foot of table top. I then took a 1x and laid it along this line, marking where the parallel boards hit them. I then used my carpenter's square to draw lines on the face, adding 1/8" for each additional block on the board to compensate for the kerf of my chop saw. This actually worked surprisingly well, as most of the cross members were a snug fit (only 2 had a noticeable gap). I made sure to measure the depth over each as I put them in to make sure I wasn't causing one end to bow out. I used a T50 stapler to attach the cross members, both top and bottom.



I had to stop here, as I'm expected over at my parent's house for Sunday dinner, but I did clean up my work area and created a temporary table to work on (MDF sheet on top of 1×4's on top of my saw horses). I really should have done that first, as my back is killing me from bending over this thing on the floor all morning…

I took my 4' level and started checking for flatness, and I am surprised at how flat it is looking. The picture below shows the level over one cross member, and there is no rocking and no gap. The entire top is like this from end to end, so I am confident I'll have at least one flat surface :)



There doesn't appear to be any gap around the bottom edge either, where it is sitting on the makeshift MDF table. For my next step, I plan to lay another sheet of MDF on top of this, lined up with a corner, and trace the outline. Then I'll cut it out, giving myself an inch or two for each edge that I'll clean up later with a router. I'm going to do it that way, because I did check the squareness of this and I'm about 3/8" out of square diagonally. I'm not unhappy with that, considering it's my first attempt, and I'm working with material as-is.

More to come!
thats some great progress. as your reference planes gets flatter, so will your end results will become. don't worry too much about getting off square at this point - just work hard on getting it as square as possible… with each project, as your skills improve, and your references are truer - squareness will become more available, and easier to come by.

as for leaving 1-2" off of each edge for cleaning later with a router - that's actually a lot of material to route off. unless you are not so confident (I wasn't, and still am not sometimes), I'd recommend leaving 1/2" at most on each side as extra… even that is considered a big chunk to take off with a router, but definitely easier on the router than a full 1-2" of material. unless you can clean some of that 1-2" extra with a jigsaw first before the router, than that would be safe+good for your router. food for thought. :)

I like how you used the carpenters square to square off the joints….

definitely waaaay better then how I started things… waaaay better.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
454 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Day 1 Complete

I managed to get started today and got a lot done, even with a short break to scramble some eggs for my wife (she's in nursing school and works damn near full time, so I do most of the cooking). I started out by clearing some room on the MDF sheets I'd laid out last night. I put a few of the 1×4's I bought under the sheets to keep them off the garage floor. I figured this was the flatest surface I was going to get for now, so I used it.

First up, I cut the outside frame for the top piece, being the largest I figured I'd start with that torsion box so when it was done, I could set it up on my saw horses for doing the rest. The outside frame consists of five boards, with one extra front board to make the total thickness there 3". This was done to facilitate the lag screws that will be used to attach the dog hole assembly later. After the cutting was done, I glued and screwed the two front pieces together using Gorilla wood glue. I clamped one end, and started putting screws in, forcing the two boards to align as I went. Don't know if that was a bad idea, with the added stress of the boards, but I figured with glue and screws it wasn't going anywhere.



I let the glue dry for a few minutes (Gorilla dries fast, and it was still clamped), then attached the sides and back. I did this with a counter sink bit and deck screws, making sure I lined up on the center of the sides to avoid splitting the boards. I also drilled very slowly, since my drill doesn't have torque settings, and turned it by hand a few cranks at the end to sink the screw just below the surface.



Next I put in the beams running the width of the top, using a speed square to try and get them as close to straight as possible:



All three done:



Now come all the small cuts… I did this the speedy way (and not the most accurate). I marked out the position of each beam, one for each foot of table top. I then took a 1x and laid it along this line, marking where the parallel boards hit them. I then used my carpenter's square to draw lines on the face, adding 1/8" for each additional block on the board to compensate for the kerf of my chop saw. This actually worked surprisingly well, as most of the cross members were a snug fit (only 2 had a noticeable gap). I made sure to measure the depth over each as I put them in to make sure I wasn't causing one end to bow out. I used a T50 stapler to attach the cross members, both top and bottom.



I had to stop here, as I'm expected over at my parent's house for Sunday dinner, but I did clean up my work area and created a temporary table to work on (MDF sheet on top of 1×4's on top of my saw horses). I really should have done that first, as my back is killing me from bending over this thing on the floor all morning…

I took my 4' level and started checking for flatness, and I am surprised at how flat it is looking. The picture below shows the level over one cross member, and there is no rocking and no gap. The entire top is like this from end to end, so I am confident I'll have at least one flat surface :)



There doesn't appear to be any gap around the bottom edge either, where it is sitting on the makeshift MDF table. For my next step, I plan to lay another sheet of MDF on top of this, lined up with a corner, and trace the outline. Then I'll cut it out, giving myself an inch or two for each edge that I'll clean up later with a router. I'm going to do it that way, because I did check the squareness of this and I'm about 3/8" out of square diagonally. I'm not unhappy with that, considering it's my first attempt, and I'm working with material as-is.

More to come!
@PurpLev: Thanks for the vote of confidence. As for the router comment, in my head I meant that I'd add an inch to both the length and width to have some overhang… but yeah I probably don't even need that much of a comfort factor.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,699 Posts
Day 1 Complete

I managed to get started today and got a lot done, even with a short break to scramble some eggs for my wife (she's in nursing school and works damn near full time, so I do most of the cooking). I started out by clearing some room on the MDF sheets I'd laid out last night. I put a few of the 1×4's I bought under the sheets to keep them off the garage floor. I figured this was the flatest surface I was going to get for now, so I used it.

First up, I cut the outside frame for the top piece, being the largest I figured I'd start with that torsion box so when it was done, I could set it up on my saw horses for doing the rest. The outside frame consists of five boards, with one extra front board to make the total thickness there 3". This was done to facilitate the lag screws that will be used to attach the dog hole assembly later. After the cutting was done, I glued and screwed the two front pieces together using Gorilla wood glue. I clamped one end, and started putting screws in, forcing the two boards to align as I went. Don't know if that was a bad idea, with the added stress of the boards, but I figured with glue and screws it wasn't going anywhere.



I let the glue dry for a few minutes (Gorilla dries fast, and it was still clamped), then attached the sides and back. I did this with a counter sink bit and deck screws, making sure I lined up on the center of the sides to avoid splitting the boards. I also drilled very slowly, since my drill doesn't have torque settings, and turned it by hand a few cranks at the end to sink the screw just below the surface.



Next I put in the beams running the width of the top, using a speed square to try and get them as close to straight as possible:



All three done:



Now come all the small cuts… I did this the speedy way (and not the most accurate). I marked out the position of each beam, one for each foot of table top. I then took a 1x and laid it along this line, marking where the parallel boards hit them. I then used my carpenter's square to draw lines on the face, adding 1/8" for each additional block on the board to compensate for the kerf of my chop saw. This actually worked surprisingly well, as most of the cross members were a snug fit (only 2 had a noticeable gap). I made sure to measure the depth over each as I put them in to make sure I wasn't causing one end to bow out. I used a T50 stapler to attach the cross members, both top and bottom.



I had to stop here, as I'm expected over at my parent's house for Sunday dinner, but I did clean up my work area and created a temporary table to work on (MDF sheet on top of 1×4's on top of my saw horses). I really should have done that first, as my back is killing me from bending over this thing on the floor all morning…

I took my 4' level and started checking for flatness, and I am surprised at how flat it is looking. The picture below shows the level over one cross member, and there is no rocking and no gap. The entire top is like this from end to end, so I am confident I'll have at least one flat surface :)



There doesn't appear to be any gap around the bottom edge either, where it is sitting on the makeshift MDF table. For my next step, I plan to lay another sheet of MDF on top of this, lined up with a corner, and trace the outline. Then I'll cut it out, giving myself an inch or two for each edge that I'll clean up later with a router. I'm going to do it that way, because I did check the squareness of this and I'm about 3/8" out of square diagonally. I'm not unhappy with that, considering it's my first attempt, and I'm working with material as-is.

More to come!
wow. way faster progress than I am making on my current blog. now I really gotta step it up tomorrow. haha.

So I see you are making this thing pretty big. Do you have a dedicated space or is this going to be mobile?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
454 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Day 1 Complete

I managed to get started today and got a lot done, even with a short break to scramble some eggs for my wife (she's in nursing school and works damn near full time, so I do most of the cooking). I started out by clearing some room on the MDF sheets I'd laid out last night. I put a few of the 1×4's I bought under the sheets to keep them off the garage floor. I figured this was the flatest surface I was going to get for now, so I used it.

First up, I cut the outside frame for the top piece, being the largest I figured I'd start with that torsion box so when it was done, I could set it up on my saw horses for doing the rest. The outside frame consists of five boards, with one extra front board to make the total thickness there 3". This was done to facilitate the lag screws that will be used to attach the dog hole assembly later. After the cutting was done, I glued and screwed the two front pieces together using Gorilla wood glue. I clamped one end, and started putting screws in, forcing the two boards to align as I went. Don't know if that was a bad idea, with the added stress of the boards, but I figured with glue and screws it wasn't going anywhere.



I let the glue dry for a few minutes (Gorilla dries fast, and it was still clamped), then attached the sides and back. I did this with a counter sink bit and deck screws, making sure I lined up on the center of the sides to avoid splitting the boards. I also drilled very slowly, since my drill doesn't have torque settings, and turned it by hand a few cranks at the end to sink the screw just below the surface.



Next I put in the beams running the width of the top, using a speed square to try and get them as close to straight as possible:



All three done:



Now come all the small cuts… I did this the speedy way (and not the most accurate). I marked out the position of each beam, one for each foot of table top. I then took a 1x and laid it along this line, marking where the parallel boards hit them. I then used my carpenter's square to draw lines on the face, adding 1/8" for each additional block on the board to compensate for the kerf of my chop saw. This actually worked surprisingly well, as most of the cross members were a snug fit (only 2 had a noticeable gap). I made sure to measure the depth over each as I put them in to make sure I wasn't causing one end to bow out. I used a T50 stapler to attach the cross members, both top and bottom.



I had to stop here, as I'm expected over at my parent's house for Sunday dinner, but I did clean up my work area and created a temporary table to work on (MDF sheet on top of 1×4's on top of my saw horses). I really should have done that first, as my back is killing me from bending over this thing on the floor all morning…

I took my 4' level and started checking for flatness, and I am surprised at how flat it is looking. The picture below shows the level over one cross member, and there is no rocking and no gap. The entire top is like this from end to end, so I am confident I'll have at least one flat surface :)



There doesn't appear to be any gap around the bottom edge either, where it is sitting on the makeshift MDF table. For my next step, I plan to lay another sheet of MDF on top of this, lined up with a corner, and trace the outline. Then I'll cut it out, giving myself an inch or two for each edge that I'll clean up later with a router. I'm going to do it that way, because I did check the squareness of this and I'm about 3/8" out of square diagonally. I'm not unhappy with that, considering it's my first attempt, and I'm working with material as-is.

More to come!
@HokieMojo: It's 2'x6', and I've got a spot in my garage picked out for it already. I don't think it's going to be mobile, but I should be able to break it down by removing the lag bolts/threaded rods (see the original plan here if you don't know what I'm talking about).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
454 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
First Glue Up

Didn't get a chance to work on this last night, so I headed home with a purpose tonight. Started by getting everything prepared for cutting the MDF - I've read the dust can be nasty so I opened my garage door and put a fan behind me to blow out. I also got some dust masks out, unfortunately not the best but I figured better than nothing, and with the fan blowing the dust away from me I thought it'd be sufficient for now.

I propped up the off-cut side so it wouldn't slump down on the cross-cut, and setup my fence to cut. My poor circular saw did not like cutting this stuff. At even only 1/2" thick, if I tried to keep the saw to tight to the fence, it started bogging down - and burning MDF. So, I let it take the path of least resistance and ended up about an 1/8th of an inch off my pencil line. No big deal, I'm cleaning it up with a router later anyway. Same thing went for the long cut, but in the end I nearly had a perfect 1/2" overhang on all sides.



Here's a quick pic of the weights I plan on using to hold the skin tight to the frame:



It was a decent workout just hauling all these up from the basement…

On to the drilling: I sank holes all around the perimeter, figuring I could either back them out later when the glue dried, or just fill them in with wood putty or epoxy. I didn't want screws in the center, thus the weights above. My plan was to lay a couple of 1×4's on top of the sheet after gluing and putting screws in the corners, then I'd pile the weights on and finish screwing in the perimeter.



This is when I hit a snag… I couldn't find my caulk gun. Being too lazy to run up to the store to buy another one, I opted to just glue the top down with the Gorilla glue I bought. No guts no glory, and I need to learn to work under a clock when gluing anyway, right?

So, on with the glue! Mental note: have a wet rag handy before starting to glue. I had glue all over my hands from trying to get the top centered, and the glue started holding the MDF in place making it damn near impossible to slide anymore. I managed to get the overhang correct on the front and back, but the sides were off a bit, a fact I found out when I tried to put a screw in the side and it came out of the 1×4 underneath. I just decided to skip putting screws in the sides, and grabbed 2 more 25lb weights from downstairs to put nearer the ends. The rest of the screws for the front and back edges went in without a hitch, and I wiped down the excess (not a lot of it, hoping I didn't skimp on the glue…). I felt I had a pretty decent bead squeezing out most of the way around the table, and tightened a few screws down around the edge and adjusted the weights where I thought it wasn't putting enough pressure.



I really hope glue isn't dripping down the inside and locking the frame to my makeshift MDF table top… I'll flip it over tomorrow morning and find out! If it's screwed up in some way, I'll just put screws into the cross members and use that side as the bottom of the torsion box.

So, a question for the pros: How well does MDF handle routing on the edges? I'm kind of afraid it's going to fuzz and shred, so I'm likely to pick up a jigsaw tomorrow and trim up as much as possible before cleaning up with the router. Also, is there any kind of sealant I can put on the edges of the MDF to try and keep moisture out?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19,674 Posts
First Glue Up

Didn't get a chance to work on this last night, so I headed home with a purpose tonight. Started by getting everything prepared for cutting the MDF - I've read the dust can be nasty so I opened my garage door and put a fan behind me to blow out. I also got some dust masks out, unfortunately not the best but I figured better than nothing, and with the fan blowing the dust away from me I thought it'd be sufficient for now.

I propped up the off-cut side so it wouldn't slump down on the cross-cut, and setup my fence to cut. My poor circular saw did not like cutting this stuff. At even only 1/2" thick, if I tried to keep the saw to tight to the fence, it started bogging down - and burning MDF. So, I let it take the path of least resistance and ended up about an 1/8th of an inch off my pencil line. No big deal, I'm cleaning it up with a router later anyway. Same thing went for the long cut, but in the end I nearly had a perfect 1/2" overhang on all sides.



Here's a quick pic of the weights I plan on using to hold the skin tight to the frame:



It was a decent workout just hauling all these up from the basement…

On to the drilling: I sank holes all around the perimeter, figuring I could either back them out later when the glue dried, or just fill them in with wood putty or epoxy. I didn't want screws in the center, thus the weights above. My plan was to lay a couple of 1×4's on top of the sheet after gluing and putting screws in the corners, then I'd pile the weights on and finish screwing in the perimeter.



This is when I hit a snag… I couldn't find my caulk gun. Being too lazy to run up to the store to buy another one, I opted to just glue the top down with the Gorilla glue I bought. No guts no glory, and I need to learn to work under a clock when gluing anyway, right?

So, on with the glue! Mental note: have a wet rag handy before starting to glue. I had glue all over my hands from trying to get the top centered, and the glue started holding the MDF in place making it damn near impossible to slide anymore. I managed to get the overhang correct on the front and back, but the sides were off a bit, a fact I found out when I tried to put a screw in the side and it came out of the 1×4 underneath. I just decided to skip putting screws in the sides, and grabbed 2 more 25lb weights from downstairs to put nearer the ends. The rest of the screws for the front and back edges went in without a hitch, and I wiped down the excess (not a lot of it, hoping I didn't skimp on the glue…). I felt I had a pretty decent bead squeezing out most of the way around the table, and tightened a few screws down around the edge and adjusted the weights where I thought it wasn't putting enough pressure.



I really hope glue isn't dripping down the inside and locking the frame to my makeshift MDF table top… I'll flip it over tomorrow morning and find out! If it's screwed up in some way, I'll just put screws into the cross members and use that side as the bottom of the torsion box.

So, a question for the pros: How well does MDF handle routing on the edges? I'm kind of afraid it's going to fuzz and shred, so I'm likely to pick up a jigsaw tomorrow and trim up as much as possible before cleaning up with the router. Also, is there any kind of sealant I can put on the edges of the MDF to try and keep moisture out?
Looking good look forward to an update
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,266 Posts
First Glue Up

Didn't get a chance to work on this last night, so I headed home with a purpose tonight. Started by getting everything prepared for cutting the MDF - I've read the dust can be nasty so I opened my garage door and put a fan behind me to blow out. I also got some dust masks out, unfortunately not the best but I figured better than nothing, and with the fan blowing the dust away from me I thought it'd be sufficient for now.

I propped up the off-cut side so it wouldn't slump down on the cross-cut, and setup my fence to cut. My poor circular saw did not like cutting this stuff. At even only 1/2" thick, if I tried to keep the saw to tight to the fence, it started bogging down - and burning MDF. So, I let it take the path of least resistance and ended up about an 1/8th of an inch off my pencil line. No big deal, I'm cleaning it up with a router later anyway. Same thing went for the long cut, but in the end I nearly had a perfect 1/2" overhang on all sides.



Here's a quick pic of the weights I plan on using to hold the skin tight to the frame:



It was a decent workout just hauling all these up from the basement…

On to the drilling: I sank holes all around the perimeter, figuring I could either back them out later when the glue dried, or just fill them in with wood putty or epoxy. I didn't want screws in the center, thus the weights above. My plan was to lay a couple of 1×4's on top of the sheet after gluing and putting screws in the corners, then I'd pile the weights on and finish screwing in the perimeter.



This is when I hit a snag… I couldn't find my caulk gun. Being too lazy to run up to the store to buy another one, I opted to just glue the top down with the Gorilla glue I bought. No guts no glory, and I need to learn to work under a clock when gluing anyway, right?

So, on with the glue! Mental note: have a wet rag handy before starting to glue. I had glue all over my hands from trying to get the top centered, and the glue started holding the MDF in place making it damn near impossible to slide anymore. I managed to get the overhang correct on the front and back, but the sides were off a bit, a fact I found out when I tried to put a screw in the side and it came out of the 1×4 underneath. I just decided to skip putting screws in the sides, and grabbed 2 more 25lb weights from downstairs to put nearer the ends. The rest of the screws for the front and back edges went in without a hitch, and I wiped down the excess (not a lot of it, hoping I didn't skimp on the glue…). I felt I had a pretty decent bead squeezing out most of the way around the table, and tightened a few screws down around the edge and adjusted the weights where I thought it wasn't putting enough pressure.



I really hope glue isn't dripping down the inside and locking the frame to my makeshift MDF table top… I'll flip it over tomorrow morning and find out! If it's screwed up in some way, I'll just put screws into the cross members and use that side as the bottom of the torsion box.

So, a question for the pros: How well does MDF handle routing on the edges? I'm kind of afraid it's going to fuzz and shred, so I'm likely to pick up a jigsaw tomorrow and trim up as much as possible before cleaning up with the router. Also, is there any kind of sealant I can put on the edges of the MDF to try and keep moisture out?
It should router fairly nice shredding should not be a problem. I found that sand & sealer works great on MDF, good luck…Blkcherry
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
454 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
First Glue Up

Didn't get a chance to work on this last night, so I headed home with a purpose tonight. Started by getting everything prepared for cutting the MDF - I've read the dust can be nasty so I opened my garage door and put a fan behind me to blow out. I also got some dust masks out, unfortunately not the best but I figured better than nothing, and with the fan blowing the dust away from me I thought it'd be sufficient for now.

I propped up the off-cut side so it wouldn't slump down on the cross-cut, and setup my fence to cut. My poor circular saw did not like cutting this stuff. At even only 1/2" thick, if I tried to keep the saw to tight to the fence, it started bogging down - and burning MDF. So, I let it take the path of least resistance and ended up about an 1/8th of an inch off my pencil line. No big deal, I'm cleaning it up with a router later anyway. Same thing went for the long cut, but in the end I nearly had a perfect 1/2" overhang on all sides.



Here's a quick pic of the weights I plan on using to hold the skin tight to the frame:



It was a decent workout just hauling all these up from the basement…

On to the drilling: I sank holes all around the perimeter, figuring I could either back them out later when the glue dried, or just fill them in with wood putty or epoxy. I didn't want screws in the center, thus the weights above. My plan was to lay a couple of 1×4's on top of the sheet after gluing and putting screws in the corners, then I'd pile the weights on and finish screwing in the perimeter.



This is when I hit a snag… I couldn't find my caulk gun. Being too lazy to run up to the store to buy another one, I opted to just glue the top down with the Gorilla glue I bought. No guts no glory, and I need to learn to work under a clock when gluing anyway, right?

So, on with the glue! Mental note: have a wet rag handy before starting to glue. I had glue all over my hands from trying to get the top centered, and the glue started holding the MDF in place making it damn near impossible to slide anymore. I managed to get the overhang correct on the front and back, but the sides were off a bit, a fact I found out when I tried to put a screw in the side and it came out of the 1×4 underneath. I just decided to skip putting screws in the sides, and grabbed 2 more 25lb weights from downstairs to put nearer the ends. The rest of the screws for the front and back edges went in without a hitch, and I wiped down the excess (not a lot of it, hoping I didn't skimp on the glue…). I felt I had a pretty decent bead squeezing out most of the way around the table, and tightened a few screws down around the edge and adjusted the weights where I thought it wasn't putting enough pressure.



I really hope glue isn't dripping down the inside and locking the frame to my makeshift MDF table top… I'll flip it over tomorrow morning and find out! If it's screwed up in some way, I'll just put screws into the cross members and use that side as the bottom of the torsion box.

So, a question for the pros: How well does MDF handle routing on the edges? I'm kind of afraid it's going to fuzz and shred, so I'm likely to pick up a jigsaw tomorrow and trim up as much as possible before cleaning up with the router. Also, is there any kind of sealant I can put on the edges of the MDF to try and keep moisture out?
A little research says that for a clear finish, I should use polyurethane formulated for MDF - do one coat, sand and scuff, then topcoat. Does that sound about right?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
884 Posts
First Glue Up

Didn't get a chance to work on this last night, so I headed home with a purpose tonight. Started by getting everything prepared for cutting the MDF - I've read the dust can be nasty so I opened my garage door and put a fan behind me to blow out. I also got some dust masks out, unfortunately not the best but I figured better than nothing, and with the fan blowing the dust away from me I thought it'd be sufficient for now.

I propped up the off-cut side so it wouldn't slump down on the cross-cut, and setup my fence to cut. My poor circular saw did not like cutting this stuff. At even only 1/2" thick, if I tried to keep the saw to tight to the fence, it started bogging down - and burning MDF. So, I let it take the path of least resistance and ended up about an 1/8th of an inch off my pencil line. No big deal, I'm cleaning it up with a router later anyway. Same thing went for the long cut, but in the end I nearly had a perfect 1/2" overhang on all sides.



Here's a quick pic of the weights I plan on using to hold the skin tight to the frame:



It was a decent workout just hauling all these up from the basement…

On to the drilling: I sank holes all around the perimeter, figuring I could either back them out later when the glue dried, or just fill them in with wood putty or epoxy. I didn't want screws in the center, thus the weights above. My plan was to lay a couple of 1×4's on top of the sheet after gluing and putting screws in the corners, then I'd pile the weights on and finish screwing in the perimeter.



This is when I hit a snag… I couldn't find my caulk gun. Being too lazy to run up to the store to buy another one, I opted to just glue the top down with the Gorilla glue I bought. No guts no glory, and I need to learn to work under a clock when gluing anyway, right?

So, on with the glue! Mental note: have a wet rag handy before starting to glue. I had glue all over my hands from trying to get the top centered, and the glue started holding the MDF in place making it damn near impossible to slide anymore. I managed to get the overhang correct on the front and back, but the sides were off a bit, a fact I found out when I tried to put a screw in the side and it came out of the 1×4 underneath. I just decided to skip putting screws in the sides, and grabbed 2 more 25lb weights from downstairs to put nearer the ends. The rest of the screws for the front and back edges went in without a hitch, and I wiped down the excess (not a lot of it, hoping I didn't skimp on the glue…). I felt I had a pretty decent bead squeezing out most of the way around the table, and tightened a few screws down around the edge and adjusted the weights where I thought it wasn't putting enough pressure.



I really hope glue isn't dripping down the inside and locking the frame to my makeshift MDF table top… I'll flip it over tomorrow morning and find out! If it's screwed up in some way, I'll just put screws into the cross members and use that side as the bottom of the torsion box.

So, a question for the pros: How well does MDF handle routing on the edges? I'm kind of afraid it's going to fuzz and shred, so I'm likely to pick up a jigsaw tomorrow and trim up as much as possible before cleaning up with the router. Also, is there any kind of sealant I can put on the edges of the MDF to try and keep moisture out?
no sure if you've done this already, but i've "case hardened" mdf with any old poly or varnish. and i spruce it up any time i have a little extra - wipe it on and rub it in. it absorbs the finish like a sink, so you wont have to worry about non-level build-up. i haven't tried a true topcoat like you mention, but i havent had the need. once that finish soaks in and it cures it'll be plenty hard. also, for a workbench i doubt the need to sand at all. the top surface of the mdf is quite smooth.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
First Glue Up

Didn't get a chance to work on this last night, so I headed home with a purpose tonight. Started by getting everything prepared for cutting the MDF - I've read the dust can be nasty so I opened my garage door and put a fan behind me to blow out. I also got some dust masks out, unfortunately not the best but I figured better than nothing, and with the fan blowing the dust away from me I thought it'd be sufficient for now.

I propped up the off-cut side so it wouldn't slump down on the cross-cut, and setup my fence to cut. My poor circular saw did not like cutting this stuff. At even only 1/2" thick, if I tried to keep the saw to tight to the fence, it started bogging down - and burning MDF. So, I let it take the path of least resistance and ended up about an 1/8th of an inch off my pencil line. No big deal, I'm cleaning it up with a router later anyway. Same thing went for the long cut, but in the end I nearly had a perfect 1/2" overhang on all sides.



Here's a quick pic of the weights I plan on using to hold the skin tight to the frame:



It was a decent workout just hauling all these up from the basement…

On to the drilling: I sank holes all around the perimeter, figuring I could either back them out later when the glue dried, or just fill them in with wood putty or epoxy. I didn't want screws in the center, thus the weights above. My plan was to lay a couple of 1×4's on top of the sheet after gluing and putting screws in the corners, then I'd pile the weights on and finish screwing in the perimeter.



This is when I hit a snag… I couldn't find my caulk gun. Being too lazy to run up to the store to buy another one, I opted to just glue the top down with the Gorilla glue I bought. No guts no glory, and I need to learn to work under a clock when gluing anyway, right?

So, on with the glue! Mental note: have a wet rag handy before starting to glue. I had glue all over my hands from trying to get the top centered, and the glue started holding the MDF in place making it damn near impossible to slide anymore. I managed to get the overhang correct on the front and back, but the sides were off a bit, a fact I found out when I tried to put a screw in the side and it came out of the 1×4 underneath. I just decided to skip putting screws in the sides, and grabbed 2 more 25lb weights from downstairs to put nearer the ends. The rest of the screws for the front and back edges went in without a hitch, and I wiped down the excess (not a lot of it, hoping I didn't skimp on the glue…). I felt I had a pretty decent bead squeezing out most of the way around the table, and tightened a few screws down around the edge and adjusted the weights where I thought it wasn't putting enough pressure.



I really hope glue isn't dripping down the inside and locking the frame to my makeshift MDF table top… I'll flip it over tomorrow morning and find out! If it's screwed up in some way, I'll just put screws into the cross members and use that side as the bottom of the torsion box.

So, a question for the pros: How well does MDF handle routing on the edges? I'm kind of afraid it's going to fuzz and shred, so I'm likely to pick up a jigsaw tomorrow and trim up as much as possible before cleaning up with the router. Also, is there any kind of sealant I can put on the edges of the MDF to try and keep moisture out?
When I built my router table I had 2 3/4" mdf sheets contact glued together. When I qasked at my local Woodcraft store what finish t use, thet suggested Boiled Linseed Oil (BLO). Put it on until the table stops absorbing it. Well that has lasted my 5 years with fairly heavy use. all I have done is wax it with Renaissance was occasionally.

What you have done so far looks great I look forward to the rest of the tutorial.

Rogerfitz
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
454 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Getting Close to Being Done

If I never have to cut MDF again, it will be too soon… Unfortunately I'm going to have to trim the edges of the MDF with my router, since I decided to be sloppy and clean it up that way rather than try to make perfect cuts with my circular saw (not likely). At least all the sheets are cut, so I'll probably take these outside when I'm trimming so I don't spend another hour vacuuming my garage.

Overall, things are getting close to wrapping up, for the primary part of the bench anyway. I will have to add the dog hole front later, but I should have the main structure of the bench complete in another day or so. Here's an action shot of me (courtesy of my wife) creating the outer frame for the torsion box that makes up the center of the base:



The blue Irwin clamp is holding a piece of scrap to the board butting up against the side. This kept the boards flush while the speed square with c-clamps held the two boards together at a right angle for pre-drilling and screwing. This seemed to work pretty well, as I was only about 1/16" out of square for every box I built this way - way better than the 1/4" I was off for the top box.

So all the boxes are done, just waiting to glue the MDF panels on. Here's one leg, you can just barely see some scrap I glued to the face of the MDF panel - I did that for reinforcement of the MDF where the threaded rods go through. I was afraid the bolt/washer would rip through the MDF if tightened too much.



You can also see I laminated two 1×4s for the leg top and bottom. I wanted to have plenty of support for the lag bolts to go through the top as well as for the feet.

Here is the center of the base with the holes drilled through it for the threaded rods:



And here is the one completed leg (next to my new pipe clamps):



My plan tonight is to complete the glue-up of the other leg, and then the base center. Once everything's glued, I'll trim off all the excess bits of MDF hanging over edges. Finally, I'll drill the holes in the sides to assemble the base, and then attach the top.

I bought a face vise, but it's a bit small at 6" (only cost $30 on ebay after shipping), so I haven't decided if I'll just use it and bolt in some over-sized boards to make it bigger, or if I'll just disassembled the whole thing and use the mechanism to create a bigger face vise. I also haven't decided if I'm going to create the tail vise the way Tom Caspar did it (using a Jorgenson handscrew), but I probably will in the end.

Finally, I've used a lot less material than I thought I would. I bought 18 8' 1×4's, and I've got 4 left so far. All told, that means for wood I've got less than $100 in material for this workbench. I also bought an extra sheet of MDF (assuming I was going to make lots of mistakes), but it doesn't look like I'll need it. I may build a 4'x4' torsion-top assembly table out of the scraps, so we'll see what's left at the end.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,838 Posts
Getting Close to Being Done

If I never have to cut MDF again, it will be too soon… Unfortunately I'm going to have to trim the edges of the MDF with my router, since I decided to be sloppy and clean it up that way rather than try to make perfect cuts with my circular saw (not likely). At least all the sheets are cut, so I'll probably take these outside when I'm trimming so I don't spend another hour vacuuming my garage.

Overall, things are getting close to wrapping up, for the primary part of the bench anyway. I will have to add the dog hole front later, but I should have the main structure of the bench complete in another day or so. Here's an action shot of me (courtesy of my wife) creating the outer frame for the torsion box that makes up the center of the base:



The blue Irwin clamp is holding a piece of scrap to the board butting up against the side. This kept the boards flush while the speed square with c-clamps held the two boards together at a right angle for pre-drilling and screwing. This seemed to work pretty well, as I was only about 1/16" out of square for every box I built this way - way better than the 1/4" I was off for the top box.

So all the boxes are done, just waiting to glue the MDF panels on. Here's one leg, you can just barely see some scrap I glued to the face of the MDF panel - I did that for reinforcement of the MDF where the threaded rods go through. I was afraid the bolt/washer would rip through the MDF if tightened too much.



You can also see I laminated two 1×4s for the leg top and bottom. I wanted to have plenty of support for the lag bolts to go through the top as well as for the feet.

Here is the center of the base with the holes drilled through it for the threaded rods:



And here is the one completed leg (next to my new pipe clamps):



My plan tonight is to complete the glue-up of the other leg, and then the base center. Once everything's glued, I'll trim off all the excess bits of MDF hanging over edges. Finally, I'll drill the holes in the sides to assemble the base, and then attach the top.

I bought a face vise, but it's a bit small at 6" (only cost $30 on ebay after shipping), so I haven't decided if I'll just use it and bolt in some over-sized boards to make it bigger, or if I'll just disassembled the whole thing and use the mechanism to create a bigger face vise. I also haven't decided if I'm going to create the tail vise the way Tom Caspar did it (using a Jorgenson handscrew), but I probably will in the end.

Finally, I've used a lot less material than I thought I would. I bought 18 8' 1×4's, and I've got 4 left so far. All told, that means for wood I've got less than $100 in material for this workbench. I also bought an extra sheet of MDF (assuming I was going to make lots of mistakes), but it doesn't look like I'll need it. I may build a 4'x4' torsion-top assembly table out of the scraps, so we'll see what's left at the end.
looks good, the design seems interesting. definitely waiting for the next steps to see how it all comes together.

as for cutting the MDF ON-THE-LINE to avoid routing - don't sweat it, you made the right decision, since sometimes, things get out of square, and sometimes things get cut slightly smaller, so by leaving yourself with room to spare, and routing the MDF to the exact size at hand you'll be left with a good flush looking piece, as opposed to a 'tad-too-small', or a misaligned cut.

make sure you wear a GOOD dust mask when working with MDF - it creates nasty (as you should already know) dust that does NOT clean easily- but lingers in the air, and stays in the work space for months. a good dust collection setup is crucial when working MDF - or , work outside, and make sure all doors are closed, and blow the dust away when you're done - you do NOT want this dust to follow you inside after all is said and done.

good luck! looks like great progress.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19,674 Posts
Getting Close to Being Done

If I never have to cut MDF again, it will be too soon… Unfortunately I'm going to have to trim the edges of the MDF with my router, since I decided to be sloppy and clean it up that way rather than try to make perfect cuts with my circular saw (not likely). At least all the sheets are cut, so I'll probably take these outside when I'm trimming so I don't spend another hour vacuuming my garage.

Overall, things are getting close to wrapping up, for the primary part of the bench anyway. I will have to add the dog hole front later, but I should have the main structure of the bench complete in another day or so. Here's an action shot of me (courtesy of my wife) creating the outer frame for the torsion box that makes up the center of the base:



The blue Irwin clamp is holding a piece of scrap to the board butting up against the side. This kept the boards flush while the speed square with c-clamps held the two boards together at a right angle for pre-drilling and screwing. This seemed to work pretty well, as I was only about 1/16" out of square for every box I built this way - way better than the 1/4" I was off for the top box.

So all the boxes are done, just waiting to glue the MDF panels on. Here's one leg, you can just barely see some scrap I glued to the face of the MDF panel - I did that for reinforcement of the MDF where the threaded rods go through. I was afraid the bolt/washer would rip through the MDF if tightened too much.



You can also see I laminated two 1×4s for the leg top and bottom. I wanted to have plenty of support for the lag bolts to go through the top as well as for the feet.

Here is the center of the base with the holes drilled through it for the threaded rods:



And here is the one completed leg (next to my new pipe clamps):



My plan tonight is to complete the glue-up of the other leg, and then the base center. Once everything's glued, I'll trim off all the excess bits of MDF hanging over edges. Finally, I'll drill the holes in the sides to assemble the base, and then attach the top.

I bought a face vise, but it's a bit small at 6" (only cost $30 on ebay after shipping), so I haven't decided if I'll just use it and bolt in some over-sized boards to make it bigger, or if I'll just disassembled the whole thing and use the mechanism to create a bigger face vise. I also haven't decided if I'm going to create the tail vise the way Tom Caspar did it (using a Jorgenson handscrew), but I probably will in the end.

Finally, I've used a lot less material than I thought I would. I bought 18 8' 1×4's, and I've got 4 left so far. All told, that means for wood I've got less than $100 in material for this workbench. I also bought an extra sheet of MDF (assuming I was going to make lots of mistakes), but it doesn't look like I'll need it. I may build a 4'x4' torsion-top assembly table out of the scraps, so we'll see what's left at the end.
Looks like good progress look forward to more photos
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
454 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Getting Close to Being Done

If I never have to cut MDF again, it will be too soon… Unfortunately I'm going to have to trim the edges of the MDF with my router, since I decided to be sloppy and clean it up that way rather than try to make perfect cuts with my circular saw (not likely). At least all the sheets are cut, so I'll probably take these outside when I'm trimming so I don't spend another hour vacuuming my garage.

Overall, things are getting close to wrapping up, for the primary part of the bench anyway. I will have to add the dog hole front later, but I should have the main structure of the bench complete in another day or so. Here's an action shot of me (courtesy of my wife) creating the outer frame for the torsion box that makes up the center of the base:



The blue Irwin clamp is holding a piece of scrap to the board butting up against the side. This kept the boards flush while the speed square with c-clamps held the two boards together at a right angle for pre-drilling and screwing. This seemed to work pretty well, as I was only about 1/16" out of square for every box I built this way - way better than the 1/4" I was off for the top box.

So all the boxes are done, just waiting to glue the MDF panels on. Here's one leg, you can just barely see some scrap I glued to the face of the MDF panel - I did that for reinforcement of the MDF where the threaded rods go through. I was afraid the bolt/washer would rip through the MDF if tightened too much.



You can also see I laminated two 1×4s for the leg top and bottom. I wanted to have plenty of support for the lag bolts to go through the top as well as for the feet.

Here is the center of the base with the holes drilled through it for the threaded rods:



And here is the one completed leg (next to my new pipe clamps):



My plan tonight is to complete the glue-up of the other leg, and then the base center. Once everything's glued, I'll trim off all the excess bits of MDF hanging over edges. Finally, I'll drill the holes in the sides to assemble the base, and then attach the top.

I bought a face vise, but it's a bit small at 6" (only cost $30 on ebay after shipping), so I haven't decided if I'll just use it and bolt in some over-sized boards to make it bigger, or if I'll just disassembled the whole thing and use the mechanism to create a bigger face vise. I also haven't decided if I'm going to create the tail vise the way Tom Caspar did it (using a Jorgenson handscrew), but I probably will in the end.

Finally, I've used a lot less material than I thought I would. I bought 18 8' 1×4's, and I've got 4 left so far. All told, that means for wood I've got less than $100 in material for this workbench. I also bought an extra sheet of MDF (assuming I was going to make lots of mistakes), but it doesn't look like I'll need it. I may build a 4'x4' torsion-top assembly table out of the scraps, so we'll see what's left at the end.
@PurpLev: The design is one of the things I liked about this table. 4 torsion boxes - that's it. Seemed simple enough, and with the bill of materials being 1x and sheet stock with no special tools required I was sold on it. I had my garage door open with fans going, so the dust settled or was blown out pretty quick, just messy and a pain. Don't think any got in the house though, I will definitely be trimming these up outside, as a quick test run showed me the router pretty much just vaporizes the MDF on contact.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
454 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Phase 1 Nearly Complete

Got a LOT done last night, including getting everything glued and trimmed up. Here's a (slightly blurry) picture of the bench as it is now:



The base is bolted together, but the top is not attached yet. Still, this sucker is heavy and sturdy! I don't even have the bolts through the base tightened all that much, and it does not rock at all. As soon as I bolt the top to it, I expect it to survive a tactical nuke :D

I need to glue some 1×4's onto the bottom of the top so that I can lag screw into something solid. I neglected to glue something on the inside (like I did for the legs), nor did I make sure to have one of the cross members of the torsion box lined up with where the leg would be.

I also plan to glue some squares made out of 1x to the bottom of the sides, and then I'll get some leveling feet to make sure I can level the whole bench. As a final touch, I'll add some shelves to the base to get a little bit of storage and put some poly on the top to protect and harden it.

After that, phase 2 will begin: adding dog holes and the face/tail vises to the front.
 
1 - 20 of 24 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top