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Is Ron Paulk’s Workbench still the ultimate?

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Forum topic by 4lejandr0 posted 05-26-2020 06:17 PM 618 views 0 times favorited 19 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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4lejandr0

8 posts in 1414 days


05-26-2020 06:17 PM

Topic tags/keywords: portable workbench

Hello All,

I’ve been away from woodworking for a long time. I hope y’all are well! My question:

Is Ron Paulk’s Ultimate Workbench still the ultimate? Are there better designs for portable workbench’s?

Please post links if you got them.

[Edit] I will be building cabinets in the road, not exactly like Ron Paulk. I’ll be living in my van at various job sites. But, a trailer is out of the question. So, I don’t want a full workshop in the van. However, I’d also like to be able to do handmade furniture (ultimately just doing furniture on the road [not likely, but hopeful]). I don’t know if any of this is actually viable, but we’ll see.

If anyone has any ideas for such, I’d love to hear it.

Thanks!
Alejandro


19 replies so far

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GrumpyGolfGuy

52 posts in 66 days


#1 posted 05-26-2020 11:42 PM

Just got done looking at YouTube video’s of this bench, very cool. But having said that, work benches are a very personal thing, what works for one person may not necessary work for someone else. So that only person that can answer your question is…you! What are you looking for in a bench, what do you want from the bench?

I have that problem like you, I making the move toward a more traditional, hand tool woodworking, my current bench really isn’t good for that, so I’ve been searching for a bench that fits my needs and budget, not easy to do.

Good luck in your search…

Chris

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4lejandr0

8 posts in 1414 days


#2 posted 05-26-2020 11:54 PM

I’m looking for light and easily portable that will allow me to “build” a shop wherever I’m at.

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Jim Jakosh

24785 posts in 3876 days


#3 posted 05-27-2020 12:30 AM

Like GGG said, a workbench is personal. You need to determine how high you want it and the size that will fit in your area. I looked at the Ron Paulk bench and I would not like all the holes in the top and the big oval spaces around the perimeter, but that is my feeling. I also like a wood vise on the end and maybe 2 of them. I like an overhang for clamping and a few drawers just under the top and a shelf on the bottom. I also like electrical outlets and compressed air source just under the top.

Figure out your preferences and pull out a blank sheet of paper and make an initial sketch and then decide on the joinery- especially if you feel you may need to take it apart some day to move it. I saw a few with a scissors lift under the top and it is nice for an assembly bench..

cheers, Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

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4lejandr0

8 posts in 1414 days


#4 posted 05-27-2020 01:38 AM

Thank you. I understand that a workbench is person. I’ve designed and built a few. I am specifically asking about Light, portable “Total workstations”.

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Woodknack

13383 posts in 3150 days


#5 posted 05-27-2020 02:01 AM

What kind of answer do you expect here? If I say yes and the next says no, are you any farther ahead? I think it’s a bench design that if you think you’ll like it, you will. I don’t see any way to make a lighter bench without using lighter materials.

-- Rick M, http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/

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4lejandr0

8 posts in 1414 days


#6 posted 05-27-2020 02:04 AM

I was hoping that someone might show me their preferences to portable workbenches. Or, someone might say, “yes, that one is great and it’s the one I use.”

View waho6o9's profile

waho6o9

8906 posts in 3347 days


#7 posted 05-27-2020 02:19 AM


Maybe not what you’re looking for but this works for me.

A pair of Stanley horses. Walko 4 work bench, combined with Festool equipment and table tops and
we can build things.

There’s a portable Bosch table saw if needed for repetitive cuts.

Best of luck.

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4lejandr0

8 posts in 1414 days


#8 posted 05-27-2020 02:22 AM



A pair of Stanley horses. Walko 4 work bench, combined with Festool equipment and table tops and
we can build things.
- waho6o9

Is this stable enough on the field?

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waho6o9

8906 posts in 3347 days


#9 posted 05-27-2020 03:01 AM

“Is this stable enough on the field?”

Yes, it is very stable.

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SMP

2104 posts in 676 days


#10 posted 05-27-2020 05:28 AM

STILL the ultimate? Lol thats a funny blanket statement. For hand tool working its probably the worst bench out there. For DIY and ana white furniture its probably great. If you need portability and work at various jobsites its great. If you are a weekend warrior that has 2 cars in the garage during the week its great. Short answer is it depends. I looked into making one, then looked at the festool mft, but then kreg came out with theirs. I still kind of like the kreg portable workbench and horse combo. But i still just end up throwing a sheet of MdF on my table saw.

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david2011

38 posts in 4477 days


#11 posted 05-27-2020 07:45 AM

Ron Paulk works onsite in apparently very high end homes where he has to be portable but still set up for a significant time. The basic design is still as viable and as stiff as ever. It wouldn’t work for me.

-- David

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Tony1212

432 posts in 2505 days


#12 posted 05-27-2020 12:37 PM

I plan on copying aspects of his workbench for my office desk. But for a “woodworking bench” I think it is FAR from the ultimate. Way too light for hand tool work. Can’t use dogs or hold downs. No big vises for hand mortising. Etc…

It’s great for what Ron does and fits his needs perfectly. If you want to do what Ron does, it should be great for you too.

-- Tony, SW Chicago Suburbs

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4lejandr0

8 posts in 1414 days


#13 posted 05-27-2020 02:10 PM

Excellent. Thanks everyone.

I will be building cabinets in the road, not exactly like Paulk. I’ll be living in my van at various job sites. But, a trailer is out of the question. So, I don’t want a full workshop in the van. However, I’d also like to be able to do handmade furniture. I don’t know if any of this is actually viable, but we’ll see.

If anyone has any ideas for such, I’d love to hear it.

View GR8HUNTER's profile

GR8HUNTER

7544 posts in 1483 days


#14 posted 05-27-2020 02:43 PM

apparentlly its not the ultimate …. as he has made changes to the original ….. but i think they are well thought out changes :<))

-- Tony---- Reinholds,Pa.------ REMEMBER TO ALWAYS HAVE FUN

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clin

1113 posts in 1766 days


#15 posted 05-27-2020 05:58 PM

I think the concept of the Paulk design is a great idea. It really is a torsion box concept. It’s meant to be strong, yet light. But the overall size or size of any part of it can be modified to better suit specific needs.

I’d be willing to bet he didn’t engineer the design, so likely there is an even more optimal design of strength to weight ratio. But I don’t think anyone needs optimal. For weight, it must be light enough for you to handle, not as light as possible. Same with any holes etc. Make them what you need them to be.

I’d certainly use his idea as a starting point to create a portable, but very strong work surface. I’d look at his details to help me think through my needs, but I would not blindly build his exact workbench.

-- Clin

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