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Forum topic by MDiDomenico posted 05-12-2021 03:26 PM 395 views 0 times favorited 20 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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MDiDomenico

14 posts in 163 days


05-12-2021 03:26 PM

Topic tags/keywords: sjöbergs nordic plus 1450 workbench sjo-33448 workbench dog holes square flat question review advice

Has anyone used the Sjöbergs Nordic Plus 1450 Workbench SJO-33448? The reviews are good, but I trust this group more than anything. I’m looking for a good workbench that is flat and true, with decent thickness to do some cabinet making, picture frames, closet shelves, etc. I like the idea of making my own, but am not confident in my ability to make it perfectly flat and square, especially the dog holes which I think are critical. Would love some advice. Thanks in advance.

-- Mark, Bloomington/Normal IL


20 replies so far

View SMP's profile

SMP

4149 posts in 1023 days


#1 posted 05-12-2021 03:40 PM

Are you planning on using power tools, hand tools, or both?

View MDiDomenico's profile

MDiDomenico

14 posts in 163 days


#2 posted 05-12-2021 03:45 PM

Both. I see the bench top being used mostly for assembly. Pocket holes, brad nails, etc.

-- Mark, Bloomington/Normal IL

View LittleShaver's profile

LittleShaver

758 posts in 1737 days


#3 posted 05-12-2021 03:50 PM

Buy door and throw it on some saw horses to get started. Gain some confidence and build your own.

Perfect is in the eye of the beholder. “Good enough” gets the job done and lets you get better on the next project.

You could also buy some butcher block counter top to get started. I’ve used a double layer of 3/4 plywood for many benches. Or you could use MDF topped with tempered hardboard. Building your own bench is an essential part of woodworking. You gain experience and end up with a tool you can use. As you develop in the hobby, your skills will improve and your needs will change. Your second bench will be better and more suited to your style of work. Your third will be even better and so on. I think i have averaged about one new bench every 4 years, but then I also average about one cross country relocation every 6-8 years.

Save your money, buy some tools or materials, and improve your skills.

-- Sawdust Maker

View controlfreak's profile

controlfreak

2234 posts in 719 days


#4 posted 05-12-2021 04:15 PM

I needed and wanted a bench badly. I looked at some that were available for purchase but they weren’t cheap. After looking at some of the builds here and hours of YouTube videos I decided to give it a shot. It was clearly out of my skill level at the time but thought it was a good way to learn how to do it. I settled on the Will Myers Moravian build and after ripping the long top boards and milling the faces it became a mostly hand tool build. Other than the oak vice chop all the wood came from the BORG, SYP & red oak. The top was 2×12’s ripped down to 4” and flattened with hand planes. It was perfect for my needs. I have it in my blog and probably in my projects too if you want to look.

View metolius's profile

metolius

430 posts in 1848 days


#5 posted 05-12-2021 05:20 PM

Don’t buy a bench.

I suspect that you want to get into your projects more than you want to build a bench. That is OK.

Build what you can. It doesn’t have to be perfect to be useful. Another can be built when your skills develop and your interest / needs clarify.

IMO – Rob Cosman’s MDF bench is a good starter candidate, requires only basic skills, and not much investment of time or money (if you don’t spend a lot on a vise). An example LJ build : https://www.lumberjocks.com/projects/415609

.. don’t worry about dog holes, If you aren’t building an MFT style table, minor imprecision doesn’t damage functionality.

-- derek / oregon

View Sylvain's profile

Sylvain

1274 posts in 3617 days


#6 posted 05-12-2021 06:52 PM

some reflections about workbenches:
https://dblaney.wordpress.com/tag/moravian-bench/

other ideas about workbenches:
https://blog.lostartpress.com/2020/07/07/updated-anarchists-workbench-pdf/
his view about the Sjoberg workbench:
https://blog.lostartpress.com/2020/04/20/workbench-tour-no-10-lightweight-commercial-bench/

Personally I made a Paul Sellers workbench. I am happy with it. It was not that difficult.

You might just use a one afternoon workbench />https://www.lumberjocks.com/projects/89659

-- Sylvain, Brussels, Belgium, Europe - The more I learn, the more there is to learn

View bandit571's profile

bandit571

28761 posts in 3801 days


#7 posted 05-12-2021 06:59 PM

^ that bench is still in use, BTW

-- A Planer? I'M the planer, this is what I use

View jkeith's profile

jkeith

30 posts in 494 days


#8 posted 05-12-2021 07:03 PM

If you expect to use it for hand planing, weight and solidity (mass) are important features. Not having your bench move on you while hand planing makes a big difference.

View Madmark2's profile

Madmark2

2840 posts in 1706 days


#9 posted 05-12-2021 07:18 PM

My “workbench” is the TS top …

You don’t need a high end bench to make ”... picture frames, closet shelves, etc.”, actually I can’t see that you need anything more than a flat workspace for those items.

-- The hump with the stump and the pump!

View Sylvain's profile

Sylvain

1274 posts in 3617 days


#10 posted 05-12-2021 08:29 PM

Bandit571,
I should have pointed that even if it was made in one afternoon your workbench nevertheless allows you to be one of the most productive LJ as can be seen on your project page.

-- Sylvain, Brussels, Belgium, Europe - The more I learn, the more there is to learn

View HorizontalMike's profile

HorizontalMike

7927 posts in 4032 days


#11 posted 05-13-2021 11:46 AM

I am in the camp of “Build Your Own” workbench. Even if it is an advanced project.

WHY? Because it will/does build much needed skills in constructing with tongue and groove, dovetails, through mortise/tenon joints all in one project, not to mention all the milling of your chosen lumber, and it can expose you to thick laminate glue-ups for the top working surface. Great experience for building those skills for the first time.

My workbench was my VERY FIRST full woodworking project. Yes my first. I learned a lot from building my own. Please consider it.

My workbench:
https://horizontalheavens.com/21st_century_workbench_project.htm
https://www.lumberjocks.com/projects/45812

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile

Smitty_Cabinetshop

17368 posts in 3736 days


#12 posted 05-13-2021 01:27 PM

Definitely build.

Dead-nuts flat is not something to obsess over. And drilling straight dog holes is easy, with ordinary care. Keep in mind, the first times you pound a hold fast into place, the hole is reaming out some. And that happens over the years you’ll use them.

Bench builds are too often projects that fall victim to analysis paralysis. If I’d have known more of the build details I was supposed to agonize over before my bench, I may not have ever tried it. And it’s still in use and is “the heartbeat of my shop.” ;-)

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. - OldTools Archive -

View xedos's profile

xedos

340 posts in 418 days


#13 posted 05-13-2021 01:57 PM

Do all you die hard, gotta make your own bench or you’re not worthy, make your own:

bread?
grow your all your own vegetables or spices and herbs?
make your own soap?
pasta?
sew your own clothes ?
make alcohol if you imbibe?
bet you never go to a restaurant either (even before covid)

Of course not. But why ?

You could easily make or do all that stuff with very little experience and a minscule outlay in materials and tools. Much less than then it would take to make a workbench. ESPECIALLY with today’s insane lumber prices and scarcity of many woodworking tools.

A bench is a tool or product. While I’m a believer in make what you can, I totally support those that want to buy theirs. Those of you that made your bench are no better than someone who choose to buy theirs.

View MDiDomenico's profile

MDiDomenico

14 posts in 163 days


#14 posted 05-13-2021 02:19 PM

Thank you for all of your comments and advice. Lots to think over.

-- Mark, Bloomington/Normal IL

View controlfreak's profile

controlfreak

2234 posts in 719 days


#15 posted 05-13-2021 02:32 PM


Do all you die hard, gotta make your own bench or you re not worthy, make your own:

bread?
grow your all your own vegetables or spices and herbs?
make your own soap?
pasta?
sew your own clothes ?
make alcohol if you imbibe?
bet you never go to a restaurant either (even before covid)

Of course not. But why ?

You could easily make or do all that stuff with very little experience and a minscule outlay in materials and tools. Much less than then it would take to make a workbench. ESPECIALLY with today s insane lumber prices and scarcity of many woodworking tools.

A bench is a tool or product. While I m a believer in make what you can, I totally support those that want to buy theirs. Those of you that made your bench are no better than someone who choose to buy theirs.

- xedos


Well I made my Moravian workbench and learned a lot doing it. I also had a lot of fun in the process. I could have done it faster but I wanted to go old school using hand saws, planes and brace & bit for hogging out mortices and dog holes. I think I had about $300.00 in wood using SYP framing timber. Another $600 for the wagon vise and wood screw for the leg vise. So I had around $1000 total in the build and the benefits that go with it. Well your right, I could have not gone all “die hard” and bought the same workbench Here for $4000 not including any shipping. Not saying someone has to turn in their man card if they buy a bench because I was going to. I then stepped out of my comfort zone and said success or fail I am going to try. It was a great and fulfilling journey and saved some dough too. I love steak but don’t raise cattle though.

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