Instructables

Extreme Heavy Duty Work Bench

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Intro:

I have an area in the old barn that is unused and I wanted to convert to a 'rough' working place. The floor is unlevelled , which require adjustable feet to adjust for the height difference up to 30 mm. The angle of the wall corners are not perpendicular, they are more like 86 to 93 degrees, which require a remissive design.

Description:

This is an extreme heavy duty work bench that can be used for really large weights. A bench that I built some years ago according to the same concept, was acting as a stand for a metal bench mill and lathe of approx. 200 kg totally, without any problems.

My build is 4.8 m long and 2.0 m wide at the sides. The work area is 800 mm deep (from front to rear) and 850 mm high from the ground.

Planning:

The first thing you must ask yourself is:

  • Should there be any heavy, permanently mounted machines at the bench? And where should they be?
  • Will you have any vice (or several vices) mounted at the bench? And where should they be located?

The reason for you to ask these questions now, is that you should locate the cross sections directly below the loads to give the bench a firm support.

Some general tips according vices:

If you work with long objects, consider mounting two vices in line with each other. Obviously more expensive but definitely worth it!. Or if you build a shorter bench with a 90 deg. sideboard you can also use two vices, if they are rotatable

Calculate the number of cross sections needed. I recommend distance of approx. 1.0 m between each section. The bench may be unstable and not sturdy enough if a distance larger than 1.2 m is used.

As a general rule I never place any wood material in direct contact to concrete because moisture can/will be transported through the concrete and into the wood. So a gap, or a large washer, between wood and concrete is advisable.

Also consider any electrical wiring to power outlets, if needed. It's a good idea to have figured this out before building the bench.

What you need:

  • Ordinary wood working tools.
  • General wood screws, countersunk (I.e. diam: 5 and length 55).
  • Angle brackets, 50x50x35x3.0 - 4 per cross section.
  • Angle brackets ,90x35x35x3.0 - 1 per cross section.
  • Large screws, nuts and washers for adjustable feet: Hex bolt head M20x80 or longer. 2 per cross section
  • A lot of wood for building.
  • Laminate floor as protection surface
  • Vices: Optional

Total cost for 4.8 m x 2.0 m (in Swedish Krona, SEK):

  • Bench plate wood: 1060 SEK
  • Wood for cross section, lower shelf and additional pieces: 520 SEK
  • Laminate floor: 336 SEK
  • Angle Brackets 50x50: 72 SEK
  • Angle Brackets 50x90: 48 SEK
  • Hex bolts, nuts M20 and washers: 250 SEK
  • Wood screws, fasteners, etc.: 200 SEK

Total cost in USD: 2486 SEK => 380 USD (Feb 2014: USDSEK = 6.55)

 
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Well done best 1 I've seen so far

chuckyd1 month ago

I think calling it "super heavy duty" is a bit over generous. First, the lumber is spanning with its weak axis. With a thickness of 45mm, it can safely span no more than 900 mm. I am accustomed to using workbenches with 50 x 100, turned on edge, to take advantage of the strong axis of the wood. The boards are all face glued and span about 1800 mm. THAT"S a super heavy duty workbench.

Still, your bench looks good and should handle most do-it-yourself kind of work. With the hardboard on top, I would have fastened the edges of the boards together to make the top act as one piece.

kenwarf022 months ago

Great looking work area. I have an almost identical layout that I need to build out for my wife for her own work area. Now I have no excuse to put it off except maybe converting it to the silly US system of inches/feet, etc. (Not a real problem but I may play that card if I need a few more weeks before I get started) I think I'll rebuild my own area after I get hers done, mine was supposed to be a temporary setup anyway. Again, Great Job and great Instructable, thanks for sharing it.

Bengt Englund (author)  kenwarf022 months ago

Sorry, can't resist ;) You know that there is just three countries that havn't converted to the metric system yet? Burma, Liberia and... well, ehum... USA.

Good luck with the build!

bagr5652 months ago
Good job! amazing :)
bulwynkl2 months ago
timely! just moved house and about to build a workshop. Took my old bench with me. This gives me several improvements to implement.
wilson bill2 months ago

This is too funny! In the real world craftsmen use a sacrificial layer of Masonite (hardboard) or plywood as a work surface. Once one side is completely ruined they flip the sheets over to renew the surface.

iwar832 months ago
snyggt o stilrent.
philby2 months ago
Very nice. Re the saw- is that a hardened tooth saw? If so it may be sharp but it cannot be resharpened. I would say saws that can be sharpened are better. Hardened tooth saws you can only throw away when they become blunt.
Bengt Englund (author)  philby2 months ago

Yes it's a hardened saw. I like it because it's a little bit thicker than other saws and that gives a very straight cut. It doesn't bend or wobbles as much as thinner saws may do sometimes. And it's razor sharp.

I agree with you that an non-hardened saw last longer because it can be resharpenend. Therefore I have both kind of saws, for different kind of jobs.

philby2 months ago
Very nice. Re the saw- is that a hardened tooth saw? If so it may be sharp but it cannot be resharpened. I would say saws that can be sharpened are better. Hardened tooth saws you can only throw away when they become blunt.
klincecum2 months ago

What is oil hardened board ?

tovey klincecum2 months ago

Oil hardened board is wood that has been boiled in Olive oil or Linseed oil for 8 minutes. It's good for carvings you want to last a long time as well as wooden pulleys. It also helps keep wood from splitting.

http://www.woodcarvingillustrated.com/forum/f38/ha...

Bengt Englund (author)  klincecum2 months ago

I think it also might be called 'hardboard'.

It is usually available in different hardness. Select one that has as hard surface as possible.

Excellent job and great workshop, I will trying to perform in Mexico, I have a question, how you hang up the shelves?

Bengt Englund (author)  revolucionario2kk2 months ago

The shelves on the wall, are mounted at the top with simple angle brackets screwed to the wall and the wood. At the bottom there is a ledge (thin, long piece of wood) screwed to the wall that bears the weight.

Or do you mean the shelf at the bottom of the bench?

B00mrang2 months ago

So much talent and expertise in this build. I already have a workbench but I will certainly update it with all the great stuff from here !

Bengt Englund (author)  B00mrang2 months ago

Thanks!

bzeng2 months ago

which program did you use for the drawings?

Bengt Englund (author)  bzeng2 months ago

I am using Catia V5. Modelling is done in 3D and projected to 2D.

wsajo2 months ago

Muy buen trabajo...felicitaciones. una idea, pintar el muro de color blanco...

Jealous. Like every guy (and probably gal) who sees this.

Great work.

Please do more.

Thank you.

bethmwl2 months ago

Excellent photos and workmanship. Love the top surface too. An inspiration for my soon to be work shop.

toluan2 months ago

Envy.LOVE! LOVE!

Cool!!!!!!!! Congratulations!

RingoWild2 months ago

Seriously amazing. I mean really.

tjk19392 months ago

Excellent job. I too, like the use of laminate flooring. Very good, and understandable instructable.

oilitright2 months ago

Very nice design, well thought out and executed. The laminate flooring is genius.

I have a few "vices" myself but this is not the place LOL

I am envious. One day it will be my turn to have a place where I can make my workbench. Great job on yours!

Bradinsc2 months ago

Great bench! I really like the finished look, you planned this very well. Thank you for sharing with us!

Alphonsus2 months ago

This is exactly what I need in a work bench!

tarcana2 months ago
"tongue-and-groove", "hardboard", "vise/vises" ("vice" is a type of crime). Otherwise FANTASTIC instructable, voted for you. excellent location for the lighting (closer to wall so the light comes from in front of and above you, so you won't shadow your work when you lean in). more lighting will be necessary, but that's next, right? ;-) Keep up the good work!
GeeDeeKay tarcana2 months ago

Funny, I thought this, too. I looked it up and in the US the word "vice" refers to a bad habit or immoral behavior, while a "vise" is the device used to hold things fast to a bench. However, outside the US, "vice" is used for both definitions.

Love the project. Inspires me to work on something similar!

"Vice" is the English spelling of the American "vise". When will those Americans learn to spell ? ;-)

Bengt Englund (author)  tarcana2 months ago

Thank you for your vote (!) and the spelling info. Will correct the text.

Yep, more lightning in the room will be next (and already acquired).

jmdushi2 months ago
sorry wrong buton. As I said I also like the concrete color, on a white wall you see everything. Nice job!
Bengt Englund (author)  jmdushi2 months ago

There's actually a good cause to not never paint concrete walls. Concrete transport moisture and therefor the paint MUST be able to pass the moisture, otherwise the paint will peel and the concrete crumble.

Several paints specify that they are moisture permeable, but they are not good enough. I only trust the 'old school' handmade paints for this, and they are really expensive.

Never to old for learning :) I didn't know that, thank you. If you are talking about old school handmade paints what kind of paint are you talking about? I only know the paint with rapeseedoil and Harpuis ( I really do not know the English name for it. It was used in the past on mast of a ship)
Bengt Englund (author)  jmdushi2 months ago

I think the correct English term is 'limewash' for the paint I use.

generally in the US its called whitewash, it works great in basements where the humidity is very high and has the added advantage of not being susceptible to mold....heres a recipe,(wear a mask and rubber gloves):

http://www.motherearthnews.com/homesteading-and-livestock/whitewashing-using-slaked-lime.aspx

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