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  #1  
Old 05-22-2018, 12:27 PM
David Paule David Paule is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Boulder, CO
Posts: 3,494
Default How To Build a Workbench

I've made eight of these so far. They all are doing their job now. They are relatively easy to make and go together quickly.

I use a circular saw and an electric screwdriver/drill. The hand tools needed are mostly a carpenter's square and some C-clamps. I like Titebond II or III and use 4 deck screws at each frame joint.

Mine differ by size, of course, and some have bolts at the bottom for adjustment and the rest have wheels. These minor details on yours, are left for you. The only real comment is that if you install wheels, get robust ones. The table for my ceramic barbecue, a Big Green Egg, is highly loaded and the urethane tires aren't lasting. The various tables with metal wheels are all doing fine.















These photos are all hosted on Postimage.cc. For the same photos hosted by Imgur.com, see

Page 1,
Page 2,
Page 3,
Page 4,
Page 5,
Page 6,
and
Page 7.

Also, I've got a PDF that can be posted somewhere or emailed. If you'd like a copy, please email me through VAF.

Dave
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  #2  
Old 05-22-2018, 01:14 PM
Adrian Bonwitt Adrian Bonwitt is offline
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Alton, Hampshire
Posts: 16
Default Wheels for the table..

Thanks David, very useful.

It might sound trivial but I find it is imortant to get the wheels just right. For me the best is to use a fully castering and lockable set at one end and at the other a fixed wheel (in orientation) that allows travel in the direction of the longest side of the table. A bit like a wheel barrow.

Otherwise moving the tables can become a bit of guesswork and also when you lock them in place if you have fully castering at all corners they can still move.

As you say very simple, quick to build and so useful.
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  #3  
Old 05-23-2018, 07:43 AM
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Snowflake Snowflake is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Victoria, BC, Canada
Posts: 3,154
Default

I've always been partial to the EAA 1000 workbenches, which use just one size of lumber (2x4's) and plywood. I have four of them now...

http://eaa1000.av.org/technicl/worktabl/worktabl.htm
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1996 RV-6 "Tweety" C-FRBP (formerly N196RV)
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  #4  
Old 05-23-2018, 07:54 AM
rv8ch rv8ch is online now
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: LSGG
Posts: 2,302
Default overhang around the table

Looks very nice!

Small bit of advice - include a slight overhang around the tabletop to allow for clamping parts to it. I missed this on my EAA benches on the front and back, and it means I need to use a much larger clamp. Could have been avoided by making the tabletop slightly bigger.

BTW, I didn't use wheels, just those small plastic floor protectors so that the table slides easily when I need it.

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Last edited by rv8ch : 05-23-2018 at 07:56 AM.
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  #5  
Old 05-23-2018, 08:01 AM
John-G John-G is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Northeast Ohio
Posts: 509
Default

David,

If you are building your airplane in a garage or location where the space is limited, consider placing locking wheels under your workbenches, power tool bench, parts racks, ect. it really comes in handy. Helped with the construction of a 9A and that builder placed everything in the shop on wheels and we rearranged the shop at least four times during the build. Based on the RV-9A project, when I built the benches for my RV-12 project every workbench has wheels .... that really came in handy during the early part of the build when I was working in a TINY two car garage before moving to a hangar. With wheels on all the large shop items, it only takes a few minutes to rearrange the shop as the build dictates.

I'm glad to see you are leaving a 3" overlap all around the workbenches .... it really comes in handy for clamping parts while countersinking, filing, riveting, ect. Unfortunately, I only placed overlaps on two edges of my workbenches thinking there may be times when the benches would be clamped together ... never really needed that except for the RV-12's flaperons and subsequently found not having overlaps on all the edges a real PITA.

This suggestion is personal taste. I built benches that could go high or low but found myself almost exclusively using the low position so I could sit on a rolling mechanics stool while assembling parts and not have to stand up and lean over the work so much ... saved on a lot of back pain. So I would suggest you consider having at least one low workbench so you can save the back and sit while working.

Happy building,
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  #6  
Old 05-23-2018, 10:09 AM
David Paule David Paule is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Boulder, CO
Posts: 3,494
Default Examples of the Measurements

For the table height:

37" Desired height when done

3/4" Thickness of top

3/4" Thickness of the bottom squares

5" Height of the wheels

Make the uprights:

37 Finished height
-3/4 Top thickness
-3/4 Bottom square thickness
-5 Wheel height
---------------
30.5" Length of the uprights


For the table width:

40" Desired width when done

3" Overhang, sides and ends

Make the horizontal pieces:

40" Finished table width
-3" Overhang, far side
-3" Overhang, near side
-1.63" Width of far side 2x6
-1.63" Width of near side 2x6
----------------
30 3/4" Length of the horizontal cross-pieces


For the table length:

96" Desired total table top length

3" Overhang, both ends

Make the rails:

96" Finished table length
-3" Overhang, right end
-3" Overhang, left side
---------------
90" Length of the 2x6 and 2x4 rails

The overhang is measured from the outer faces of the uprights.

Dave

Last edited by David Paule : 05-23-2018 at 10:15 AM.
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  #7  
Old 05-23-2018, 02:09 PM
tyconnell tyconnell is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Atlanta, GA
Posts: 135
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Something I stole from the woodworking world is having a "vise” that runs the length of the table - not sure how well this will show up:

https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B5...g1aU5wcGxqSHJ3

In this picture here, I'm trying to use it as a bench brake to remake an elevator stiffener, which worked surprisingly well (after a few attempts).

The bench is the standard EAA bench, with some 2 x 6's attached to the front of it. A pair of threaded rods (1" x ~12"?) run through the 2x6s and can be loosened / tightened as needed.
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Last edited by tyconnell : 05-23-2018 at 03:46 PM. Reason: moron can’t spell
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  #8  
Old 05-23-2018, 02:37 PM
David Paule David Paule is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Boulder, CO
Posts: 3,494
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Adrian Bonwitt View Post
....For me the best is to use a fully castering and lockable set at one end and at the other a fixed wheel (in orientation) that allows travel in the direction of the longest side of the table....
What I prefer are castering wheels on all four legs, with two of them on the same long side, locking. Sometimes in my small shop, I need to move a bench sideways.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Snowflake View Post
....I've always been partial to the EAA 1000 workbenches, which use just one size of lumber (2x4's) and plywood....

http://eaa1000.av.org/technicl/worktabl/worktabl.htm
You can certainly use 2x4s instead of the 2x6 rails that the plans specify. That might even be strong enough. I'm an old structural engineer and have learned over the years that having both stiffness and strength are good things. Having too much deflection is really annoying. Hence the 2x6 rails.

If your table is relatively short, though, by all means go for the 2x4s.

Note that this table is much simpler than the EAA one.


Quote:
Originally Posted by tyconnell View Post
Something I stole from the woodworking world is having a "vice" that runs the length of the table - not sure how well this will show up:

https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B5...g1aU5wcGxqSHJ3

In this picture here, I'm trying to use it as a bench brake to remake an elevator stiffener, which worked surprisingly well (after a few attempts).

The bench is the standard EAA bench, with some 2 x 6's attached to the front of it. A pair of threaded rods (1" x ~12"?) run through the 2x6s and can be loosened / tightened as needed.
An excellent idea for a single work table.


The table can be modified as needed.

On one of my tables, its intended use as as a cutting table for full-size pieces of plywood, back when I was making a set of custom kitchen cabinets. I glued 2x4s to the top of the plywood table surface with the idea that they'd be sacrificial spacers for the blade of my circular saw, as I rough-cut the plywood into blanks for eventual finishing. Now, years later, the surface of these is scarred by numerous saw cuts, and the table is covered in the clear finishing acrylic that I sprayed on the cabinet pieces. It looks nothing like any of the other tables.

For the ceramic barbecue, weight hundreds of pounds, I put the 2x6 on the bottom to carry the weight. The top is relatively unloaded.

My workshop and the three work tables in it can be seen at my VAF build blog here.

The very first photo shows the main work table on the right. In the background are the two fixed benches, to which I added some drawers for tools (I didn't have room for a roll-away tool chest).



Dave

Last edited by David Paule : 05-24-2018 at 09:38 AM.
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  #9  
Old 05-24-2018, 07:52 AM
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Snowflake Snowflake is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Victoria, BC, Canada
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rv8ch View Post
Small bit of advice - include a slight overhang around the tabletop to allow for clamping parts to it. I missed this on my EAA benches on the front and back, and it means I need to use a much larger clamp. Could have been avoided by making the tabletop slightly bigger.
That can be rectified rather quickly, and even planned for... When building the EAA workbenches, use a solid, but not nicely-finished, sheet of plywood for the top surface, cut flush to the 2x4 frame. Then, get a sheet of finish-grade plywood, butcher block, melamine, or whatever you like, and attach it to the top of the bench using appropriately sized screws from below. That will give you both an overhang if you want one, and a sacrificial surface that can be easily replaced later as you wear it out.

Quote:
BTW, I didn't use wheels, just those small plastic floor protectors so that the table slides easily when I need it.
I like that... Now if only my hangar floor were smooth enough that I could slide something on it...
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