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  #11  
Old 08-17-2019, 07:45 PM
PilotjohnS PilotjohnS is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: Southwest
Posts: 745
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I built one of the EAA bench with 2” overhang and Melamine top. It has worked out really well. The overhang is a must to clamp down parts for riveting. Got a separate table tied to the wall with a vise for hack sawing parts, emphasis on “hack”. I also built a mini eaa bench with a lazy susan for the drill press, grinder and belt sander. This work out really well too. I have moved both around my shop to every corner, depending on what I am building.
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Last edited by PilotjohnS : 08-18-2019 at 10:09 AM.
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  #12  
Old 08-17-2019, 08:24 PM
RV10Pilot RV10Pilot is offline
 
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Location: Medford, NJ USA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JDA_BTR View Post
MDF has the advantage of being dead flat if you screw it to even surfaces.
MDF would make an excellent top for an EAA bench. In addition to being flat it is very heavy which would make the EAA bench rock solid. Far superior to particle board and less expensive than a quality sheet of plywood. I would highly recommend you use 1" thick MDF if you have a local source for it (not typically available at Lowes or Home Depot).
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  #13  
Old 08-17-2019, 08:38 PM
tcbetka tcbetka is offline
 
Join Date: Aug 2019
Location: GREEN BAY
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RV10Pilot View Post
MDF would make an excellent top for an EAA bench. In addition to being flat it is very heavy which would make the EAA bench rock solid. Far superior to particle board and less expensive than a quality sheet of plywood. I would highly recommend you use 1" thick MDF if you have a local source for it (not typically available at Lowes or Home Depot).
We don't have a source for MDF that thick around here, not that I've ever seen. What does work well though, is to use 3/4" plywood...and then a 3/16" piece of MDF adhered to the top of the plywood using construction adhesive. It takes a little extra work, but it turns out very well.

The secret I've found to doing it *neatly* is to just use the full 4x8' sheets of the two materials (or at least several inches oversize), and then cut straight and to size with a circular saw once the construction adhesive cures overnight. Otherwise you never seem to get the adhesive (eg; Liquid Nails) spread evenly near the edges of the material(s), so there are loose spots around the perimeter. So I just make the pieces an inch or two oversize, and then trim/cut to size later. Works great.

I've modeled the work table in Solidworks and will get over to Home Depot tomorrow, weather-permitting, to pick up the materials.

One more question: Do you guys put small (lockable) casters on the legs of your work table? While it's certainly convenient to move the table around as needed, it can be a bit of a pain in the butt when you need to press against the thing.

TB
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  #14  
Old 08-17-2019, 10:22 PM
JDA_BTR JDA_BTR is offline
 
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I put two casters on one side of each table. The caster is on the side of the leg. When I pick up the non-caster side the caster is rotated and rolling is possible like a wheelbarrow. Lots of examples of casters around; if you caster it all the time it is not nearly as stable. Leg on floor is best for work.
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  #15  
Old 08-18-2019, 06:44 AM
tcbetka tcbetka is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JDA_BTR View Post
I put two casters on one side of each table. The caster is on the side of the leg. When I pick up the non-caster side the caster is rotated and rolling is possible like a wheelbarrow. Lots of examples of casters around; if you caster it all the time it is not nearly as stable. Leg on floor is best for work.
That's probably a great plan, now that you mention it. My shop isn't all that big (20x32'), so the 8' long table won't really have too many places it could be rolled to anyway. So I'm thinking that, to start anyway, I won't install casters.

Saw your signature by the way--I was board-certified in Family Medicine, and then spent the last 8-9 years of my career doing Wound Care & Hyperbaric Medicine. Retired in 2012.

Thanks for your input.

TB
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  #16  
Old 08-18-2019, 06:52 AM
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rmartingt rmartingt is offline
 
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Location: Savannah, GA
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In my shop I have a 96x30 workbench against the wall and a 96x48 rolling table (MDF top with a sacrificial layer of white wallboard on top of that and storage beneath). My wings and fuselage are also in rolling cradles, though I wish the fuselage was a bit lower.

I also have a ~30x18 rolling table at standing work height, with my bandsaw, bench grinder, drill press, and mini bending brake. It's a mite top-heavy but it works well.

Even with all that I'm cramped for space at the moment; I still have the finishing kit crate sitting there protecting my canopy and cowl. Really want to get those done. A lean-to shed for the outdoor equipment would be nice too.
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  #17  
Old 08-18-2019, 07:15 AM
tcbetka tcbetka is offline
 
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Besides the work table(s) I have in the shop, I also have three other "tables" (all with casters). One is a smallish welding table (RhinoCart) and the other two are tool chests--the best one there is a used Snap-On cart with a hardwood top. I bought that from a guy who bought it from an aircraft mechanic, and he worked on the hardwood top all the time. So it's surprisingly useful as a work surface actually. You can't really bolt/secure anything to the hardwood top because it's just sitting on the metal frame of the cabinet, but otherwise it's a great work area--and the Snap-On cabinets are incredibly easy to push around.

The gist of all of this though, is that I'm pretty much out of space to add more than the one work table I'm going to build. There's only so many places you can put some of this stuff in a shop, lol...

TB
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  #18  
Old 08-18-2019, 09:22 AM
David Paule David Paule is offline
 
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Location: Boulder, CO
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More workbench is better than too little. Can't have too much, as long as you can still move around the project.

The best top is that white melamine-coated particle board that the big box stores sells. Because it's slightly hard and smooth, metal particles don't dig in to gouge things. It can be brushed off, or when it gets dirty, scrubbed or wiped down with lacquer thinner.

There's a simpler work bench in the Tips section. I posted the instructions. I've built eight of these so far, including one for a cart for my Big Green Egg barbecue. They hold up well and the top can be flipped over for a fresh surface if desired.

Dave

Last edited by David Paule : 08-18-2019 at 10:31 AM. Reason: Added link
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  #19  
Old 08-19-2019, 07:50 AM
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Karetaker Karetaker is offline
 
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Another consideration would be to build a bench/cabinet instead of a table. By this I mean something with a combination of drawers, doors and shelves. I found free plans on line and customized them to build the bench to fit my needs. You can see and hear about my bench in the first two minutes of this video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=juqb6kyVNwY

I believe I still have the plans. If interested, I can email you pictures.
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  #20  
Old 08-19-2019, 09:47 AM
tcbetka tcbetka is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Paule View Post
More workbench is better than too little. Can't have too much, as long as you can still move around the project.

The best top is that white melamine-coated particle board that the big box stores sells. Because it's slightly hard and smooth, metal particles don't dig in to gouge things. It can be brushed off, or when it gets dirty, scrubbed or wiped down with lacquer thinner.

There's a simpler work bench in the Tips section. I posted the instructions. I've built eight of these so far, including one for a cart for my Big Green Egg barbecue. They hold up well and the top can be flipped over for a fresh surface if desired.

Dave
I like the 2x6 idea, for the top runners. I already implemented that in my Solidworks model. Since the table is 8' long, I wanted a little more support for the top since I was only planning to use legs at the four corners.

As for the melamine-coated particle board, I'll have to look at Home Depot here. I've actually looked for it there before and they've usually be either out-of-stock, or the stuff they had was in bad condition. What I usually end up doing is either using a piece of "milkhouse board" (FRP) that's 0.090" thick, or just using a 3/16" sheet of MDF. Either has to be secured in place somehow, and the easiest way to do that is to simply use some sort of construction adhesive. The problem there though is that it's a bugger to remove when it comes time to replace it--so I sometimes just countersink flush screws in the MDF, and that seems to work OK. I'm not sure what I'll do in this cast though, as I haven't gotten that far.

TB
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