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Old 08-15-2019, 09:18 PM   #1 (permalink)
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The Perfect steel workbench......

So, it seems like every flat space in my shop becomes a shelf and cluttered, and a shitty looking fire-hazard, so I've decided to downsize my big flat elevated spaces. Right now I have 5 workbench-ish things, plus two big rolling tool boxes(that very seldom move) and are all stacked up with crap. My workbenches include:

-24" x 11' industrial counter top on cabinets attached to wall, looks great when clean.......never clean. ( It's built-in so it stays, but I won't to the same in the next shop.)

-25"x42" peice of 3/4" steel plate on square tube legs with two vices on it: a big 8" Wilton, and a little 3" I built aluminum jaws for(gunsmithing). I really like it, it's heavy and doesn't move around, and it's 39" tall, I'm keeping it for sure.

-48"x42" 1/2 plate steel with a shelf on the bottom, 36" tall, on small casters.

-30"x60" 1/4" plate on casters with a rail down the middle good to rest your feet on while sitting. 34" tall (really like the size, but not built super well, and the top has a bend in it)

-40"x48" with a 2" thick wood top, on casters with a shelf underneath.

I have been thinking about selling the bottom 3 and building one new awesome bench that is heavy-duty but can be rolled around the shop or outside on big locking casters, with no shelf underneath to gather shit, and no drawers or storage so I can leave it out in the rain if I need to. I want it all steel and heavy enough to pound on, but light enough to roll around easy. It will have a vice on at least one corner.

what do you think for size ? and thickness of top? and height ?

I like the 30"x60" one, and the 34-35" height is good to sit at, plus my rolling garbage can will still go under the edge . 1/2" top? I want to keep all the framework at least 6" back from the edge for ease of clamping on the top. It will be used for misc. wood/metal/gunsmithing/oddball projects/light fabwork/ mechanical stuff/ and probably rolled outside to sand or grind stuff on. round corners or square? any ideas?
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Old 08-15-2019, 09:59 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Here's another idea, quit leaving shit everywhere and clean up after yourself.

People who can't keep a tidy garage are such failures.
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Old 08-15-2019, 10:17 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Quit reading after “I can’t clean up”.

Don’t see the point. Make 2 piles.

Shit I Use. Put it away.

Shit I didn’t know I had. Put in dumpster.
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Old 08-15-2019, 10:19 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Get a 4x8 or 4x10 trench plate and build some box tube legs with casters. I've made a few and they are awsome.
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Old 08-15-2019, 10:35 PM   #5 (permalink)
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When I get my parents rice-cooker out of the garage. I want a 1" low-boy acorn table to crawl up on. Yeah baby....
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Old 08-15-2019, 11:09 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I have an adjustable workbench; in both height and width. Some newer ones come with casters for portability. But, I have trust issues with that concept. If you donít already have one and have room you might want to consider the possibility.

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Old 08-16-2019, 06:05 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Mess is easy to solve, the shit that piles up is either
1. From a project that is in progress or done and not cleaned up
- Practice some project management. Get better about having the parts you need before you start so stuff does sit half done. I have whiteboards everywhere with projects listed out, what they need, whats the status, etc.
- Clean up your crap when you are done with a project BEFORE you start the next
2. It doesn't have a place
- Do a thorough cleaning. Put everything away. If you can't find a place for something either build a place or get rid of it.

Flat surfaces do gather crap, but with a little extra work it can be easily avoided. Get in habits like putting everything away before starting the next project and it won't even seem like a hassle.
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Old 08-16-2019, 06:18 AM   #8 (permalink)
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After completing a project I always take time to clean before starting the next. If I didn't I would be looking sockets pliers and screwdrivers every second and not get anything done except walking in circles.
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Old 08-16-2019, 06:23 AM   #9 (permalink)
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MAke flat surfaces with short legs to put over already filled up flat surfaces. Then you have a new flat surface to fill up.

Just like my dad. His fucking shop.... you cannot open door really, and you need to build pathways to certain areas by playing tetris with junk.

My garage has ZERO junk. Just nice shelves filled with parts and shit. I have two big boxes of random shit, one metric and one "weird imperial stuff".

I do NOT have "spare wrenches and shit" - everything has it's place and my portable box has everything including a 55mm.
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Old 08-16-2019, 06:58 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by HankScorpi0 View Post
After completing a project I always take time to clean before starting the next. If I didn't I would be looking sockets pliers and screwdrivers every second and not get anything done except walking in circles.
My work benches are disasters, but after wasting way too much time trying to find out where I left my tools when I start a new project I've gotten fairly consistant at least with putting my tools back in the tool boxes or on the peg boards after I finish a project.

Frigging benches and roll around tool carts are still piled up, but at least I can find my tools.

I have a 4 post lift I could use as a work bench, but wouldn't you know it? It has project rigs parked on it, and under it.
Trying to figure out how to eliminate one body then put one project rig on the top, then suspend a chassis for another project under the rails so I can roll a 3rd chassis under that one.

I am cutting down on the junker bodies I have just sitting for the Mud Dobbers to make nest in. Just need to eliminate a few more.

SIGH!
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Old 08-16-2019, 07:09 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Benches are not useful in my shop. I built a 5x10 work table from steel plate and box tube. Large casters let me roll it with the forklift, or fork pockets allow it it be picked up easily. It's a work surface, gets cleaned after a job and is home to nothing but a few jig parts stuck in the corner. If you have room it's the way to go. 4 sides to work from is great too. I've had benches in my old shop and they were just shelves, not deep enough to work on and only good for storage.
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Old 08-16-2019, 07:16 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Yup. Get rid of tables and "work benches"


I have 1 3x5 welding table. It is the perfect size. If it gets cluttered, I can't use it for a welding table, so it gets cleaned.
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Old 08-16-2019, 07:28 AM   #13 (permalink)
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I'm really good about putting my tools away, and everything tool-wise has a place. It just seems that flat spaces get covered with "stuff" ! I'm glad some of you have such great will-power.......

I have enough hobbies and projects that the space just gets taken up and if i'm waiting for a part, or for whatever reason I change directions, the stuff piles up. Which, is why I'm thinking one rolling work table would be better than 3. Right now I have one table covered with a taken-apart over-under 20 gauge waiting for me to get back to the wood work on the forend, another one has the dash from my hot rod project, and the third has a bunch of stuff from an estate buyout that hasn't found a home yet.


I do have a 2 post lift in the shop, don't really want a 4 for space reasons.

Back to the original question, what size & thickness of top ? I have a tractor with forks, but want it to be able to roll easy without having to use machinery.
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Old 08-16-2019, 07:37 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Benches are not useful in my shop. I built a 5x10 work table from steel plate and box tube. Large casters let me roll it with the forklift, or fork pockets allow it it be picked up easily. It's a work surface, gets cleaned after a job and is home to nothing but a few jig parts stuck in the corner. If you have room it's the way to go. 4 sides to work from is great too. I've had benches in my old shop and they were just shelves, not deep enough to work on and only good for storage.
I agree! A good assembly table is the most useful.

I have 4 matching roll around tool carts that are the same height. I can (could) build race car chassis on the welding table, then when it got time to work out the suspension I would hang the chassis over the carts with the overhead trolley winch, and install the suspensions with the wheels, or screw type jack stands on the carts. This would allow me to get under and around where I needed to weld or wire and work. And they all had 1.5" reciever hitches in them so I could lock the 4 carts together to roll it around in the shop. Course that meant having to re level the chassis all over again. But it's been so long since I've done that they are now just parts catchers/ holders for other projects.

And the sad part is those parts sitting on the work benches and tool karts are usually new parts I've bought for a project, but haven't found time to install them. Some parts are worth $$$$$$. If I die my wife will probably sell it all for junk prices.

Ex: The junk on my benches and carts; 2 new transmissions with tera lows installed. A stand alone TCM for an Allison 5 speed transmission. (programmed and everything.) A rebuild and beefed up Allison 1000 transmission. A rebuilt Turbo for an Isuzu Diesel engine mounted on the ported manifold. A new grinder still in the box. A new air conditioning compressor for my Rodeo......

Then there are the three motorcycle tables........................
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Old 08-16-2019, 07:51 AM   #15 (permalink)
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If you can't clean up, just set fire to it and walk away.
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Old 08-16-2019, 08:01 AM   #16 (permalink)
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People who can't keep a tidy garage are such failures.
Fuck off. Some of us do more than our nails when we work in the shop and there isn't always time to clean between projects. One day a month to get everything right should be doable for most however.
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Old 08-16-2019, 08:30 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Fuck off. Some of us do more than our nails when we work in the shop and there isn't always time to clean between projects. One day a month to get everything right should be doable for most however.
I am constantly at work in my garage, I have no problem spending 5 minutes at the end of the day to clean off the bench top and put my tools away. Saves more than 5 minutes the next day not having to look for that one tool burried in a pile of shit.
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Old 08-16-2019, 08:37 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oldcars View Post


I do have a 2 post lift i
We keep a solid core door just for a workbench on the lift. Pull two arms out and set the door on them.

Probably the most used bench we have as its adjustable height. Back tired leaning over working on a welding project? Raise it up. Feet hurt from working all day but want to work on that 20ga? Pull up a chair and lower it down. Kitchen counter too tall to bend the wife over comfortably? No problem.
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Old 08-16-2019, 08:44 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Meh, my shop is a freakin disaster. Iíve been redoing things in it moving stuff around and setting it up more user friendly and best use of space. Itís on hold now for over a year as Iím working on my house instead.

That said, I got rid of stationary work benches and made a couple weld tables. I also have a chassis fab table thatís built off of a HD 4x8 trailer. I modified the crap out of it and installed removable leveling feet. Made the tongue removable and then remove the wheels when setup. Once not in use it goes back outside under my leanto.

These tables work out great.

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Old 08-16-2019, 09:29 AM   #20 (permalink)
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We keep a solid core door just for a workbench on the lift. Pull two arms out and set the door on them.

Probably the most used bench we have as its adjustable height. Back tired leaning over working on a welding project? Raise it up. Feet hurt from working all day but want to work on that 20ga? Pull up a chair and lower it down. Kitchen counter too tall to bend the wife over comfortably? No problem.
I have a hydraulic lift table Iím redoing that will work great for that. I had a twin to it years ago I dissected the hydraulics out of for my tubing bender and made a ridged roll around table out of the rest. I talked my buddy out of his that was a twin but it needs gone through. I miss the adjustable height. I used my old one to work on my dirt bikes back when I raced hare scrambles.
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Old 08-16-2019, 10:13 AM   #21 (permalink)
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Had a steel work / weld table notice the top and leg in the pic, this was taken 24 hrs after the Camp Fire destroyed the town of Paradise.

It was stolen about 2 weeks ago.
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