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Discussion Starter #1
I was wondering if you guys could share your ideas for making a shop bench? What works what doesn’t?

My Ideas so far:

Make a Bench 40” high and 48” deep, as lenght 15-20'.
- Make a metal welding table 36” high 3’ x 4’ on caster to fit/slide under the bench. (Need a welding table, maybe a second 2' x 3' ?)
- Bolt a 2.5” square tube under the bench, bolt large vice to 2” tubing, set up like a receiver to extend vice out and remove when needed. (Also good for plugging into the truck receiver if needed!)
- Same idea with grinder. Shelf to sore grinder below when not in use by flipping the square tubing and sliding it further in.
- Backing wall is peg board; they sure make a lot of accessories for peg boards now days. Also outline tools with marker, for quickly identifying the missing ones.
- Make some large drawers to hold the larger power tools.
- Cheap cabinet above.
- One metal cabinet for spray paint cans and other toxic stuff.
- Old squirrel cage fans scavenged from a furnace to make a fume exhaust fan?

Lighting,
8’ florescent lamp using 4 4’ T8 bulbs (x2) and 3~4 6” can lights above.
 

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Sounds good to me. I dont know how yous tore your tools, whether you use a big top chest and keep it on your bench or have a roll aroudn set up. I would head over to the local metal shop and see if you could get some 1/8 steel plate to go on top of some heavy lumber. This will give you a very very solid surface to work on, that will clean up well too. Wipe it down with oil everyonce in a while and it shouldnt rust.

I wouldnt do cheap cabinets, I would do machine shop type cabinets. they are usualy shallow, cabinets that have shelves in them, that are angle forward and are sectioned. They are very very handy for storing things like drill bit sets, wire burshes, spare gridnign wheels, grinders. etc etc.

Jim
 

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I don't think you're gonna want a bench four feet deep. 32" Is IIRC a standard size for a workbench-wish I still worked around a bunch of industrial engineers :flipoff2:
 

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my bench is 24" deep but its against a wall. i did this because a standard sheet of ply wood is 4x8 and my bench is near 7' long. i used a metal packing crate i got at work that kubota tractors come in(hint hint) i cut it done and welded all the cross members, and then added some bracing for the bottom shelf. for tool storage i thought of building a cabinet 4 feet wide 8 foot tall and 2 foot deep.with double doors. on the bottom i'd have full pull out drawers on 200-300lbs slides to handle large bulky tools such as grinders and drills. about mid way i'd have solid shelving(for structure support) as far as cans go i have a 2 foot deep shelf and stuff gets buried at the back. thought about a 12" deep shelf about 8' long above the work area. and then arange the cans by purpose ie: paint, lube, cleaner.
 

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PTSchram said:
I don't think you're gonna want a bench four feet deep.
A deep workbench can be nice because you have room to work and then some room behind that to sit some things on while you work. The disadvantage is that extra space usually fills up and then grows to the point that the whole bench is covered.
 

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PAToyota said:
The disadvantage is that extra space usually fills up and then grows to the point that the whole bench is covered.
I used to have a big 54" x 96" bench. It was nice for assembly, but was a shit catcher most of the time. It also took up WAY too much room. I ended up cutting it in half and making a long 27" unit against the wall. This coupled with my table saw as a worksurface seems to work OK. I still need a decent steel welding table though. My lighting is alot better now that I have some actual task lighting over my workbench. Nice and bright :cool2:
 

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Yep - what PAToyota said. That, and if you're short, it'll be difficult to reach to the back of the bench, or the peg board / shelf on the back wall. The 40" height works well for me. I made mine ~40" deep, and that was too much. I took up a lot of room in my shop, and didn't gain much in terms of usefulness.

I'd also suggest you build your welding table a touch shorter than 36". I built my table so that it would just clear, not thinking about those times when I would weld a couple of jig-tabs to the top of it. Whenever I have tabs tacked to the top of the table, there goes the ability to store anything.

Just a few things I've figured out from version 1 of mine.

JH
 

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I have pegboard and never use it, I hate it. I have 2 normal steel benches and a 4x8 wooden one. It's nice to have both. One of the most usefull things I have is the metal drawers out of an old refriderator. They are heavy duty, easy to clean, and store small projects, parts and tools out of the way. I also use lots of metal tool (the ones good power tools used to come in) boxes to hold assorted tools and power tools woithout cases. I also use small long drawers to keep tools like screwdrivers, pliers, etc. in to keep them seperate and easy to get to. I also keep a bucket to throw assorted nuts, bolts, screws etc. to sort them out later.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
PAToyota said:
A deep workbench .... The disadvantage is that extra space usually fills up and then grows to the point that the whole bench is covered.
:laughing: Your right! I've a 3' deep bench right now and it always has stuff in the back of it!

My thoughts are after rebuilding my Auto tranny, I needed more room. Reach isn't an issue. However, Maybe I should make it 3.5' so I can get a 4' piece of metal to make a lift on the back and wrap around the front.... Ok 3.5' it is.
 

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I have a 24" deep bench running the 30' length of my shop. I am also building a 4x8 welding table on casters. I figure if I need more than the 24" of depth I'll just work on the welding table. Overall it's a good use of space. If the welding table gets in the way, I can wheel it into the driveway. There are 20" deep shelves below the bench, 4' long, with 4' gaps along the 30' length. This lets me store taller stuff like the welder, compressor, jack stands...under the workbench. I'm short, so my bench height is 37".
 

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if you are thinking about 2" hitch tube for vices ect. I would put one on each side of the bench and build a slide in "extension leaf" that slips into the tubes and maybe has a set screw to make it tight (you would want that anyway) Plus you can run the vice & grinder at the same time this way
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Firefyter_Emt said:
if you are thinking about 2" hitch tube for vices ect. I would put one on each side of the bench and build a slide in "extension leaf" that slips into the tubes and maybe has a set screw to make it tight (you would want that anyway) Plus you can run the vice & grinder at the same time this way
Great idea, Also I could make a piece to hold stuff level with the vice. Like cutting a stick of tube down.
 

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I am really liking the idea of a receiver style mount for grinders etc. I hate shit in my way when wrenching on something on the bench.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Junk Driver said:
I am really liking the idea of a receiver style mount for grinders etc. I hate shit in my way when wrenching on something on the bench.
I'm going to weld some 2" pipe I have just behind the 2' of receiver square tubing, that way I can pull the grinder out, rotate it upside down, and push back under the counter. No need to lift it out and turn it.
Now, to make some kind of stop so I don't pull it out too far.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Murph said:
Never use FedEx? :D

Andy
:laughing: :flipoff2: At least without insurance!
 
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