Workbench complete!


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Hello all,

I just thought I'd show some pics of the workbench I made this weekend. I am thrilled with it so far. It's 6 ft x 2.5 ft x 30 inches - Pine frame and edge molding with a Birch top. Took me two lazy days and less than $70 U.S. (and I splurged on the birch top.)

I am going to seal it and stain it this week - can't wait to put it to use!

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Thank you Michael,

I want to fasten it to the wall, but I am a little hesitant to drill into the cinderblock wall to do so. Anyone have experience doing this?

I have a back porch that is about 15ft from the ground. I really want to frame it up and build a shop beneath it - so I really think of my current work area as temporary. (Although, actually having the $ to fund that project is a distant fantasy that may make my temporary area more permanent than I'd like to admit!)

Thanks again,

Chris

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I have.

If you have access to a Home Depot or similar hardware store, find the masonry screws. The kind I use are blue and come with the correct carbide drill bit. I think they are 2.5 inch long and look like 1/4 inch screws.

First drill clearance holes in the back board that will be against the cinder blocks. Use these to transfer the spots where you will drill into the cinder blocks. Use the carbide drill bit to drill as deep as you can. Avoid the concrete layers unless you want to really struggle drilling. Be careful; the drill bit will be smoking hot.

Three screws should suffice.

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quote:


Originally posted by:
M_A_T_T

Nice. I also like the wood sets lined up along the back.
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Thank you! I lucked out. All of those are beautiful one-piece slab cut backs - 14 in total. There's a couple stackes of ribs on the shelf to the right of the table that are qtr & slab cut from the same wood - so I am pretty set up for a while. Now I need to find some consistent top wood!

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There is an inexpensive product that might be surprisingly helpful in stabilizing your bench. The non-stick rubber padding that is sold to keep items in position while being routed can be cut into squares that go under the legs of the bench. It is heavier than non-skid carpet pads, but is the same sort of thing. Don't laugh til you've tried this trick.

Marilyn

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quote:


Originally posted by:
Michael_Molnar
the drill bit will be smoking hot.


It won't be if you do it properly with a sharp bit! Although a hammer drill is good, you can use a battery drill quite successfully. Use a smaller masonry bit first, then a larger bit to enlarge and leave a clean hole. Don't drill so fast it overheats and smokes ... thats the way to ruin and blunten your masonry bit.

I would suggest fastening a separate 1" plank to the wall along where you want to attach your bench, using at least three 1/4" expanding bolts (dynabolts). Then you can use ornery wood screws to screw your bench to the plank. This is a more flexible arrangement.

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Hmmm... I have never bought a sharp masonry bit. Where do you find these?

I am curious if you have ever used a hammer drill before. If you try drilling holes in really hard brick or cinder with regular drills -even using step sequence as you suggest- and then use a hammer drill, one is usually left dumbfounded by how much agony could have been avoided by using the right tool for the job. Step drilling is of advantage, even with hammer drills.

I have seen brick and cinder block that was entirely impenetrable by anything but a hammer drill. Mind you, it remains possible that construction materials are different (e.g., much softer) in your part of the world.

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I think there may be a nomenclature issue here-- the old "hammer-drill" used a real hammer. Then they had star-drills (still available), which also use a real hammer. The new "hammer-drills" sometimes called roto-hammers, look just like a regular electric drill, and rotate like one, but also have a hammer rapping the back of the masonry bit at a high frequency, and it drills into even solid concrete like magic. This is what GMM is talking about-- I have drilled through a 6" thick city street curb (installing a drain) using such a tool, and it was dead easy. Not even terribly noisy. Rent one; you'll be glad you did.

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Call it whatever you want, I only wish someone had hit me over the head with one to convince me years before I ever thought to try one. In fact, the following sign should be mandatory on all masonry bit displays.

WARNING: If you use a regular drill to make many holes in brick or cinder and eventually use a hammer drill, you will feel like an idiot for a long time.

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I only have a metabo 750watt hammer drill, which replaced my makita, which wore out. does that count? Not every violinmaker has a hammer drill. Of course it depends on the brickwork, but I have had success with ordinary handheld drills too. For three holes, might be worth a try.

A sharp masonry bit is one that hasn't had its hardness ruined by over-heating. Even the best carbide bits go blunt after a lot of use.

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Of course a Metabo hammer drill qualifies. If you have such gear, then one is left wondering why you would suggest anything but. As COB says, rent one if necessary. If you had prior used a Makita to the point it wore out, it has probably been so long since you did it with a standard drill you have simply forgotten the agony.

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I have had success with ordinary drills too, it's the failures that I cannot seem to forget

"For three holes, might be worth a try."

Upon further reflection, everyone should drill a few holes in brick with a conventional drill at least once in a lifetime.

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I don't think I've ever failed to manage to drill into masonry. Maybe its because I use sharp masonry bits.

back on topic - Nice bench, CBFiddler. I hope it all works out! Have you thought about hanging a vice off the end of it? Nice for sawing timber, drilling, carving etc. I'd keep it away from the end wall a bit, just for that purpose. Don't fix it to the wall until you're sure its in the right place!

Keep the pics coming, its looking way too tidy in there.

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I would not drill a hole in the wall just for the sake of stablelizing a work bench.

Why not glue a piece of wood (like a long board) on the wall first and then attach the back of the bench to that piece with screws. I think it is secure enough for wood working.

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Wow! thanks for all the advice! I went to home depot and looked at the masonry screws and read the package (yes, I read instructions ) and sure enough - it reads in big letters "USE A HAMMER DRILL."

I have been debating on whether to use one or not simply because cinder block is only 1/2 inch thick and the screw is only 1/4 inch thick. But GMM22 made some good points. The other consideration is that I need this to be reversible (not a lot of room for messy error) - whether through some kind of cement "spackle" or filler so that when I make and sell my first million dollar fiddle I can build a workshop and let my wife have her exercise room back.

Yuen,

You would be suprised how much beating and rocking and pounding happens while makiing a violin. Bolting it to the wall is a suggestion from every luthier I have spoken to!

Matthew,

Do you think it's worth trying without a hammer drill? All I have is a cordless Ryobi 14V! (Though I can borrow a more powerful drill if need be...) I had just finished the bench when I took those pictures, if you sould see the opposite wall - it was loaded down with the mandatory clutter that will soon cover that work area. I am looking to add a vise - trying to decide which one would be best for the money. Is a standard metal 4 inch vise OK?

Lots o' questions - Thanks again,

Chris

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quote:


Originally posted by:
matthew tucker

I would suggest fastening a separate 1" plank to the wall along where you want to attach your bench, using at least three 1/4" expanding bolts (dynabolts). Then you can use ornery wood screws to screw your bench to the plank. This is a more flexible arrangement.

I adapted a workbench design for my purpose by putting a 2 inch overhang around the front and sides, however the fram is flush with te back of the bench top in order to allow the bench frame to be bolted directly to the wall. I'm afraid a 1 inch spacer would create a gap where I would end up loosing tools and everything else I am looking for.

Then again, I could use that spot to put a block of wood to hold files and rasps - Ok, I'm with ya now...

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"I don't think I've ever failed to manage to drill into masonry. Maybe its because I use sharp masonry bits."

Neither have I, but if you want to anchor something really well, it has to go into the block.

I use Buildex Tapcon screws for such applications. These are simply super hardened screws that cut threads into the concrete. They are much easier to use than expansion bolts, and of smaller diameter. You might want to use a few more than you would if you were using expansion type fasteners.

Gluing a board to a wall is an invitation for a new warning sign in the adhesive isle.

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Buidex Tapcon - that's what I had in my hand and then decided to wait until I knew whether I needed the hammer drill or not.

I think filling drill holes would be easier then trying to remove 6 feet of a somewhat substantial (and eminently ineffective) glue.

I am going to use a sealer/stain on the workbench to finish it out - any warnings or suggestions there?

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I built 20 linear feet of workbench for myself a few years ago. I used very nice 3/4" Meranti plywood for the top, and finished with Flecto water based varathane. It was beautiful, until I put my small disc/belt grinder on it. For some strange reason, the rubber feet reacted with the finish and of course I did not discover it until I had shifted the tool several times. The workbench top now has just enough blackened circles to emphasize the impermanence of all things.

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