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Peter White

Workbench

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Dear makers.  I currently live in Florida and a violin shop has asked me to teach its staff of set up people how to make a violin.  

They need to buy a workbench which has a vice deep enough to hold my two violin plates as I plane them for joining.  And this bench should have dogs.   About ten years ago I bought great benches from a place in New York and assembled them for my classes at the university of New Mexico.   I only need one sold bench That you would recommend.  Nothing fancy or expensive, maybe five or six or even eight feet long 

most important is the deep vice and dogs in a stable bench.  

 

Thank you for for your suggestions.  

Peter 

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I know that you have in mind to purchase a bench, but you are far better off building one.  You get better construction and utility.  Mine is modeled after this...

https://www.popularwoodworking.com/articleindex/knockdown-english-workbench/

You don't need a vice if you have a bench with an apron - dogs and a crochet do the trick.  Frankly, compared to a vice, this arrangement is far easier and quicker to manipulate, and is equally effective.

The linked bench above is a real tank- wont budge under any load.  I reversed some of the design because I am a leftie.

 

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On 5/16/2019 at 2:50 PM, Peter White said:

Dear makers.  I currently live in Florida and a violin shop has asked me to teach its staff of set up people how to make a violin.  

They need to buy a workbench which has a vice deep enough to hold my two violin plates as I plane them for joining.  And this bench should have dogs.   About ten years ago I bought great benches from a place in New York and assembled them for my classes at the university of New Mexico.   I only need one sold bench That you would recommend.  Nothing fancy or expensive, maybe five or six or even eight feet long 

most important is the deep vice and dogs in a stable bench.  

 

Thank you for for your suggestions.  

Peter 

Hi Peter - let's summarise the requirements...

- quantity - 1

- solid

- cheap

- vise

- dogs

height and length to suit.

Let me add one more - a brick wall.

Shopping list...

A  1 only: laminated pine counter top - 40mm thick x 450mm wide x "whatever"  length (maybe 1500mm)

B  1 only: pine piece - 75mm x 75mm x 450mm long

C 2 only: pine pieces - 75mmx75mmx350mm long

D  2 only: pine pieces - 75mm x 75mm x "bench height - 40"mm long

E 2 only:  1/2"dia. x 6" OAL Rawlplugs with washers

F  8 only: 3/8"dia.43" long set screws with washers and nuts

Assembly

G - Take the 2xC and 2xD and make a rectangular frame with 1/2 lapped joints. Glue and bolt (using #4 of Item F) it together.

H - Take the Item B and Rawlbolt it to the wall - horizontal and at the height of Item D

J - Bolt Item A to the frame (G) and to the wall mounted batten (H) using the remaining 4 of Item F  (Recess the hex bolt heads)

You have a cheap and rigid bench.

Pics are largely self-explanatory.

119165186_cellomaking-NicoleandBrian-levelingribs.jpg.0417b69bb6a800a9c82933a1d70a9acb.jpg

Note the splayed corners !of the top. Saves bruised hips (Nicole Gaertner making a cello for her grand-daughter & Brian Lisus - who made the benches)

 

554727806_cellomaking-plane-afterscraping.jpg.ebb449e863e1e3743514897bd33d3e43.jpg

Vise added, dog holes drilled - zero movement when preparing cello joints.

 

45854094_cellomaking-dogsexoldheadbolts.jpg.c5694b4028f4ef5ee73cf2271abd5e43.jpg

Cheap homemade dogs. Grooves added to increase gripping power (found to be necessary for cello plates). O-rings allow accurate height adjustment. Wobbly ends on the adjustable dogs were the heads of the bolts. Cut off to allow me to weld 2 nuts in their place and rivetted to the end of the bolt - AFTER screwing the bolt through the nuts! - and no - I didn't forget :-)

2062483997_cellomaking-viseplateholderinvise.jpg.45891be38a7d77cda03373e0143b7215.jpg

1783804771_cellomaking-viseplateholder.jpg.51c91d5b7e32da0be169b373cc0fd9b2.jpg

Well worth the making - especially for cello plates. Increases stability no end and greatly reduces the clamping force required. No denting of spruce plate.

OK - hope it helps - cheers edi

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52 minutes ago, edi malinaric said:

OK - hope it helps - cheers edi

Those flexi-legs might work OK, but wouldn't it be even better to glue or bolt the wooden tabletop to a four foot high, two foot wide, and six foot long chunk of of cast  concrete? ;)

I didn't realize how much my Ulmia bench flexed until I posted a roughing video here, and someone pointed it out. :(

I have since braced it against a concrete wall (on one axis),  and that has delivered an improvement.

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I hate to say it, but go visit satan, er' Amazon and use their search bar in ALL....I have a feeling that you'll find something there.

Amazon works with all types of suppliers, from small independent business to large, and based on their business model, often times has the best price. I can get certain stuff from amazon from stewmac cheaper than I can get it from stewmac direct sometimes, as an example

 

check out ; Windsor Design Workbench with 4 Drawers, 60 Hardwood....189.98$ it's got dogs and a built in vice....pretty awesome 

keeping in mind, that someone like ourselves probably has the skill to build something like this....but the reality of the ," maybe ending soon cheap chinese goods gravy train" {including violins} is that we can't even buy the lumber to make something like this for 100 bucks...let alone all the shop time making it....

I suggest people buy stuff that they need now, cause if this "china thing" goes through , bing to tha' moon alice

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2 hours ago, David Burgess said:

Those flexi-legs might work OK, but wouldn't it be even better to glue or bolt the wooden tabletop to a four foot high, two foot wide, and six foot long chunk of of cast  concrete? ;)

I didn't realize how much my Ulmia bench flexed until I posted a roughing video here, and someone pointed it out. :(

I have since braced it against a concrete wall (on one axis),  and that has delivered an improvement.

Hi David - it worked OK - didn't even shiver.

However now that you mention it... and since we both agree that size really does matter :-)

That bench was bolted to an eight foot high, twenty foot wide and one foot thick wall - with cross-walls at each end - turning it into one ginormous I-beam.

Let's see (8x20x1 = 160 ft*3 vs 4x2x6 = 48 ft*3) - ignoring the masses of the roof and the cross-walls.

Certainly it's an excellent example of how to achieve superb performance from the minimum material and cost.

After Brian left for California I moved one of those benches into the workshop of another Cape Town luthier and fastened it to a drywall. Although the drywall partition is much, much lighter than the brick wall it still works OK. (Used Fischer plugs and epoxy in place of Rawlplugs)

cheers edi

 

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Dear Edi, Juzzepi, and David   Thank you all for the suggestions.  Since six men and one woman work in this shop doing set ups, but not making, I have plenty of help and skill to build a good bench like the one Edi suggested.  We will want to build a bigger bench because at some point we may make cellos, or after I retire other makers might want a really substantial bench.  I’m not too sure about mounting a vise to the bench but I think we can figure that out.  When I bought ten benches for my program at the University of New Mexico, one was really heavy duty and had two great, deep vises.  All I can remember is they cane from some supplier in New York. They were very inexpensive and solid   .  Before we build a bench I am waiting for Klarissa, my successor, to see if she can identify the make.  

I know Brian and David. David is a weight lifter I think and so he needs a bench mounted to concrete.  You guys are great with the help and good humor.  

If you want to sell any of your violins write to me at peter505white@gmail.com.  My boss is looking to expand his stock to include individually made high quality American or European violins.  I’ll put you in touch with him if you write to me 

thanks

pete 

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9 hours ago, Peter White said:

Dear Edi, Juzzepi, and David   Thank you all for the suggestions.  Since six men and one woman work in this shop doing set ups, but not making, I have plenty of help and skill to build a good bench like the one Edi suggested.  We will want to build a bigger bench because at some point we may make cellos, or after I retire other makers might want a really substantial bench.  I’m not too sure about mounting a vise to the bench but I think we can figure that out.  When I bought ten benches for my program at the University of New Mexico, one was really heavy duty and had two great, deep vises.  All I can remember is they cane from some supplier in New York. They were very inexpensive and solid   .  Before we build a bench I am waiting for Klarissa, my successor, to see if she can identify the make.  

I know Brian and David. David is a weight lifter I think and so he needs a bench mounted to concrete.  You guys are great with the help and good humor.  

If you want to sell any of your violins write to me at peter505white@gmail.com.  My boss is looking to expand his stock to include individually made high quality American or European violins.  I’ll put you in touch with him if you write to me 

thanks

pete 

Hi Peter - pictures contain stories beyond the telling.

You want to make cellos? Brian's cello is based on a Montagnana model - that's the one Nicole is making. It didn't trouble the bench at all.

The bench behind Nicole is where I worked and has a vise. It was there when it was needed and wasn't intrusive if you didn't need it. It is bolted into place with 4 bolts and a wooden spacer - to level the top of vise with the top of table. Other than preparing the joints and squaring up the neck block the vise sees very little work. Brian had 6 work stations and only 3 vises - there was never a situation where someone was waiting to get to a vise. You mention 10 work stations and 2 vises. So - as long as there are a couple of them. 

The gap between the benches was too small to have both people working back-to-back - this only occurred when both Nicole and I were both busy doing arching. The solution was for me to stay on one side all the time, un-dogging and reversing the violin plate I was working on. That freed Nicole to dance around her cello plate. 

I stand a touch under 6 foot and weigh ~ 215 lbs - until a few years back if I said "come" things moved! That short bench, bolted to a wall, that bench didn't shiver.

I would suggest that individual benches are the way to go. Room enough for working on the instrument and space for putting down the tools. More  than that just seems to attract clutter. Everything on the bench-top within reach without having to leave your chair.

Maybe screw a piece of 22mm plywood, 250 - 300mm high to the one long edge of the bench with a couple of shelves for bit and pieces etc.  Low enough to see over when seated.

Throw away the base of the anglepoise lamp and just drill a hole through the bench top to position the lamp exactly where needed.

Screw two cup hooks under the bench top and hang a plastic shopping bag from them. When planing, clear the shaving from the throat of the plane and drop it into the bag - becomes part of the rhythm and keeps the floor clean.

Maybe a tower of drawers under the bench.

Inspiration runs dry - go well - edi

 

 

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12 hours ago, edi malinaric said:

Screw two cup hooks under the bench top and hang a plastic shopping bag from them. When planing, clear the shaving from the throat of the plane and drop it into the bag - becomes part of the rhythm and keeps the floor clean.

Oh my gawd! Real violinmaking shops do not have clean floors! Customers like shavings, and If there are no shavings on your floor, customers will assume you bought instruments from China and inserted your label. :lol:

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43 minutes ago, David Burgess said:

Oh my gawd! Real violinmaking shops do not have clean floors! Customers like shavings, and If there are no shavings on your floor, customers will assume you bought instruments from China and inserted your label. :lol:

Hi David - Brian was very, very firmly of that belief.

When he was making his quartet I'll swear that his room was never less than 4" deep in shavings! I couldn't bring myself to disturb the mess - it was truly impressive. Thank goodness none of us smoked.

During that period he "lost" his favourite small thumb plane.  Never found it. I really felt for him - for months - when he thought no-one was watching, he would scratch around in the cupboards hoping to find it concealed under one or other of the things stuffed onto the shelves.

In the other room where I worked, at the end of a session I'd plug a long 75mm dia. flexible hose into his dust extractor and "make clean" - floor, drill press, band-saw, thicknesser and sanding disc. I was brought up to always leave things as I would like to receive them. Habits once formed can be the very devil :-)

cheers edi

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