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post #1 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-03-2013, 02:40 PM Thread Starter
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Default My NFWB Build

I'm building a version of the New Fangled Workbench (NFWB), and will try to document progress as i go along.

In anticipation of building some kind of bench, last fall i buile a rolling base for a pair of old waterbed base units. They've kicked around the garage for several years, i hated the thought of wasting them of the drawers. Base lumber was reclaimed from my oldest son's BMX vert ramp (built in about 1999, taken down in about 2005), but the 4 x 4 timbers were short of 16'. Base ended up at 88" long, so today i bolted a section of 4 x 4 to each end, giving me a 95" x 24" base to work on.

In the pics you'll notice that the drawer bases are closer to one end than the other--not centered. Figured i could add some sort of shelving in that space, and that one deeper set would have more use than a shallow set on each end.

The leg base for the bench will be constructed from 2 x 6 on one end, and 2 x 8 on the other, to tie the base together when it's screwed down. Casters currently are one pair straight, one swivel, they will be replace this afternoon with stem/wheel lock on all 4 corners.

Will be using poplar for the top and legs, if it ever gets dry enough for the guy who has it to drop it off--we're hoping for Wednesday. Will be late next week before we get a chance to make much real progress, but we have a start!!

earl
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post #2 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-03-2013, 10:56 PM
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i am really looking forward to following this thread!
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post #3 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-04-2013, 09:32 AM
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Your ahead of us already good solid work platform. Good luck . I haven't been exited about a project since my deck build last year.
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post #4 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-05-2013, 08:35 AM Thread Starter
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Default New thoughts...

Was thinking yesterday...
1. The drawer units--they already exist, but have some issues. The 4 drawers are nice, but the way they're built there's a good bit of wasted space. And, one end and the back of each unit is particle board, though it's held up well for over 30 years and several moves. 3 sheets of 3/4" plywood could give me a shelving unit that would make better use of the space. That said--i could do that after the fact, though it would be easier to do now. Hate to spend the extra $75 on plywood and the extra time to get done, but now is optimal time. Now or later???

2. The bench top--the slabs are solid poplar that could dress to 11 1/2" wide. I've already decided to go a little wider than the plan--closer to 30" i think. My original thought when i saw the poplar was to straight line an edge, thickness it to about 1 3/4", then rip off 3" wide boards for the top--thinking that it would be less likely to cup that way. It would be neat to use the full width of the board, but seems like ripping to narrower pieces would be more stable. The poplar was cut locally 25-30 years ago, and has been air dried in an unheated building 3 miles from my unheated garage--so there's no change in environment.

Any input would be appreciated. Thanks!!
earl
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post #5 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-09-2013, 09:15 PM Thread Starter
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Default A little progress...

The poplar arrive at about 6:30 this morning. The 16' boards were actually about 17' 8", full 8/4 x 12"+, so a little over 100 pounds each. They looked much bigger in my garage than they did in an 80' x 140' building with 16' walls!!

Cut the pair of 8/4 roughly in half so i could shut the door, got the 2 pieces for the top edged and planed to 1 5/8", ready to rip into boards. Going to rip them to 3 1/4" instead of 3" so that they're twice as wide as the thickness, which takes care of the top 2 layers. The 1/4" adjustment will...has been made to the leg height. By the time i finished planing, i realized i should have found a better way to handle material--i have no idea how many times i picked those things up from floor to planer, but it was more than i really wanted to!!

Got the legs cut as well, and machined the swelling relief. Had a 2 x 10 left from my garage build in 1996--ugly but nice piece of wood. Plus, it was a 10 footer that's now under 8' so it will fit on my lumber cart. Also got the "feet" cut for both ends. Legs are not yet attached, just standing up for the pics.

Didn't get as far as i wanted today, but i can start to get a visual. With the drawer units on the base, there is only 3" for the cross-member, so each center leg will get a brace to the drawer units to provide lateral stability.

earl
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post #6 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-25-2013, 11:45 PM
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update please
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post #7 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-26-2013, 06:15 AM Thread Starter
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Wish i had an update Chris--i've gotten nothing done in the past 10 days. I did order some cross-dowel nuts from Woodpeckers that arrived yesterday. Got 3/8" for leg attachment thinking that they may be more secure than lag bolts. Also picked up some 1/4" from them, made a shoe rack for my wife last night to get some practice with lining up the drilling. Went pretty well--but will clearly need to figure a way to pivot my drill press head--hand held drill is not accurate enough in my hands.

How's your build coming along??

earl
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post #8 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-26-2013, 08:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greenacres2 View Post
How's your build coming along??

earl
The bench is, for the most part, functional though. I got the pipes that support the planing beam installed, and moved things around to get the bench where it belongs.

This last weekend was busy for me with other things outside of the shop. We had some friends in town from NY and spent Saturday with them. Then I had to go out of town Sunday and got back last night.

But I still need to make the planing beam and mix and apply the finish.
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post #9 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-26-2013, 01:23 PM Thread Starter
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It's been too cold to work with no heat here. Easter weekend is full for us, but the weather is supposed to get warmer and i might be able to catch a few hours here and there.

Need to see if i can find a 25/64" drill bit (or in my dreams a 25/64" forstner bit)--i can force the cross dowels into 3/8" but if there's any depth issues i can't get them back out without splitting the board. Nearly had to do that last night on my wife's thing, don't want to have to do it on the NFWB parts!!

earl
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post #10 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-01-2013, 05:54 AM Thread Starter
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Last weekend we finally had somewhat warm, sorta dry weather. And not a lot of places to have to be, so we made some progress.

Wrapped the ends and back of the drawer bases in plywood, needed to do that to determine whether leg bases would need to be ripped--they didn't.

Got the leg assemblies drilled and assembled--used 3/8" bolts and cross-dowels instead of lag bolts. First time using those, took a little time but it was great to experiment. The cross-dowels really drew the legs tight.

Bolted the leg assemblies to the base, now ready to start on the top. Getting the legs done and realizing we're down to building the top gives me hope. I'll try to get a few pics this afternoon--doesn't look like as much progress as it really was.

Got 4 new pipe clamps coming from a Craigslist deal, will update on that Sunday when i pick them up. Unfortunately, i think i used one of the poplar 2 x 4's i needed for the top to make the tops of the leg assemblies. I milled them, and have more 8/4 poplar to make a few more--but may be able to substitute a stud. That's one of the problems with setting a project aside for a month!!
earl
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