Add-on Bench - Router Forums
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-14-2015, 12:41 PM Thread Starter
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Default Add-on Bench

The new issue of Woodsmith Magazine, that's issue #220, has an article on what they call a "add-on bench". Essentially a small work bench that is clamped to a standard bench to raise work to a more comfortable height.

Thus eliminating back strain and helping those with poor eye sight. It's fairly sophisticated.

A couple of years ago I decided there were plenty of times that raised bench would benefit my work. So I made this. Just two "I" bean type devices that clamp to the main bench and then I screw a 3/4 piece of scrap pw on top and call it a bench. See pic

Anyway I was wondering if any of you have made a add-on bench and what it looks like and how it works for you.

Thanks for reading.
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-14-2015, 01:09 PM
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That looks very cool ! How tall is it ? Do you find that you use it a lot ?

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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-14-2015, 01:52 PM Thread Starter
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That looks very cool ! How tall is it ? Do you find that you use it a lot ?

Gary
Mine is 10.5" but obviously you can make one to fit.
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-14-2015, 02:35 PM
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Great idea for raising a project off the floor by a foot or so.
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-14-2015, 03:33 PM
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Work bench height has always been an issue for us taller guys. Cool idea!

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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-14-2015, 04:29 PM
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Marc the world is built for people like Harry and James Wade.(James is standing in front of me and he is taller than Harry)

Smart move Berry. The economy router table is modeled after the Router Workshop table from Oak Park but is designed to be a perfect fit for the Bosch 1617. Total height of the economy table is 13-1/4" versus the Router workshop table at 16-1/4".(fits all routers) I often work off one of these tables set/clamped on saw horses or a bench.

Additional ideas to make life easier:
Cut 1/2" plywood to size and use a pattern bit to make an exact copy of your mounting plate; make several plywood plates and mount tools to them like a Drill Doctor, a Work Sharp 750, a pocket hole jig, etc.. Swap out your router for the tool you want to use in seconds. Build a tall cabinet sized to accept the plywood plates for quick and easy storage. Lots of plans out there for "Tool docks."

Clamp a piece of plywood, MDF or particle board to the table top. Screw a couple of cleats made from scraps of wood to the underside against the edge of the opening to locate this sacrificial table top. Remove your clamps. Now you just drop it into the opening and it will not shift on you.
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-15-2015, 09:39 AM
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Funny you should mention that. I have a 20x60 inch work bench from HF that is not wide enough. Thinking of adding a raised top to it, but only want an inch or two of added height (I'm kind of short) so I can still use the vise on one end. Thinking of using 3/4 ply for the top with a couple of 2 inch wide rails underneath the long dimension that make a close fit with the existing top, and a nice hardwood flat pieces to reinforce the edges for clamping.

Edge banding will be 3/4 hardwood. Will leave the bench vise end open so I don't give up any vise opening width.

Space is a little tight in my shop, so I'm thinking of making it 30 x 62. I'll probably add a Masonite top.

Any suggestions for finishing or maybe something I've overlooked?
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-15-2015, 11:32 AM
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Sounds like you have a well thought out plan,Tom. I presume that the weight of the table will be enough to hold it in place?

You might want to put the bench dog holes in it too,if you use pegs to stop your work. If you raise the edge banding 1/4" and lay the masonite flush,it works good too,keeps from fraying the edge of the masonite top. Might be hard to do on the vise end tho, might have to have a thin strip of hardwood across the end to protect the masonite where the vise is located, or build up the top of the vise with a piece of hardwood.

I would make the edge band flush with the bottom of the overhang too, facilitates clamping.

Sanding sealer and water based Poly works good for finish on the wood, no finish required on the masonite.

Herb

Last edited by Herb Stoops; 07-15-2015 at 11:37 AM.
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-15-2015, 12:47 PM
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Sounds like you have a well thought out plan,Tom. I presume that the weight of the table will be enough to hold it in place?

You might want to put the bench dog holes in it too,if you use pegs to stop your work. If you raise the edge banding 1/4" and lay the masonite flush,it works good too,keeps from fraying the edge of the masonite top. Might be hard to do on the vise end tho, might have to have a thin strip of hardwood across the end to protect the masonite where the vise is located, or build up the top of the vise with a piece of hardwood.

I would make the edge band flush with the bottom of the overhang too, facilitates clamping.

Sanding sealer and water based Poly works good for finish on the wood, no finish required on the masonite.

Herb
Thanks Herb. Good ideas, hadn't thought about the vise area of the masonite. Setting in a hardwood edge sounds like a good idea. I had planned to use a couple of wood screws to hold the top in place, which is why I figured on the vertical "trusses" fitted to the long edge of the present table.

I will likely drill up through the top from below the existing bench dog holes since they are already lined up with the vise. I don't use them much because they are hidden in a tool chest and hard to get to.

I was looking over the shop again this morning and realized that there is a high bench on one side of the table, and a set of shelves that hold plastic boxes with tools, accessories, etc. on the other side. I also think I'm going to remove a 20 x 36 steel shelving unit that is also on the bench side. Will move either my band saw or sander into that spot instead. That will open up the other end of the shop as well.

The shelving has a 2x4 piece of pegboard on it, but with the bench gone, I can tack that up to the studs, enclose the insulation there and gain a little wiggle room.

Think I will get rid of the bench and replace it with shelves to give myself a little elbow room. I have a drill press sitting on it now, but it can sit on a much smaller shelf instead. That will give me another 6 to 8 inches I can add to the table. The shelving will also let me put my planes, chisels and some other stuff up where they are quicker to get to.

I appreciate your input, would likely have missed those points. It really helps me plan to write this kind of stuff out, hope others get ideas and inspired by it.
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-15-2015, 01:48 PM
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I used a few short pin nails from my brad nailer to fasten the masonite. they pull right thru the sheet if it has to be replaced and can be pulled or broken off. My dog holes are 3/4" round so I use short dowels.
How are you going to fasten the hardwood edge around the plywood? I used screws and glue and countersunk them and plugged the holes, people think I doweled it on.LOL
You might be able to remount the metal drawer to another location,If I remember looking at them at HF and they were a tad on the light duty side. And the tables were a bit wobbly, maybe the floor model was not put together tightly, but the tops were nice. I was at one time thinking of getting one and building a stouter base to set the top on. For the price the top and vise were worth it.

Herb
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