Flat work benches.

Discussion in 'Boatbuilding' started by Pylasteki, Jun 12, 2011.

  1. Pylasteki
    Joined: Apr 2008
    Posts: 74
    Likes: 3, Points: 8, Legacy Rep: 42
    Location: North Carolina

    Pylasteki Junior Member

    Hi Guys,

    I'm wondering those of you who are laminating up panels, and vacuum bagging what sort of work bench you've built to keep things flat!

    Its a pain, as you can't really joint anything with a powerplane without a flat reference under it... or glue up much of anything.

    Here lately I've been laminating straight stuff up on lengths of aluminum box tube, but its a pain in the rear...

    My last big bench was 5ftx9ft, for storing plywood stacked flat under it... 3/4 top with 2x4 supports. Not quite strong enough when loaded, as it would sag in the middle.


  2. rasorinc
    Joined: Nov 2007
    Posts: 1,854
    Likes: 71, Points: 48, Legacy Rep: 896
    Location: OREGON

    rasorinc Senior Member

    8' x 12' made out of 3 pieces of 3/4" plywood, shop grade, on 3 saw horses I built 3'-6" long. I can take it apart and move.
  3. KnottyBuoyz
    Joined: Jul 2006
    Posts: 829
    Likes: 56, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 685
    Location: Iroquois, Ontario

    KnottyBuoyz Provocateur & Raconteur

    I once had a fella suggest looking for some used pallet racks. They're relatively cheap and strong as heck. Generally consistent in dimensions and you can weld them together. Stick a few casters on it and it's mobile.
  4. rwatson
    Joined: Aug 2007
    Posts: 6,063
    Likes: 425, Points: 83, Legacy Rep: 1749
    Location: Tasmania,Australia

    rwatson Senior Member

    Well, you might have made it up, but I will be glad to recommend it to the "Classic Boat Proverb" thread - which I will go and start straight away !

  5. troy2000
    Joined: Nov 2009
    Posts: 1,743
    Likes: 170, Points: 63, Legacy Rep: 2078
    Location: California

    troy2000 Senior Member

    Well... if you have the room and you go in for massive overkill, you could make your work benches the way I do. I build the tops out of 2x4's of the appropriate length, and assemble them side by side, until I have the right depth--like a humongous chunk of butcher block.

    Instead of gluing them up, I pre-drill the 2x4's individually every two feet. Then I suck them together using lengths of 1/2" all-thread with countersunk washers and hex nuts. As the boards season and shrink, I tighten the all-thread. A little commonsense attention to alternating the grain and crown of the boards takes care of any warping issues...

    I plane the bench tops flat, and generally protect them with sheets of Masonite or plywood (or even drywall at times), lightly tacked in place for easy replacement.

    The supporting structures are usually 4x4 legs, on 4 foot centers. The legs are held together with 2x4 stringers notched 3/4" into place and fastened with carriage bolts, and the lower 2x4's normally support a plywood shelf for tools and miscellaneous.

    I've never built a work bench over 30" deep. But I see no reason why the same methods wouldn't work at 48" or a little more, to accommodate full sheets of plywood. But decide where you want it when you build it, unless you have strong friends.:D

    I've built this sort of work bench for other people, as well as leaving some behind when I moved, and I expect them to outlast the buildings they were placed in. They may well turn out to be my most enduring legacy.:)
Forum posts represent the experience, opinion, and view of individual users. Boat Design Net does not necessarily endorse nor share the view of each individual post.
When making potentially dangerous or financial decisions, always employ and consult appropriate professionals. Your circumstances or experience may be different.