Author Topic: My new folding workbench - I'm after some feedback!  (Read 27941 times)

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Offline Coach.carpenter

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My new folding workbench - I'm after some feedback!
« on: September 04, 2016, 04:37 PM »
Good evening all,

I have introduced myself here before but for those of you who may not have seen then here it is. My name is Greg and i'm a cabinet maker / finishing carpenter who's been in business around 18 months now. In the beginning the plan was to be mainly workshop based and invest all my (little) money into getting myself a full workshop, however over the last 18 months i've discovered that it's very difficult to start from nothing and have a) enough work to warrant a full workshop and b) savings to afford high end workshop machinery. As a consequence i have ended more site based (residential and shop fitting)

To be honest I enjoy it, a lot. I miss being in the workshop but I find it very difficult to keep motivation all the time and find myself procrastinating making projects that don't earn me any money.

Seeing as though almost all of my money has now gone onto investing in mobile and portable equipment. The one thing I have missed more than anything else is a decent solid workbench to work from. I've tried trestles but its not even close, workmates are equally no good. So I decided that I would borrow an MFT/3 from a friend for a week to see how I got on with it and in all honesty, I liked it, but I couldn't get on with it as I needed more out of my workbench. The things that didn't work for me are as follows:

1) I use my workbench as a sort of centre of setup type of area. This means that I spend most of my time working from it, be it cutting / routing / sanding or simply planning and organising my setup. The MFT for me fell down here as its a great bench but i want more storage options, and more adaptability.

2) Working mainly finish carpentry I fit a lot of doors. A lot and I like to have a setup where I can do everything in one spot. Cut, install hardware and plane to then be taken away  to hang. The MFT is perfect for cutting the doors but where it falls down for me is there is no where to securely hold the door on its end for the routing of hinges etc.

3) Hand planing puts an awful lot of lateral force on the workbench and I don't like a bench that has movement in it when i'm planing.

So there's my brief now it's time to put my experiences into practice and design something that suits my needs! Here is what I came up with.

It's a birch ply workbench, with a shelf, with side mounts for doors, with tool tote for to keep my bench dogs and other small tools off the worktop, an MDF top with 96 centred 20mm dog holes. Most importantly it fold to less that 90mm thick. it takes 20 seconds to put up and slides into my van when not in use. Most importantly this thing is strong, and i mean strong! There is no lateral movement what so ever. I've been using both the mk1 prototype and mk2 prototype for nearly 6 months now and I really don't know how i lived without it. For me, its everything I need.

I've already thought of a million accessories to go with it, and I plan on developing this further. I have started the process to putting it on the market as i truly believe that its a good idea. What do you think? would you have one? What would you do differently? I will record a short video of me putting it up and performing some basic operations if anyone is interested?





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Offline Holmz

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Re: My new folding workbench - I'm after some feedback!
« Reply #1 on: September 04, 2016, 04:49 PM »
Yes please...

Offline Coach.carpenter

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Re: My new folding workbench - I'm after some feedback!
« Reply #2 on: September 04, 2016, 04:54 PM »
Yes please...

That was positive! Glad you like it. Would you be interested in a video?

Offline Sal LiVecchi

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Re: My new folding workbench - I'm after some feedback!
« Reply #3 on: September 04, 2016, 05:07 PM »
Would like to see video
And would like the workbench also
You going to make
Plans available for sale or complete units
Life is too short and the road is too long to drive anything less than a Festool

Offline Wooden Skye

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Re: My new folding workbench - I'm after some feedback!
« Reply #4 on: September 04, 2016, 05:09 PM »
Great looking bench!  Would like to see a video setting up and taking down, as well as some work activities, like use with hand planes.
Bryan

TS 55, (2) 1400 Guide Rails, 1900 Guide Rail, MFT/3, Domino DF 500, 2 domino systainers, ETS 150/3, RO 90, CT 26, (2) OF1400, RO 150. RTS 400, LR 32 set, PS300 jigsaw, 3 abrasive systainers, (2) sys toolbox, (2) sys mini, clamps and other accesories

Offline Coach.carpenter

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Re: My new folding workbench - I'm after some feedback!
« Reply #5 on: September 04, 2016, 05:13 PM »
Would like to see video
And would like the workbench also
You going to make
Plans available for sale or complete units

Okay i'll sort a video out over the next couple of days and upload it to YouTube. As for the market side of it - I'm looking at extending my Chestnut furniture business into this sort of thing. practical solutions for woodworkers and their projects. I've had a couple CNC cut and I'm currently trailing them and i'll see how i get on. I like the idea of having a product line. Failing that I have also been working on plans (My original intention), so if it doesn't go anywhere then i will definitely release the plans.


Offline Coach.carpenter

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Re: My new folding workbench - I'm after some feedback!
« Reply #6 on: September 04, 2016, 05:16 PM »
Great looking bench!  Would like to see a video setting up and taking down, as well as some work activities, like use with hand planes.

Righto I'll get on it. The beauty of the top being on a mortice and tenon style system is that it pops on and off very easily. I'm actually using auto cad as we speak to design a router table variant with dust extraction... I use a router a lot of the time on shop fit-outs and i miss having a decent router table. This kills two birds

Offline neilc

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Re: My new folding workbench - I'm after some feedback!
« Reply #7 on: September 04, 2016, 05:43 PM »
Nice design.  Are the top and side holes all 20mm?  The side holes look a little bigger.  I'd probably suggest making them the same size and sticking with 20mm to fit accessories most Festool users already have.

The mortise / tenon attachment of the top should help with stability.  overall it appears it would be very sturdy!

I'm wondering about some kind of bungee cord mechanism to further secure the pieces together for transport, but also useful for securing them when assembled to further strengthen the stability.  Could easily cut in a few slots that the cords could slip into and be captive with a knot.

Thanks for sharing.

Offline Coach.carpenter

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Re: My new folding workbench - I'm after some feedback!
« Reply #8 on: September 04, 2016, 06:16 PM »
The side holes are 30mm but that's intentional. I had them at 20mm originally the problem I have with that is getting accessories to lock down into position and be strong enough. It'll become more clear in the video. I could have kept them 20mm and then had a threaded dog and then a m8 knob on the back but the idea with this is everything is quick and easy and i don't have to worry about screwing and unscrewing. I hope that makes sense?

I have bought a few large buckle type straps which i'm going to experiment with to hold everything together. As for the strength i really mean it when i say this thing literally does not budge. It's as strong as a traditional carpenters bench. I know this because i've had 240kg sat on top of it and it didn't move.

I like the idea of incorporating the strap into the bench though so it doesn't get lost or get in the way, something worth thinking about.

Thanks for the feedback! This is exactly what i'm looking for.

Offline Peter Halle

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Re: My new folding workbench - I'm after some feedback!
« Reply #9 on: September 04, 2016, 07:57 PM »
Great looking bench.  What tools do you need in your arsenal to make such a bench?

Peter
Disclaimer:  I have been involved with the development of some TSO Products.  I have offered thoughts and ideas freely.  I am not paid but I may receive products during the development process or afterwards.

Offline Tinker

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Re: My new folding workbench - I'm after some feedback!
« Reply #10 on: September 04, 2016, 08:24 PM »
I like it.  What is the weight for the fold up parts?
Since it is meant to be very portable, maybe a couple of hand slots in the top and the shelf, as they do not appear to be folded with the base parts.
Tinker
Wayne H. Tinker

Offline Svar

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Re: My new folding workbench - I'm after some feedback!
« Reply #11 on: September 05, 2016, 12:28 AM »
This is simply brilliant. Exellent design from structural standpoint. Easy assembly / dissassembly in just couple moves.
I understand why you made top overhang, but having the edge of worksurface flush with legs (front and back only) has its benefits for vertical clamping. By the way it'll still work structurally almost as well.
Thank you for posting.
P.S.  Some might prefer another (second) shelf mid height. Should not be hard to add.
P.P.S.  A delux version could have t-slot extrusion along front and back
« Last Edit: September 05, 2016, 01:01 AM by Svar »

Offline Coach.carpenter

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Re: My new folding workbench - I'm after some feedback!
« Reply #12 on: September 05, 2016, 01:36 AM »
I like it.  What is the weight for the fold up parts?
Since it is meant to be very portable, maybe a couple of hand slots in the top and the shelf, as they do not appear to be folded with the base parts.
Tinker

Hi Peter,

My origonal prototypes were made wierea 30mm forstner. A 12mm straight 1/8 router bit. A track saw. A 120mm doameter paint  can for the radius corners. A jigsaw and for the top is a mft3 replacement top which i had off ebay and finally a lot of careful marking out.

Offline Coach.carpenter

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Re: My new folding workbench - I'm after some feedback!
« Reply #13 on: September 05, 2016, 01:40 AM »
I like it.  What is the weight for the fold up parts?
Since it is meant to be very portable, maybe a couple of hand slots in the top and the shelf, as they do not appear to be folded with the base parts.
Tinker

Hi Peter,

My origonal prototypes were made wierea 30mm forstner. A 12mm straight 1/8 router bit. A track saw. A 120mm doameter paint  can for the radius corners. A jigsaw and for the top is a mft3 replacement top which i had off ebay and finally a lot of careful marking out.
[/quote

Misquoted sorry

Offline Coach.carpenter

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Re: My new folding workbench - I'm after some feedback!
« Reply #14 on: September 05, 2016, 01:43 AM »
I like it.  What is the weight for the fold up parts?
Since it is meant to be very portable, maybe a couple of hand slots in the top and the shelf, as they do not appear to be folded with the base parts.
Tinker

The whole assembly weighs 28kg. The shelf has hand slots and the top ive been using the mortices as a finger slot. I was worried about puttig a handslot as it may effect functonality as a worktop?

Offline Coach.carpenter

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Re: My new folding workbench - I'm after some feedback!
« Reply #15 on: September 05, 2016, 01:54 AM »
This is simply brilliant. Exellent design from structural standpoint. Easy assembly / dissassembly in just couple moves.
I understand why you made top overhang, but having the edge of worksurface flush with legs (front and back only) has its benefits for vertical clamping. By the way it'll still work structurally almost as well.
Thank you for posting.
P.S.  Some might prefer another (second) shelf mid height. Should not be hard to add.
P.P.S.  A delux version could have t-slot extrusion along front and back

Hi svar

Okay so j left an iverhang for two reasons. Strength from the viewpoint of the sides and long top rails not bowing outwards when heavy attatchments are added or a lot of force put on them laterally and also to protect the mortices in transport. This is always being thrown in and out of my van so i feel over time open ended mortices would get knocked and chipped when worked on.

Ill work on a design for a second shelf. I wonder if having more frame and a nother shelf would add another couple if kgs to the weight though?

Ah ha i was waiting for someone to say this. Im working on it. So the two long top rails front and back have 3 8mm holea drilled in them. This is fora t track to be bolted in. I have a 25mm section of birch ply with a ujk t track mounted flush to the top. It also has captive nuts in. It gets fixed to the sides with 3 (6 altogether) m8 plastic knobs.

Two things im working on. The t-track isnt long enough so im desperatly trying to find longer extrusions. Secondly and rather stupidly, i made the back of the tooltote too high so it wont slot on with the t-track fixed. Easy fix and i need to ammend the drawing




Offline RJNeal

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Re: My new folding workbench - I'm after some feedback!
« Reply #16 on: September 05, 2016, 08:07 AM »
Thanks Coach for sharing. That's a great, functional bench.
Rick
Have you walked your saw today?

Offline Holmz

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Re: My new folding workbench - I'm after some feedback!
« Reply #17 on: September 05, 2016, 08:10 AM »
Yes please...

That was positive! Glad you like it. Would you be interested in a video?

Yes please.
My daughter is interested in starting out, so it looks like a good place to start.

Offline Michael Kellough

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Re: My new folding workbench - I'm after some feedback!
« Reply #18 on: September 05, 2016, 12:53 PM »
Looks very good! At the very least you have a market of people happy to buy plans.

Offline Svar

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Re: My new folding workbench - I'm after some feedback!
« Reply #19 on: September 05, 2016, 12:57 PM »
P.P.S.  A delux version could have t-slot extrusion along front and back

Ah ha i was waiting for someone to say this. Im working on it. So the two long top rails front and back have 3 8mm holea drilled in them. This is fora t track to be bolted in. I have a 25mm section of birch ply with a ujk t track mounted flush to the top. It also has captive nuts in. It gets fixed to the sides with 3 (6 altogether) m8 plastic knobs.
Two things im working on. The t-track isnt long enough so im desperatly trying to find longer extrusions. Secondly and rather stupidly, i made the back of the tooltote too high so it wont slot on with the t-track fixed. Easy fix and i need to ammend the drawing

Do you have 80/20 extrusions available in your area? Bosch-Rexroth makes nearly identical extrusions, could be easier to find in Europe. You could size your top overhang accordingly to easily mount/dismount the extrusion as on pics below. Would solve vertical clamping issue. Anyway, very elegant design you have there. Would not want to ruin the simplicity.

Offline luke1984

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Re: My new folding workbench - I'm after some feedback!
« Reply #20 on: September 05, 2016, 04:10 PM »
looking good be a great addition to go with my mft.

Offline thylaxene

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Re: My new folding workbench - I'm after some feedback!
« Reply #21 on: September 05, 2016, 06:29 PM »
Well done. Looks great and very practical.

So mark me down for interest in plans, CNC cut files, etc, even kits if shipping overseas is reasonable - which I doubt due to weight.

Cheers.

Offline Coach.carpenter

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Re: My new folding workbench - I'm after some feedback!
« Reply #22 on: September 06, 2016, 02:07 AM »
P.P.S.  A delux version could have t-slot extrusion along front and back

Ah ha i was waiting for someone to say this. Im working on it. So the two long top rails front and back have 3 8mm holea drilled in them. This is fora t track to be bolted in. I have a 25mm section of birch ply with a ujk t track mounted flush to the top. It also has captive nuts in. It gets fixed to the sides with 3 (6 altogether) m8 plastic knobs.
Two things im working on. The t-track isnt long enough so im desperatly trying to find longer extrusions. Secondly and rather stupidly, i made the back of the tooltote too high so it wont slot on with the t-track fixed. Easy fix and i need to ammend the drawing

Do you have 80/20 extrusions available in your area? Bosch-Rexroth makes nearly identical extrusions, could be easier to find in Europe. You could size your top overhang accordingly to easily mount/dismount the extrusion as on pics below. Would solve vertical clamping issue. Anyway, very elegant design you have there. Would not want to ruin the simplicity.

I like that idea a lot. is that 80/20 extrusion 80mm x 20mm? if so I may be able to make that work. I don't want it to effect the functionality of the mounting holes. As you say I don't want to take away from the simplicity as I believe when things get to finicky and fiddly they just don't get used when out on a job as time is money.

Offline Coach.carpenter

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Re: My new folding workbench - I'm after some feedback!
« Reply #23 on: September 06, 2016, 02:09 AM »
Well done. Looks great and very practical.

So mark me down for interest in plans, CNC cut files, etc, even kits if shipping overseas is reasonable - which I doubt due to weight.

Cheers.


thylaxene ,

I have very good connections with Australia, where abouts are you? I lived and traveled there for twelve months. There is a real possibility i could get a kit to you if you are really that interested.

Coachy

Offline Coach.carpenter

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Re: My new folding workbench - I'm after some feedback!
« Reply #24 on: September 06, 2016, 02:12 AM »
looking good be a great addition to go with my mft.

Luke, It would be great for a side by side comparison actually to see what your thoughts are. It's measured 900mm high which i believe is the same as the MFT3.

Coachy

Offline Michael Kellough

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Re: My new folding workbench - I'm after some feedback!
« Reply #25 on: September 06, 2016, 09:18 AM »
"is that 80/20 extrusion 80mm x 20mm?"

No, that is just the name of a US company that makes extrusion similar to the basic mechanical elements that Bosch makes.

Offline Coach.carpenter

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Re: My new folding workbench - I'm after some feedback!
« Reply #26 on: September 07, 2016, 06:13 PM »
Hey Guys,

I finally got round to doing a few videos - they are very quick demonstrations done at 10pm but they should give you a feel of what the bench is like.

Let me know what you think






Offline mwildt

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Re: My new folding workbench - I'm after some feedback!
« Reply #27 on: September 07, 2016, 09:03 PM »
Looks great! No river dance ? (Just kidding)

How does it handle on an uneven floor or outside surface ?

Offline neilc

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Re: My new folding workbench - I'm after some feedback!
« Reply #28 on: September 07, 2016, 10:42 PM »
Nice work.  Did not realize the outside pieces were all hinged together, which makes it MUCH easier to breakdown and assemble.
« Last Edit: September 08, 2016, 09:28 AM by neilc »

Offline Nick561

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Re: My new folding workbench - I'm after some feedback!
« Reply #29 on: September 08, 2016, 04:53 AM »
I'll buy plans and CNC file