Bob

Work bench

47 posts in this topic

I'm considering having a bench made, but I'd like to get ideas from all of you. What you use. What works for you. What you'd like if you could have it. Post pictures, draw pictures. Share your ideas, perhaps we can have a plan drawn up of the ideal "Leather workers work bench". With measurements and plans so we can take it to a wood worker and have it made. What types of wood are best?

Some ideas I have include

  1. built in granite slab in the surface
  2. draws for storage
  3. good lighting
  4. tool holders, wooden racks for sharp tools and punches
  5. slide outs, (like a cutting board in the kitchen)
  6. place for bench mounted splitter
  7. good cutting surface, friendly for knives

I currently have a workbench, I don't like it. I made it many years ago and it sucks. I've been searching the internet for ideas and found nothing yet.

Bob

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here is an idea for ya. works good for me.

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I use this type of shelving as my basic bench framework. One set of shelves assembled in 2 halves are used with the narrow ends facing me. I then place a wooden top between the 2. With this type of unit you can mix and match. You can have shelves or benches and they can be set up to suit all sorts of workshops. i have then set up tool storage on the back and sides. you can then bolt ply sheets all over it to add hooks, more shelves, plastic maxi bin storage etc. With the holes every inch or so you can also attach drawer runners inside. this stuff is strong and while I find it stable as it is, you can add more support beams or bolt the whole frame to a stable wall. Space permitting I would use more and make a cutting bench in the middle of a workshop.

You can get it from the large chain hardware stores

Bunnings - Aust

Home depot/Lowes - US

I went with this option as I move regularly and I can knock the bench down and reassemble easily. I need to be able to sit at the bench and have my knees under as I sew with Clams 50 per cent of the time and If shelves or drawers are on the front face I am too far from being within arms reach of most of my tools.

Barra

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Edited by barra

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Bob, I keep it simple. Just a plain bench made from 3/4" sanded plywood. Although it is the nice red oak plywood. Some 2x6's and some 4x4's. I will take a picture and send it. But my tooling bench is seperate. I set my stone in sand and covered the sand with fiberglass rosin. works pretty good for me and cuts the noise down, also very little to no vibration.

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I use this type of shelving as my basic bench framework. One set of shelves assembled in 2 halves are used with the narrow ends facing me. I then place a wooden top between the 2. With this type of unit you can mix and match. You can have shelves or benches and they can be set up to suit all sorts of workshops. i have then set up tool storage on the back and sides. you can then bolt ply sheets all over it to add hooks, more shelves, plastic maxi bin storage etc. With the holes every inch or so you can also attach drawer runners inside. this stuff is strong and while I find it stable as it is, you can add more support beams or bolt the whole frame to a stable wall. Space permitting I would use more and make a cutting bench in the middle of a workshop.

You can get it from the large chain hardware stores

Bunnings - Aust

Home depot/Lowes - US

I went with this option as I move regularly and I can knock the bench down and reassemble easily. I need to be able to sit at the bench and have my knees under as I sew with Clams 50 per cent of the time and If shelves or drawers are on the front face I am too far from being within arms reach of most of my tools.

Barra

is that some home brew happening barra??

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Not my actual bench Roo, just an example of what I use as the basic framework. My bench is up and/or down in 5 min and I'm away.

I do home brew though. Not that hard core that I Keg or use a mash tun. Just plain Coopers kits.

Barra

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I think Peter Main has the monopoly on ultimate workbench. Then built a shop around it. LOL

Still, VERRRY nice bench.

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I do home brew though. Not that hard core that I Keg or use a mash tun. Just plain Coopers kits.

Barra

mmmmmmmmmmm coopers icon12.gif. Keep sending that over here and we may forgive you for Rolf Harris icon6.gif

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It would be good to hear from some of the saddle makers that work at their bench all day, have tools all over the place and want it somewhat orginized. Things have to be somewhat orginized, or you spend more time looking for stuff. Only to find it banged around under a bunch of other tools. I like to keep sharp tools.

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I see Barra and I share another hobby, homebrewing : )

Edited by jammon

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My cutting table is an old "free to haul off" desk from along the road. I covered the top with particle board, and have a smaller piece of poly to cut on too. It is raised with pieces of PVC pipe that slip over the ends of the legs. My wife got this idea from "Martha". It does make it a nice height. The drawers hold stuff, and the open space underneath seats two plastic scrap tubs. The knives and blade tools all hang next to it, and away from the general tool population.

My workbenches are a Gorilla rack setup like Barra described, as are the other benches and storage shelving. The work bench has a metal tray above it. I stick cow magnets to it, and then put small things like cordless screwdriver bits, awl wrenches, the most used punches, etc to them.

My stamping bench is a used office furniture store find. It has enough room to get my legs under, and it a simple cube type construction. Plenty durable and surprisingly little bounce. It is a nice height with my rock on top of it, although I wish I had a bit more room on top. Tools are in cups on the wall behind it, along with mauls, an easy reach.

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http://www.taunton.com/finewoodworking/Wor...rkshopHome.aspx

I was once in a newsagent and saw a wood working magazine that had the most amazing workshop. I think you would glean many an idea from similar magazines.

I'd have natural lighting that could be changed via windows or skylights opening or closing depending on outside conditions. I like a place for everything and everything in it's place (to a point, it is a workshop). For years I went with the traditional backboard and tools mounted with leather straps. Now I have a shelf at the back, still within arms reach and I have drilled various holes with auger bits. The smaller tools are at the front and the longer ones at the back. Similar tools are still in groups together. I also have my hand sewing threads in jars with plastic lids. Each lid has an SP1 eylet to feed the thread out of. I like peg board and plastic maxi bins for storage. On the front of my bench I have an adhesive 1 metre /36" ruler I obtained from my sewing machine mechanic. This is the type they stick on sewing machine tables. My bench top has a false top and slide out draws are installed like the pull out cutting boards you see in kitchens. If it were me and space was not a major concern I would have my bench mounted tools on a seperate bench to my main cutting or sewing bench. I like being able to have a completely flat surface with no bumps in the way. As a compromise I have mounted my splitter and rounder via clamps and can still have them firmly on the bench but removed in seconds. IMHO the best thing in the workshop is adhesive velcro. All my round and head knife pouches are stuck where I can get to them easily with a strip of pile on the wall or bench and hook on the pouch. This makes it very easy to move if I change my mind. I also have stuff stuck on my draw down stand with velcro. You can even use an old blanket stuck to a wall (this is in effect a huge peice of pile velcro) and attach items to it with the hook.

If you are in a store that installs kitchen cabinets or just other businesses in general you will get many ideas from how things are made and or set up. If you have a phone camera, take a snap.

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hi bruce, i wish i had a set up like yours, but my question is ...whats the blue thing hanging from the drip stand ?

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hi bruce, i wish i had a set up like yours, but my question is ...whats the blue thing hanging from the drip stand ?

roo,

sorry to pop in, but it looks like a fordham (a flexible shaft dremel tool on steroids)

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My cutting table is an old "free to haul off" desk from along the road. I covered the top with particle board, and have a smaller piece of poly to cut on too. It is raised with pieces of PVC pipe that slip over the ends of the legs. My wife got this idea from "Martha". It does make it a nice height. The drawers hold stuff, and the open space underneath seats two plastic scrap tubs. The knives and blade tools all hang next to it, and away from the general tool population.

My workbenches are a Gorilla rack setup like Barra described, as are the other benches and storage shelving. The work bench has a metal tray above it. I stick cow magnets to it, and then put small things like cordless screwdriver bits, awl wrenches, the most used punches, etc to them.

My stamping bench is a used office furniture store find. It has enough room to get my legs under, and it a simple cube type construction. Plenty durable and surprisingly little bounce. It is a nice height with my rock on top of it, although I wish I had a bit more room on top. Tools are in cups on the wall behind it, along with mauls, an easy reach.

Bruce, I envy a workshop so neat and tidy,I really do. Mine stays like that for a day after I clean up and then it rapidly goes downhill again!

Tony.

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I have my work stations set up in a U shape with work benches on each side out from the wall and a tool cabinet on the wall between the benches. My saddle stand is in the middle. Tools are easily accessible from either workbench as well as the saddle on the stand. One bench is 30" wide, the other is 4' x 8'. Both have a center shelf and a shelf at the floor. They are made of 3/4" particle board shelving and 4 x 4 legs, with 2 x 4's on edge around edges and two in the center under each shelf for support. Bench tops are tempered masonite, or butcher plastic, or white melamine coated particle board. I use other cutting surfaces on the board tops. My stamping bench is a separate bench made taller to allow tooling either seated or standing. Attached are some pics.

Keith

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keith, i think you posted these photos in the wrong place.....they should be under a heading of....LEATHERWORKERS HEAVEN....

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I built my main working bench out of lumber from a barn I tore down. It's massive and heavy. Lot's of 4x4's and 2x6's. The best part however is the top, I found a granite countertop that was a second due to a small miscolored spot. It's 30" by 48". I can tool on it, stain on it, set rivets, etc. It cleans up with a rag, even dried glue comes up with a razor blade box cutter in a snap. I'm looking for another top like it for one of my other benches. My main layout/cutting table is a solid core door with a masonite cover that I got for 38 dollars at a yard sale. I use a 2x2 cutting board that I slide around on top when needed.

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it isnt much but it works for me.

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When I saw Keith's pictures, I said to myself, wait a minute, that looks familiar. Anyone that goes to Sheridan needs to take the time and go to Cody also. There you will find Seidel's Saddlery. Downstairs is the retail store with lots of wonders and upstairs is the workshop that Keith will happily show you. The day we were there, he was trying to finish up a saddle to enter in the show the next day, but he still took the time to show us around and talk to us. Kevin

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here is what i like about keith's set up in no particular order.

1. He has said he has workstations, ie: there are dedicated benches for different tasks, stamping, cutting out etc

2. Great natural lighting

3. Place for everything and everything in it's place

4. tools can be had from the tool boards and when using the draw down he can place the tool down either side within arms reach

5. Draw down central

6. Benches look like they are a good height (benches should suit the individual so as to minimise bending)

7. Benches look solid

8. power tools handy

9. stamping bench built so you can sit or stand to stretch your legs/back

10. workshop is segregated from his retail. He still has the option to invite customers up or be left to work in peace. Segregating workshops from the general public can have health, safety and legal implications.

11. dedicated tool board that to me looks like the sides are on hinges to enable it to be closed. Over the years I used to think that in order to look like a saddler you needed lots of tools on backboards on your main bench. I now find that clutter is avoided if only the tools you religiously go for are out. Others can stay on tool boards like Keith's or in tool boxes. You still know where it is on the one day of the year it is needed. I made canvas tool rolls and categorised the tools. awls, edge tools etc. Only my everyday favourites are out permanently. the tools are still easily accessable and protected from damage and rust causing humidity. In summer the tool rolls go in a box and I throw in some toilet rolls which absorb any moisture. Eventually I would like a tool board like Keith's. When made I can press stud/turn button the tool rolls in place. I have one tool roll inside a grab and go tool box. that has the must have tools for any job. Generally speaking this one tool roll is permanantly open on the bench till I want to go somewhere.

Attached is a pic of a canvas magazine holder I made. The categorised tool rolls are the same principal.

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Apparently no pic

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Howdy Bob;

there is a lot of good things to note about Keith's shop's shop layout is set up about as good as it gets, there is no wasted steps to get anything, his stand is in the middle, and he just works around it, looks greats.

the only tips I could give you on a benches is make them strong so they have no bounce, especially your stamping bench. I have a large rock, 5" thick, my benches all have 4X4 legs with 2 layers of 3/4" plywood, may rock does not bounce at all. My sure your benches are not to low, I am 6'1" and my bench tops are 42-43" high, there no reason to spend al day bent over if you don't have to.

In other shops I have worked in I have had benches where the rock is inlaid into the bench which is nice, when I was working with vissor his benches have a 10X10" square cut out of the corner with the garbage barrel under, this was very handy, and I only threw out one tool by accident in the 2 1/2 years I was there. My cutting table is 4'X8', it is nice to be able to walk all around the cutting table but limits of space may stop that.

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roo,

sorry to pop in, but it looks like a fordham (a flexible shaft dremel tool on steroids)

Actually it is a flexible rotary shaft tool. The handle oscillates and has a large enough chuck to put stamping tools in it. The tool then oscillates. They used to sell these under the trade name of "SpeedStamper" in the LCSJ. Not anything you couldn't buy from other sources, although the large chuck oscillating handpiece might be a bit of a hunt. Some guys who do silver work have their stamping tool shafts turned down to fit the Gravermax handles as well. Barry was even making tools with thin shafts to fit the graver handles. All of my bevelers fit this particular handle with no modifications.

I bought this right after I dislocated my thumb, and it helped take some of the heat off. It is good for repetitve stamping of "walking" tools like bevelers. I know guys who pear shade with them too. Basically you just run it down the cut line to bevel. I did a bunch of winelist covers last year for a restaurant, and had a lot of beadline borders with light beveling on the inside and outside of the beadlines. This makes that kind of beveling fly, and less fatiguing. Not the tool for everyone or used everyday, but nice to have when you do need it.

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I don't have any pics here at work, but my bench has been converted from a motorcycle engine rebuilding bench. As such, it is all steel frame with a 3/4 inch particle board top with a shelf over the top. Since it is only 6' x 2', it is not big enough for laying out and cutting large pieces of leather on. So..... my next door neighbor is a professional welder and is going to make me a 4' x 8' all steel table (including the top and shelf underneath) and I am going to lay poly over the entire top for a large cutting surface. Down towards one end, I will inlay a v-groove out of aluminum that will be used for cutting fabric in a straight line like the craft stores have and on the other end I am going to mount an anvil and maybe a press. The shelf underneath will be used for storing my leather flat instead of rolled up like they are now.

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