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Raise work bench top - Printable Version

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RE: Raise work bench top - bennybmn - 01-15-2020

Additional thought: Adding something between the legs and the top would give you a cool little compartment to store clamps or something.

RE: Raise work bench top - Robin Dobbie - 01-15-2020

I might make a little dowel alignment template for the bottom of the legs and just extend them the desired amount. Pretty easy to just make some pullout drawers for underneath if desired.

I do agree the casters need an upgrade.

RE: Raise work bench top - Handplanesandmore - 01-15-2020

stav Part of this had me wondering if I might need to reduce the overall weight of the bench a little too.

That's a good idea if you need the bench to be mobile but not sure how you can do that.

Do you need the bench to be mobile?

I have worked with many lighter benches (well under 250 pounds), and have never been bothered by the weight. Sharp tools don't need the bench to be overly heavy. If extra weight is really needed for a particular task, temporary weights can be added with ease. I prefer mobility over weight.

One more consideration (the wisdom of an older woodworker): he, 6' tall(?), does most hand work in a sitting position and so he prefers a low bench. He has a small platform (bench on bench?) that can be clamped on the bench top when he needs a higher bench top. Despite his age, he has fewer muscle and back issues than I! His lower top is also a better place for assembly tasks.


RE: Raise work bench top - stav - 01-15-2020

I hadn't considered attaching another bench to the top of this one.  That is an idea.  I generally do all my work standing and even when I am sitting I am still pretty tall.  A lot of my height is in my torso and not as much in my legs.  

Regarding mobiity, I have very little space so I need to be able to roll this out of the way when not in use.

RE: Raise work bench top - bennybmn - 01-15-2020

My first bench is/was "an assembly bench: for when I had a house with a 6'1" tall basement. I'm 6' tall, so my hair would hit the floor joists... I can do hand work on a stool, or assemble big stuff, no problem. More recently, I made my outfeed table into a proper bench, since I was doing the majority of my standing work on my melamine outfeed table anyway. I've considered a bench on bench thing too. That would be the chance to make it out of fancy wood, nice joinery, etc, without spending a ton.

RE: Raise work bench top - Hank Knight - 01-15-2020

Look at heavy duty stud-mount leveling pads for heavy machinery. https://www.mscdirect.com/browse/tn/Hardware/Stud-Mount-Leveling-Pads-Mounts?searchterm=machine+levelers&navid=4287923403
I used them on my bench because my shop floor is uneven. Mine have 1/2"X13X 6" studs with thick neoprene pads and support over 1,000 lbs. each. I had heavy leg caps machined from 1 1/2" thick steel plate and drilled and tapped for the studs. That's surely overkill. I think 1/2" plates drilled and tapped would be sufficient if you use a locking nut to secure the levelers at your preferred height. The leveling pads give me about 4" of vertical adjustment for my bench. I adjusted them several times during the first month or two after I completed my bench until I found the height I liked. I haven't moved them in 8 or 9 years. The bench is very heavy, about 400 lbs. and rock solid. I can't push to out of place. Here's a photo of my bench. You can see the leveling pads on the bottom of the legs.

IMG_1727 by Hank Knight, on Flickr

RE: Raise work bench top - Maple Leaf - 01-15-2020

My bench is a double Roubo: two 3 1/2” thick tops totaling 33” wide with 9” aprons of the same thickness and a trough in the middle. The legs are about 5 1/2” square with beefy stretchers. It’s HEAVY, maybe 400 plus pounds assembled. 

I built it pretty low, but I built in a fall-back position in case I needed to raise it due to advancing age and declining flexibility. Turns out I needed to raise it to the same height as the one I built 45 years ago.

So I bored each leg for a snug fit for a 3/4” coupling nut, and potted them in with epoxy. The advantage of coupling nuts it that they’re about 2” long for 3/4” threads. Then I used standard 3/4” hex head machine screws as the risers, and they sit on standard 3” hockey pucks that are counterbored for a snug fit to the hex head bolts. 

The installed system looks exactly like Hank’s, so I’m loath to take it apart to send photos. The whole caper cost about $25, with everything but the hockey pucks available at a good hardware store. It raises the bench about 3 1/2”, and it’s absolutely rock solid: no movement at all no matter what forces I apply to it. I’m pretty sure I could go up another 2” if I had to. The limitation would be the bending moments on the potted coupling nuts would split the legs at some point. 

Please feel free to PM me at mapleleaf@cox.net if this isn’t clear as mud.


RE: Raise work bench top - Stwood_ - 01-15-2020

Build some blocking the same species, same width, plus the height you need and dowel them to the bottom of the present legs with say, 4 each 1/2 or 5/8 dowels.

RE: Raise work bench top - mike4244 - 01-16-2020

(01-14-2020, 11:28 PM)stav Wrote: I met a guy who was ready to give up on woodworking. He offered me his very sturdy workbench w vises at no cost. It's a great bench that I plan to use for quite a while. Only problem is he is about 5'3" and he built the bench to suit himself. I am roughly 1' taller at 6'2". So I need to raise the top. I've been looking at it and I can either add to the leg at the bottom where the lifting casters are or add to the legs at the top where the bench top sits. I want to make sure the bench retains its rigidity as well. Which side of the legs should get stretched and what would be the best way to do it?

Nice bench, dig a trench around the bench about a foot deep.  Just kidding, I built a bench for my grandson when he was about 11 or 12.
Naturally I made it to fit his height. I also gave him 4 legs to replace the short ones with when he grows up. I made the extra legs for a 6'-0" tall person. This was 10/12 years ago. He is about 5'-10" now and in the Air Force. The legs were 4x4's and thru bolted into a stretcher.
If it is not too much trouble you could do something similar. Otherwise a fast and easy fix is to add to the legs. The joint can be hidden and at the same time stronger by installing corner boards full height.

RE: Raise work bench top - brianwelch - 01-16-2020

I am a fan of adding trestle style feet to the bottom, as implied by others...Will look like it was designed that way...
Ultimately it's all about usability, so whatever works for you is the correct answer...