Work bench thickness is 3" too much?
#11
  
I have plans to build a workbench that uses maple and walnut.  The boards are glue up of 3" wide boards to give me a 3" deep workbench.  The plan calls for 6" skirt.

While I am looking forward to making an heirloom bench, I have no kids to pass it down to future generations too.  I have only about 1/2 the boards to make the benchtop on hand so would have to run to town to get more wood and let it acclimatize to my shop to continue.  Except for weight of the benchtop is there any reason not to par back the thickness and go with 2.5 or even a 2" thick top?
A carpenter's house is never done.
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#12
  Re: Work bench thickness is 3" too much? by photobug (I have plans to buil...)
(10-13-2021, 09:53 AM)photobug Wrote: I have plans to build a workbench that uses maple and walnut.  The boards are glue up of 3" wide boards to give me a 3" deep workbench.  The plan calls for 6" skirt.

While I am looking forward to making an heirloom bench, I have no kids to pass it down to future generations too.  I have only about 1/2 the boards to make the benchtop on hand so would have to run to town to get more wood and let it acclimatize to my shop to continue.  Except for weight of the benchtop is there any reason not to par back the thickness and go with 2.5 or even a 2" thick top?

Just as an FYI.  

Here is the workbench I am looking to copy with a few changes.  I have built the base about 20 years ago out of Maple and it has a solid core door as the bench top.  I have a side vice and end vice waiting for a real benchtop to go into.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SB0-F6yq8zM
A carpenter's house is never done.
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#13
  Re: Work bench thickness is 3" too much? by photobug (I have plans to buil...)
Why a double screw vise on the end of the bench? Seems kinda odd since you already have one in front (granted, I do stuff more from a hand tool angle, so maybe there is some advantage to that, but I'm struggling to think of it).

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#14
  Re: Work bench thickness is 3" too much? by photobug (I have plans to buil...)
Depends on your intended use. If looking to use hand planes and holdfasts, that extra thickness is handy for weight. Sometimes pushing a wide plane will cause your bench to move. A holdfast needs the extra material as well. Also, there will come a time when you need to re flatting the top so you're removing material and making it thinner. There are a few other options for adding weight like sand or cement bags on the base.

If not into traditional woodworking then 2" or so will be fine.
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#15
  Re: Work bench thickness is 3" too much? by photobug (I have plans to buil...)
Unless you want to use holdfasts there's no need for it to be 3" thick.  Mine is only 1.5" in the center and has worked well for 30 years.  With the tool chest underneath it weighs close to 300 lbs and isn't going anywhere.  

John
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#16
  Re: RE: Work bench thickness is 3" too much? by msweig (Why a double screw v...)
(10-13-2021, 11:23 AM)msweig Wrote: Why a double screw vise on the end of the bench? Seems kinda odd since you already have one in front (granted, I do stuff more from a hand tool angle, so maybe there is some advantage to that, but I'm struggling to think of it).


I already have both vices, so I might as well install them.  This workbench is a long time coming, having started the base last century.  In my defense, I did not live in this home where the workbench was located for 17 of those years.  I also have not done much hand tool work but this bench will be my second in the shop with a large outfeed assembly table.  This will be dedicated to hand tool work.  I am not sure how I will use all the features of the bench but over the years I bought the vices when I saw them on sale as I had seen a double vice bench in the past and thought that is what the cool benches had.
A carpenter's house is never done.
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#17
  Re: Work bench thickness is 3" too much? by photobug (I have plans to buil...)
If you are starting with "nominally" 4" wide maple boards, then winding up with a benchtop that is around 3" thick after you flatten both sides is quite reasonable. 3" thick is a good thickness for a hand tool bench top.

When picking boards, you want to use ones that are closer to flat-sawn than quarter-swan. That way, your glued-up top will be close to quarter-sawn. That helps minimize problems from seasonal moisture changes.

When you are sorting them out, you would like the grain in each of the boards that will be the top of the benchtop to run in the same direction. That way, when you flatten the top, you get shavings from all of the boards and not shavings from some and tear-out from others.

I like the idea of a twin-screw vise as an end vise. To me, it makes the bench more versatile for things like cabinets or cabinet doors.
"the most important safety feature on any tool is the one between your ears." - Ken Vick

A wish for you all:  May you keep buying green bananas.
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#18
  Re: Work bench thickness is 3" too much? by photobug (I have plans to buil...)
Mine is just over 4" thick. Worked out best with the material I had. The bench isn't that big so I felt the extra weight was needed...maybe it wasn't, still not sure.

Ed
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#19
  Re: Work bench thickness is 3" too much? by photobug (I have plans to buil...)
If this is for hand tool work, expect to rely on holdfasts. My bench is 4" and holds them fine. This is not always true for thinner tops. 

The only real objection to a thicker top is initial cost but you will swallow that only once.
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#20
  Re: Work bench thickness is 3" too much? by photobug (I have plans to buil...)
Too thick of a bench top is like being too rich...can't happen.  But, if you think you might not always live where you are now, you might want to have that top divided lengthwise with a tool well.  I moved a few years ago and was able to move my bench because of a divded top and two end assemblies and draw-bolted front and back rails.  I know a few folks whose benches will never be able to leave their shop because they would never go up basement stairs in one piece.
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