Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Instant Bench Top Extension


Dan's Shop Rule #7: No matter how large your workbench is, it will always need to be just a little larger.

So the other day I'm working on the Rolltop desk; it was sitting up on the bench, and I needed to take the top off and work on that as well - ah, rule #7. What to do? The desk was heavy, awkward and, especially at that stage of repair, weak. I really couldn't take it down.

As I was turning this problem over in my mind, I started to focus on the plywood bench cover I was using under the desk to protect from glue drips etc. Then I remembered Rule #9.

Dan's Shop Rule #9: All tools have at least three uses.

Well, I'd originally built the plywood and 2x4 cover for protecting the bench from the mess of cleaning rusty tools - sort of a more permanent version of cardboard. It slips over the bench top and into the vise. Hmm. What would happen if I slid it partially off the end and tightened the vise? Whoa! Cool! Instant larger bench! Take that Rule #7!

The pictures below illustrate this simple, yet slow to be discovered, second use:




There is of course a limit to how much weight can be placed on the extension before it starts to sag. With the desk on top, I added a clamp opposite the vise to help hold everything tight.

So, now I've started to wonder about the third use of the plywood cover...


6 comments:

  1. It wouldn't be that hard to create a simple free standing support to go under that extension. Which would also be useful for supporting long boards on your bench top without the extension.

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    1. Cool idea Badger - thanks for sharing!

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  2. Have you thought of publishing your Rules #1 to the end? I know #7 & #9 now. I would like to know the rest.
    ralph

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    1. Well, I have thought about it, but then there is Rule #10: All rule numbers are arbitrary and subject to change.

      This tends to confuse things a bit...

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  3. I'm thinking it could have some interesting uses when configured vertically...I just don't know what.

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    Replies
    1. Or maybe in a semi-reclining position for a more comfortable night's sleep...The Craftmatic Automatic Adjustable Bench!

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