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Thread: The Luthiers Workbench - pics?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
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    177

    Default The Luthiers Workbench - pics?

    What kind of workbench do you all use?

    I am planning the bench build for my new workshop & have been doing a lot of reading. I'll be building furniture as well as ukes so was planning on a traditional european style bench, but then I got The Workbench Book by Scott Landis which has a section on lutherie in it.

    He says that generally the luthiers bench is quite a bit higher due to the nature of the work & often times is cobbled together with plywood & 2x4s, with old cabinet drawers shoehorned in. He figures this is due to the scale at which they work & "are often neophytes when it comes to furniture - & the workbench is essentially a piece of furniture, so they tend to be rough hewn."

    The benches at CF Martin are cabinet makers benches with special jigs fitted to the vices.

    The book had one excellent example of a purpose built bench. Richard Schneiders bench (scroll down one page to view) was relatively narrow & had a cut out on one end. He would build his guitars on building boards which he would attach to one of the "outriggers". This was he could access the work from 3 sides & actually keep it off the bench, which was used for holding tools, etc.

    I'm thinking of a bench that splits the difference in work height, then makes it up with a box that lives underneath the shelf in order to get elevated for planing large pieces...

    What kind of benches are you all using?
    S.
    sharp21

    ...and now on Soundcloud!

    " Baritone chords are the same as Soprano chords. Only the names have been changed to protect the instrument"

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    St Louis, MO
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    Default

    I can't take a photo of my bench because its covered with junk. I think there's still a bench under there somewhere

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Wales, UK
    Posts
    3,650

    Default

    My benches are firedoors on top of kitchen cabinets. Makes everything the right height for me and allows me to replace, build a workshop quickly.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Fairfield, CA
    Posts
    606

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ksquine View Post
    I can't take a photo of my bench because its covered with junk. I think there's still a bench under there somewhere
    +1. I could post a pic of my benches, but you wouldn't see much bench.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Big Island, Hawaii
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    Decide how you want to work first. I wanted to make things easy on my back and my eyes so I made all my benches 40" high. Sometimes I work standing, other times I'm sitting on a tall bar chair/stool. Seems ideal for me. An inch or two can make all the difference in the world if you plan of putting in long hours at the bench. You might even consider different heights for different tasks.
    Pete's idea is a good one as it is infinitely adjustable. You could play around with different arrangements and heights.
    Chuck Moore
    Moore Bettah Ukuleles
    http://www.moorebettahukes.com

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Brown County Indiana
    Posts
    7,227

    Default

    http://www.youtube.com/user/hoosierhiver

    UWC: no shirt, no shoes, no problem..

    Ukes questions should be emailed to mike@mainlandukes.com

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    177

    Default

    I'll be building furniture as well & definitely have aspirations towards a "proper" bench.

    As the bench height is preferred to be lower for planing, or at about wrist height, I thought I would build it +5" from there, then have a full length 5" box that slides under the shelf. That way I'll have the higher bench for uke building while still being able to adjust my planing height!

    I was also thinking of adding 4 holes on one end to attach a go bar deck directly to the bench. Its a small space so I am looking at versatility.
    S.
    sharp21

    ...and now on Soundcloud!

    " Baritone chords are the same as Soprano chords. Only the names have been changed to protect the instrument"

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Big Island, Hawaii
    Posts
    4,282

    Default

    If space is tight consider using a deep cabinet over part of your bench to act as a go-deck.
    Chuck Moore
    Moore Bettah Ukuleles
    http://www.moorebettahukes.com

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Los Alamitos, CA
    Posts
    83

    Default

    My bench is made from 2 stacked 4x8' sheets of Maple Plywood with a maple hardwood trim around the edge. The legs were from a pile of 2 X 4's I had on hand.
    I wanted to be able to walk around the whole table and this gives me several work stations on one bench. It is a very sturdy and heavy bench.

    Attachment 29086Attachment 29087Attachment 29088
    Kamaka HF-3 Tenor Ukulele
    Kala Acacia Soprano
    Kamaka Pineapple
    Kala KA-TG

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Corndale , Australia
    Posts
    8

    Default

    My advice is to take your time to plan your bench.Treat it like a new instrument and plan it all out .Don't scrimp on materials and build it strong and accurate.Remember that everything you build after it will be built on your new bench.So flatten and smooth the top to a high degree.Allow a system to lift your bench top height.It doesn't have to be high tech,simple as putting blocks under the legs but it will make your bench work better for you.
    Attachment 29091Attachment 29092Attachment 29093Attachment 29094Attachment 29090

    Micheal.

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