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Building workbench...how to level legs?



 
 
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  #1  
Old August 8th 05, 08:23 PM
Dooler
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Default Building workbench...how to level legs?

I am wanting to build a workbench, but am unsure how to handle the
slope/unevenness in my garage. Do I make one leg longer than another?
Doing this would make it unlevel if I ever move. The legs/body is
going to be from hard maple and design is based off the how-to bench
from DIY network's show woodworking.

Any thoughts or ideas?

Thanks in advance
- Clayton
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  #2  
Old August 8th 05, 08:28 PM
Lee Gordon
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You could install adjustable leveling feet in each of the legs, you could
just shim the short one(s), or you could build a level platform and set the
workbench on top of it.

Lee

--
To e-mail, replace "bucketofspam" with "dleegordon"

Lee Gordon
www.leegordonproductions.com


  #3  
Old August 8th 05, 11:58 PM
dgadams
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On Mon, 08 Aug 2005 12:23:37 -0700, Dooler wrote:

I am wanting to build a workbench, but am unsure how to handle the
slope/unevenness in my garage. Do I make one leg longer than another?
Doing this would make it unlevel if I ever move. The legs/body is
going to be from hard maple and design is based off the how-to bench
from DIY network's show woodworking.

Any thoughts or ideas?

Thanks in advance
- Clayton


I have a slope in the floor of my garage. I placed the
table perpendicular to the the slope, and used shims to
get everything level. Given the table is a couple of
hundred pounds, everything is solid and level. If you
have serious unevenness, this solution may not work.
I did consider building a raised floor for the shop tools
that I would make level. Did that once with the back
porch when we converted it to a sun room. Compound slopes
in two directions. It was tough to level out.

DGA

  #4  
Old August 9th 05, 12:23 AM
BillyBob
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"Dooler" wrote in message
...
I am wanting to build a workbench, but am unsure how to handle the
slope/unevenness in my garage. Do I make one leg longer than another?
Doing this would make it unlevel if I ever move. The legs/body is
going to be from hard maple and design is based off the how-to bench
from DIY network's show woodworking.

Any thoughts or ideas?



Well, my afternoon project is addressing this problem on my workbench. I'm
using these leveling feet available at Rockler http://tinyurl.com/9ao8v.
I'll let you know how it works out. If you really want to go beefy, see
charlie b's website at
http://home.comcast.net/~charliebcz/MT/CBbench20.html. Mine cost $2.50
each. I think Charlies are $15.00 each. Guess which one is bigger and more
heavy duty?

I found levelers on other websites similar to mine that quoted load bearing
of 300 lb each. That should be sufficient. My biggest concern is whether
they will cause the bench to slide around or not. I'll let you know.

BTW, my workbench is solid maple with 2 1/4" thick maple top, but its small
(28" x 54"). With its heavy bench vise and a drawer full of planes I am
guessing it weighs about 120 lb.

The DIY bench calls for mounting the vise directly to the edge of the bench.
I recommend you mortise the rear jaw into the bench and below the surface.
That allows you to have one continuous surface on top and the rear jaw of
the vise is part of a continuous surface with your bench apron. I put a 4'"
x 3/4" apron on my bench and extended it across the rear vise jaw. Its makes
for a much friendlier clamping situation.

Bob


  #5  
Old August 9th 05, 12:37 AM
Lew Hodgett
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"Dooler" wrote:


I am wanting to build a workbench, but am unsure how to handle the
slope/unevenness in my garage. Do I make one leg longer than another?
Doing this would make it unlevel if I ever move. The legs/body is
going to be from hard maple and design is based off the how-to bench
from DIY network's show woodworking.

Any thoughts or ideas?



If I were faced with that problem, I'd build the bench with all legs the
same length/

Then cut 4 extra pieces of leg material, say 12"-18" long.

Put the bench in place and then using a small hydraulic jack and some
shim packs made from say 1/4" plywood, (The shim pack can be say 2"x6"),
level the bench.

When you have the bench totally level. then clamp a 12"-18" piece to
each leg so that it touches the floor and clamp in place with some C-Clamps.

Wait about 2 weeks, recheck bench for level. If level, bolt leg and
piece together with some 3/8 bolts and large fender washers, then remove
clamp.

SFWIW, ever wonder how they level out a 20 ton boat when they put it in
a cradle or a house when they move it?

Same way.

Lew
  #6  
Old August 9th 05, 01:24 AM
Lew Hodgett
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Lew Hodgett wrote:

If I were faced with that problem, I'd build the bench with all legs the
same length/

Then cut 4 extra pieces of leg material, say 12"-18" long.

Put the bench in place and then using a small hydraulic jack and some
shim packs made from say 1/4" plywood, (The shim pack can be say 2"x6"),
level the bench.

When you have the bench totally level. then clamp a 12"-18" piece to
each leg so that it touches the floor and clamp in place with some
C-Clamps.

Wait about 2 weeks, recheck bench for level. If level, bolt leg and
piece together with some 3/8 bolts and large fender washers, then remove
clamp.

SFWIW, ever wonder how they level out a 20 ton boat when they put it in
a cradle or a house when they move it?

Same way.


What I describe above comes under the heading of BFU (Butt F**K Ugly)

Use only the shim packs.

If you make them 3x6 the you can turn successive layer 90 degrees.

Another approach is to drill a hole in the bottom of the leg, then
install a 1/2-13 S/S Tee nut, then screw in a 1/2-13 x 3"-4" S/S
carriage bolt with a lock nut.

If you are on a concrete floor this works, a wood floor, stay with the
shim packs.

Lew

  #7  
Old August 9th 05, 01:56 AM
BillyBob
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"Lew Hodgett" wrote in message
ink.net...

Put the bench in place and then using a small hydraulic jack and some
shim packs made from say 1/4" plywood, (The shim pack can be say 2"x6"),
level the bench.


I would think that 1/4" is way too thick to make fine adjustments on bench
level. As little as a 1/16" inch can make the difference between rock solid
and wobble (depends on how far apart the legs are but not much).

Bob


  #8  
Old August 9th 05, 02:19 AM
Lew Hodgett
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BillyBob wrote:



I would think that 1/4" is way too thick to make fine adjustments on bench
level. As little as a 1/16" inch can make the difference between rock solid
and wobble (depends on how far apart the legs are but not much).



So include some shims from a door skin.

Lew
  #9  
Old August 9th 05, 02:43 AM
Prometheus
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On Mon, 08 Aug 2005 12:23:37 -0700, Dooler
wrote:

I am wanting to build a workbench, but am unsure how to handle the
slope/unevenness in my garage. Do I make one leg longer than another?
Doing this would make it unlevel if I ever move. The legs/body is
going to be from hard maple and design is based off the how-to bench
from DIY network's show woodworking.

Any thoughts or ideas?


The way I leveled my router table was to get four 3/4" bolts and
matching nuts from the hardware store, and use them as heavy-duty
levelers. Basically, I just drilled a 3/4" hole in the bottom of each
leg as deep as the bolt could go, then a slightly larger hole for the
nut to fit into. Six taps with the chisel turned that larger hole
into a nice hex-shaped mortise, and then the legs could be leveled
with a wrench no matter where I put it.

You can buy levelers as well, but this approach seemed more sturdy.
FWIW, I wouldn't make the legs different sizes. At worst, you're
better off just shimming them.
  #10  
Old August 9th 05, 03:04 AM
BillyBob
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"Prometheus" wrote in message
...

The way I leveled my router table was to get four 3/4" bolts and
matching nuts from the hardware store, and use them as heavy-duty
levelers.


I like your idea. If I had seen it originally, I wouldn't have wasted the
money on levelers.

Bob


 




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