How much does your workbench weigh?

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merrill77

Master Scrap Maker
Chris
Well, the question I'm really asking is, how much does it NEED to weigh to stay put during the typical hand tool operations - planing boards, etc. ?

I'm working on plans for a proper workbench (someday) and at the moment the design calls for about 46 bdft which will come to about 150 lbs based on a mix of red and white oak that I have on hand. That doesn't include the storage I want to build into the base.

TIA!
Chris

(my current workbench is some particle board bolted onto a bunch of cabinets that are packed with tools...it doesn't budge)
 

junquecol

Bruce
Senior User
My current bench is a solid core 3-0 X 7-0 door on a leg set made from 2 X 4's. Door weighs close to 80# by it's self. I can beat on it, screw fixtures and work to it, and not worry about keeping resale value- it has none. It even has a couple of saw cuts in face of it. Try that with a "fancy bench.:rotflm:" Mine was built to meet my needs:gar-Bi.
 

kooshball

David
Corporate Member
Mine is 200-250 lbs including the vises and the tools I have stored on the shelf underneath. For me this is a good weight; it only moves when I want it to and one person (me) can manage to move it out away from the wall if needed.
 

eyekode

New User
Salem
With a sharp iron I don't think a 150lb bench with good leg design will move a bit.

Right now I have somewhere near there on flimsy plastic saw horses and it does not move when planing. It does however sway around when traversing or sawing. Good legs should fix that.
Salem
 

Gotcha6

Dennis
Staff member
Corporate Member
Although the weight is a crucial component of good work bench design, rigidity is the more crucial aspect. A lighter bench that is well braced from racking would be better than a heavy one that sways with use.
 

timf67

New User
Tim
Mine has a 3" thick maple top with 6" walnut skirts, and a trestle base made of 4"x4" red oak. With the vises, it weighs close to 500lbs and I've never had any issues with it moving on me. I agree with Dennis however that while weight is important, rigidity is the key.
 

Mike Davis

Mike
Corporate Member
I have clamped a board to my table saw and hand planed it. The saw didn't move but boy did I sweat!
 

bluedawg76

New User
Sam
my bench weighs in at ~200lbs (~55bd ft syp + vice hardware + underneath storage) and it doesn't budge! Planing, sawing, chopping mortises, etc, it doesn't move.
 

bigcat4t9r

New User
Randy
My Holtzapfel weighs.....A LOT. 3" ash top with SYP base (3x6 legs IIRC). With the LV twin screw vise and jorgie end vise, combined with the 2" cherry T&G shelf, it is heavy and stiff. It is challenging for me (at 250 lbs) to move it, so I'd guess its ~350 lbs. It about killed me to lift it up off its side after installing the face vise, and I hadn't put the shelf in yet, which added a surprising amount of lbs.
 

TBradley190

New User
Tim
Mine is an old woodshop class bench from a high school with 2 3/4" laminated maple top (3'x5') and with four vises on the corners. I modified the vises with 3" maple clamps and moved one to the end and made a set of bench dogs for it. It's about 250 lbs, took two of us to get off the truck but I love it. It still has the metal legs and cross braces, and some day I plan to make a closed-in base for tool storage.

Tim
 

Gotcha6

Dennis
Staff member
Corporate Member
Chris, if weight is important to you in a bench, there are some members here that made their benches with a bordered shelf on the lower rails and stretcher for bags of play sand, cinder blocks or other ballast material to be placed into.
HTH.
 

Jim M.

Woody
Corporate Member
My bench is slightly smaller than most, because of my shop size, it probably weighs somewhere between 125 to 130 lbs (it still may be carrying some holiday weight). I've never had an issue with movement. But any bench with a good leg design and cross braces which spreads the load evenly among the legs shouldn't move a bit. Jim
 

KenOfCary

Ken
Staff member
Corporate Member
I'm not completely sure. The top is on sawhorses right now and is 5x18x90". That's about 55 board feet and the undercarriage and legs will add another 25 or so bf. How much does a bf of Maple weigh? I'm guessing finished it will be around 300 lbs. I can only lift half of it at a time even without the legs on it yet.

I intended for it to be very heavy and sturdy.

- Ken.
 

merrill77

Master Scrap Maker
Chris
Sounds like I'll probably be fine at 150lbs and certainly so when I add cabinets and fill them with tools.

Thanks for all the replies!
 

richlife

New User
Rich
Although the weight is a crucial component of good work bench design, rigidity is the more crucial aspect. A lighter bench that is well braced from racking would be better than a heavy one that sways with use.

I think this advice from Dennis is the most crucial single recommendation that you got. No matter how heavy, bolted to the floor or not, regardless of the material used or the activity involved, if it moves internally to itself, it's a goner. Insure your bench will not rack and you will have a solid bench.

Mine is not especially heavy (loaded up, I doubt it gets to 150 lbs). Due to my small shop, it went with a small bench (3'x4'). The top is 2 pieces of 3/4" plywood glued together (which is most of the weight). Someday I'll get around to replacing that with maple, but this has worked well for years. (Removing 4 bolts is all I need to replace the top -- oh, and the maple top.) The trestle design base with shelf is like a brick without the top. With the top... Well, it may creep a couple of inches if worked really hard, but I generally don't even realize that until I'm done.

Rich
 

merrill77

Master Scrap Maker
Chris
Thanks, all, for the feedback! I don't think I need to put any further thought into the weight of the bench - it'll be plenty heavy. And more so when I load the bottom up with tools.

I'm aware that rigidity is key and it'll be one of my top design criteria.

My shop is too small to bolt a bench to the floor. Everything needs to be mobile.
 

jhreed

New User
james
God bless solid core doors. I got 3 from Phil. They were commercial grade, 1-1/2" thick 3-0 x 7-0. The door handle hole comes in handy for electrical cords.
James
 

richlife

New User
Rich
God bless solid core doors. I got 3 from Phil. They were commercial grade, 1-1/2" thick 3-0 x 7-0. The door handle hole comes in handy for electrical cords.
James

This brings up another related point. I finally figured out (years ago) that hanging a 4-outlet box down from the ceiling (within code) and/or mounting one right under one or more edges takes care of all the cord issues. No cords dangle, tangle, trip or trap and the outlet is right there where I want it. Difinitely a consideration for a bench.

Rich
 
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