Making a workbench or two the saga.

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Tim Mellor
Posts: 560
Joined: Wed May 29, 2019 2:27 am
Location: Shipwreck Coast, Victoria
Country: Australia
Nickname: beanflying
Laser Machine Make or Type: Vollerun WR3020
Laser Power: 40W
Laser Bed Size: 300x200
Home Position: TR
RDWorks Version: n/a
Windows Version: 10
Accessories: Modded and still Modding some more.

This is kind of Chicken and the Egg problem but you need a workbench and or flat surface to make a workbench or two. The Saga begins.....

I am trying to separate out my Messy gear (Wood and Metal working and a larger CNC Router) from the clean mainly Electronic gear, 3D Printers and Lasers. So to do this I need to make a new Roof for a run down Garage involving new Trusses Roofing and all the usual bits to do this sort of job.

All I had was two fairly rusted old workmates with broken water damaged MDF tops and a lump of Ply to put on top and while this sort of would work it was a PITA and likely to all fall over so time to make a new FLAT bench with my newly acquired Tracksaw and other assorted hand and power tools. The Bosch drill is new too and while has a few short comings is a very useful good tool.

The initial two benches are based on some folding frames I made and still use from time to time for LPG burners for Paella and BBQ but it made sense to double use them in this case. The single burner tip up frame doesn't get used more or less ever so it is becoming a Dog Holed Tracksaw cutting station and bench (CAD sketch below).

Bench #1 is made from Construction Ply and two layers on top so 34mm (1 1/2") thick and the purpose was to made a strong very flat work platform to drop over the frame. That way I can use it to make other FLAT things and if you have ever tried to make something flat on a twisted curved bench then you will understand. The sides in conjunction with the Aluminium frame make it very strong and great to clamp work to. A few routed cut away sections to fit to the frames rather than mod them from the current purpose. The underlying folding parts are modified Cafe Table mechanisms. Finish is just three coats of some tinted Water based Varnish I had laying around.

This one completed and a bit of mileage on the Tracksaw made me realize some of the issues with getting accurate 90 degree cuts in particular on smaller bits of timber so time to build a pseudo Festool MFT bench and general Dog Bench.

Laminating up (3 layers for 40mm thickness) and accurately finishing the edges of the MDF went along well with the recently tweaked #5 Plane finishing off the job. Made just over size (1mm on each face), routed close to size then finished with the plane on edge. Then to the Oak edging and associated Miters on the ends. I needed a detour to make a Miter Box. Two layers of Marine grade 18mm for the base and single Layers for the sides, marked out twice and kept very 90-0 to get a better result. Cut, Trim and Plane the ends to final fit then clamp glue and plane to the MDF inner. This edging is not for measuring to just for protecting the MDF in use in particular the 0-0 datum point. Routed over the edges and a quick sand then drilled the mounting screw holes to fit the existing frame. This one is progressing well and today got the edges planed routed and mounting holes done. Markout for the dogs is a work in progress.

When finished this dog bench will get used to make the Saw Horses and Associated Larger Dog benchtop (also shown below) then on to the Truss Production and Garage Refurb.

So what does this have to do with a Laser Forum? I need a larger area for this Messy gear so I can build a Larger Laser this year and also a Larger workbench to make it on viewtopic.php?f=159&t=4147 is the plan with a March/April starting time. It is also likely that this Larger Laser will live in the Garage to keep the Electronics one Cleaner. Between my CNC and this Laser will use a lot of Floor Space.

So maybe it is more like research the DNA of a Chicken to decide if the Egg or the Animal came first whatever it was it is now Beer O'Clock :?
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Tim Mellor
Posts: 560
Joined: Wed May 29, 2019 2:27 am
Location: Shipwreck Coast, Victoria
Country: Australia
Nickname: beanflying
Laser Machine Make or Type: Vollerun WR3020
Laser Power: 40W
Laser Bed Size: 300x200
Home Position: TR
RDWorks Version: n/a
Windows Version: 10
Accessories: Modded and still Modding some more.

More work on the Saga today and a couple of the issues expected due to equipment I have will require a couple of detours to sort out but the bench is now ready to cut material and use when I give it a little surface protection. The Trench is for a sacrificial bit of MDF where the Tracksaw cut line sits to save needing a packer to preserve the bench.

EDIT: After two days of Rain and Stormy weather I got around to cutting and fitting the sacrificial cutting area for the tracksaw. 19mm by 6mm deep. It should last a fair while. The extra routed area to the side to help with removal in hind sight wasn't really needed unless I was to make a strip to the limits of the half circles

My new Bosch has a 120mm throat clearance so it can't get to the holes I need to drill in the centre of the table. So into Fusion to roll an open throat version. I will be using the Laser to make the MDF templates to then hold a flush trim Router bit against for final size and a 3D printed collar bolted into the two layers of marine Ply to hold the drill. Two halves due to my small Laser then rejoined after cutting and engraving. Also making a more 'normal' handle for it but the wheel is 'ok' so no rush for that one.

Minor finishing problem for the holes to stop breakout and cuts on the sharp edges. I designed this some weeks ago was a 20mm chamfer cutter as the commercial ones are stupid expensive and as a Lefty would be a PITA to use. So a little more Fusion and built to take a little Tungsten Carbide cutter for the hard work.

Then maybe onto the Saw Horses and larger bench......
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Tim Mellor
Posts: 560
Joined: Wed May 29, 2019 2:27 am
Location: Shipwreck Coast, Victoria
Country: Australia
Nickname: beanflying
Laser Machine Make or Type: Vollerun WR3020
Laser Power: 40W
Laser Bed Size: 300x200
Home Position: TR
RDWorks Version: n/a
Windows Version: 10
Accessories: Modded and still Modding some more.

Due to some 'stuff' getting in the way of my life this detour has taken a lot longer than it should have.

The 6mm MDF Laser cut worked fairly well but next time around with my currently limiting 40W I will drop back to thinner stock. Base is two layers of 18mm Marine Plywood laminated, rough jigsaw cut over size then trimmed with the little palm router. Holes drilled with TCT holesaws as shown and the Bosch coped really well even with the 4" one.

I did a final tweak to the 3D printed flange based on the timber final sizing as to be expected it wasn't exactly as advertised on the packet. I did actually print a small 10mm high section to test fit the shaft of the drill based on me allowing 0.3mm oversize on the print which was nicely snug. The drill on the finished item take a slight push into the bush plus the weight of the drill so it is very snug ;)

The Print for those with printers is 6 layers and 30% infill and made from just over 80m of PLA and took 20 hours to print. With both the bolts and drill shaft going through there is really zero risk of shearing along the layer lines so I could have reduced the plastic but for a one off it doesn't matter.

The 8mm Knurl Nuts worked well when I broke out Bertha the Beast. She is a 220W 110V Lump of Iron out of Detroit running on a stepdown transformer for our 240V. If you get some to try then as pictured a longer bolt as a guide/90 degree pin works great. For smaller ones 3-5mm I generally use my 80W Electronics Iron to insert them.

Last two days here have been well of 40C on the bench so time for a Beer or Three. I actually had to put the printer bed and print in the fridge to get it released as generally you wait until it cools down :D

Finishing in Shellac then a few coats of Wax and Oil I think ....
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User avatar
Tim Mellor
Posts: 560
Joined: Wed May 29, 2019 2:27 am
Location: Shipwreck Coast, Victoria
Country: Australia
Nickname: beanflying
Laser Machine Make or Type: Vollerun WR3020
Laser Power: 40W
Laser Bed Size: 300x200
Home Position: TR
RDWorks Version: n/a
Windows Version: 10
Accessories: Modded and still Modding some more.

Finally with a sensible break in the weather away from 45, 42C and 40mm of rain on the third day I have had a chance to recover and finish off and test the drill base which also got the little Dog Holed bench ready for a coat of Shellac. Depending on the length of the drill I can get out into the middle of a panel and drill 30-50mm below the bottom of the base. For anything likely to grab or in the case of the 20mm Forstner bit holes shown the base needs clamping down to stop the drill lifting until they sort out rare earth wood magnets ;)

Changing it back to the stock base which I will keep for metal and dirty use is just a case of undo a single grubscrew.
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Gene Uselman
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Location: Suburban Minneapolis, Minnesota, US
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Nickname: Gene
Laser Machine Make or Type: QC
Laser Power: 130W
Laser Bed Size: 900x1300
Home Position: TR
Control Software: LIGHTBURN
RDWorks Version: RDw .19 & Lightburn
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Accessories: I have a combining lenses, pin tables [homebuilt], honeycomb tables , wireless remote, Modifed Ultimate Air Assist, home built non-powered rotary device, PrusaMK4 and Mini Prusa printers.

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User avatar
Tim Mellor
Posts: 560
Joined: Wed May 29, 2019 2:27 am
Location: Shipwreck Coast, Victoria
Country: Australia
Nickname: beanflying
Laser Machine Make or Type: Vollerun WR3020
Laser Power: 40W
Laser Bed Size: 300x200
Home Position: TR
RDWorks Version: n/a
Windows Version: 10
Accessories: Modded and still Modding some more.

Even though I am an Elec Eng I have a fairly Practical Engineering background so the Brain thinks in terms of jigs, fixtures and idiot proof ways to get a job done better with less work ;)

Todays Sunshine and Sawdust (Spotted Gum for Garden Furniture Rebuilding) might see another side project come before the round overs on lots of cut sharp edges. I actually added a drill table idea to the new base last week and then tweaked it to include my little Makita cordless router.

Going to do some of the routing this afternoon and decide how great is the NEED for the table. NEED makes sense but I want to get the job done and finished :roll:
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User avatar
Tim Mellor
Posts: 560
Joined: Wed May 29, 2019 2:27 am
Location: Shipwreck Coast, Victoria
Country: Australia
Nickname: beanflying
Laser Machine Make or Type: Vollerun WR3020
Laser Power: 40W
Laser Bed Size: 300x200
Home Position: TR
RDWorks Version: n/a
Windows Version: 10
Accessories: Modded and still Modding some more.

Also off one of the printers today and tested is the 20mm Bench Dog Champher tool I designed a while ago. Really needed to do this to the dog holes prior to Shellac. Small Tungsten Lathe insert is the cutter, flush mounted into the print.

Left Handed Version produced ;)

EDIT: Proper test out this morning and all the little pig tails peeled of nicely :D
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User avatar
Tim Mellor
Posts: 560
Joined: Wed May 29, 2019 2:27 am
Location: Shipwreck Coast, Victoria
Country: Australia
Nickname: beanflying
Laser Machine Make or Type: Vollerun WR3020
Laser Power: 40W
Laser Bed Size: 300x200
Home Position: TR
RDWorks Version: n/a
Windows Version: 10
Accessories: Modded and still Modding some more.

Router/Drill base jumped into the saga. Two layers of 16mm MDF laminated together about 300x600. Hole drilled neatly with the modded Bosch 8mm in from one side then flipped to drill the rest to stop blowing out the face.

T slot trenches routed with the help of my Mother Bench Dog. Now covered in MDF dust and had a walk time to give her back to jump on Mum's bed and share the days experience :twisted:
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User avatar
Tim Mellor
Posts: 560
Joined: Wed May 29, 2019 2:27 am
Location: Shipwreck Coast, Victoria
Country: Australia
Nickname: beanflying
Laser Machine Make or Type: Vollerun WR3020
Laser Power: 40W
Laser Bed Size: 300x200
Home Position: TR
RDWorks Version: n/a
Windows Version: 10
Accessories: Modded and still Modding some more.

Some time later due to life getting in the way. :roll:

Finished Shellacking and Waxing the small cutting bench. Made the Bench and Tracksaw dogs for it and as of now it has made the first few cuts :) The first major gouge into the surface of the Bench is really going to hurt.

So all ready when I get to the Large Laser build I have a nice simple way to accurately cut T-Track and meanwhile breaking down stock for my little Laser or woodworking jobs just got quicker more accurate and easier. :)

The different height tops are for different thickness material. Single Phillips screw to swap them over but I might make the additional bases to save even that small job and give myself some additional dogs to use.
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User avatar
Tim Mellor
Posts: 560
Joined: Wed May 29, 2019 2:27 am
Location: Shipwreck Coast, Victoria
Country: Australia
Nickname: beanflying
Laser Machine Make or Type: Vollerun WR3020
Laser Power: 40W
Laser Bed Size: 300x200
Home Position: TR
RDWorks Version: n/a
Windows Version: 10
Accessories: Modded and still Modding some more.

Detour just about finished after being finally able to buy some Alcohol to mix up some more Shellac. Still to be fitted will be an autostart switch for the Vacuum and a bit more final plumbing for the vacuum/cyclone.

Gratuitous and excessive Laser use making Acrylic Router Jigs and Templates was called for too ;)
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