Paul Sellers Workbench

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  • #15194
    Lee Marrett
    Participant

    Hi there,

    I’m still working towards getting started on the Paul Sellers Workbench and trying to get a materials list.

    In Paul’s book, the bench top’s dimensions are 10 1/2″ by 1 1/2″. He says by using 2×3″ pieces that will mean you need 7 of them laminated to get the 10 1/2″.

    All well and good, but through the rest of the chapter Paul goes on to construct the bench out of *6* pieces. Watching his youtube series he also constructs the bench out of 6.

    How have other people constructed the workbench bench top?

    Auckland, New Zealand

    #15195
    Steve Follis
    Participant

    Hey Lee

    There are some variations in the bench that is in the Book/DVD series vs. the Blog/YouTube series. The main difference is the double work surface vs. the single. I made my bench with the single work surface and 66″ wide.

    I found both resources very helpful. The bench is totally scalable so you can make it to suit your own personal needs and space. I actually used two 4×8 beams to make up my primary work surface instead of the 2×4’s.

    Best of luck to you and keep us posted on the build. Be sure and post pictures of your progress!

    Memphis, Tennessee

    #15196
    Jeffrey Davis
    Participant

    There’s a size difference between the framing lumber in the United States and framing lumber in Europe and England. I think that the 2x3s in Europe are actually 2″ thick, so he needs to use less of them.

    I’m working on building Paul’s bench that he put on youtube and I’m going to be laminating 8 pieces together.

    #15198
    Lee Marrett
    Participant

    I think I’m OK with making a single work surface. What is the best thing to do? To look at the overall dimensions of the bench and choose your pieces based on the dimensions of the timber available locally?

    Auckland, New Zealand

    #15199
    BrianJ
    Participant

    I just finished the bench build, I used 2×4 which ended up 1-1/2″ after truing, and I used 7 plus the apron thickness which gave me a 12″ top. Seem okay, just going to put vice in this week to give her a spin. There’s lots of help here, so good luck on your build.
    Brian

    Ontario, Canada

    #15200

    Lee I was a little confused abbut this also. If you look at the pictures the laminations for the actual top is made up of 6 lengths of 3×2 and the seventh one is the apron which is 3 lengths of 3×2 laminated.

    #15201
    Lee Marrett
    Participant

    Pat! I think you might be right 🙂 It seems a little weird though, as looking through the list of measurements for each of the components, “bench top” is listed separately from “aprons” and he never hints that the aprons would contribute to the final width of the benchtop.

    I think this is a pretty logical conclusion to make though, so thanks very much.

    Auckland, New Zealand

    #15204
    George Bridgeman
    Participant

    Looks like you’ve gotten to the bottom of the confusion. As others have mentioned, size the top to whatever you need and adjust the tool well to suit. It’s a very flexible design!

    Following the book and DVD, I used eight pieces of 2×4, which are actually around 1 3/4 x 3 5/8″, plus the front apron, which adds another 1 1/2″. The whole top is 15 3/4″ wide, which is plenty of space for most things.

    George.

    "To know and not do is to not know"

    #15245
    Lee Marrett
    Participant

    Upon further studying of the book last night, I don’t think Pat’s right on this one. Paul says “the laminated pieces of the bench top should make up a section 10 1/2″ wide. Therefore, using 3″ deep x 1 1/2″ thick stock you will need seven lengths.”

    7 x 1 1/2″ = 10 1/2″

    However he’s using 6 lengths in the video and the book.

    I get that I can adjust, but for me the toughest part about any of my woodworking projects is always making sure I have all the dimensions and materials correct before I start.

    If he’s using 6 lengths, which part of the build has he changed? Does that mean he’s made the bearers and the two rails shorter? Or made the wellboard narrower and kept those the same.

    George it’s good to see you ended up making some adjustments. With your wider benchtop, what adjustments did you end up making with the rest of the workbench?

    Auckland, New Zealand

    #15257
    George Bridgeman
    Participant

    The only other adjustment needed was making the tool well narrower – everything else is the same. After attaching the aprons, I put the bench top in place, then measured and cut the board for the tool well. Once you’ve got the two frames assembled and the aprons attached you can make the rest up as you go, depending on your own requirements.

    I completely understand your position about wanting to know exactly what materials are required and getting them all sorted out. I’m the same, but less so now. I’m a computer programmer by trade, so I think a lot of the mindset carries over – the need for clarity of requirements, tools, materials, etc. The toughest part of woodworking for me is letting all that go away. Woodworking plans aren’t a rigid specification – they’re more of a guide.

    Once the leg frames and aprons are assembled, which governs the overall width of the bench, the number of lengths being used for the laminated top only changes the width of the top. If you use more, the top will be wider. You can use as many as you like, up to the distance between the two aprons. The bearers support the bench top and their length is determined by the distance between the aprons, so they won’t change if you use a wider or narrower top. Once you decide how many lengths to use for the top, the empty space between the back of the top and the rear apron is the tool well, which can be ripped to width as required. You may change your mind once you laminate the top and put it in place.

    Sorry if I rambled a bit! Hope this helps.

    George.

    "To know and not do is to not know"

    #15264
    BarryB
    Participant

    Upon further studying of the book last night, I don’t think Pat’s right on this one. Paul says “the laminated pieces of the bench top should make up a section 10 1/2″ wide. Therefore, using 3″ deep x 1 1/2″ thick stock you will need seven lengths.”

    7 x 1 1/2″ = 10 1/2″

    However he’s using 6 lengths in the video and the book. <snip>

    I believe Paul mentions in one of the youtube videos that he’s using 2×3 stock but it’s fuller dimension (in the UK) than what’s available in North America where a 2×4 is actually 1 1/2 x 3 1/2. Just make your laminated top so it’s final width is about 10 1/2″, giving approximately a 12″ finished width when including the apron.

    Here in Canada i used 7 2×4’s and ended up a bit under 10 1/2″ after planeing, which will give me about a 12″ finished width after assembly including the apron.

    Hope this helps!
    Barry

    New Brunswick, Canada

    #15268
    jgust747
    Participant

    I guess I just look at it a little different. The only thing that governs the with of the bench is the leg stretchers. i glued up the bench top aprons and tool well then took the measurements to get the total with for the leg stretchers. You have to count for the apron housing dado’s to get the final dimension.

    I think it’s mentioned on every project to make your own measurements and not completely rely on the ones shown in the videos.

    Dallas, Texas

    #15272
    robinhc
    Participant

    If he’s using 6 lengths, which part of the build has he changed? Does that mean he’s made the bearers and the two rails shorter? Or made the wellboard narrower and kept those the same

    It’s the well-board. The well-board is custom fit after the bearer and benchtop are made. The design is very forgiving in this regard. You do not have worry about making the benchtop too wide or too narrow. Just remember not to cut your well-board to final width until after the rest is built. Hope this helps.

    Robin ... Richmond, Virginia, USA

    #15294
    Lee Marrett
    Participant

    Thanks everyone, I really appreciate all the feedback. Yes, of course I will take my own measurements but at this early stage in my career having a solid set of numbers that match up with the experience I’m watching and reading about helps me make sure I don’t make any stupid mistakes. Like George I’m a computer guy and having these details match up helps my brain focus 🙂

    All your input has been extremely helpful!

    Auckland, New Zealand

    #19289
    NikonD80
    Participant

    Hi Lee. I’m a fellow computer guy and I found it really helpful to ‘make’ the bench in SketchUp first. Nothing clever or fancy, I just made up a quick and dirty model so I could ‘walk’ round it and get it all fixed in my head. I’m now drawing up a set of plans on paper so I’ll (a) have something to refer to in the workshop and (b) be certain of what direction I want to go in. The reason for all my faffing is that I’m building my bench at around 6′ x 2’6″ and am using reclaimed timber. I really wish Paul would give us a tour of his bench as he seems to have all sorts of cubby holes and storage tucked away in it that I suspect most of us would probably like to implement.

    Keep Calm and have a Cup of Tea

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