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Old 11-30-2012, 07:08 PM   #1
GearHeadGrrrl OP
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Settin' up shop... Need advice!

Well, my Quota's been waiting for six months to be hooked to it's hack 'caus the best sidecar fitter in the region is way busy and the next best fitter wants to weld on the frame... No way! My airhead ST's muffler needs a half inch hole welded up too, and who knows what else is about to break... So clearly I need to upgrade my shop!

Have a 28 foot square garage to work with, and a huge living room with big southern exposed picture windows that's great for working on bikes. I'm thinking my 1st project should be a workbench big enough for a vice, drill press, band saw, bench grinder, etc. I'd like to make it narrow enough (~30") to fit through a door if I want to move it around. Should I put casters with brakes under it, or would that make it too easy to wander around when I'm really torquein' on sumpthin'? As for material, I've got a bunch of 2 by 4s, plywood, and decking left around from earlier projects- should I build the workbench from wood, or should I at least make the top out of steel in case I want to weld on it someday?

Also, any advice in what I should look for in a vise, drill press, band saw, bench grinder, etc.?

Thanks in advance, Diana
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Old 11-30-2012, 07:33 PM   #2
Strong Bad
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GearHeadGrrrl View Post
Well, my Quota's been waiting for six months to be hooked to it's hack 'caus the best sidecar fitter in the region is way busy and the next best fitter wants to weld on the frame... No way! My airhead ST's muffler needs a half inch hole welded up too, and who knows what else is about to break... So clearly I need to upgrade my shop!

Have a 28 foot square garage to work with, and a huge living room with big southern exposed picture windows that's great for working on bikes. I'm thinking my 1st project should be a workbench big enough for a vice, drill press, band saw, bench grinder, etc. I'd like to make it narrow enough (~30") to fit through a door if I want to move it around. Should I put casters with brakes under it, or would that make it too easy to wander around when I'm really torquein' on sumpthin'? As for material, I've got a bunch of 2 by 4s, plywood, and decking left around from earlier projects- should I build the workbench from wood, or should I at least make the top out of steel in case I want to weld on it someday?

Also, any advice in what I should look for in a vise, drill press, band saw, bench grinder, etc.?

Thanks in advance, Diana
Mount as solid as possible, not on casters.
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Old 11-30-2012, 07:52 PM   #3
MrBob
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For tools and advice on tools - 7 Corners Hardware in St. Paul. Just go there at least once in your life; it will be worth it.

http://www.7corners.com/
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Old 11-30-2012, 07:53 PM   #4
Walterxr650l
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When I get around to building my workbench. I plan to get a set of these castors.



They allow you to raise it up onto the wheel for moving, then drop it down onto the legs for a solid work table.

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Old 12-07-2012, 06:33 AM   #5
kantuckid
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Strong Bad View Post
Mount as solid as possible, not on casters.
I have one workbench on casters for woodworking,etc. It has a 2" thick maple top(homemade) and a steel industrial bench system underneath. The casters are swivels on one end & all 4 lockable. My other bench is all steel with vise on one end & saw chain sharpener on the other corner.no casters. You can extend the use of a steel bench to say woodworking by laying a "fastenable" plywood top on steel or use a woodworking bench for bikes , etc., by covering the "nice top" with masonite or plywood. I know that wasn't totally the OP question but my 2 cents.
My table saw,sander,20" planer & bandsaw are all on wheels via casters or the "frame with wheels thing".

kantuckid screwed with this post 12-08-2012 at 07:04 AM
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Old 11-30-2012, 08:19 PM   #6
Wolfgang55
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Check out HF in person or on line.
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Old 12-01-2012, 06:10 AM   #7
jdrocks
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GearHeadGrrrl View Post

Also, any advice in what I should look for in a vise, drill press, band saw, bench grinder, etc.?

Thanks in advance, Diana
make a list of items you want in your shop, including the workbench, familiarize yourself with what's available new and the street price, then shop the heck out of craigslist, ebay, etc. for deals at a fraction of the cost of new. the difference in price often allows you to upgrade items on your list to commercial/industrial quality. some of your items will be found in like new condition. people use it once, are done with the job etc., then can't get rid of it fast enough.

if you're welding, get a steel bench. besides the safety issue, you'll be clamping straight edges, jigs, scribing lines, and so on. found used.

in a small shop, put everything on good quality casters that lock.

if a concern at your location, get a construction type job box to lock up anything small and portable. also found used, Knaack or equal, double locking. don't leave tools handy that can be used in an attempt to get into the jobbox.

...in other words, don't chain a cutting torch to the jobbox like a superintendent of mine did several decades ago. the contents of the box were burned up, then the job trailer burned, and the super was soon referred to in the historical context.
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Old 12-01-2012, 08:05 AM   #8
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You can easily build a very solid workbench that bolts to the wall. I made mine from 2x8 that bolt to concrete anchors into the blocks that make up my garage. Drop plywood down on top and screw down with countersunk screws. Cheap, custom and heavy duty. If you want to make it a welding table just buy a sheet of steel and put that down on top. Also consider finding a SS commercial kitchen setup at auction or clist. They are usually reasonable and easy to keep clean.

For things like drill presses, band saws, vises etc, buy old and buy used. I'm talking like before 1960 old. The quality of those tools is simply unmatched by anything modern which is all made in Taiwan and China. Nothing wrong with that, but you'll appreciate working with a solid american made tool. Of course I have tools made overseas, but my American tools do the heavy lifting around the shop. Estate sales are a great place to get this stuff and usually you get it for super cheap. auctionzip.com is a good place to start for local auctions in your area. Sometimes you come home empty handed but usually there are deals to be had.
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Old 12-01-2012, 10:37 AM   #9
kubiak
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i would buy the best stuff if i was rich but im not so i buy tools and equipment based on how much im going to use it. like if you are only going to use a chopsaw once a year a harbor fright one should be fine or if you are going to make and weld all the time get a good quality welder. i buy consumables at harbor freight like sandpaper and grinding discs, primer guns and so on.
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Old 12-01-2012, 04:05 PM   #10
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More electrical outlets than you think you need.
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Old 12-13-2012, 06:44 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anorak View Post
More electrical outlets than you think you need.
this, and lots of lights with light colored walls. a lot easier to work when you can see. don't waste bench top space with a bandsaw. I have a large Ellis and a Milwaukee portoband, and I rarely use either of them. if you want to cut thin metal used a .045'' cut off wheel on a 4.5'' grinder much faster and your not dictated by throat size. if you need to make lots of cuts you could get a portoband with a base, I don't know if dewalt makes a base for theirs but I like using that one better than my milwaukee.

If you're going buy a vise get a good one the cheep ones break easily. you can not weld them back together. (actully you can but it is a total pain in the ass)

make the bench as heavy as you need it to support a LOT of weight. use 2 or 3 layers of 3/4 plywood with braces on 16'' centers with a 1/4'' steel plate on top. this will be nearly indestructable.

remember to put a shield behind your grinder to stop the wall from catching fire.
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Old 12-02-2012, 07:06 AM   #12
GearHeadGrrrl OP
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Shoppin' and Surfin' around

1. Will probably skip the casters.
2. + 7 Corners Hardware!
3. HF= Upmarket scrap metal.
4. used vs. new? Out in the country where I live everyone is a DIYer and they often bid old tools up to and beyond new price. But sometimes at the mega auctions good stuff gets ignored and you find a bargain, like my $25 Yamaha MX250.
5. Electrics= no problem! Got 220V @50 amps available in the garage.
6. Welders- only thing USA made I saw was a classic Lincoln 'tombstone" at Lowes, all their MIGs were Mexican made or worse. I hear all the Miller and Hobarts are USA made, may look at them next. Any opinions?

Nice weather here on the Buffalo Ridge, rode about 100 miles on the Guzzi Quota yesterday and checked out the farm store in Pipestone and Lowes in Brookings. May ride down to Sioux Falls today and shop around if I can stomach the holiday traffic.
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Old 12-02-2012, 09:29 AM   #13
Head2Wind
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I'm a believer in DIY and recovering what others discard to then reuse.

Here is a good example of DIY at a larger scale for both rack storage and dynamic working surfaces (aka benches):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EA1jeViV4l8
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Old 12-02-2012, 11:03 AM   #14
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Buy a Miller or Lincoln MIG, 120v so it will just plug into the wall outlet. Get one that uses shield gas not flux core wire.... It will be one of the foundation tools to build the shop fixtures. Personally I would not buy a buzz box that is typically intended for Electrode (stick) welding for the type of work you will do when fabricating the shop fixtures and then parts/pieces for motorcycles.
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Old 12-02-2012, 11:49 AM   #15
Wreckluse
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For some welding info, try this site.

http://www.weldingtipsandtricks.com/index.html
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