• Made the mistake of stopping by HF today to pick up some sandpaper. Bad idea! 45mins later i leave the store with a belt sander, extra belts, new 12pc file set, forstner bit set, extension cord, new hand saw and a receipt the length of my arm! Oh and NO sanding sheets!! Could have been so much worse but its not payday til friday.
    • Heh, that was like walking into the candy store planning on buying one jelly bean. :)

      Even if you already have a vice, put one of these on your HF shopping list:

      and when your on your way home after you get it, stop by a 2nd hand store and pick up a 2" wide leather belt - glue strips of leather on the jaws faces. You'll thank me latter.

    • Thanks Clark. At the moment im using a workmate style bench and a combination for clamps to hold pieces in place. Seems to be working well so far but when i get a proper work bench it will have at least one vice. I like the tip of the leather soft jaws. ☺
    • Nothing wrong with a workmate, I do a lot of work on mine.

    • I'm not that tall but creeping up on 70, I can relate to the stooping over. 2 of my 3 indoor work benches are just these tables:

      One with a 4' x 8' x 1/2" MDF top and one with a 1" thick phenolic lab table top slab (for free). The tops of these tables are rather flimsy but frames are sturdy and they do hold a surprising amount of weight. But I usually sit down when working there.

      In my garage, I built a heavy 10' long work bench out of 2x6 on one side but on the other I just bought one of these:

      Which are about the same price range as a higher end workmate (which mine isn't). It's very sturdy but I used about a half of a quart of brush on poly sealing off the MDF tops - it just soaks it up like a sponge.

      Of coarse, you have to have the space for it.

    • Just curious...why seal the MDF? I've always figured that it was a workbench, not furniture. My experience with sealed tops was that they were too slick and the last thing I want is for my work pieces to slide off the bench top. Of course, I'm 90% hand tools (old Stanley planes, etc.) so keeping things still is critical.

    • In my case, I live in west central Florida where, in the summer (like now) the humidity is so thick it's "air you can wear" and MDF does poorly in high humidity settings. Plus, my garage is a detached steel building and during the winters here - mild as they are, the steel forms condensation that drips down from the roof in between the insulation.

      Other than that, I work with all sorts of oils, waxes, paraffin etc. that will soak into raw MDF and could possible transfer on to wood that I work with. If it's sealed, I can just wipe it up with some mineral spirits or naphtha or even soapy water. Some MDF (like the 3/4") is fairly slick when raw and new anyway.

    • Gotcha. N. AL here, so I'm a little familiar with humidity, but in my wood-framed, uninsulated shop, I haven't had the issue you describe with condensation.

      I have an old piece of cardboard that I put down before I apply finish of any kind (usually shellac spayed over BLO), though that's usually on the Work-Mate instead of the bench.

    • Yeah, i love them as a multipurpose portable bench, just wish i'd got one with height adjustment. Being 6'5 involves lots of bending over and isnt the ideal workimg height. But... it was cheap and folds up outta the way
    • extend the legs somehow Mike, at 6-5, nothing good for you bent over like that

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