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Im currently moving into a new factory, ten times larger than my previous workspace. Will need to section half of it off, because it really is TOO big.

While im in the process of moving, im going to build some new benches to work on. Im interested to see some of the ideas people have come up with for working on guitars, or any musical instruments really.

So, lets see them!


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Mine is really simple. It's a sjöbergs http://www.brsjoberg.se/eng/hyvelframe.asp 1550S with the added cabinet and drawers for all the heavy work like planning, sanding, routing and so on. It is very traditional in Europe. And then like 4 meters of a simple chipboard bench I made myself for assembly, electronics work and so on. My shop is small but I might be able to expand soon.

Edited by SwedishLuthier
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They sell these sjoberg benches in Australia at Carba-Tec. They sure look real nice but I definitely don't have $1000AUD for that same model you've got. It looks to me like I could build a duplicate for less than $500, my free time is worth a lot less than the leftover $500 :D

Here's my cheap-ass bench. 3 layers of 17mm plywood top -51mm top- All coming from a 2400X1200 sheet. Pine legs and Tasmanian oak for the front clamping part. About $200 for the wood and a $100 carbatec vice. $300 is all I could afford at the time. If I would've known that plywood wasn't flat though, I would have used MDF or particle board for the top :D So that bench will probably become second fiddle to a second one made out of hardwood when I finally move in my new house.


Edited by Phil Mailloux
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I don't really have a shop, but got a sturdy bench outside that my neighbor picked up from a reno job. Its basic 2X4 frame construction with storage space inside. I built the awning and sliding doors. I also nailed down galvanized sheeting on the bench surface and installed a heavy duty vise. Of course, I did not have building guitars in mind at the time. I pretty much do everything on that bench. This is where it all happens, :D .


Edited by Southpa
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While I'm sure you know this, thought I should remind you, just incase you forgot.

Take the measurements you think you need, and add several metres. You can NEVER have enough bench space.

I have 2 x 1.8m benches, and a 4m one. And I only JUST manage now that I've added a 2m bench to the collection, which doubles as shelving under it.

You'll always need more space, its that bloody murphy fella again.

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yeah saw that one when the fellow first posted it Phil. Its a real nice unit he has there!

I guess what i was looking for was inovative ideas that people have used to solve small space issues, and then duplicate that in a larger scale.

I plan on having entire benches setup for specifc tasks, eg: neck shaping, inlay, electronics. Almost like a production line.

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The three large factors that affect the functionality of any shop - of nearly any size - seem to be:

Ability to keep it clean

Mobility of tools to accomodate affore mentioned as well as to streamline production of multiple process' at any given time

Positioning of tools to facilitate immediate use, clean up, and storage - again improving productivity

I run five benches in the shop and each has a purpose (generally none of them being hobby guitar building). Each bench has a storage area underneath for the tools most commonly used at that bench. This allows me to stop toting tools from one end of the shop to the other and localizes my activity, thus allowing me to increase my productivity. I should clarify that I don't own five woodworking benches;

1 torsion box for flat assembly,

1 router bench,

1 "clean" bench for fine work, (would love to turn this into a down draft!)

1 catch all bench that accumulates all the odds and ends tools

1 woodworking bench set up standard with fore vice, tail vice, bench dogs, and stop block

My personal preferance is to mount my benches on castors so they can be easily moved to allow for cleaning, or simply to put them in an order that speeds up my production on any given invoice.

I know this is all pretty basic, but then most of the things we do to increase profit are, so....

Take it easy, and congrats on the new digs.

Nate Robinson :D

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+10 to the ability to keep it clean. I have two benches one is 3ft x 16 ft the other is 3ft x 20 ft. I only have one desktop tool and that is a small sander. With two of us in the shop, sometimes we wind up with a 2x3 area each, then we stop and put things away and clean again. (wash, rinse, repeat).

Everything else has a floor stand and we have a large paint booth.

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  • 2 months later...

just stumbled across this thread, sorry to dig it up but just wanted to share something my Dad mentioned yesterday.

It may be of use, might not....My dad is a sheet metal worker & his boss has recently been buying old hospital beds to convert into benches. Initially the guys in the workshop thought that he'd gone mad but apparently they're brilliant & he's now selling them to garages & workshops in the area.

They have rails that can be used to clamp stuff to, lock-able wheels so that they can be moved easily & hydraulic lifts that can lift up to 20 stone. Local garages have been using them for motorbike repairs, they can be lowered, bike wheeled on & then raised to eye-level for servicing. The rails can be used for attaching sliding saws, routers etc. as well as additional work surfaces that can be moved out of the way for certain jobs.

They're most useful as mobile benches but I just thought that I'd share that info with you in case it could be of use. In the UK beds are replaced almost every year apparently so there's a good supply of secondhand ones if you know where to look.

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I'll try to find out where he's getting them from. I did a quick google & there's a few places that sell them for home carers...there's also a few on ebay (UK).

The problem with the ones I've found so far is that they're being sold as working beds so they're in better condition than they need to be & are more expensive (+£200).

Here's an example: http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/Hospital-Bed-Includi...1QQcmdZViewItem

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