A new Workbench

I started making SoundWave, my entry for the Boort Sculpture Competition. But it soon overflowed my little welding bench. No surprise as it is made of four panels each 2.4m tall. So I needed something to work on. I can’t work on the concrete floor of the shed, I’ve tried that and it is torture on the knees, especially worn out knees like mine. So I looked at the prices of steel plate to make a proper welding bench. Usually the top of such benches is 10mm plate steel, my current bench top I got from the scrap yard cheap ($80!) as it was slightly curved, I straightened it by putting it under my ute and using a trolley jack to bend it back true. A piece of 10mm steel would cost me several hundred dollars from a steelyard, and I would have to make a heavy base to hold it up.

So I made one from one of my favourite materials, construction ply. What other material is amazingly strong for it’s weight, impervious to the weather and importantly very flat? I had to buy some framing timber for underneath, and a piece of cement sheet for the top, as welding on plywood usually sets it alight. I had some steel trestles that were the perfect height as well.

workbench frame
Workbench frame out of 90 x 45 MGP10 framing.
New bench is use.
New bench is use. Note sketched outline of SoundWave.

Here is the bench is use. I have added an outrigger out of scrap to the top end to build the top curly bit of the SoundWave panel. People have asked why did I not make the bench bigger. Well it is big enough anyway at 1.2m wide. If I made the whole bench 1.6m wide to accommodate the width of SoundWave, I wouldn’t be able to reach the middle and it would be just too big and heavy.

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