A 5 star bench
Posted December 11, 2013
This bench has received many bad raps about assembly. First of all, the directions are worthless, but there are only 12 main parts that are easy to decide where they belong. I believe it had 24 dowels for connectors. If previous reviewers didn't have an understanding of gluing dowels, I can understand their problems. Never fill the hole with glue or you can't drive the dowel into the hole. Just put a thin lawyer of glue on the dowel and it is easily driven home. The pre-drilled hole pattern for the vices were perfect, however, the vices could easily be installed upside down which will cause a hole pattern problem. It took a total of 53 minutes to complete total assembly. And no, I don't work for Rockler, I almost didn't buy based on reviews so I wanted to set record straight.
I just finished assembling my Rockler...
Posted October 31, 2012
I just finished assembling my Rockler work bench. I was a little leery of it, after reading some of the reviews, but I was very happy with the finished product. All the holes lined up perfectly, no nightmarish doweling and drilling needed. The screwdriver trick worked, so thanks for that one, other reviewers. The top was a little rough but going over it with some 220 sandpaper smoothed it right out. I didn't keep track of how long it took me to put together because I was having so much fun. I bought the five foot table because I don't have much room, and I think it's going to be terrific in my space. The only thing I noticed was how noisy it is when you pound on it. Turns out it's the bottom shelf rattling around down there. I'll have to think about how to fix that.
Out of the box there was...
Posted July 4, 2012
Out of the box there was a minor abrasion on the edge of one end of the top. Some very slight sanding, and it blended in well. After laying out all the parts, I had no trouble in putting the bench together. There were a few problems with attaching the vise and vise blocks. The holes did not line up correctly on mounting the vise to the underside of the table. I did as suggested, and that was to glue some dowels into the holes, let it dry, and then cut off the ends of the dowels, and sand them flush with the underside. Then I could drill new holes. I didn’t know the quality of the Lag Screws that came with the kit, so I went to Tractor Supply to buy some new ones. The Lag Screws that came with the kit were 1 ¼ ” long, and the closest that I could find was 1 ½”.... a 1" Lag Screw would have been too short. To remedy the extra length, I added 3 washers to each Lag Screw. The thread size was ¼”. The pilot hole for a ¼” Lag in hardwood is 7/32”, so I carefully drilled the holes after marking them. I put a piece of tape around the drill bit at 7/8” of the bit, so that I wouldn’t go through the top. Lag screws cannot push through un-drilled hardwood, so I wanted to make sure that the pilot hole was long enough. The process worked well, I was careful not to over tighten the screws, which would have resulted in them stripping out. Some reviewers stated that they stripped out some of the Lag Screws, or sheared the head off accidentally. As far as mounting the wood blocks to the vises, I wanted the top of the block to be flat with the top of the workbench top, but the pre-drilled holes in the wood vise block did not line up to do that, so I positioned the block so that the pre-drilled holes were on the inside, then I could drill new holes in the block that would be flat with the top. That worked well. The pre-drilled holes on the inside of the vise aren’t obvious, so I was OK with that. I finished the top with 3 coats of Arm-R-Seal Oil & Urethane Topcoat that was recommended by an associate at the Rockler store, and it came out very well. I am very pleased with the bench, and it will give me many years of good use.