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Butcher block top bench


#1

Greetings!

I am looking for a new workbench with a butcher block top and came
across the chariot plus bench from Progress Machine & Tool Corp. Does
anyone have this bench or know anything about it? The sales rep there
told me it is made of wood and wood laminates and did not think there
was any particle board, which I want to avoid as it is heavy and not
strong. Gesswein also has a butcher block top bench that looks nice
but is a few hundred more. And then there’s Stuller’s benches, which
i have not seen yet.

Any suggestions? Thanks!
Elizabeth


#2
I am looking for a new workbench with a butcher block top and came
across the chariot plus bench from Progress Machine & Tool Corp.
Does anyone have this bench or know anything about it? The sales
rep there told me it is made of wood and wood laminates and did not
think there was any particle board, 

I have a bench from Progress, which I love, but it does have some
particle board. Wood laminates are used because they’re over
something that’s not wood, right? On mine, the drawer sides are
particle board. The top could be too, it’s a laminate top.

I didn’t realize it was particle board when I ordered it, but I
didn’t ask a lot of questions before I bought it. It’s four years old
and holding up great. And the model you’re looking at it is higher up
than mine, so maybe it doesn’t have particle board.

As you said the model from Gesswein is a few hundred more, that
could be because it’s solid wood.

Elaine

Elaine Luther
Metalsmith, Certified PMC Instructor
http://www.CreativeTextureTools.com
Hard to Find Tools for Metal Clay


#3

Hi,

I saw the bench in the showroom and loved it, and the price was
quite reasonable, by comparison. Since I was longing for a bench, I
ordered it. Since I ordered it in late August, it took them about 3
weeks longer to complete the order than promised, the excuse being
the Labor Day weekend (which lasts just 3 days…). Once it was
completed, they told me that to get the bench several days sooner I
would have to pick it up from their plant/warehouse. which I did.
When I got there, my bench was all wrapped up in plastic and ready
for transport. The wood was really sumptuous, and I was eager to get
home, assemble it, and start working. Unfortunately, when I got home,
I saw how sloppy the finishing work was. I was ready to take it back
for re-finishing, but my husband dissuaded me. (Besides, I would have
to have his truck to transport the bench back, and he vetoed it.) I
had to strip the butcher block top of the sloppy and uneven coating,
fill in the gaps between the wood pieces, and completely redo the
finish. Due to my busy shedule, I just finished re-finishing it, and
it is a real pleasure to use. It is truly beautiful.

So, if you’re prepared to deal with these issues, you’ll have a great
bench to enjoy.

Good luck, and let us know what you end up doing.

Ayalla D.
PS I forgot to mention; the top is, actually, solid wood.


#4

I had the choice to buy any bench I wanted without regard to price. I
looked at the Progress and I was looking at the Chariot Plus which
has the butcher block top and I also was thinking of the Terminator.
But there was all of this talk on the site about industrial grade
partial board. I live in Florida close to the coast and bad things
with water happen here. I really wanted real wood. I did look at the
benches from Rio Grande but I just was not giddy over the product.
We have one Rio double drawer unit at work. I am glad that I passed.
The drawers are sort of tight. It comes with no finish. All raw wood.
Partial board tool shelf. It is still pretty heavy duty. I went with
the John Frei Custom workbench. I had a chance to check one out at
the SNAG Conference that was in St Pete FL. It is like being behind
the wheel of a Rolls Royce and a Mack truck at the same time. Some
of my friends like to refer to it as the “God Bench”. I got mine in
solid maple with the GRS anvil and attachment plate all installed.
You can have them build it anyway you want. The whole bench is solid
wood with maple or oak plywood. It has roller drawer slides, but
some may not like this because of all the years of having to drag the
drawer out of its hole. The only part of the bench that is not real
wood is the temped press board used in the bottom of the drawers.
The are laminated white on the inside of the drawer.I comes with all
the wood finished. It has a 2’ thick butcher block top made in either
maple or oak. I sanded and sealed mine again and add some handles to
the drawers. Drawer pulls are the only thing that the bench is
lacking. I got some nice stainless steel to finish mine off.

It will be the last bench you will buy. It will last about three
lifetimes. Mine already survived being flooded my the A/C overflow
pan in the attic above it. My 500 Brooches book and some of my tools
did not fair so well. We was gone on vacation for a week and that is
how it was found so I did not know how many days it sat like that.
There was more water running on it every time the A/C kicked on in
Aug in FL.

No connection with Otto Frei just a very, very happy customer!

Call and order yours today. Ask for Amber. She is great to deal
with.

Regards,

Rodney Carroll
www.rcgems.net


#5

Ikea sells solid wood table tops and separate legs of your choice.
They can make great work surfaces and are very reasonable. The
Granger catalog has more industrial wood top workbenches-solid
wood-they used to reasonable-hold up forever.


#6

Elaine,

I purchased my 8 foot butcher block “Workbench top” from Grizzly
Industrial about 5 years ago. It’s been great. They had 3, 4, 5, 6,
8,and 10 foot blocks. On the 8 footer I have my soldering station on
one end; work area with GRS, Foredom, etc. in the middle, and
hydraulic press, vise, etc. on the other end. We installed some
hanging drawers, but I can’t remember where we got those. The metal
legs can be purchased separately (on the same page in the catalog),
which we did and they work great, also from Grizzly. www.grizzly.com
or 1-800-523-4777. They’re located in Bellingham, WA.

My lapidary husband has the 6 foot b-lock with his Genie grinder and
his trim saw on it.

The legs are adjustable when you first put it together. A pain
later, I’m sure.

We then purchased matching very adjustable drafting chairs from
A.B.E. Office Furniture (www.abefurniture.com), a very large office
furniture recyling store on the west coast. They have a ton of used
and new office furniture. Seems like the whole upstairs of the
warehouse was used office chairs and in very good shape. Amazing!

Hope this helps, along with any disclaimer as usual per the Orchid
family.

Kay Taylor


#7

Hello Orchidland,

I wanted to add another source for butcherblock tops - restaurants
and meat markets. Look for a going out of business auction or sale.
The top will be pretty well marked up, but usually the reverse of the
solid wood top is unmarred. Sometimes the top has already been
flipped, so be sure to check the underside.

Be aware - these suckers are HEAVY, so be prepared to have some
strong helpers when you want to move the top or put it on legs for a
bench.

Judy in Kansas, where the weekend showers were most welcome.
Harvested lots of asparagus and can almost watch the strawberries
swell. Bet I’m picking strawberries next weekend… if I can beat
the turtles to them!


#8

You cannot go wrong with a John Frei Custom Workbench. There is
absolutely nothing else on the market that comes even close. The
only drawback is the cost but compared to all the other benches out
there it is still a bargain given the quality of the materials and
workmanship. I have had mine for 15 years now it has survived
several moves and many hours of work and not as much care as it
should ideally have and it is still just as fine a tool as the day I
received it. If you get one you will not be sorry.

Jim

James Binnion
@James_Binnion
James Binnion Metal Arts


360-756-6550


#9

Don’t rule out bowling alleys. I forgot where, but I saw pieces of
lane being offered as tabletops. While you are there, bowling pins
might make some interesting shaping tools. It’s sad to see them
fragmented in use as firearms targets.

Oh, and bowling balls are really engraving balls. Just in a larval
stage.

Dan Woodard


#10

I enthusiastically “ditto” James Binnions statements about the John
Frei bench. I “rewarded” myself with a Maple one about 5 years ago -
and it is wonderful to work at this bench. I spent decades creating
at a “home made” bench that served the studio requirements admirably

  • but having the Frei bench is just like having another quality
    piece of equipment. The right tools always make the work more
    enjoyable.

Linda


#11

Don’t rule out bowling alleys. I forgot where, but I saw pieces of
lane being offered as tabletops. While you are there, bowling pins
might make some interesting shaping tools. It’s sad to see them
fragmented in use as firearms targets.

I had a friend whos family owned a large farm, he said their shop
benches were from bowling alley floors. He went on to say they are
tough, hard, and some of the best work bech surface you can find!
That, and something else about trying to dent some with a 4lb
hammer, which didn’t work. I’m not sure how common this stuff would
be, but it’d be worth the search!

Andy
Andrewthomasdesigns.com
Minneapolis MN