I’m hoping I can get some ideas for setting up some kind of small
area table/block/stump that would not move or vibrate when hammering
with a vice and stakes etc… I have a tiny room that has very limited
floor space and all around kitchen unit surface area - that I thought
was a good idea at the time, but now realise its just not strong
enough…(It is also an upstairs room) So I need to find a solution
to being able to hammer away without pulling the walls down or
watching everything bounce its way around the room!
If anyone has any suggestions - bearing in mind the utter tiny-ness
of this rooms existing floor area - I would be eternally grateful!
(My mind just doesn’t seem to come up with logical solutions to
I also have a small rolling mill with no stand - and again, the lack
of STURDY work surface area on which to bolt it… Any suggestions?
Might I be better off taking down one of the work surfaces, so I
have a free (ha) wall on which to put a solid bench or table?
Thanks to anyone with clever ideas.
I had a similar problem which I solved last summer. I went to Harbor
Freight and purchased one of their GRINDER stands. It consists of a 3
footed base with a 3 inch diameter pipe connected to another small 3
footed base. I cut the pipe to the size I needed and connected the 3
pieces togethed. Cut a table top of 3/4 inch plywood 12" by 15" which
was all the room I had to work with. The base has a hole in each leg
to fasten it to the floor. I did not fasten mine to the floor as it
weighs 14 lbs and i take into the garage and onto the patio in the
summer. I have a small anvil and a 4X4 ss block mounted in the center
over the pipe support, it works great. You could do the same for the
mill, but it would need to be bolted to the floor. Hope this helps
If you can find a stump or section of tree trunk, they are ideal. Or
you can do what I did when my studio was 4 flights up, and I didn’t
want to wrestle a couple hundred pounds of stump up the stairs. Just
get some 2x4 or 2x6 stock and glue-laminate a base for your anvil.
Mine is about 18" high and 12x12 square and supports my anvil and
stake holder just fine. I nailed some 1x4 stock around the base (like
a baseboard) to widen the footprint a bit, and screwed a length of
old belt around the top edge in loops to hold hammers. You can fasten
the anvil down with some plumbing strapping and lag bolts.
The glue-up was done with polyurethane glue and a few long drywall
screws to hold each layer together while the glue cured. Then the
whole thing was given a couple coats of white paint, and some
furniture “glides” fastened to the bottom so I can slide it across
the studio floor. When not in use, it slides under the bench where
the rolling mill and flattening hammer are bolted.
My rolling mill started out on top of a hand made cheap book case.
Not ideal, but with care it worked, which is what mattered. I now
have it clamped to a sturdier table, and hope to move it and bolt it
to a final resting place eventually. I just bought a Kobalt work
bench at Lowes - love it! Very sturdy, places to hang tools, and I
plan to bolt my bench shear to it. Had planned to bolt the rolling
mill to it, but the handle alignment won’t work in my space.
I do have a bench drawer stack from Rio that you might want to look
at. It has a small footprint, but is very sturdy. I think that is
what I’m going to bolt the rolling mill to. Might help out for you.
Rio also sells a portable bench which is small and sits on a table.
I take it to craft shows, and sit it on my folding tables and hammer
away… works a treat!
Three Cats and a Dog Design Studio
Not to be obnoxious, but I had to laugh at the subject line I
have secured quite a few vices in my lifetime, but my VISE is secured
to a large section of a 12"x 12" beam from my barn.
Beth mentioned her favorite bench for her shear and/or mill. For
anyone looking for a sturdy table/bench, consider Harbor Freight’s
60", solid oak, 4-drawer bench for $199. It’s incredibly sturdy and
heavy duty. I love mine.
As far as rolling mills go, I’ve got my little squaring mill stuck to
a sheet of 3/4" plywood that’s about 4 inches wider, and 6-8 inches
deeper than the mill is. Normally, it lives under a table. When I
want to use it, I just pull it out, set it on the table, and use a
couple of big “C” clamps to clamp the plywood to the table. Takes all
of about a minute to set up, and works just like it’s actually bolted
to the table. The only trick is to remember not to obstruct the
handle with the “C” clamps.
Hope this helps,
If you can find a stump or section of tree trunk, they are ideal.
Or you can do what I did when my studio was 4 flights up, and I
didn't want to wrestle a couple hundred pounds of stump up the
Sounds very interesting, but I’m having trouble picturing it. Can
you post photos?
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An excellent source of sturdy tables can be found at your State
Surplus Property warehouse. In our State science tables, desks, etc.
come in on a daily basis and are sold in a retail store.
Years ago, about 1975 or so, the Harrisburg State Hospital had a
massive sale at the Farm Show Arena. I got two fabulous 4’x8’ solid
oak 1940’s tables with 2 drawers for $20.
I have my Guillotine cutter, my buffing machine, and my roller bolted
on to the end of one. The drawers are really deep but a bit shallow,
(probably for papers), and I keep all my files, sandpaper, drill
bits, and small tools in these, with my portfolio papers and photos
in the other. They are so deep they always seem quite empty.
It takes quite a large space in my studio, but is worth it. For many
years, I used it as my cutting table for making all my large turn out
blankets for horses.
One of the best buys I ever made.
In “The Penland Book of Jewelry” (hardcover) is a design by John
for a support/holder for an anvil which should also work for a vise.
It’s also a wonderful book featuring many fine metal workers.
I may be late in my response to this one, but:
I secure my heavy, large vise on a large tree stump. It’s nice and
heavy and also helps to absorb some of the shock of hammer blows,
it’s very secure. Plus, the added benefit of having carved into it a
few different sizes of round sunken areas for sinking metal into. So
it is a great place to start my raising projects. It also has my
stake holder screwed onto it, and a nice strip of leather all the way
around it, screwed in so that it leaves loops that stick out to hold
hammers while I am working at it.
You obviously want to make sure your stump is not a bug ridden, so as
not to bring any “beasties” into the house, and of course it would be
a little difficult to get one up a flight stairs. But I work in my
basement studio now, instead of in my 2nd floor office where I used
to be. There was just too much noise made when I hammered, and it
seems the whole neighborhood heard me working into the wee hours of
the night just from hearing the reverberations through the house.
(Plus, hammering, and even the sounds of planishing metal, drives my
husband batty for some reason, HAHA! To me it is almost a feeling of
Zen, but not to the other members of the house. I can’t figure what
the devil is wrong with them!)