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Worktable - Build vs Buy?

So Spring has made it to Des Moines Iowa… But before building a worktable I think I’ve found one that may be an even better choice. It has a 1.75" maple butcher block top; 3,500 lb static weight capacity (1000 pounds evenly distributed on the frame), 14g, fully-welded, steel construction with 16 gauge stringer. 5’ x 3’ by 30" high. Commercial grade made by Stackbin…

Will this meet the necessary requirements to support the RM?

Thx in advance for your comments,
Sharon B.

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I would not use it for the rolling mill, but it might be possible if you could make the table very heavy in order to prevent the table from moving, or somehow attach the table to the floor to keep it from moving.

Making the table heavy would probably require a lower shelf.

I’ve made a wooden table heavy with a huge stack of unused roof shinges on the lower shelf, but I still would not use that table to support a rolling mill because I think the leverage I put on the rolling mill might make the table become wobbly, thus making the table unfit for the rolling mill.

It is not so-much about supporting the rolling mill’s weight, as it is about managing the results of the leverage created when you use the mill.

An excellent find!! it meets with my approval.
Were there any more? where this came from, if so you should grab them as you will always find some lovely equipment to put on them. Like I said a third hand one end and perhaps a fly press the other. Look out for one thats rated to 3-4 tons press tonnage. 2 is too small and 6 and aove too big for your shop.

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I definitely agree with @Betty2. In addition to weight or attachment to the floor, the table needs lateral support to withstand the force of the mill on the forward and back portions of the stroke. Otherwise, it will eventually loosen up the corner joints.

If you use this table, add a diagonal, or better still, a cross brace along the cranking axis.


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All you can do is suck it and see, then add what ever extra bracing as Alec has suggested.
I would definately add a bottom shelf to store stuff. But im a tool junkie so never have enough storage space despite having sheds and box bodies and barns full of stuff.
My current bench is some 10 ft plus long by 4 ft wide. Has 6 by 2 in top boards . with 2, 3rd hands bolted to it, plus 3 fly presses 2, 3 and 5 ton on it. with a 15 ton strapped to one end. was using that yesterday for minting a small horse brooch in sterling. the 5 ton was blanking out the forces in 1/8th in 999 ali . you can only use them a couple of times before there distorted beyond use. the metal flows under the 15 tons. Pull like hell on the handle!.

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You’re so funny… :slight_smile: Thanks for your earlier vote of confidence. I’ve never seen or heard of a “fly press”… Don’t think they are all that popular in the US. I do have an Arbor press, but I’d really love to have an hydraulic type. Too expensive right now, though and not likely to find one of those used at a good price… But I keep looking anyway.

And BTW I have found several “third hand” vises for sale; some restored, most needing work. Seems they are/were very popular in Iowa. I’ll need to learn a lot more about jewelry making before adding one of those to my studio :slight_smile: .

As to the above table… It is so much safer than what I currently have and it will take a lot more abuse than I’ll likely ever give it to crack the welds. It is classified as an “industrial” grade table.

The mfgr website posts the “shipping weight” for this specific configuration as 175 lbs; I’m guessing that # includes crating, so table likely weighs over 100 lbs. Add 75-100 lbs of equipment on the opposite end of the table. And one or two 2" x 12" planks for a large shelf below.

I think this table should safely suit my current needs and will pick it up this week. That said, I’ll be watchful of the welds and may try to add some diagonal bracing.

As usual, thanks to all for commenting,

Hi Sharon,
From what you have just written it looks as tho your buying new. and looking again at the pics it will come flat packed for you to bolt together. also i thought you found it s/hand from an abbatoir.!!. Thats why I asked if there were any more!!. Tho I thought you were going to build your own.
Re fly presses, go to the UK google and search for the Birmingham jewellery quarter museum. the second picture in from the left will show the row of “Fly” presses. Cos the top arm fly’s round when you pull on the handle. Have 6 of these.
Also if you look at other pictures in that search you will see a row of drop stamps which i have mentioned i have 3.
also this museum comissioned me to overhaul and restore all their machinery to safe working standards. Nice contract for a couple of months. all the line shafting and polishing stations and equipment not shown in the basement.
also all the rows of dies!! I had the run of them all to play with.
Let me know what your thoughts are.

No Ted, not new…:slight_smile: It would be hundreds of dollars for that table before delivery (freight). I have found that identical table on Craigslist and have been going back and forth with the seller and hope to coordinate pickup this week.

I think this one with the sides being industrial strength welded “c” channel will be sturdier/stronger than anything I would build from 2by lumber.

I’ll check those fly presses and see what you mean later today. We’re on our way out to Easter brunch :slight_smile:

Take care,


That workbench looks similar to two I have ordered from global

I love them because you can order the (fixed or adjustable) legs (or cabinets) and tops separately. They have a broad selection of legs, bases, cabinets, tops (butcher block, steel), etc…they were one of the few places that offered a shorter 48" top length…which is what I needed…

(I have my rolling mill bolted down on the end of one of the benches…it does not move for me…)

The maple butcher block top that I got was made by Boos…(makes cutting boards for Williams Sonoma).


Note From Ganoksin Staff:
Looking for a workbench for your jewelry projects? We recommend:

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@vladimirfrater WOW!!! So many dies, so little time! :slight_smile: Very interesting stuff at the museum… Yes, you were very lucky to get to play with all that equipment and accessories.

@wldlzrd1 Thank you Julie. Now I definitely feel good about this table. The Global website gives pricing so I also know what a fabulous deal I’m getting @ $80 for this 5’ x 3’ x 30" H workbench. Top is only slightly banged up, but a little sanding and polyurethane will fix that… if I even bother. I’m liking the look of old and used these days. I thought I’d check with the mfgr and see if they’d sell me the leg extensions just in case I need the extra height, but 30" is about the height of the current table and the RM pivot height seems right for me.


Also, Seth @seth-ganoksin-admin, thank you for creating a new discussion…

no problem!

HI Sharon,

I may be late to the party, but that bench will work just fine. Don’t sweat it. You might want to add some diagonal bracing to the rear long face to help with sway, but I’ve used benches like that for years. Dead plain, standard, and very tough.
In terms of diagonal bracing, a pair of steel straps in an “X” pattern across the back would do it. Or steel cables in an “X” with turnbuckles for tension. The cable & turnbuckle version is probably easiest to cook up on your own. All you need is the cable, a pair of turnbuckles, and cable clamps (16 of them, 2 per end). Drill holes in frame, loop cable through, add spindles if you feel the need, then add the turnbuckles, and away you go.

Don’t get too obsessive about it. Yeah, mills put out a lot of torque, or rather require a lot of torque, which makes independent stands need to be beefy, but the tables got yards of extra leverage available to counteract the torque, so it’s not such an issue. Don’t overthink yourself into immobility.


Hi Sharon,

as a fall back position, if you need to raise the height, you could always just by a pair of adjustable legs from global…hmmm…and perhaps their accessory bottomshelves, etc might work with your great deal table, since specs are similar…

(global sells sooo many lengths! and surfaces…and drawer cabinets…and power strips!..yikes!)


My two cents worth of advice.
I use a similar setup in my shop. My table is maybe 2 feet shorter and a bit narrower. I have a huge rotating machinists vise (easily 80 pounds by itself), a mandrel holder/clamp, an arbor press, a small pan-a-vise, and my rolling mill bolted to it. But I also have close to 200 pounds of iron on the lower shelves. A lot of stakes but a few random sections of railroad track and some large cutoff pieces from the scrapyard as well. This fall I will be making six anchors to attach to my legs. And I pound the shit out of stuff when I am heating and forming smaller iron pieces to make a mandrel or other tool / form. Even weighing over 300ish pounds, sometimes the table moves on me.

My thoughts would be to have a friend come over and weld all of the spots where the pieces overlap. And weld in the bolts as well. I would then sink some BIG anchors in the floor and make sure it is not going to move. I would add another cross bar under the front edge of the top as long as you have someone welding.
And as long as you are doing mods. . .
Add a tray so anyone visiting can work there. It never hurts to have an extra place to work.

Hi Julie,
I’ve contacted Stackbin to see if they would sell me a set… I’m not sure if those at Global would fit, but I will contact them and ask. As as alternative, I was thinking I would bolt the legs to a 2x4 the width of the leg span. I may only need 1.5" inches higher, if at all. I’ll be using 2x12" lumber for the shelf. It’ll weigh more than a piece of sheet metal.

I appreciate the recommendations… I don’t have any welder friends, else I’d definitely do this, but I won’t anchor anything to the floor; there are “issues” that I do not want to risk making worse. Maybe in the next space I will have for my studio… I want to try out the table at the level I’m at and see how it holds up. Between the table itself and what I’ll have on the top and the shelf below, I bet I’ll have over 300 lbs as well.


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Hi Brian,

Maybe late, but always welcome… I very much appreciate the easy attitude you offer once an adequate solution has been found. I’ve already spent too much time “sweating” over finding/making a proper bench for my tools and I’m done with it! If it wobbles I’ll deal with it at that time using your bracing instructions. Easy enough to do I think if I find it’s needed. When I found this table I thought it would be just right and much less complicated than building one myself. Nice bargain as well $80. Brought it home yesterday. Drove 2.5 hours both ways to pick it up in Cedar Rapids :slight_smile:

I really appreciate everyone’s thoughts on helping to find a satisfactory solution for my bench problem. Especially when it all started with me wanting to use a skimpy pedestal and slab of wood LOL. All information has been processed and used or not as needed.

I love this place,

I have my rolling mill on one of these. It’s heavy, 300 lbs I think. It’s a good table to pound on, plus I like the drawers and cabinets.

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That I was going to say - add extra cross bracing to the frame and that’ll keep it more stable. I had an extra heavy table built for my 2 rolling mills and my forming tools. I cannot move the table or even budge it. When I do move eventually, I’ll have to leave that table behind for it’s so heavy. Have fun with your new bench!

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Hi Joy,
Leaving a bench like you describe behind would be a shame!!
Unless your giving up metalworking youll need it to where you might move anyway, and to replace cost a lot more tham paying some strong lads to move it for you.
Or if it wont fit your new place of work give it away to a local college or someone who could use it.
Youll have to unbolt your mills anyway, and they will weigh a lot! So moving will be a major exercise. Anything really big, I use my farm tractor front loader or the fork lift forks on the 3 point linkage. That will eqasily lift 2 tons.
Need it for timber work as well. Weve had to take down 2 very old oaks some 3ft dia bases that were unsafe recently, So needed to use all our kit. Cut, split stack to dry, then cut to firebox length.
My better half will use all wood, so long as its allways there plenty of it , dry otherwise there aint no dinner!.
Tho there will be lots of lovely dry wood for this coming winter. We get through around 5 tons a year.
The Rayburn stove is the central part of our living room, heating, hot water, cooking and incinerating everything not needed. as we dont have any local services.
Doing too much always!.
Dorset UK.