Workshop Wednesday – A Slight Detour

My ongoing project to complete “The Ultimate Portable Workbench” takes a back seat to my revisiting a existing workstation in the shop this week.

A recent learning experience led me to re-think my salvaged Sjoberg bench that serves as my “fine work” station for almost everything un-woodworking-ish, like engraving, checkering, fine metalwork, etc.  During Thanksgiving week my son-in-law and I had the opportunity to attend a workshop on reloading ammunition, which involves a lot of press work.  The Sjoberg was simply inadequate for those particular tasks even though I do a lot of other gun work there.  But, could it be modified to work for reloading?

I am happy to report that the answer was, “Yes.”

At issue was the shallowness of the workbench top and the difficulty, read: impossibility, of attaching some presses to the edge of said top as required by the processes involved.  A simple add-on solved both problems in one swell foop.

I had a scrap of butcher block benchtop material that fit the cutaway configuration of the bench top almost perfectly.  All I needed was to create a way to affix it solidly to the existing bench yet make it removable for more routine work.

I accomplished this through the addition of a couple simple elements to the underside of the slab so that one end could be captured by the face vise and the other end by the end vise.

Putting the new appendage in place and tightening the vise screws and viola’, the new feature is darned near perfect for the tasks.  It suits me so well I may wind up leaving it in place most of the time.

Installing it and de-installing takes upwards of seven seconds per operation.