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274209 Kirk Eppler 2021‑07‑27 Re: Ramia workbenches
On Tue, Jul 27, 2021 at 8:21 AM Paul Gardner  wrote:

> Hey Dan,
> The biggest issue I see with this bench is mass and the spindly
> undercarriage.  This doesn't mean you can't "fix" the issues with
> amendments to the bench but you will be investing time and material to do
> so.  Then again, you may be able to get around some of these deficiencies
> if you decide to attach the back end of the bench to the wall of your
> shop.  This wouldn't work well for me but your mileage may vary.
> Also, if you clamp to your bench top, the underside of this bench is also
> constructed to make that frustrating.  I had a Lervad for years before the
> bench I have now.  I ended up filling the voids on the underside of the
> bench with Doug Fir to add mass and allow me to clamp at any point on the
> bench using common "f" style clamps.  I also completely rebuilt the
> undercarriage.
> I'm not sure what kind of time pressure you are under but even in Old Tool
> heck out west we see equal or better benches come up on Craigslist
> regularly at 1/3rd that price or less.  In many of those cases the vise is
> worth the price and you are getting the bench for free.

Following up on Paul's lead, I've seen a lot of these lightweight
workbenches (Sjoberg and others) over the years at garage and estate sales,
and they are mostly a facade.  They are shaped like a WW bench, but they
don't have the bits that make it work.

As Paul noted, the top is often a joke.  Often they will have an apron that
hides a 1" thick top, or that hides bits and pieces of 2" thickness around
a 1" thick top.  The thin top makes holdfasts impractical, except their
special made ones which cost a ton of $$$.

Their end vise often racks horribly under any out of parallel force. The
legs have been well covered by others as wimpy and unsubstantial. Lastly,
the drawers are often a POS, and bend / break out of their track.

Like Paul noted, I bought a bench a few years back that I wanted for the QR
vise for ~$100.  The bench was too nice, and kept it in driveway use for a
few years, until the weather bypassed my tarp and broke the glue lines.
The previous owner had bought a Sjoberg top, added 3x3 (laminated 1x) legs
underneath it, added a bunch of wood to mount the QR vise, and a heavy MDF
shelf mounted low, with bracing.  This worked out nice, and I did a few
small projects in the driveway.  (I need to resurrect this bench and get
the top reglued.)  Long way of saying "the Ramia might be a nice starter
kit, some improvements required".

(And as a side note, a few years back the Pinie.CZ planes made quite a stir
here on list.  I managed to pick up 2, one a bargain scrub, the other a
higher end smoother (souvenir when the daughter visited the Czech
Republic).  While both function, neither would be mistaken for an ECE
plane.  I had to sand the entire scrub to make it reasonable to hold, it
was almost prickly.)

I bought my LV bench
years ago, hardwood base, 230# according to their site, and it would
still move on my garage floor when planing oak.  I got around its lack of
mass by adding a tool  cabinet underneath it.  Filled with many planes from
#5 - #8, it no longer moves.


Might be a different way to fix the mass deficiency.
Kirk Eppler in Half Moon Bay, CA, who took a few meetings under the shade
in the front yard today, since we actually saw the sun today.

Recent Bios FAQ