Lee Valley just came out with a new worksurface product under their Veritas brand. Although they are just calling these new products worksurfaces, it looks to me like they would be perfect as portable workbenches too.
Each Veritas worksurface features a grid of 3/4″ dog holes, and a perimeter of T-track channels. You get T-track slots not only on the tops, but also the sides, which gives you additional options for stopping and clamping your work.
Each Veritas worksurface is made from Baltic birch plywood, and measures 1-1/2″ thick. There are 1″ tall rubber feet at each corner, giving bench dog and other dog hole accessories up to 2-1/2″ of clearance. Veritas says that their accessories which have posts under 2-3/8″ long could be used without issue.
If you need greater clearance or more stability than the rubber feet could provide, Veritas also offers 3-1/2″ tall risers. With these optional risers, you can use bench dogs and other dog hole accessories with posts up to 4-7/8″ long.
Veritas Worksurface Sizes
- Small: 15.5″ x 12″ ($69, risers $23.50)
- Medium: 22.5″ x 15.5″ ($89, risers $31.50)
- Large: 29.5″ x 19″ ($109, risers $38.50)
The risers are optional, and not included with the worksurfaces. None of the clamps shown in the top image are included either.
While it seems that just a plywood base with dog holes would be enough, the T-tracks are a very nice touch. Not only that, Veritas equipped them with plastic corner caps that serve two purposes. First, they prevent sharp edges that can catch clothes, scratch your work, or nip your skin.
Second, they have keyholes that allow you to insert and remove bolts and other T-track hardware. T-track hardware is typically inserted from the side of an open track, but with these special corner pieces, there is no opening.
The Veritas worksurfaces are risers are made in Canada.
Buy Now(via Veritas)
These Veritas dog hole and T-track worksurfaces are certainly something you could make yourself, if you have the proper tools and patience.
Add a side handle and cover, and possibly a way to secure a pair or risers flat against the bottom of the worksurface, and you’ve got a nice portable tabletop workbench.
Not quite right for your needs? Here are two other portable woodworking tables for your benchtop: Garrett Wade workbench, Sjobergs smart vise.
I love Veritas stuff (have plenty of their products) but these seem a tad expensive for what they are. I’m all for paying for the fantastic machining with high tolerances but these are just plywood with some t-track around the edge. Drill some holes and you have it made.
I think they are designed/aimed for the apartment dweller/home owner/mechanic rather than your typical woodworker.
Probably top quality though as usual from that stable.
Looks like something that would be of interest to people who don’t want to spend their time building fixtures. While I enjoy making jigs and fixtures as much as the projects I use them for.
It is an interesting support table Lee Valley marketing has chosen for the promotional photos. It has the same functionality as the new work surface. I have the same Lee Valley workbench. Why would I do this?? If they placed it on two sawhorses or a non-woodworking bench it would better illustrate its utility.
Also , the t-track is rather redundant with the bench dog holes. There are a variety of bench dog attachments that provide the same utility, and with the holes placed throughout the work surface, would have more project versatility. Any t-track specific fixture could quickly and easily be adapted to use a bench dog hole.
The flush mounted t-track also creates a hostile surface to chisels, planes and other tooling.
About the T-Track being hostile to “chisels, planes and other tooling,” T-Track is usually extruded aluminum. Aluminum is much softer that the blades of any of those tools.
I can’t find a conversion from Janka hardness (used for wood) and Mohs scale, but aluminum is 2-2.9 on Mohs and Birch is 1260 on the Janka. BTW Hardened steel is 7.5 on the Mohs scale.
If you use Brinell scale, Hardwood can be as high as 7 and Aluminum is 15 (75 if hardened). Hardened tool steel is 600-900)
I know all these scales are measured different ways and may not indicate very well if one material will damage another, but I think it does give an idea of how soft aluminum is compared to hardened steel.
True, but run a chisel or plane into aluminum, and there’s a good chance of chipping the blade.
Chisels and planes are often made of very hard tool steel, but that also makes them a little brittle.
I managed to chip a chisel on hardwood before.
“I managed to chip a chisel on hardwood before.”
That was the point I lost sight of, I forgot to say that you can damage a chisel on hard maple if you’re not careful, but lost track when I added the hardness of birch because apropos to the post.
because it was apropos to the post.
It is an interesting support table Lee Valley marketing has chosen for the promotional photos. It has the same functionality as the new work surface. I have the same Lee Valley workbench. Why would I do this??
If one’s workbench is optimized for hand plane work, it tends to be too low for some fine joinery tasks and such. This presents the opportunity to have a higher work surface for fine joinery.
Also , the t-track is rather redundant with the bench dog holes. While it would seem to be redundant, it isn’t. This type of setup is incredibly flexible, as an in-depth study of the uses of the Festool MFT (Multi Function Table) will reveal.
True about the Festool MFT, but the MFT isn’t suitable for certain work due to stability. They make an optional leg brace kit, but I’ve heard some complaints about trying to hand plane on an MFT. Even if so, the MFT is still incredibly versatile for cutting, routing, sanding tasks.
I really like this design, and might either buy a small one in the future, or build something sized a little differently to better fit my bench.
craftsman has a portable “workbench” that seems would serve the same (very similar) purpose and eliminates the need for finding a surface to clamp to – seems a little more versatile, on sale for $100.00
sorry, forgot the link: http://www.craftsman.com/craftsman-portable-peg-clamping-workbench/p-00949812000P
Yes, I posted about it here – https://toolguyd.com/craftsman-peg-table/
That top is too shallow to fit some of the dog hole accessories you could use with the Veritas worksurfaces.
I find both to be appealing, but in different ways.