Ivan's RV-7


I made four EAA workbenches total. They are pretty much as per the original plans, with the following small modifications:

  • Framing is 3" shorter and narrower to get 1-1/2" overhang for the table countertop (so I can clamp parts to the table).
  • Legs are 3" longer

I used 11 120" (10 feet) 2x4 boards:

Quantity Cuts
4 57" 20-1/2" 20-1/2" 18"
4 54" 36" 18" 8-1/2"
2 2x36" 18" 18" 8-1/2"
1 2x18" 8-1/2" 8-1/2"
Total 4x57" 4x54" 8x36" 8x20-1/2" 14x18" 8x8-1/2"

I used one full 4'x8' sheet of 3/4" plywood for the tabletop. For the bottom shelves, I used half of the 4'x8' sheet of 1/2" plywood (I could have used two 2'x4' sheets).

One observation here is that EAA workbench plans are not really designed for "manufacturing": shelf plywood uses 24" by 50" (mine got shorter because I made frame narrower). 24" by 48" would work better here, since it would be either a full sheet of 2'x4' plywood or one-quarter of a standard 4'x8' sheet.

You can also get plans here

I did not add any casters or any other modifications (yet). Will see how it goes!

The first two tables I primed and painted (I had nothing better to do, I guess). I put "air station" on the first one (filter-regulator-lubricator, plus manifold):

First table converted to the "air station"

The second table I used for my 8x12 bench lathe and X2 mill. Not that I need them (could be useful for making small fixtures, though), but I gave away their dedicated workbenches when we moved. I just don't want them to rot and rust in the corner. In fact, I even did a small side project while I was waiting for my RV-7 parts!

Second table got occupied by lathe, mill, vise and sander

The second two tables I only covered with water-based polyurethane. They don't have any specific purpose, I intend to re-arrange them as needed during the build.

Second batch of tables

I haven't put DRDT-2 dimpler on them nor the backriveting plate. I don't want to permanently modify them just yet, to keep them flexible. For DRDT-2 I am considering "hanging" it between two tables on some sort of a fixture so DRDT-2 throat is at the same height as the tables. Not sure what my plan for backriveting plate is. Might inlay it into the table in the end.