Sunday, March 16, 2014

Workshop Updates

     I have been wanting to build my own workbench because my first workbench was a cheap harbor freight bench that couldn't cut it when planing wood. So, I did the research and the bench I would have loved to build would be a 8' massive Roubo workbench. The cheapest I could have built one was around $800 without any bench accessories (vises, holdfasts, etc.).  Even though it would have been a great investment over time, it just isn't the right time for me to be dropping that much on a bench (I still more tools :) ).
      What do people do when they can't get what they want? They improvise.  I improvised by building my top of my bench from free wood I found at my pallet/wood pile. My luck paid off and I found some very long pieces on a pallet (5-6 feet long).  After planing them flat (there was a good deal of cup in the boards), I was able to laminate the boards together to make a 5 foot long by 20 inch wide bench top. I forgot to take pictures throughout the process so you can see the top on the finished bench at the end.
     With the top finished, I schemed about how to do the base. I really wasn't up to mortise and tenoning my base together so I took an alternate route. Chris Schwarz published a video on how to build a sturdy bench in two day that I referenced heavily to build my base. I used 4x4 Douglas Fir to create a knockdown base for my workbench. Here are some pictures of the legs for the base.
     With the legs and base assembled, I spent most of my a night last week preparing and attaching the base to the top. The base is lag bolted to the top which can then me removed and to allow the bench to be moved easier. Here are some pictures of the completed workbench.
   Now that I have a true workbench that won't run away or wobble, I can get back to learning more about the fundamentals of my craft.  In order to prepare for that time, I spent a little bit of my weekend organizing some of my tools.  I use to use a peg board system to hold my tools on the wall but every time I pulled down a tool I evidently pulled the metal bracket as well. I decided to use a more permeant fixture to hold the tools on the wall. I attached some 3/4 inch plywood (also found at the pallet/wood pile) to the wall then build separate holders for each tool. Here is a picture.
     I forgot to post a picture of my tool chest when I first published my old projects. I thought it fitting to post it here since it has to do with my workshop. I built it based on a design of a Dutch tool chest that I found in a copy of Popular Woodworking.  My tool chest has a few slight changes because I wanted some drawers to hold tools. I think it turned out rather nice. I painted it the outside with Old Fashion Milk Paint. The drawer fronts need to be touched up a little. If I get the insides organized better I will take some pictures.

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