Wednesday, April 11, 2012

CO Workshop Update #12 - I'm Going to Need More Beer

Welcome back to Fine Woodworking with 2X4s and OSB!  OK, so it’s been a while since I’ve posted, but there really has been quite a bit of work done down in the shop.  I was able to unpack several more boxes and I’ve now got about 95% of my lumber collection stored properly.  I’m still tinkering with a few ideas for some of the longer stock.

While I haven’t completely committed to this location, I did find a place to park the router table.  Right now I’m thinking about keeping it here next to the drill press and storing my router accessories up on the shelf there on the wall.
The table is an open design, and I’m thinking of enclosing it to contain dust and wood chips.  Now that I’m down in the basement dust collection/containment has become much more important.  My Dad and I built this table several years ago when they visited us in Albuquerque.  A few weeks after their visit I received a package in the mail…surprise!  Dad built this amazing fence for me!  It’s been a great addition with lots of adjustability and T-slotting for attaching feather boards, jigs and stop blocks.  Another nice feature is this opening in the back of the fence.


I’m playing with the idea of building a detachable dust shroud so that I can hook the shop vac up to the fence to remove any dust and chips right there at the bit.  When I was working in garages the dust wasn’t much of an issue.  I usually had the router table right there at the garage opening and would just have the door open while routing.

The biggest victory in the battle to organize the shop was the addition of a storage/work bench along the back wall of the shop.  Technically that wall runs along the side of the house, but looks like the back of the shop.  So the side is the back and the back is the side…the ceiling is actually the floor…and your seat cushion can be used a floatation device.  Got all that?

Here is the new bench in the planning stage.  You can tell it’s the “planning stage” because I’ve got the laptop out, a bag of pretzels and a beer…all the essential planning tools.

I decided to build the bench using some modular frames, so everything was cut to size on the table saw.

The off-cuts were quickly scooped up and sanded by Danger Boy.

He’s all about sanding things now.  Surely there is a way to harness this power for good!  He even checks to see if he can still feel the ridges in the end grain.

With the scrap sanding well cared for by the boy, it’s over to the workbench to start building the frames.

Here is one of the completed frames.

I built four of them to frame out an eight foot bench.


The frames were joined into one bench unit with 2X4 stretchers.

3/4 inch OSB makes for some really beefy lower shelves.  Each shelf is screwed into all four of the frame units, adding to the overall strength of the bench.

I doubled up two pieces of the OSB for the top to give the bench a heavy, flat work surface.  This one will be trimmed out just like the top over on the drawer unit bench you saw in a previous post.  The top layer will be removable should it ever need to be replaced.

You can see that I left a lot of height for that first shelf to accommodate several of my bench-top tools.  I measured them all and the Ridgid sander was the tallest, so that shelf height is based on storing that tool specifically.  The bottom shelf is just the right height for storing smaller things in boxes…in this case Grain Belt Nordeast boxes.  The problem is that I only have a few of these boxes from what became my favorite beer during our short time in Minnesota.  For any of you up in the Land of 10,000 Lakes that might find yourselves making a trip down to Denver, feel free to bring a few (dozen) boxes with you…preferably with the beer.   I can’t have a mismatched set of storage boxes, right?

Next up will be a pegboard rack to fill the space between the bench top and the wall shelves.  I’ve got room for an 8’ by 32” run of pegboard in that space…and now I’m wondering why I even bothered to paint that back wall.

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