So I have been having problems storing all my wood turning junk lately, it seemed like all those little pieces were getting lost in the clutter, I needed a storage solution and I needed one fast but I did not want just anything I was holding out for something great that would last a lifetime and work really really nice.
Well I was at a garage sale one day and my wife spotted a set of metal drawers and convinced me to spend the $10 that the guy was asking. I paid the man and went to lift the drawers and nearly pulled my back out, these things are thick solid steel and the set weighs about 80 pounds. The drawer slides are silky smooth ball bearing slides and lock in place nice and tight. A little research revealed that these are custom drawers made to be installed into work vans so they have to be heavy duty and these things are brand new! I guess you could say I got a steel :)
I was using the drawers without a top for a while and the top drawer was just filling with shavings and dust. I finally broke down and had to build a top which is what this instructable is covering. Looking around the shed the only wood that really stood out to use for a benchtop was a pine 2 by 10 I had. This was not just any pine board it was one of the support boards from my old Delta 1460 Wood Lathe. The Delta 1460 wood lathe is an antique lathe built in the 1940's, I have been using this lathe since about 1999 until I recently upgraded to a new Woodfast lathe. The Delta was a sweetheart machine but I could not get anybody to pay me a decent price for the lathe craigslist so I did the unthinkable and parted the machine on ebay. I really did not want to ship the iron legs or the wooden boards due to their size so I kept them and decided it would be nice to use the wood to make my benchtop since it had wood turning sentimental value. This pine is from the 1940's and has very tight grain and just looks really nice compared to what I could buy at Home Depot or Lowes.
So what do you need to do a project like this, here are the tools and materials I used in this project:
Pine Board 2 X 10 about 60" long (You can use any type of wood you have)
Set of Drawers (these could be metal or wood, just recycle something from craigslist or a garage sale)
Varnish (I used Polyurethane)
Cheap Paint Brush
Table Saw and/or Circular Saw
Drill and/or Drill Press
1/2", 3/4", 1", and 1 - 1/4" drill bits
Awl, Punch, or Nail for marking holes
Sander/s (Belt or ROS is fine)
Square and Straight Edge
Step 1: Sawing the pine boards to shape
Since my drawers are about 12" wide and my pine board is 9.5" wide I am going to have to glue the boards up to get the width I want. In order to glue them I need a good straight edge to glue so I drag out the table saw for that part. You could do this with the circular saw but since I have a table saw I will be using it. I would like the work bench to over hang on the sides and rear so I can put some holes to hold stuff so I decide to go with two full widths of the board to make the bench.
I start by cutting the board to 9" wide just cutting about 1/2" off one side, this gives me my straight glue edge. Since the drawer unit is about 19" deep I cut two pieces of pine from the board 22" long, that will give me a 3" overhang at the back and double the 9" width gives me an 18" wide bench top for a 12" wide drawer unit which will give me an even 3" overhang on both sides of the unit as well. As you can see in the pictures I used my circular saw to cut the pieces to length.
Now that everything is cut I can proceed to the next step, gluing up the top.