Construct a work bench "Light, Shelf and Power Box" in one which is great for a Makers workshop.
Ive found it invaluable for close up work on projects as it shields your eyes from direct glare and reflects light off a back wall providing you a bright area on the underlying workbench.
It also sorts out the problem of getting enough power to the desk and you can put items on top of it safely like your wireless speakers.
The unit is very cost effective and easy to make as its been made from 100x25mm Grip Tread Decking and a standard light unit.
Step 1: Materials & Tools
There are only five items required
- 4 metres of 100x25mm Grip Tread Decking
- 16 of 75mm Square Drive Wood Screws
- Felt to cover underside area of the feet 100x200mm
- 880mm long Fluorescent or LED Lamp unit with power cable
- Power board
Tools required are
- Skill Saw
- Electric screw driver with Square Drive Head
- Wood square
- Box cutter
- Battery powered hand drill and bits suitable to pre-drill screw holes
Note: I have experimented with Composite Decking (Boards made from recycled plastic and wood) which means you get a much nicer finish for use in an home office or study environment In the picture above I used Charcoal colored board. The disadvantage of composite is that it cuts like plastic, has no give and all holes need pre-drilling otherwise it splits. However it looks great.
LInk to example of composite decking below
Step 2: Cutting Out Timber
Using the dimensions provided in the diagram above carefully mark out the Decking and use a skill saw to cut out the components.
It is easier and safer to use wood clamps and a firm outside bench to ensure the cuts are straight. Use sandpaper to smooth any rough edges.
Step 3: Assembly
Carefully mark the and position the center of the left leg on the left foot. Drill two holes in the left foot and screw in the into to left leg from underneath. Repeat for the right leg.
Stand the completed legs on a firm flat and level surface. Position the Top on the legs and drill two holes in each end. Screw the Top to the legs so that they are are firmly in place. Check that the legs and uprights are aligned and square once assembled. It should sit upright on the bench and be stable once complete.
3. Left and Right Braces
The braces are held firmly in place with two screws as per the pictures above. They also hold the unit square so it is important to get them oriented the correct way with the 10cm sides attached to the Leg and Top. Take care so that grip tread on the decking is consistent on each side. Pre-drill the holes to avoid the wood splitting and take care to ensure the screws do not protrude through the wood when screwed home.
4. Attach the Light Fitting
In this unit I used a mains powered Fluorescent fitting because I had one from another project however in future I would probably use an LED light. Its important to have a diffuser on the fitting so the light is evenly dispersed and the fluorescent does this well.
Center the light fitting under the top and ensure the power cable is not restricted before screwing into the wood. I faced the power switch to the back so I can reach around and turn off the bench light easily.
Turn on the lamp and check it is working before going to the next step.
5. Glare Guard
Attach the Glare Guard to the front of the unit so that it completely obscures the lamp from the eyes. In my case there was a 1cm gap between the underside of the top and the glare guard.
Once positioned use a screw on the left and right side to attach the Glare Guard. Pre-drill the wood as before to avoid splitting the wood.
6. Power Box
Add a power box to left or right hand side of the unit by following the instructions for mounting that come with the power box. In my case it was just putting two wood screws into the right hand side leg and sliding them into two holes in the power box.
7. Felt under the feet
Carefully cut and glue two pieces of felt to the underside of the feet so that when the unit is placed on a bench top there is no scuffing or damage to bench top.
Step 4: Final Adjustments
Ensure the unit is square and doesn't wobble. This may require some adjustment of screws once the unit is on a flat level surface.
I have found the design of the unit to be particularly stable and after 3 months of use it is still my favorite source of light in the workshop.
Now put your boom box on the shelf, put on some music, get creative and go make something under your new light!!