I am not a wood worker. I am a keen YouTube viewer and avid watcher of those that can DO. With enthusiasm and determination I was adamant that I could do what i had watched others do online. Only difference was, I had no experience, limited tools and a tight budget. Here is what i did and how I did it.
I hope you enjoy and perhaps even have a go yourself!
Step 1: Base Cabinets
To start I visited a local hardware store that was closing down and managed to pick up a number of kitchen base units at a great price. Up to this point i had a rough idea of what I wanted to make but didnt know sizes, shapes, position etc within the garage. I was fairly flexible with how this would turn out. I managed to get 9 units for much less than I could have bought the material to make them myself. When I got them built up, I shuffled them around the get a layout I was happy with.
Step 2: Worktop & Doors
Using 18mm Plywood I created doors and drawer fronts. I used 2 layers of 18mm MDF for the worktop, and finished the edges with 35mm white pine. I created a mixture of both drawers and cupboards. The gap between the cabinets shown in the pictures is to allow for a lower shelf which will house the Mitre Saw. The Mitre Saw I am installing is a Metabo KGS216M which hass a double bevel cut and 305mm cutting depth.
Step 3: Installing Hardware & Making Drawers
I bought 20 Hafele hinges from eBay and used them to install the doors. I bought 7 ball bearing sliders to install the drawers. I used a Kreg jig to create drawers, using left over strips of Plywood I had from the drawer and cabinet doors. Again using left over lengths of Plywood, I created a kickboard for the underside of the units. This was installed at this stage too.
Step 4: Worktop
In an unplanned step, I decided to add a 4mm layer of sacrificial lining to the top of the workbench which was more in keeping with the colour and style of the rest of the units. This was not really nessesary but purely cosmetic. In addition to this I added an edging which was also a similar colour to the reddness of the doors and worktop. Again, for aesthetics and personal choice.
Step 5: Dust Hood and CAD Drawing
Again, using the Kreg jig I began assembling a guide fence which will be used to line up large pieces with the Mitre Saw more accurately. These two parts (right and left of the saw) were created as moveable, independant parts which could be fine tuned and moved to get alignment 100% before fixing to the bench top.
Following this, I created sides for the dust hood. Mitre Saws are notorious for creating fine dust during use so this will contain the majority of the dust created. At each side of the dust hood I hope to create more storage in the form of drawers and cupboards.
It was at this stage I decided to draw a CAD model to give me an idea of where i was headed with this and to allow me to plan for future cuts and timber requirements. Up to now I had been working from plans in my head but it was becoming more complex than my head could manage so I had to create an accurate visual! The last image shows what I hope the final piece will look like.
Step 6: Upper Cabinets & Drawers
Again using 18mm Plywood, I created drawers and cupboard fronts. These were assembled and attached in the same way as the lower section. Also here I installed a guide rail with a stop to assist with repetitive cuts. This can be seen in the pictures in red and runs both sides of the Mitre Saw.
Additional storage was added above head height which will house items that are not required as often as the tools etc which will be kept at the lower level cupboards and drawers.
Step 7: Finishing Touches and Features
Now that the unit was more or less complete, I was able to focus on some smaller features that would make the use of the piece a more enjoyable user experience. As mentioned previously, I added a stop block on a sliding rail to ensure that repetitive cuts were identical. In addition to this I added a tape measure which means that I dont need to measure each cut by hand each time I set up for a new length. I just slide the block along till I reach the desired length and cut!
When I installed the cabinets against the wall, I covered over a couple of power sockets. In order to overcome this I simply plugged in an extension multi plug unit and fixed it to the inside of a drawer. Now if I want power, I can open the drawer and have access to 4 plugs. There are also 2 USB power pints here which are very handy for charging the phone. When I am finished, I close the drawer and they are out of sight.
A simple but very useful feature about these drawers is that the lower drawer is double size which means I can use it to keep heavier and bulkier items. With it being close to the ground I dont have to lift anything very high to set it in and as it is double height I can store all kinds of items that would otherwise not fit into the smaller drawers. Only a minor feature but very handy.
At the end of the unit I have a small cabinet (300mm) which houses all my screws, bolts, nuts, fixtures and fittings. In a dusty environment I prefer to keep these out of the way and so with this sliding feature I can just slide them away and close the door.
Underneath the Mitre Saw I have left a space which is for the collection of fallen dust. The shelf on which the Mitre Saw sits is approximately 150mm away from the wall, allowing larger particles to fall down onto the floor beneath. Eventually I hope to install an extraction system but for now I can let the dust gather here and just lift it out with a scoop when needs be. Again I can close the door at the front of this area to contain the dust while I am working in the workshop.
Step 8: BONUS Step!
In addition to the Mitre Saw station I also built a work area which used much the same techniques and processes. What I wanted was an area where I could put together smaller projects I may be working on and also have access to a computer if I ever needed to watch a tutorial or follow instructions/ tutorials. Additional storgae was added at head height for smaller items such as books, hand held tools, manuals etc.
In the second picture i have laid out roughly what i have in mind. Using this footprint I will build up.
I also decided to add more drawers to the left side. One can never have enough storage!
I placed a book in the shelf area to check for fit. Looks good to me
As well as adding a screen for a computer I wanted to add amplified sound to ensure that I could hear what was being played on the computer, be it music, instructions, YouTube videos etc.
I have placed a sheet of 12mm Plywood against the back wall which will be used to hold tools such as screwdrivers, chisels, hammers, set squares and other smaller hand held items which can be easily accessed as and when needed.
THANKS FOR READING!