Organization in a workshop is a must have, but when you run out of space, your options are have a garage sale, shove everything in a corner (My personal favorite on a hot summer day), or make more space! My grandfather donated some pallet racks from a warehouse to me a couple of years ago, and since then I've had these 4' beams kicking around. I had no use for them, as each rack was either set for 10' length, or a 20' length, scrap metal! But if you set your mind to it, this scrap metal can become the ultimate bench vice stand, along with your drill press!
My drill press doesn't fit on my current workbench, so whenever I wanted to use it I had to pull it off of the shelf, and set it on the floor precariously! Something had to be done, so I present to you the Pallet Rack Workstation!
Edit: In true maker fashion, as I was making this instructable, I realized that I got carried away and got ahead of myself, and forgot to take pictures! I've went back a couple steps, and mostly disassembled the shelf so you have an idea of how to build it. Anyways, lets begin!
Step 1: Gather Your Materials!
Depending on if you want to drag out your extension cords and saws, you can be a energy guzzler, or have a workout session! As I am only 16 years old, I figured why not workout some, as I don't EVER want to work a desk job somewhere clicking keys on a keyboard, working outside it for me! But if you can't use your manual tools, go ahead and grab the power saw, you'll be done faster then I was!
For this awesome space saving workstation you'll need a couple of items
x1 beam of choice, I had 4' beams
x2 saws of your choice
x? 2x4's or 2x6's, depending on how you want the finished product to look, I chose 2x6's for the ease of using up space fast!
x1 2x4 to close up the front of the pallet rack beam (who wants to get stitches because you were too lazy to make a nice clean finished product?)
x1 Drill for pre-drilling holes into wood (3/8 self tapping bolts are not very forgiving to old barn wood)
This list should get you started fairly well, but make sure to stay hydrated! My shop reaches temperatures of 120 degrees with both bay doors wide open!
Step 2: Mount Your Beams!
Unless you gave up after cutting yourself on a sharp edge due to lack of common sense (or you broke your saw in the process,) you've made it this far safely, and are staying for the ride, congratulate yourself with a cold drink!
As each pallet rack mounting system is different, figure out how your beams mount, and check the fit! If one of your beams is a little too long, just cut a little more off! (or have a crooked finish, it works just as well)
Once you have test fitted your beams, find a way to secure them so whatever you mount onto them doesn't vibrate them loose, last thing you want is your brand new power tool toppling to it's death! (and a new diy project) On my specific pallet rack, I was able to run a bolt (forgot the size) to the main 10' beam stabilizing it perfectly.
Finished with mounting them? don't get ahead of yourself just yet, there is still more steps to come!
Step 3: Measure Twice, Cut Once!
Depending on how you mounted your beams, your shelf might not be completely square, (mine wasn't) you can either loosen your stabilization bolts until it is, or speed things up and cut some odd-sized boards out! Got your boards cut out? Onward!
Start assembly by test fitting each slat until you have a perfect width of boards (this means that nothing is sticking out past the end of the beams!) Once you have test fitted the slats, leave them! They aren't going anywhere as you'll be tightening up those stabilization bolts you loosened in the last couple of steps.
Got those tightened up? measure the bottom length of the slats and cut out a 2x4 the length you just measured out!
Turn those 2x4's on their side now, and slide them against your beam, and hold it there, as you'll be running a decking screw through it each slat on top to these 2x4's.
Once you finish this, you'll notice that all of your slats on top can now slide out, easy disassembly for whenever I make a instructable about how to make a drawer for it!
Anyways, onwards to the next step!
Step 4: Fasten Everything Down!
Remember that little talk I had to you about making sure your new power tool doesn't topple to the ground? Lets make your shelf even safer!
Grab your favorite drill, and your choice of self tapping bolt, as we will be drilling straight into the beams!
But don't get too excited just yet, you need to pre-drill your boards, as I said, the self tapping bolts don't go into wood very well, and it usually ends up in splitting out your wood and having to cut a new board! (more exercise, or power guzzling)
Anyways, pre-drill those boards, and once you finish that, grab a driver for your self tapping bolts, and secure your slats!
ignore the board on the front, like I said, I disassembled it (mostly) for you guys, and I'll get to that shortly.
Ready to finish? Don't stress, the last step is right around the corner!
Step 5: Sharp Edges Hurt, Cover Them Up!
I like to cover up sharp edges and save any extra trips to the hospital for later, but if you're a dare devil and want to risk it, this step isn't for you!
Got a board left? This will be your favorite board out of them all! It covers up any sharp edges, while providing extra storage! Notice the nails on the front? Hang your saws up! (or safety googles for your tools
Anyways, measure out the width from each outside edge of your beams, and cut a board to length!
Those two boards I had you turn on there side not only keep the slats together nicely, but they also provide a mounting surface for your cover plate!
Looking like the ultimate pallet shelf workstation yet? It's not ultimate until you see the next step!
Step 6: (BONUS) Finally, a Home for Your Bench Vice!
If your shop looks anything like mine (usually a disaster, until you decide you're going to clean it), your bench vice is mounted on random scrap boards, and you use c-clamps to hold it down, those days are over!
I said the cover plate was your last board, but if you want a home for your cast iron friend, you can spare a extra board right? Grab a board that sticks out over the edge of your shelf however far you need it for your vice, and mount it to the beams! Easy right? Now go get your bench vice and mount it down too!
At last, you have a place for tool(s) you have precariously placed inside your shop, and a place to hold down anything with your safe bench vice!
Step 7: Final Thoughts
You've come all this way, so I'm hoping you took the time to build this space saving Pallet Rack Workstation!
Take a moment to congratulate yourself, and hydrate!
You made it? Great, hit that "I made it!" button, I'd love to see your revision of my workstation, and any additions you might've added along the way.
Have any ideas or suggestions? Did you see a typo? Is there a contest I can enter this in? Post it down in the comments, or shoot me a pm, I'm always willing to listen to feedback from anyone!
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