There comes a time in everybody's life where they just want to build or destroy something. It happens to all of us, or at least all the folks who visit this site. Alas, there is one small glitch in my "BUILD AWESOME THINGS" plan. I live in a rental property.
I have fed my addiction (yes, I have an issue) by working on other people's projects, including a pergola for Spa, renovating a garage to a home office, to name a few. Until I had a brainwave. A portable work bench.
So I sat a did some VERY rough sketches to flesh out my idea and to see roughly what I would need.
I then jumped onto my computer, and sparked up a good program called "Sketch Up" - free from google. The program was recommended to me by a designer friend, and after a few hours (or 10) I had a rather pleasing blueprint for what I was going to create.
And here is the finished product!
Wait... I'm getting ahead of myself here. First I realised the very first thing I would need. A VERY NICE SAW! So I tripped to my local hardware store for a shopping spree.
Step 1: Shopping Spree
And here is my new toy.
A slide miter Saw with a laser sight. That's right, a laser sight. Very James Bond.
While I was drooling over my new saw, I also talked with the Timber Expert, and the Hardware specialist, and purchased:
- 42mm x 42mm pre-primed Pine for the main bones of my Tables,
- 25mm dowel for the railings/shelves,
- a 25mm Router drill bit
- a Countersinking bit (for countersinking, obviously)
- 75mm Brass screws (for securing my pine together)
- 35mm Brass screws (for securing dowel shelves)
- 8 rotating, lockable wheels (and a few more screws for good measure)
With these tools in hand, I set to work.
The Dimensions I've decided to go with is 108.4cm Wide (100cm plus 2 x 42mm thicknesses, one on each end), 88.4cm Tall (80cm plus the dual thicknesses once again) and 60cm Deep. These dimensions to not include the wheels yet. they are just for the skeleton frame, and will be the same for both benches.
I decided to tackle my dowel shelved bench first, mainly because at this point in construction, I am still trying to figure out exactly how I'm going to construct the drawers.
I spent a little time pre-planning how I was going to assemble the finished product, and went against my first idea to dovetail the joins on the ends of the benches, purely for structural strength. I ended up bringing my vertical posts in by a single thickness (42mm). Knowing that I was going to put a dowel level in the sides, I drilled a hole with my 25mm router bit half way down the 2 side pieces. I also pre-drilled my holes, and countersunk my screw heads. I also measured the holes made by the router bit, and the distance between the two vertical poles, to get the distance I needed for my dowel. I had to measure both sides and they were out by 5mm, so that's something I recommend should you decide to follow in my footsteps. As my father always says, "When building, remember the 6 P's".
They are: Prior Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance
I also made the mistake of thinking that a 25mm dowel piece would easily fit into a 25mm drilled hole. Again, should you attempt to follow in my footsteps, I recommend making the holes just a little bigger than what you need.
Once all my parts were cut, and pre-drilled. I put both end together, then got to work on my widths. Working with 100cm lengths, made my choice on distance of dowel rods very easy. I spaced them at 10cm intervals as you can see in the photos. And, with sunset chasing me inside, I had time to secure one of the bottom rails with dowel notches and a top rail without for strength and security.