This project was made in Leon, Mexico while I am working down here and accompanied by my youngest daughter. We had several pieces of plywood leftover from projects and I had just bought a router and a Kreg tool.
This is just a simple box that keeps my Kregg tool accessories, boxes of screws, and one large Kregg screw box in one place. It was made to fit on top of a Workmate table with a routed slot so that it clamps securely to the top with my Kregg clamp at a comfortable height.
This instructable is for all those parents, grandparents, uncles and aunts to make something simple with basic hand skills and teach young people there is way more to life than texts and videos. It is not very refined, but it was a blast to do with my daughter who is 17.
Make sure to wear safety glasses and earplugs when using power saws or routers. It is up to us to teach the next generation how to work safely and respect for machines we use and enjoy.
Step 1: Step 1: Inventory and Deciding Dimensions
Do an inventory of leftover plywood, planks, stains, paint and such. Next, make sure you have a Kreg tool or something you want to create a base for.
I had 2 pieces of plywood that had at least 26 inches I could make a top and bottom out of. we made it 11.5 inches wide after a slight problem at the router table, more on this later. We had a 60-inch piece of plywood which was 3 inches wide and .75 inches thick. this was made into the sides.
We wanted the box to extend past the workmate table on the sides by just a few inches. Originally I had wanted to have extended over on all edges, but I failed to use my daughter's skill eg.. younger eyes and routed my first pass much too deep. This, however, was a piece that was used to make a locking door later and showed my daughter that you don't have to throw away material because of a mistake.
Step 2: Step 2: Cuts and Things
We used 2 premade sawhorse that I purchased from a Home Depot here in Leon for a secure and level cutting base. We used a drywall T-square to lay out the lines and hopefully make accurate cuts. I purchased a cheaper circular saw when I first arrived and it is almost impossible to cut square at the blade or in a straight line. When buying a circular saw make sure the foot or the plate that rest on the material to be cut is sturdy and the adjustments are easy to use and securely lock it in place. On the display model check that the spindle that holds the blade has no play or wiggle in it. A loose spindle allows the blade wobble and makes for very uneven cuts
We used clamps to attach the T-square after our layout to ensure the best chance for straight lines. We placed the base of the saw so that the blade was on the waste side of our work and made a mark. we measured the distance from the best square and straight side and repeated the line on the other end this is where we clamped the T-square. Set the saw blade so that it barely goes through the material to be cut. This prevents blade overheating and thus decrease wobble. We then placed the base of the saw firmly and squarely on the T-square and made our cuts after Safety Glasses and Earplugs were securely fitted to our selves.
Bottom and Top
Bottom 26.5 inches long and 11.5 inches wide.
Top 1/4 " less wide than the bottom.
Back and Sides
Back 26.5 inches long by 3 inches wide.
Sides two 10.75 long by 3 inches wide.
Step 3: Step 3: Route Slot and Assembly
Now if you have a homemade very rustic looking router table like we made it is the time to set it up and route the groove in the bottom that will allow us to securely mount our box to the workmate.
First, make sure you set the depth correctly on how deep you will route the slot. I measured the plastic dawg or clamp of the workmate and it is .5 inches. Since the bottom is going to be nailed and glued to the rest of the assembly we felt we would be okay with that depth.
Before routing make sure to place the bottom on the Workmate table and align it so that when clamping to the Workmate the handles on the front are not under your box. We routed the groove 1.5 inches wide and 8.25 inches from the front, so we removed material from the 8.25 to 6.75 inches from the front of the box. As you can see from the pictures this plywood had been used much of the time for a staining sealing platform.
Using the Kreg tool we made 3 pocket holes on each side piece and 5 pocket holes on the back piece. this was to attach to the top. The top and back piece should be flush along the back and the side. We used wood glue on our seams. Attach the Back piece to the Top piece and then each Side piece to the top. Once this was done we laid the top down and placed the Bottom on the assembly making sure that the slot for the clamps was opposite the front of our box. After we tested and made sure our alignment was correct to the Workmate clamps. We applied wood glue and used a brad nailer to secure the bottom to the side.
Step 4: Step 4: Kreg Clamp, Door, Latches, Sanding, Finishing, and Thoughts
Such a busy step!!
Kreg Clamp Align to the center of yout top. Simply measure your width divide by two and make a mark above where the door will be installed at this point. 13.25 inches for me. We used a speed square and aligned our clamp at 90 degrees to the front and flush with the plywood at the front. We made sure the center of the Kreg clamp was on the previous center mark. We attached using 1.25" Kreg screws of course. Next, we had to make some supports for the side of the Kreg clamp. We used some rough dimensional 1" boards. we marked and cut them so they would be flush with each side and then countersunk some hole using the step bit included with the Kreg tool. We used 2 5/16" washers under each 1.25" Kregg screw so the boards would sit flush with the Kreg tool.
The door was next. We noticed that the waste piece created by me not listening was close to fitting inside the opening at the front of our box. We used the router table to have the 3/4" plywood slide into the front and we had a 1/4" tab that fits nicely with the top so the door sits flush inside the front of our box.
Latches were made from scrap plywood, Kregg screws, and 5/16" washers. We cur two roughly same size arms and countersunk a hole for 2.5 inch Kreg screws on each tab. The screws extra length meant that where our tabs rotate there are no screw threads. The washers were to adjust for bad cuts and make sure door is held securely.
Sanding take your time, we took turns sanding and trying to make it look as good as we could. I tried to teach my daughter a good way to use the sander and how to make surfaces flat. She showed me how to actually achieve this with a very short period of practice.
Finishes are up to the team. We decided to used what we had on hand to keep our costs low. Proper sanding always makes for better finishes.
Thoughts My first instructable and third project with my daughter, both things that help this old maintenance guy get through being so far from home and the rest of his family. Take the time to pass on Hand Skills to the younger people, spend time with them, money and things are temporary and pass far too quickly. Remembering and teaching the things I learned as a young man to my daughter here and my kids back home are what make a very tired 50-year-old man look in the mirror at night and see a very happy and content man.