Intro: Toolbox and Workbench Portable Stowable Repair Workstation
I made this workstation with items that were found (or that magically appeared) at home. I estimate the cost to be about $100 (if you have broken or used items), and although most of the things I used were already mine, I did have to pay for a few such as the decorative paper and some of the tape (I spent less than $20 for everything). I probably added too much tape, but they were cheap I used less than a roll of each. I feel good about the feel of the cases when they're open, though, so I don't regret one strip of it. There was a lot of trial and error (mostly error because I forgot about the existence of rulers until I was pretty much done), but I'm satisfied with the overall result. It took me about a month to put together because I kept procrastinating, changing my mind, and forgetting things when I was at the store, but I probably put in closer to 3 days. It takes less than 2 minutes to complete the setup, and it takes up less than 3 feet of space when fully set up.
Step 1: Gather Tools and Supplies
I didn't add quantity or size for the screws because of the variety of sizes and materials of the speakers, and I didn't feel it would be relevant unless you used the same speakers as I did.
- Safety glasses
- dust mask
NOTE: At the very least, please use a light mask and safetly glasses. There will be wood and metal particles, and although they can be pretty to look at, they shouldn't go in your lungs or eyeballs.
- Sanding tool (I used attachments for a dremel and multitool, and a craftsman mouse
- a wood chisel (I used two, a 1/2" and a 1")
- drill or screwdriver (I used both)
- short or "stubby" hammer
- cutting tools (I used attachments for a dremel and multi tool, and a small hand saw)
- utility knife or other cutting blade
Optional (trade tools)
- carving tools
- prying tools
- measuring tape
- drill bits
- 3rd hand with magnifying glass
- heat gun
- cordless soldering iron
- small lamp or light rig
- assorted screws, nuts & bots, etc.
- surge strip
- magnets or velcro strips (in addition to those for covers)
- lead pencil
- wood glue or hot glue
- 2 broken speakers or speaker boxes (big about 20", small as wide and deep as the large speaker)
- handles for each speaker (I used a rolling backpack for the large one, and I found the small one at the dollar store)
- thick and thin paper tape, duct tape, thick plastic tape (I used 20 mil PVC), clear tape (all from the dollar store except the 20 ml, this was from the hardware store)
- decorative covering (I used 3 rolls of cabinet covers from the dollar store)
- one large board or several small boards, depending on the amount of ports, sized to your speakers
- four sets of straps or lashes and buckles, desired length (mine went all around but they don't have to if you mount them properly)
- two 2" safety hasps
- one 3" gate hook
- 2 cabinet hinges
- furniture feet
- a roll or strips of velcro
- small nails with large heads (or a gun stapler)
- small screws with washers 3/4 the thickness of the small speaker's walls
- adjustable legs (I used the feet from an old band hero drum set)
- round plastic caps to mount the legs onto the speaker
- 4 long nails or metal bars
- fishing string (about 1 ft)
- rolling backpack (you will only need the frame, not the actual bag)
- spacers for the backpack handle
- clear plastic sheeting (page holder, table cover, cabinet cover, shower curtain...)
Step 2: Small Speaker Parting and Toolbox Assembly
I wanted to make a separate case for the tools in case there is already a work area available, and to make sure the box would fit well on top of the large case so I wouldn't have to open it when I needed to use them.
- take the speaker apart.
- remove any trim that connects the corners of the speaker together.
- add thick plastic tape lengthwise to all but one corner (I actually used every different tape I could find).
- add paper tape or duct tape around the top, bottom, and middle.
- add one nail to the top and bottom of each corner of all the boards.
- separate the corner without tape using the cutting tool or hammer. Make sure to cut at an angle.
- using the hammer, slowly break apart the corners of the boards.
- using a cutting tool, cut off the tips of the screws and sand them down.
- trim the edges (if necessary).
- remove the glue (if necessary) and sand the inside of the case down, including the area where the corners meet. be sure to clean and dust the whole thing down when you're finished.
Step 3: Toolbox Decoration, Lock, and Handle
I wanted the cases to resemble luggage, so I chose a stripe pattern and added a couple of buckles. I added a lock for security and to make it look a bit more like a case as well.
- add thin paper tape on the edges of each board vertically.
- add thick paper tape to the top and bottom edges of the case. Make sure to pull the tape firmly as you apply it and to remove all air bubbles (I did two layers).
- wrap the outside of the case with the decoration of your choice, making sure the paper overlaps the edges. stretch it out as tight as possible, and add a layer of clear tape to the edges.
- add thin paper tape paper tape to the entire inside of the case, then add a layer of decorative covering. NOTE: if the screws you are using for the buckles are longer than necessary, you may want to mount the buckles before you begin this step so you can cover the damage with the covering.
- add the soft side of the velcro strips to the corners (not where they meet).
- Use your cutter to cut between each board on the inside corners of the case, all the way to the edge (including the angled area where they meet, but not past the spine).
- cut out two covers the size of the edge of the case, sand and clean them down, wrap them in covering, and a layer of clear tape.
- screw the straps to the corners of the case, making sure to avoid the nails added previously (use the washers).
- add the safety hasp. You may need to add a spacer to the top of the hasp.
- Make pockets using the clear sheeting and use either the wood glue or hot gun to attach them to the inside of the toolbox. Add magnets as necessary.
Step 4: Large Speaker Parting and Workbench Preparation
I used a 20" speaker that didn't work (I hope) and made sure that the top would accomodate the smaller speaker and be within reach in the event the workbench is not necessary. I had a hard time mounting the hinges because I wasn't familiar with them and couldn't figure out how to get the bench to stay open without compromising the work area. I was later given the idea of the gate hook, and that worked out pretty good.
- Unscrew or pry everything off from all ports.
- Remove any tape or covering on all the joints on the top board except the right one (speaker upright facing you).
- Reinforce the joint between the top and right boards with tape and screws same as the toolbox.
- Reach into one of the speaker holes and use the hammer to separate the top three untapered sides from the rest of the speakers so that it opens like a lid.
- Laying the speaker on it's right side, front towards you, separate the top board and the board directly in front (the one with the speaker holes) from the rest of the speaker, making sure to leave the corner intact. It should be L shaped and will serve as the top portion of the bench.
- Make sure there is a small gap between the rear top joint. This will allow the table to swing open when you unbuckle the case.
- Sand and clean the inside of the bench.
I didn't trust the weight of the bench to the legs of a band hero drum set alone, so I decided to reinforce them with long nails. The caps for the feet should be slightly bigger than the legs, and should fit snugly on top. I added tape to get a tighter fit. The height is not ideal, but you can add spacers between the bench and the caps, or you can add furniture feet to the bottom of the legs (or both).
- Fully extend the legs and draw a line all the way around as close as you can under the adjustment lever.
- Retract the legs and drill a holes the size of your metal bar/long screws onto the leg.Do not drill above the line.
- Remove any burrs from the holes, THIS IS IMPORTANT because it could damage the inside of the leg and prevent them from extending or retracting properly.
- Tie fish string to the nail and tape it down. Tie the other end of the string to the top beam of the leg.
- Sand down the tip of the nail if it's sharp (optional but recommended)
Step 5: Workbench Decoration, Lock, and Handle/wheels
You can leave the inside of the bench as is if you'd like, but did an embarrassing amount of damage to it and opted for a "fresh start".
- Cut out covers for the port holes and decorate them. Make sure to leave enough space around the edges to allow room for screws or velcro.
- Cover the inside and outside of the workbench with tape, avoiding joints. Make sure to punch through the screw holes (if you have mounted anything already) to find them more easily as you add layers.
- Add covering to the inside and outside of the bench, avoiding joints.
- Mount the hinges and put the case back together.
- Mount the gate hook wherever you can find a good area. Depending on the size of your speaker, you might want to get two.
- Close the the case, add the covers, and mount the leg caps
- Mount the handle and wheel assembly, making sure to extend the last two bars before adding any screws to them. THIS IS IMPORTANT because if you leave them retracted you will not be able to pull the handle all the way out.
- Add spacers between the frame and the case so that the right flap on the workbench can be even with the bench surface.
- Add the straps and buckles, lock, and clasp. I am omitting the screws for the straps for the time being.
Step 6: Stowage, Setup, and Breakdown
This is the final product. You can choose to let the toolbox sit freely on the workbench, but I added velcro to the bottom and handles to prevent it from slipping around or falling off. You can also choose to just throw the legs into the bench case, but I hated the thought of the covering gettting ruined or the lamps getting busted, so I used left over straps from the buckles and some velcro to minimize the damage.
I am currently still working on adding the remaining optional items, and I'll update the pictures as soon as I'm done but for now the instructable is complete.
Thank you, dremel. I love you.