I know what you’re thinking. Wait, aren’t you already working a couple projects? Why don’t you finish those before you start another? And what’s with all the planning posts?
So, to bring you up to speed…
1. We’re waiting for some hardware to arrive for our kitchen cabinets’ sliding drawers.
2. We’ve been discussing layout options and panel configuration for our raised panel wainscoting dining room plans. We haven’t made a decision yet, but we’re going over to a neighbor’s house to check out his paneling to get some ideas and to come to a consensus.
I think those are the main projects, but there’s a couple other small things we’ve got waiting in the wings to keep us busy in between jobs.
When we kicked off the planning portion of our raised panel project, I listed a bunch of steps I’d need to accomplish to finish the job. One of them is to build a router table. While I was assembling the cabinet drawers, I noticed that the wood kept getting metal dust and dirt on it from the table saw. I was essentially using the table saw as a work surface. I realized that it was probably time for a work bench for our basement as well.
I’m going to try to build one fairly quickly and get it done before we do any work on the dining room. I could definitely use the work surface for all the wood working that’ll need to happen.
In my old house, I whipped together a basic work table made from 2x4s for the legs, MDF for a bottom shelf and melamine for the top. When I was building my kitchen cabinets and finishing up that house, it served as my central work space. It even had a Kreg track built into the top to allow for easy pocket screw joint creation. That jig really made the cabinets fly. Since I had no place for it once the house was done and I was fairly confident Lisa didn’t want a large 2×4 work table in our living room, I disassembled it and threw it out.
We also had Ethan from One Project Closer contribute a guest post on making a really useful work bench.
Oh, and sorry for all the planning posts. We’re all potatoes lately and no meat. Maybe it’s the engineer in me, but I enjoy the planning part of the project nearly as much as the execution. What’s really key for me and this project is to try to get all the material for the work bench, the router table and the wainscoting at once. That would be sweet. Lisa has a Lowe’s coupon, so we’re going to try to make the most of it!! My Jeep won’t be happy with me though.
Here’s what I’m going to be looking for when I build my workbench and if you’re considering building one yourself, this list should be helpful.
1. Set the height so it’s comfortable to work on. When you buy a pre-made table, they are all within 1″-2″ of each other. I’m probably average height, but if you’re tall or a little shorter, then you can tailor it to your needs.
2. Should be longer than wider. I’m going to butt my table up against a wall in the basement and I want to be able to reach my arm across the table and be able to just touch the wall. Again, this is something you can customize. You can make it wider than an arm’s length, but be sure to have access to both ends in that case. The length is all up to you.
3. Use strong, but light materials. 2x4s are nice and 3/4″ plywood is really tough, but they can sometimes be overkill. You could probably make a torsion box with 1/2″ thick plywood and make the legs by stacking thin plywood sections together.
4. Plan on adding storage and added functionality. Kreg jig tracks, drawers, shelves, whatever you’d like.
5. Read Ethan’s post for more info on adding wheels, electrical outlets and brackets for bracing.
6. Melamine makes a nice top because it’s smooth and already finished. You don’t need to paint it and it repels stains and spills. It’s also pretty heavy.
If you’d like to get into some basic woodworking, making a work table is a great project to start with. The cuts and the assembly doesn’t need to be perfect, it just needs to be strong.
Is anyone else sick of planning and not doing? I feel like I’m in “Spaceballs.”
Now how many blogs will you read today that have a “Spaceballs” reference in them? You’re welcome.