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Recycling old furnitures #1: Recycling a built-in desk to workbench

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Blog entry by Peter_R posted 01-12-2011 06:21 AM 77537 reads 5 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch
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I’m always a fan of recycling old wood and had recently finished rehabbing an old house. Sitting in a corner in one room was this old built-in “desk” that we removed (the shelves above came apart when we tried to remove it). I had an idea to convert the desk into something useful even though the built in was made from cheap pine and plywood. A workbench/tool center is what I came up with.

The main objective is to be able to roll this in and out of the garage so that I can still park my car when I’m not working (and work outside when the weather is nice). The tool center is now sitting on 6 casters with 2×4 frames for support. I put bead board in the back to cover the openings.

Left section is for miter saw, which is recessed into the top. The middle section is converted to a table saw stand (I plan to build a saw dust bin under the table saw). And the right section is just a work surface (thinking of converting that into a router table?!!).

Future addition: Power strip with reel for the tools, drawer hardwares, a couple of hooks on the side to hang tools, dust bin



11 comments so far

View davidroberts's profile

davidroberts

1025 posts in 2953 days


#1 posted 01-12-2011 06:47 AM

Now that is very cool. Very functional, portable and good storage area. I like the repurposing. Heck I didn’t even know the word existed a year ago.

-- Better woodworking through old hand tools.

View ratchet's profile

ratchet

1389 posts in 3254 days


#2 posted 01-12-2011 02:48 PM

OMG…thats ingenious. Looks like it should serve you well. So exactly why do you park cars in your workshop?

View Peter_R's profile

Peter_R

11 posts in 2159 days


#3 posted 01-12-2011 03:53 PM

Thank you for your kind feedbacks. My “workshop” is my garage (actually my half of the garage). So I need to be able to store away my tools when my project is done. I have the heavier tools (not movable) on the side of the garage along with racks for stocks.

View Dennisgrosen's profile

Dennisgrosen

10850 posts in 2583 days


#4 posted 01-12-2011 07:17 PM

good idea, great recycling
well executed , thank´s for sharing it :—))

ceep them coming
Dennis

View SawTooth1953's profile

SawTooth1953

308 posts in 2773 days


#5 posted 12-07-2015 02:28 PM

I never made a mobile base for my basement tools, but I can see that many people do. I love the inset miter saw flush with the table saw…and I like the idea of mobility. How does one deal with movement of this entire unit while pushing workpieces past the table saw blade? Are locking wheels enough? Would the locking wheels be just the 2 end ones or more than that? Which type of locking wheel?

-- Spence in Skokie, IL

View CBrooks's profile

CBrooks

1 post in 342 days


#6 posted 01-03-2016 09:31 PM

This is great! I don’t have an existing cabinet, so I’m going to go ahead and build it from scratch. I too use my garage and don’t like leaving my cars outside so this works perfectly! Thanks for the idea!

View SawTooth1953's profile

SawTooth1953

308 posts in 2773 days


#7 posted 01-04-2016 12:39 AM

Peter_R, You said, “the right section is just a work surface (thinking of converting that into a router table?!!).”

IMHO the cabinet style isn’t that conducive to a typical router table because you won’t have access to the router for changing bits and coarse height changes…BUT… I’ve seen a router table that lifts up for access, sorta like raising the car hood to get to the engine…and this situation appears appropriate for that. One version has been published in several books…the article is by Nick Engler. It is in his book series and some others.

Of course there are other options, like benchtop router tables, for example.

Please let us know which way you go with that. I’d love to see it.

-- Spence in Skokie, IL

View Peter_R's profile

Peter_R

11 posts in 2159 days


#8 posted 01-04-2016 02:23 AM



I never made a mobile base for my basement tools, but I can see that many people do. I love the inset miter saw flush with the table saw…and I like the idea of mobility. How does one deal with movement of this entire unit while pushing workpieces past the table saw blade? Are locking wheels enough? Would the locking wheels be just the 2 end ones or more than that? Which type of locking wheel?

- SawTooth1953


Thanks for your comments. I bought the wheels from Harbor Freight and only four of the six have locks on them (http://www.harborfreight.com/3-12-in-rubber-light-duty-swivel-caster-61650.html). Light duty was enough and I did not have any problems when feeding workpieces into the table saw (this could be an issue I suppose if you plan to feed a full sheet of 1/2” of plywood) but because the table saw is small, I needed another person to catch the cut pieces on the other side.

View Peter_R's profile

Peter_R

11 posts in 2159 days


#9 posted 01-04-2016 03:27 AM



Peter_R, You said, “the right section is just a work surface (thinking of converting that into a router table?!!).”

IMHO the cabinet style isn t that conducive to a typical router table because you won t have access to the router for changing bits and coarse height changes…BUT… I ve seen a router table that lifts up for access, sorta like raising the car hood to get to the engine…and this situation appears appropriate for that. One version has been published in several books…the article is by Nick Engler. It is in his book series and some others.

Of course there are other options, like benchtop router tables, for example.

Please let us know which way you go with that. I d love to see it.

- SawTooth1953

Thanks Spence for suggesting Nick’s article. I have considered both options. I don’t use the router as much and my garage is pretty full, so I didn’t want a separate router table. I agree that access for changing the bit will be a hassle (but can be done by opening the cabinet doors) and for raising/lowering the bit, this Rockler plate can allow you to do it from the top (http://www.rockler.com/router-lift-fx). Since then, I have opted not to use the existing surface because the size is too small and the hassle of fitting it with tracks was to much. My idea is to just buy a ready made router tabletop (http://www.rockler.com/rockler-high-pressure-laminate-router-table-fence-and-phenolic-plate) and find a way to attach it to the side of my cabinet with hinges and some braces that can be secured to the side of the cabinets….

View Jose's profile

Jose

94 posts in 1121 days


#10 posted 11-01-2016 01:07 PM

Peter are those 4 inch casters?

-- Jose

View Safejosh's profile

Safejosh

1 post in 6 days


#11 posted 12-05-2016 01:55 AM

Are still able to use the rip fence on the table saw? Would you by any chance have plans for this? Thanks! Looks great!

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