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The Quest for a Better Bench #7: The last part...

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Blog entry by PlanBWoodworks posted 11-12-2017 01:43 AM 526 reads 0 times favorited 0 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 6: Final Assembly and Finish!!! Part 7 of The Quest for a Better Bench series Part 8: The end - for real this time... I think... »

So the bench was DONE. I was very happy with the way that it turned out. It was solid, it was heavy, it was visually appealing and it was going to be around for a long time. Just in case you don’t remember what it looked like:

Ok, I’ll admit, I just wanted to show it off. Anyway, because I was so pleased with the bench, I decided to rearrange my entire shop. This led to some storage issues. Also, the bench that I dismantled to make room for the new bench was the bench where I mounted my drill press and my belt/disc sander. Now, I also had to find new homes for those pieces of equipment.

I decided that I would take the bench what formerly was my MAIN workbench (the previously completed laminated top bench} and move it to the opposite wall. In moving that, it created the opportunity for my to move my table saw station (see my projects for details) to the opposite wall, as well. Initially, I moved my drill press and combo sander to the top of my previous laminated top bench, but I wasn’t thrilled with that. Both machines pretty much eliminated any usefulness that bench could provide.

I decided that I would leave the drill press there, but would move my combo sander to one of my miter saw wings. As my miter saw station is centered around a former tv cabinet with fold up wings (again, see my projects/workshop for details), I have deep wings. Therefore, I could place the sander on the end, be able to access both the belt and the disc and NOT lose any miter saw capacity.

Those 2 pieces of equipment now had new homes, but I still had some storage issues as a result of the reorganization. In contemplating possible solutions, I realized that the new bench had a perfect base for adding a tool cabinet. I decided to take full advantage of that.

In the interest of using the materials that I had on hand, I built the cabinet using 1/2” plywood. I began by constructing the sides and back, using squares to ensure that my angles were at 90’.

Then, using pine ply, I constructed drawers (a total of 7) at various depths. I wanted at least one deep drawer to house a standard circular saw and another tool or 2. The remaining drawers were going to hold my sandpaper discs and sheets. The rest of the drawers were not reserved for anything immediately, but I knew that it would not take them long to find tenants.

I did not wat to shell out $150 for the drawer slides, so I cut runners from scrap wood and I coated them with paste wax. I finished the drawers with shellac and paste wax. I stained the drawer fronts, again 1/2” ply, with the mix of Sedona Red and Red Mahogany that I used for the base of the bench, but I ran out of the mix. I had to finish one drawer front with just Red Mahagony. I brushed on 3 coats of satin poly. I installed brushed chrome drawer pulls/knobs, and was done with the cabinet.

I placed the cabinet in its new home, and installed a block below it that would butt up against the front stretcher, keeping the cabinet from sliding out the front of the bench. As the bench was up against a wall, it wasn’t necesssary to install a block on the backside.

About half of the drawers are still empty, bit I know that will not last long. I WAS DONE!!!! Man, I was thrilled with the final product. It looked great and was very functional. I just hated that such a good looking bench was butted up against a wall that had shop fixtures that had been contracted with no concern for aesthetics. It was a shame that they were so ugly. It sure would be nice if I could do something about that. Dammit, AGAIN!!! Still not done. At LEAST one more entry in my apparently never ending bench project…

-- Hardwoods shouldn't be so expensive. Unlike money, hardwoods literally grow on trees!!!



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