Well, it’s been 2 years and I’ve had some time with this gift of a bench. I’ve had the opportunity to learn some of its strengths and some of it weaknesses.
The first weakness, and the one I will be focusing on in this entry is primarily its heft, or rather the lack thereof.
Just as a memory jog, here’s where we left off with the restored bench.
It looks pretty, but in use I’ve found when pushing through some strokes I move the bench. I’ve addressed this a bit by putting the edge of my floor mat under the front feet, but it still happens.
So I’ve decided I want to make a bank of drawers under the bench.
This will do a few things – I hope
1: Address the lack of weight issue
2: Add storage (always a plus)
3: Give the bench a more sturdy appearance.
I would like to take a second to focus on number 3. Appearance does mean something to me. I like things to look substantial. I like them to appear like they are a force to be reckoned with. Most of the stuff in my shop is made out of heavy duty materials that look like they’re not going anywhere anytime soon. I like that. This bench has always checked the “old” box for me, but it hasn’t done anything for me when it comes to looking solid. I hope to address that with this venture.
Now for the challenges involved:
1: Keep it looking old, original, and intentional
2: Make everything I do to it reversible
3: Keep costs down
These are things I’ve previously attempted in this bench with its deadman, dogs, garters, and whatnots, but this is going to be the largest modification to the bench, so it will likely be the most noticeable, and there are some design issues to think through as this bench was not built with the goal of adding a chest of drawers under it.
My first, and still prevailing thought is to just make a simple box that slips in from the side and rests on the front to back stretchers as noted by the red X’s.
But doing it this way will leave a gap between the box and the front and back stretcher as noted by the green X’s.
The pros to this option is that the gap on the front will freely allow me to have space for drawer fronts and handles while not interfering with the deadman, and when I am cleaning up dust off the top of the box it will fall to the ground instead of getting caught on the stretchers.
The con to this option is that I don’t think I will like the look of it – especially from the back of the bench.
So this is where I’m currently sitting with this.
I’m not in any rush to start or finish this project, but it’s a slow day at work and it’s what’s on my mind. So I thought I better get it down on paper… errr… internets.
I would love to hear alternate ideas, plans, thoughts, ramblings, and musings about this – ‘cause currently its all in my head, and likely still a ways from putting steel to wood.
-- I came - I sawed - I over-built