This project was previewed as a Mini-Bench, but that was apparently confusing. So I gave it the more appropriate Multi-Function name.
This bench is where I sand, assemble, and glue-up projects. It holds a compressor, nail guns and the nails.
I am also filing this as a project today, but in much abbreviated form.
From the front left….
From the back left…..
From the back right….
The construction is stud grade 2×4’s and cheap plywood (last time I do that), and the top is 1” MDF composed of two 1/2” pieces. The end vertical piers are a lattice of 2×4’s including the legs, sandwiched with sheets of 3/4” birch ply, with everything glued and nailed. the lower and upper horizontal frames are 2×4’s with only one side covered with 3/4” ply.
Most of the 3/4” ply edges are trimmed out with 1/8” thick pine. Excess amounts of 2×4 are used in the piers and the two horizontal frames to increase the mass, and maximize rigidity. 3/4” plywood is used for the same reason. Actually I made it a little too heavy, but it is a rock solid bench and work surface.
The usual top is shown in the above pictures, but it is reversible. On the other side is the cut through top shown here. I just turned the over the top.
Detail of the cut through top….
The top is reversible, with one side having pedestals for cut through and rout through. The slots accomodate 5/16” T-bolts. Because the top fits into a basin enclosed on 5 sides, and because the top has a number of slots, it works well as a downdraft table as well. The top is held by the basin sides, two pegs, and by its considerable weight.
Here it is without the top so you can see the basin….
Here is a peg….
I plan to put in a vise on the left end. I have numerous hold downs, fixtures, and surface vises for it. It works great for assembling boxes and objects with nails, screws, and glue.
Underneath is an enclosed compartment for my 6 gallon compressor.
There is a hole for air access underneath it, and a shielded exit for wires and hoses. This results in considerable dampening of the noise level when the compressor cycles. There are 5 air hose ports, with 4 in use for 3 nail guns, and a blower. It has a large front door complete with automatic door prop….
...and a small back access door for the tank drain….
The doors use bullet catches for a latch. The doors are opened by grasping the edges.
The shelves, which are adjustable, are on the right holding the hoses and guns. There are 3 guns connected ready to go and a blower….
Here they are stowed away….
Here they are pulled out so you can see them….
The top shelf has a box with adjustable and removeable dividers, that holds the nails for the guns, and beside it is my goto sander, the low profile PC random orbit. The back side of the top shelf has a semi-enclosed compartment for the bulk coils of hose.
The lower shelves hold about 10 to 12 feet of hose in a loose coil for each tool, and it is easily coiled and stuffed back into the appropriate compartment.
Here is the back side of the shelf area….
On the right side is a removable dust collector manifold where a 4” hose connects. It accesses the basin through a rectangular port, situated to maintain the structural integrity of the basin. It port opening has the same number of square inches as the hose.
The manifold on with hose, note the blast gate….
The manifold off, it just slides on and off the bolts….
The back of the bench has a cord keep system. The electrical cord is 14 gauge, very heavy duty, water proof, and self supporting. It will stand the abuse of lying on the floor or being plugged in overhead, if I choose to do that.
Note the cord keep, just two elevated disks, and note one of the handles for tilting….
Each end has 4 receptacles. The left side has a switch with a pilot light that turns on the power for the compressor.
Left side receptacles and compressor power switch….
There is a worklight inside the compressor compartment.
Feet and Wheels
The feet are adjustable carriage bolts. There are wheels at the front and one side positioned so that tilting the bench engages them. There are handles on the opposite side and back to assist with the tilting. The handles can be seen on the cord keep picture and the left sided power switch picture.
The bench is now so heavy (the MDF top, compressor, tools, nails) that it is hard to tilt. I will make a wheeled dolly to help. I am not sure what it weighs, but over 300 pounds and maybe close to 400 pounds.
The top has been in use on a flimsy old project table. Once the multi-function bench was far enough along to use, I moved the top to it, and I have been using it to make its shelves and other pieces.
Okay…this is way too serious a presentation for me, this was the dark side. So I will try to make a more humorous blog as well…the light side…given some time.
-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska