So in the first of this series I mentioned i,m starting an enterprise with no money, hardware store hand tools and a sheet of 3/4 in plywood. This is what happened to the plywood. Now like many on this site i,ve long dreamed of building my ultimate workbench and I must tell you in advance that this is not it! This is my answer to that chicken and egg argument about needing to build a bench so that you can then build a bench. Its taken directly from Shopnotes and haveing seen numerous 1 sheet of ply bench ideas this seemed to be the best. If anyone has ever thought of attempting too break down a sheet of 8×4 ply with a handsaw I must tell you now that it is not a pleasant experience and I decided not document this part of the procedure with photo,s as i,m sure nobody wants to see a pasty white man sweating proffusly in the tropical heat wrestling with a cheap sheet of ply and an even cheaper hand saw. Once that struggle was over, and after I recovered with the aid of a very strong coffee, I then had to create some dado,s using a straight edge, a tenon saw and chisel as well as trying out my stanley knockoff rebate plane.
This operation was not as painfull as I expected and I was surprised how quickly it was done. The base was simply assembled with glue and screws and I cleaned it up as best I could with a #5 jack and rounded all the edges with a block plane.
The uprights come together next by hinging the left side directly to the base and the right leg onto a 3/4 in cleat to allow both uprights to lie flat when packed and the support rails are then joined to these using bed rail brackets. These aren,t the same brackets as used in the original design, which are mounted on the ends of the rail,s but they work just as well. You can also see some of the tools used including a Stanley cordless drill and a screwdriver that never needs recharging.
The top is next. It is double thickness around the edges, the strips creating pockets that locate the top.
Using a cheap cordless jigsaw I then cut slots that will allow clamps to be used like holdfasts. There should also be dog holes but I don,t own any drill bits larger than 1/4 inch so they will have to come later.
This is the completed bench assembled and ready for use. It only measures 32in long. 22in wide and 33in high, so I won,t be making armoirs on it any time soon, but it fulfilled it design brief which was to be cheap, portable and solid enough to get the job done.
Flat packed it can be tucked away under a bed or against a wall without taking up precious space which is important here as I live in a town house so any bench large and immovable is not an option (so a Roubo is out of the question). The catches for closeing it will be fitted another day. If I had the budget I think I would have made two so they can be placed end to end or side by side for larger projects but for now this will do just fine. Total cost of this project worked out at around $22 US.
When I no longer have a use for it maybe I could turn it into a sandbox!
-- if the hand is not working it is not a pure hand