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Woodworking on a Half-Shoestring #58: Raiders of the Lost Dungeon - Part II

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Blog entry by Paul Bucalo posted 09-11-2015 12:12 AM 1366 reads 0 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 57: HF Accu-Link V-Belt on Hitachi C10FL -- Wow!! Part 58 of Woodworking on a Half-Shoestring series Part 59: Blanket Rack (Repurposed VHS Rack) »

In the prequel to this episode (Blog Entry #51: Raiders of the Lost Dungeon Workshop—cont’d), I pointed out a small (useless) room that was taking up valuable space in the dungeon. Either I tear it down and make that space useful, refurbish the room and use it, or work around it. I chose the last. If I had torn down the room I would have had no wall space to work with—the inside wall was the house’s field stone foundation. Using the room would mean taking down a most dusty, moldy (collapsing) papered ceiling—uh, no. I opted to neglect the room space and use the wood wall instead.

The following two pictures show what I started with:

The door was removed and a hood frame was build separately then attached at the height of the new bench. Here I have the miter saw resting on a board to check for clearances:

The main infrastructure of the bench is made of two-by-fours, most of which came from destructed pallets and crates. Additional top cross supports were added on the end bench where the widest part began the curve toward the end, and at the left side of the main bench, where I would run out of plywood:

Once the hood was covered in old shower curtain plastic, I stapled in overlapping skirting at the bottom of the hood to funnel the dust into a receptacle. Here you can only see the back piece of the funnel:

The hood is complete, the old door has been cut down to allow access to the large soot can that will collect the saw dust, and a simple rotating latch keeps it closed. The opening above the hood, as well as the opening left by the removed window, was covered up with similar thickness pallet wood:

A coat of Zinsser Bin Primer was applied to the wall above the bench in preparation for a coat of white enamel. I wanted a surface that would brighten the space and be easier to keep clean:

One coat of white outdoor enamel was applied over the primer. The 3/4” pine plywood was cut by the box store into three rectangular sections, two of which were used here. The leftover is as long as the piece that will sit under the miter saw, and an inch narrower:

Next was the under bench shelving:

I found a section of hardwood veneered plywood that was just large enough to cut to size for the left side of the main bench. Back splashes were put up to keep small parts and saw dust from falling between the wall and bench top:

I ripped a 1/4” strip off of a two-by-two to see how it would look as edging. Since the top is pine and this isn’t going to be an area that will be used for assembling or pounding, I think pine will be fine for the edging. The large table centered on the backside of the Hitachi table saw will be adequate for building and assembly work.

Originally I was going to finish the top with shellac and then paste wax. The proximity of the bench to the gas fired water heater had me thinking the alcohol-based shellac might be a hazard. I opted to go with a water-based high-traffic, fast-drying poly instead. Before I can do that, I need to cut down the pegboard that used to be against the stone wall on the right, so that its length runs across the length of the wall instead of from joist to floor. And after that…outlets!

-- -- Paul Bucalo, Norwich NY USA



5 comments so far

View Ted Ewen's profile

Ted Ewen

187 posts in 527 days


#1 posted 09-11-2015 06:02 AM

I bet that feels wonderful. Really like the idea of the mitre hood – not seen that before. It’s hard for me to tell from the photos – the section of the bench along the right wall is the same height and co-planar with the rest of the bench?

-- Show us a man who never makes a mistake and we will show a man who never makes anything. The capacity for occasional blundering is inseparable from the capacity to bring things to pass.

View Paul Bucalo's profile

Paul Bucalo

619 posts in 820 days


#2 posted 09-11-2015 01:26 PM


I bet that feels wonderful.

Since the area being transformed hasn’t one flat, true or level surface, getting workable dimensions and fit was a challenge. The satisfaction is coming from the near completion and the overall construction being good enough for what it is intended to provide, which is to hold assorted bench equipment.


Really like the idea of the mitre hood – not seen that before.

Dust collection is the weakest link in the dungeon workshop methodology. The hood concept was derived from FastCap’s freestanding unit. I needed to get the sliding back end of the miter saw out of the working space of the dungeon, so insetting the hood seemed like a good way to use up some of the lost space in the little room.

Originally, I was going to add a bottom board to the hood and attach my shop vac to it. Instead I opted to simplify the hood’s effectiveness with a plastic chute to a large old coal soot collection bin below and an eventual pleated plastic skirt draped over the opening that will move with the rotation of the miter saw for angled cuts. I haven’t decided on what that material will be. Eventually. If this doesn’t do enough, I can always revert back to my original shop vac collection idea.

It s hard for me to tell from the photos – the section of the bench along the right wall is the same height and co-planar with the rest of the bench?

- Ted Ewen

More or less. There is a drop—not quite an inch over a 32” span—which won’t be a problem. Again, this is not to be a bench I construct on, so “level” and “co-planar” can be hand grenade close. I also used whatever 2×4s I had, which in coming from pallets and crates means they were often twisted. This is definitely carpentry, not woodworking. :)

The floor is very uneven over any distance. If you look at early pics (in this blog) of the area you can see that there is a multi-inch drop from the right wall to the door opening. You wouldn’t think concrete could ‘warp’ like that, but whatever. What is more important in this bench is its sturdiness. I purposely used 2×2s for the under bench shelves to add weight and stability to the bracing. This they do, in spades. You can’t juggles this. Also, the back frame pieces are screwed into the wall.

-- -- Paul Bucalo, Norwich NY USA

View handsawgeek's profile

handsawgeek

591 posts in 856 days


#3 posted 09-11-2015 01:51 PM

Paul ! Nice work-around.
Your shop has a lot of that rustic charm and character.!

-- Ed

View JimYoung's profile

JimYoung

224 posts in 1047 days


#4 posted 09-11-2015 04:27 PM

Quite a transformation, Paul.

You have the right idea with the white walls. The first thing I did in my shop was paint the walls before I started any benches or storage. It makes all the difference.

Are you concerned with “blow back” out of the dust collection hood? It would seem to me that if the saw is throwing out dust and air, if the hood is closed off that it might kick up dust already in the bin and blow it back into the shop.

-- -Jim, "Society is well governed when its people obey the magistrates, and the magistrates obey the law." -- Solon

View Ted Ewen's profile

Ted Ewen

187 posts in 527 days


#5 posted 09-12-2015 04:58 AM

That all makes perfect sense, Paul. I just wasn’t sure if it was my eyes, the camera, or the wood. Odds are all three ;)
Dead impressed bud, dead impressed.

-- Show us a man who never makes a mistake and we will show a man who never makes anything. The capacity for occasional blundering is inseparable from the capacity to bring things to pass.

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