When I first started my bucket list, I had planned on making a cabinet based work bench well every good plan gets changed at least once throughout the process of planning. When I say that it gets changed boy oh boy do I mean it. The first issue that I noticed with my original design that I drew up of the bench was the overall cost of the bench. For a 6 foot bench, it would have cost me over $1500 just to get the materials to get started. So Now I go into the changes I made.
1. The wood: I know it might be Sac-Religious wood wise not to use hard maple for the top but I just cannot justify the cost for the maple when I can get some 8/4 ash for $1.50 a bdft planed versus $4.95 a bdft planed. So that was the first change that I made. Was the wood for the top and the rest of the pieces.
2. The Legs: The original plan was to use some Douglas fir for the legs and face glue them together. But When I was in the process of completing my Eagle Scout Project I had a Log Milled to give me the lumber for the 12ft tall cross that I put up. When the Mill Owner milled everything for me I was left over with some 5.25” by 5.125” by 16 foot beams all of quarter sawn/ rift sawn ash. So when I went up to Pollums Natural Resources (My wood guy) (www.pollumsnaturalresources.com) I asked him if he could plane them square and he said that he would joint them for me then plane them using his double sided planer. So the legs of the bench are going to be 5” square.
3. Top assembly/usage, when I was going over my plan with my dad and told him that the top of the bench was going to be 3”x30”x72” and that I am going to make it in (4) 18” sections he said that I should think about multi use bench top designs. When he said this, I kind was dumbfounded but said what do you mean? His reply was think “Clamp”. So I got into thinking and with a couple more hints from him, I figured out what if I left it in segments and just made hold downs to bolt the top down with. Now this may seem confusing but when I get to the point of milling the slots for the custom made nuts that I will be making, I will post a blog tutorial on how to make the top.
4. What about the cabinet? Well that was the biggest decision I had to think about. When I started changing the overall design of the bench, I looked through the woodworking magazines that my grandfather saved for me and brought out on his last trip to MI, I found a standing tool cabinet in one of the Wood Magazines that was made from ash and I thought it would look great next to the bench on the adjacent wall in the basement. So once I have the bench built I have some more money to make and save to pay for this cabinet.
5. So what did this all gain me? Well in the end I did the Math and the final saving was just over $600 when everything is done and I think that is quite substantial and will be lots of other projects. Well that’s all I have for now, stay tuned for my next entry with pictures of the lumber that I am using and some of the lay out details on the legs and top. And now for the teaser the legs. They are solid ash and boy are they nice.