Every year I do something my wife has a hard time figuring out. I looked back to builds from past years and started to hunt for ideas to update my workbenches cabinets and what things would make my cabinetry and furniture building go a lot smoother.
This year I took a look at my workbench and how it had served its purpose. It is not a traditional cabinet makers bench, although if I had a real shop with space I would build one in an instant. Rather its a work horse bench that I need to support projects when building and assembling and yet form the base for a finishing table. I looked at the options and updating did not seem an option, so a complete rebuild took place.
The cabinet box is made from 3/4” G1S fir plywood. The sides are covered in a pine wainscot. The top of the bench is made up of two pieces of 5/8” Baltic Birch and 1/2” MDF. The MDF pieces are cut and fitted around T-track and allow me to use both sides of the MDF before replacing it. The whole top assembly is surrounded by 1” x 2 1/4” hard maple edging.
I had read an article in Fine Woodworking, by John White, entitled ‘New Fangled Workbench Revisited’. From the article I chose to add the adjustable shelf system that is shown in the picture above. The system is made up of two 3/4” pipes and the adjustable end of a pipe clamp set. The picture does not show the pipe clamp end, but it is under the wooden shelf and is adjustable anywhere along the vertical pipes. Each pipe in the system is held in place by a bracket below the table top and on the lower bracket assembly at the bottom.
As I stated, I also incorporated T-Track into the top. This idea was allow me to clamp jigs, wood, equipment, etc to the top where I need to use it. The clamping jig is made use of various toggle clamps mounted on plywood fixtures that have T-Bolts and knobs that allow me to position them anywhere along the T-Track. The type of toggle clamp depends on what I am clamping.
The workbench cabinet itself,houses my Hollow Chisel Mortiser,portable pancake Air Compressor as well as two drawers for hand tools and compressor tools. I need to add drawer fronts to the cabinet and put a finish on the MDF pieces so as not to have any glue stick to the surface.
All in all its a good project to have built and should be a center piece for my shop.
See you in the Workshop!!