Keep Building

Novelty is overrated

Dec 06, 2014

Workbench Complete

The workbench is complete. Buying a separate bit that only did the countersink part was a very good decision. The hardboard top looks very good and promises splinter-free usefulness. I only screwed up one drill hole.

A completed workbench Close up of the workbench

But, I finished the workbench just in time. For, a new and very heavy parcel has arrived. And I've got something new to put together using the new workbench:

A mysterious package

Dec 04, 2014

Workbench Progress

At last, I am making good progress on the workbench. With luck I might even finish it tomorrow. After finally getting the legs cut to the right size, I made the two side frames:

Two complete workbench sides

And then I connected the two sides into a complete frame. There was only one major mistake on this. I had to unscrew and redrill the holes for one of the cross members because it was on crooked. Now that the basic structure is complete, I have only to secure the tabletop and shelf top boards.

Complete frame

After some experimentation, I have come to the conclusion that the cheap countersink bits I bought are completely worthless. So I will have to go buy a more expensive countersink in order to make the screws flush with the top when I screw it in.

And I can celebrate a sort-of milestone now. For the first time since I bought my drill earlier this year, I managed to run it out of juice in one sitting drilling pilot holes and driving screws.

Dec 02, 2014

Workbench Woes

This workbench business is harder than it looks. So far, I've managed to make almost no progress. It is especially hard to create a workbench without a workbench to start with because it is very difficult to clamp things properly for cutting. In order to try to escape from this catch-22, I've bought a mini-workbench to help me create my full-sized workbench.

A half-completed mini-workbench

Just a bit more work to do, then hopefully things will progress much faster.

I've also been trying to create a jig which will help me cut straight with a circular saw. In theory, I can clamp it across a board and then just saw along the line of the board to make a straight line. You can see the latest iteration here:

A failed jig

But I have now failed to make the jig twice. The first time, I made it too narrow so that when it was clamped, the clamp interfered with the saw blade. The second time I didn't cut the jig itself straight enough and so using it made all subsequent cuts crooked. So I will have to try again. Third time's a charm, right?

I managed to get four straight legs of the same size, but, alas, when I measured them, they had become too short. This was partly bad planning and partly mutliple miscuts. So I had to buy two more beams from the hardware store and try again. Perhaps the rather short legs will become something else in a future project.

Hopefully some real progress soon...

Nov 29, 2014

Workbench From Scratch Materials

Earlier today, I bought a bunch of lumber and a pound of screws.

A Lot of Lumber

In theory, this is enough supplies to make a workbench from scratch. The 2x4s will provide the legs and cross supports. The OSB (a kind of plywood I just learned about) will form the tabletop and shelf underneath. Hardboard, a dense fiber composite, will be the top layer which will provide a durable and replacable surface that should be completely splinter free.

So far, I have managed to create a jig that should allow me to cut a straight edge with my saw very easily and do a lot of cleaning to make a space for the workbench. Tomorrow, I will cut everything to size and assemble it.

If everything works out, I will have a new table for a fraction of the price of purchasing it from a furniture store. It will be a lot more solid than my current desk and dining room table for constructing and clamping things together. But, above all, it will be replaceable. So I won't have to worry too much if I drip glue or scratch it damage it. In the worst case scenario, I will be able to spend ten bucks and get a new surface board.

My basic plan comes from here.