Monday, March 28, 2016

New Workshop Work Table

Almost 2 years ago I moved to Arizona and got a house with a 2-car garage.  This garage became my workshop, and one of the first things I built were these worktables.

You can see my blog entry about this build by clicking here.

About a year later I built these carpenter benches which have been very, very helpful.

You can see my blog entry about this build by clicking here.

But despite their use my garage became over crowded, and my benches wound up in the corner with a lot of stuff stacked on top of it.

That's when I got serious and cleaned up my workshop.  I threw out stuff I didn't need, and took apart extra tables to make some space.  With the materials from one of the tables I disassembled, I upgraded my other worktables to include a middle shelf for storing my tools, and I freed up my benches and kept them in front of each table.  

But I'd like to store the benches somewhere where they won't be in the way but still easily accessible. So I decided it was time to make new, better work tables that can store the benches underneath.

Making these tables requires about the same amount of wood as my original work tables did, so... was time to take apart my work tables.  For this particular day I started on only one work table.  I'll leave the second work table for later.

After quite a while spent unscrewing, all the pieces were finally apart.  There's a lot of holes in this wood, but it's still very useful and should be fine to make a new table out of.

When I originally made these worktables I cut all the pieces with my small miter saw on saw horses.  The cuts were as exact as I could have made them without having much to work with.

But now when I placed the wood beams against the wall and clamp them together...

...they are not all perfectly even.

Fortunately I now have a full workshop and a very nifty miter saw stand with extendable arms and a stop block to help me make more accurate, consistent cuts.

So I went about re-cutting all the wood to be the same size.  For the larger pieces I had to be creative and use my belt sander as a stop...

...but all the smaller pieces were easy to take care of with the stop block on my miter saw cart.

Next I began drilling pocket holes.  This was actually pretty exciting for me, as it was the first time I got to use my tool cart with my mounted pocket hole jig.

Once all the pocket holes were cut I began assembling the sides with pocket screws.

One done, one more to go.

I used spare 2x4 pieces of wood as spacers for the top rails of the sides.  Once everything was screwed in these spacers popped out with a mallet.


Next I cut pieces of wood for the bottom feet.  These were simply screwed on, and their main purpose is to have sufficient room for the casters to be attached to.  But they will also add a bit of extra support since the front of this work table will be open.

While cutting the second foot, I slipped and messed up the cut.  So I had to use a different piece of wood I had hanging around - this 2x4 which was painted black.

But the color doesn't matter.  Both feet attached flush!

Next I began attaching the rails that make up the front and back of the table.

Then I measured and cut more wood for supports.

This too received pocket holes...

...and attached to the front and back rails.

Next, cutting more wood - this time for the bottom shelf supports.

I attached these with clamps and screws while the table was upside-down.

Once the supports were in, I attached the casters.

Now this table rolls around and is quite strong.

Now to attach the bottom shelf.  I had some minor trimming to do in order to make it fit, so that was done on the table saw.

The shelf was attached with 2 screws on each side.

Then I centered the top and screwed it on.

And it's almost done.

Before I went any further I wanted to make sure my bench fit underneath - which it does.  YAY!

However the bottom shelf is not super strong. I need to fix that.

So I cut, drilled and pocket-holed some more leftover wood to create more support for the bottom shelf.

And now the shelf is quite strong.

Then I put my bench underneath and I'm done with one of the new worktables!

But when it came time to disassemble my second work table I started to worry about where I'll put all my tools.  Despite all the space I've recently freed up in my workshop, I do not have good place to put them.

Then I decided to try and fit both stools under the new table, and what do you know!  They both fit!

Now I don't have to remake my old worktable and I have room in front of both work tables to move around!

This new work table is great.  It's the same height as the other work table, so I can use both of them when working on large pieces.  The shelf  may not be tall enough to hold a lot of my big power tools, but its a good place to hold and store stuff I'm using while in the middle of a project - such as rulers, pencils, scrap wood, screws, sandpaper, wood filler, etc.

The next day I re-screwed the top back on using countersinks so the screws are below the surface of the table.  I then sanded it.

I also added my Grandfather's old table vise.  This will be very useful!

And it's all done and ready for action!

Thanks for reading!

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