Monday, July 25, 2016

New Workshop Prep Table

A few months after moving to Arizona, a neighbor was throwing out this worktable.

I dragged this heavy thing back to my garage, attached some casters to the bottom and made it my new prep table.  And it's a great table too.  However, I need a new table that can hold a lot more - especially some large bins I'll need when I move.

I also wanted to try making a table using a hollow-core door.

So I drew up some plans in SketchUp.

And then I went to the store to buy all the materials I needed.  Included were the hollow-core door, eight 2x4's studs at 8-feet long and three 2'x2'x.5" plywood panels.

For hardware, I bought a few packs of corner braces.

The first step will be to cut the 2x4s to size.  So I set up my miter saw cart.

I measured the size of the wood I needed and locked my stop block.

Then I began cutting the wood I needed.

 Before long all the wood was cut to size.

Next I sanded everything.  This took time, but is worth it.

I once told a friend "find zen in sanding".  I think this is good advice since woodworking seems to involve quite a bit of sanding.

When everything was sanded I began assembly of the table top's frame.  I clamped the 4 sides together...

...then drilled pilot holes...

...and screwed in some deck screws.

Then I added the middle supports.

Then I did everything again, making the frame for the bottom shelf.

Next I cut down the 2x2 plywood with the table saw for the bottom shelf.

Then I screwed the plywood pieces to the frame and used my trim router to make sure all the edges were flush.

Now it was time to work on the legs.  These were made by screwing two 2x4 pieces into an L shape.

Then I attached the legs to the bottom shelf with more deck screws.

Once that was done I attached the top frame to each leg.

Next I flipped the whole thing over and attached casters to the bottom of each leg.

Now the cart is mobile.

To attach the top I had to screw in several corner braces to the frame.

I used a total of 12 braces.

Then I placed the hollow-core door on top and centered it.

I then attached the top to all those corner braces.

And this table is done!

Next I emptied the old prep table...

...and put the new on in it's place.

Then I loaded it up!

This thing fits a lot of stuff!

As nice as it is I do have a few problems with it.  For one, it does hold a lot of stuff - but I feel its not very organized.

The second thing is the height.  If you look at the new table above, compare it's height to the cart to the left of it.  Now look below at the old table's height compared to the same cart.

The new table is definitely on the taller side.  So I went back to my sketchup model, and altered it.  I made the height shorted by 3.375" and added some storage shelves.  The height of the space underneath the shelves is still large enough to hold all those bins.  The shelves will help organize things.

My initial design involved making small cubicles out of 3/4" plywood, but then decided to make a long shelf exactly like the bottom shelf was made.  So back to the store to buy a few more things.  Using the same measurements and materials, I built the second shelf.

Then I removed the top...

...followed by the legs.

I set up a stop block on my miter saw so I could remove a little height from each leg (3 3/8").

The miter saw was able to slice through each leg still in the "L" shape.

Then I reattached the legs to the bottom shelf.

Using four 2x4 spacers, I placed the new second shelf inside the legs and screwed it together.

Then I reattached the top.

And I'm all done!

The new shelf is exactly what I wanted!  The overall height of the table better suits my needs.

Unfortunately only a few of my smaller-sized bins fit, but that's okay.  I can store all those bins in my back yard until its time to pack up my house.

All-in-all this is a great table.  The hollow door makes a great top surface.  This was a fun project that I could have completed in one day.  I actually took my time with it, as I had a few other projects going on at the same time.  This table and all its storage space will be quite an asset to my workshop.

Thanks for reading!

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