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[personal profile] carlfoxmarten
So, my room is somewhat small, and rather frustrating due to the sloped ceilings, but also very cluttered.
This means that any projects I work on are either on my computer, or worked upon on my bed, which is very much not a desirable thing.

A somewhat more thorough examination of the furniture in my room yielded a kneehole-type writing desk, built by my grandfather to excellent standards of quality, but quite impractical for me to use as a workbench.
Also, due to age and current excellent condition, it's not something I'd ever consider modifying.
I was almost horrified when the clerk I was talking to at a local contractor supply store suggested I start with its table top and work from there... =0.o=

Fortunately, I've been watching numerous videos dealing with woodworking, and the variety of wood available is very wide, so ideas were starting to come together in my mind quite readily.
It was also a good idea that this first trip was merely a scouting trip, as I was nowhere near having a solid decision for the exact design, dimensions, and wood selection.

Since it's primarily going to be a workbench for doing electronics work on, pine is a good enough choice, especially as it won't be for hammering and other such heavy work.

I'd also like to have some interesting electrical work on it, including two desk lamps, one on each side, with LED bulbs in them for focused light, two pairs of switched outlets, one on each side, so I can leave my soldering iron plugged in, but turned off, a strip of diffused LED lights under a strip of wood on the top of the bench's back.

I did pick up a book on electrical wiring to help when the time comes, as well as had a good long look at the various outlets, switches, etc, that are currently available, so I have a pretty good idea of how I want things when I finally get that far.

Fortunately, I'm not planning on anything terribly difficult, but I'm still feeling rather tentative about the whole thing, which is probably a good sign.
Actual dimensions will depend on several factors, including how high I want the benchtop, how much extra space I can squeeze out of the other furniture, how wide and/or tall each piece of wood will be, and stuff like that.

Date: 2015-01-09 08:40 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
When we moved into this place I needed to build a hobby work bench.

Fortunately I'm good with visualizing what I want/need and drew up the plans on a cadd program.

It uses 2x3s for the frame work and a 1/2" plywood top, though you could use Formica or other laminate. I painted the top white so I could locate small parts more easily. What I wish I had done was polyurethane the top also, to protect it. Around the edge I put some trim to keep said parts from rolling off the top. As the picture shows I installed a 1x6 as a shelf, for the test tracks, using 3 steel angle brackets. I assembled the whole thing using deck screws so I didn't have to hammer nails in. The legs go all the way up and are even with the side rails, so they are 36" long. You would need 4 2x3x8 to build this bench. I can send you the plans if you wish.

Of course this workbench is in a "hobby workshop" and is not as finished as it could be.

Over all dimensions are 4' long x 2' deep with the top of the work surface 36.5" above the floor.

Picture of said workbench:

This about as neat as it gets. :=3
Edited Date: 2015-01-09 09:34 pm (UTC)

Date: 2015-01-10 10:55 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
The trim I used is called "Clam shell" and, as you can tell from the photos, it is very smooth and you can rest your arms on it and not be uncomfortable.

I had another idea for the top, Melamine. Like Formica or other laminate you still need a plywood backer, but it would give you a nice smooth surface.

Date: 2015-01-12 11:29 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
You can always use a wood grain or brown contact paper on the top. This would give you an easy to clean surface while matching the rest of the furniture. If you feel confidant enough you can but small pieces of laminate in any color you choose, including wood grain. You may be able to go to a small local lumber yard and see if they have any scraps laying around that are big enough for you but too small for their use, and get it for free.

Another thought crossed my mind. I happened across a two foot section of counter top somewhere. It was in great shape except for where someone started to start sawing, then stopped. I needed at top for a freestanding base cabinet and it fit the bill. If you have any kitchen design/remodeling places in your area stop in and see what they have. You might score a nice piece of counter top for little or no cost. :=3

Sufficient lighting may or may not stop you from losing very small parts in the wood grain. Also an unfinished top raises the concern about wood particles getting into what you are doing; though the polyurethane would mitigate that.


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Carl Foxmarten

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