With all the time I spend at home lately, I decided woodworking would be a great skill to invest it in. I picked up my grandpa's old plains and saws, and began playing around with them on some scrap wood. Even though my girlfriend is very happy for my finding a new hobby that doesn't include a mouse and a keyboard, her feelings about all the dust and the scratches on the living room table are quite the opposite...
Luckily, my landlord gave me the keys to the basement, which turned out to be the perfect place to take my experiments to. I have sufficient space (after "disassembling" all the shelves with 15-year-old pickled raspberries and tomato juice), some tools and, most importantly - a workbench...at least what was left of it when I got rid of the half-rotted-away top. And what's left is a brick base, around waist-high, with some odd angles but also - as I was very happy to discover - almost perfectly level top.
And now, after that lengthy backstory - here is my first major project - building a bench-top to put on the base. There are wooden strips, running the center lines of the two "legs", that the old top was screwed to but I'd rather not use them, if I can help it, so the top would come off easier, if needed. I plan on building the top from pallet-wood, keeping the cost down, and taking advantage of the already processed and more-or-less uniform boards. This is the pallet-size I've decided on: https://te3sdotorg.files.wordpress.c...ffc46c15e5.jpg
. If my plan is viable and everything goes accordingly, 4 pallets should suffice.
I've attached drawings of the rough dimensions of both brick-legs, and an overlay of what I imagine the top will be like. I apologize in advance to any engineers that are brought to tears by my technical drawing skills - that's never been my strong suit and these were my first attempts with a ruler and a protractor in about 2 decades. The measurements are in millimetres (top) & centimetres (legs).
The standard thickness of each board is 22 mm but I used 20 mm, for ease of drawing, and also allowing for any planing that will be needed. These will be arranged vertically, with the thickness of the top ranging between 100-145 mm.
I have a 22 cm vise screw (wrongly drawn as 30 cm) which I plan on putting in the center of the face, with two guide rods, slightly elevated and spaced evenly on both sides, as close to the legs as I can get them. The back jaw will be the two 145 mm-wide boards that are in front of the legs, and will house the screw nut. The front jaw will be made from 2 x 800x145 mm boards, holding the guide rods, and a 600x145 mm board behind them, with the guarder and the guide rods attached to it. The keeper will probably be sitting in a wider hole on the middle board, fixed to the screw, so it can pull the jaw back.
My reasons for building the workbench like this:
- I already have a flat base available (and fixed to the wall and floor
- the boards will come mostly flat and squared
- I don't yet trust myself with higher grade lumber and pallets are dirt-cheap, and I can pick and choose the best ones from the yard
My concerns / how I will address them:
- the top won't be thick/sturdy enough / I may need to make it entirely out of 145 mm-wide boards, having to buy twice as many pallets and being left with a bunch of unused "100 mm"s
- the top will be very face-heavy, with the biggest boards + the vise in front / should be easy enough to remedy by fixing the back to the wall.
- horizontal spaces between the boards and the legs, due to uneven edges in the brickwork, allowing for the top to move around / I'll leave all B & C boards with wider bottoms and adjust each one individually so that it fits as close to the legs as possible, in the spot where it will sit, before gluing the whole thing together
I've never built anything like this before and any feedback and advice will be very much appreciated!