Midnight Woodworking

Woodworking

Knock-down Workstation

I have been busy this past week. Instead of pumping out the next project, I took a few days to clean up the aftermath of the last few instead. I realized that I couldn’t cut anything on the miter saw without standing on a 10″ deep pile of off-cuts. The same thing was happening by the table saw, as well. Adam was complaining that he couldn’t reach his workbench anymore…

My next project is going to be a large cabinet using the white oak plywood that I cut down a couple of weeks ago. The cabinet requires half a dozen sheets of 3/4″ plywood, and I realized I just didn’t have enough space to work on it. Step one was to clean up, and step two was to make some additional work space. For the last couple of projects, I have been using the garage and a couple of saw horses. More saw horses would be helpful, but I don’t have anywhere to store them when they are not in use. I decided to route through the piles of woodworking magazines, that liter my side of the bedroom. I found plans for an interesting “Knock-Down” Workstation in ShopNotes, Volume 15, Issue No. 87. The materials required, just about perfectly matched my left-over 3/4″ plywood off-cuts, that I rounded up during the clean-up this past week.

Cutting down the legs

Cutting down the legs

I started by ripping my plywood down to size for the legs and the rails, on the table saw.

Ripping the top rails

Ripping the top rails

10 degree angles on the gussets

10 degree angles on the gussets

I cut gussets, to lock the legs in place at a 10 degree angle. The angle on the legs keeps the whole thing stable. I also cut strips to double up the legs.

Doubling up the leg thickness

Doubling up the leg thickness

The picture below will give you an idea of how all of this will come together. The design is pretty simple, the rectangular legs are notched on two sides, enabling you to insert the rails into the short or long side. This gives me a lower level (about 25″ high) for working on larger things and a taller level (about 32″) as well.

Marking the leg notches in the rails

Marking the leg notches in the rails

I measured and marked the 1-1/2″ wide slots at 10 degrees. Then I took it to the band saw and cut the notch out.

Cutting the notches on the bandsaw

Cutting the notches on the bandsaw

Then I used that notch to transfer the same angle and dimensions to the second rail.

Duplicating my marks to the second rail

Duplicating my marks to the second rail

Straying away from the plans a little, I decided on a 1-1/2″ wide plywood strip on either side of the top of the rail.

Laminating  the top rail

Laminating the top rail

I glued and nailed the strips in place. I used 1-1/4″ brads so they didn’t shoot through my boards.

Nailing the top rail

Nailing the top rail

I added the gussets to either side of the notches.

Adding the gussets

Adding the gussets

I will probably add a hardwood cap to the top of the rail when I get board, but not today.

Rails done

Rails done

Attaching the second layer to the legs

Attaching the second layer to the legs

Next I moved on to the legs. I glued and nailed a second layer of plywood around the leg. It was about 6-1/2″ wide. I glued and nailed them as well, making sure I didn’t place any nails where the notches would be cut.

Marking and drilling the notch locations

Marking and drilling the notch locations

I drilled 3/4″ wide holes about 2-1/2″ down from the edge on the long and the short sides. I drew in the 3/4″ wide slot by lining up my square with the edges of the holes. When that was done, I drilled a 3/4″ hole in each of the inside corners of the second layer of plywood.

Drilling out the inside corners

Drilling out the inside corners

Marking my cut line

Marking my cut line

I flipped the leg over and drew a line along the outside edges of the four inner holes. I cut along this line with my jigsaw. The leg is just as stable and strong without the center blank, but it is now much lighter and easier to carry and hang out of the way.

Cutting out the center to lighten the legs

Cutting out the center to lighten the legs

Cutting out the notches

Cutting out the notches

The last step was to cut out the notches on the band saw and do a test fit.

First side test fit

First side test fit

I got a little crazy and cut a 10 degree bevel on the sides  of the legs so they would seat better, but I then realized that they could be assembled in only one direction. I think I will probably cut them square again and maybe add a hardwood strip and round it over. That way I am not resting the plywood on the ground where it could potentially suck up moisture and de-laminate if I use them outside my shop.

Load testing at the lower level

Load testing at the lower level

They will function fine for now though. I did a load test with the legs in the lower position. The rails could hold Adam’s 70 pounds safely, so I flipped them to the taller position and tried them with my 190 pounds. I will save you from having to look at that image… Suffice it to say that I could stand in the middle of just one rail without loosing stability or even deflecting the rail.

Rotate the legs and add 6 inches to the height

Rotate the legs and add 6 inches to the height

After using this workstation for a while, I determined that the edges were far too sharp. I managed to cut myself on the angled cuts on the legs. I came up with a nice solution using some scrap maple to round off the edges. Take a look at my Knock-down Workstation Upgrade post to see how I did it.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Information

This entry was posted on November 17, 2013 by in From the scrap bin..., Misc... and tagged , , , .

Number of visitors

  • 129,289 hits

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 88 other followers

Browse by catagory

Browse my archive

%d bloggers like this: