Thursday, June 2, 2011

The Workbench

Well, the title is HobbyDr's Workbench, so let's talk workbenches. I've been fortunate to have had a dedicated place to work all my modelling life, from a little student desk to a vast basement empire. I know there are modellers out there who do outstanding work sharing the kitchen or dining room table, or on a TV tray, and I marvel at their work, but I do not envy them. Give me a dedicated, permanent area with all my tools and supplies close at hand.

I have been in my current house for ten years, and it has given me the space to indulge myself. Hmmmm, I may have to back track a little. In my previous post, I said my main interest is Model Railroading. That may not be entirely true. Sometimes I think my real hobby is making workbenches. In that ten years, I've had no less than five different benches with numerous modifications and revisions. When my wife died two years ago, I took-over her space and cannibalized her bench. I had a nice, cozy, intimate bench and was quite satisfied.

On the wall behind the TV, I had put up a 4'x8' sheet of pegboard which, due to the shape of the bench, was almost totally inaccessable. So I'm sitting there this January, looking at the wall and thinking, "If I pivot the bench 90° the wall will be behind me and I'll have access to all the pegboard."  (Get ready-----Famous Last Words!) "That shouldn't take more than 2 or 3 days."

Well, after 4 1/2 months I can finally say.....Mission accomplished!

I don't think I'll be changing this one anytime too soon. Construction on the left, and storage and Paint Bench on the right. I can reach almost everything from my chair.
 The wall unit was built specifically for the three sizes of  Sterilite's small storage boxes. (My new favorite storage.)

At the far end is a custom tool tray (more about it later) and at this end is room for more worktop and storage.

Under the bench and close at hand, an essential tool, paper towels. There is also a light to help me find the small parts I will invariably drop, and the spring-loaded fingers to pick them up.

 An 'L' shaped shelving unit under the Paint Bench, holding some of the bigger, bulkier construction materials. It is on casters and rolls out for easier access.

The Paint Bench, its surface and side walls covered in easily replaceable plastic, for when it gets too grungy. Ace Hardware has a small, two-blade window fan I'll get to pull overspray outside.

I built this wall unit to fit those specific boxes and trays.

You might be thinking I have a ton of space (and I do), but believe it or not, some of my projects are too big to fit the work surface. I built this mobile cart I can move in close for those large pieces. It also makes a great place to use my power tools. I placed threaded inserts in the surface of the cart to hold this awkward Dremel router table securely, yet allow quick removal.

That's all for now, let me know what you think.  Don

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