Benches and Storage
In my workshop there is a need for both work space and storage for all the necessary tooling. To avoid getting all the tools in a pile on the work top, I have put some time into making suitable storage. That makes the tools easier to find and all work easier to do. Searching for tools is a pain to say the least.
Main Work Top
This is made as a long narrow (60 cm/2') table secured to the wall on the innermost wall in my garage. The surface is about 40 mm thick to be stable enough for vices and smaller machines. If possible, let the bench go along the whole wall, work space is always in short supply for some odd reason.
The table top is secured to 22x75 mm planks that also provides attachment for a simple leg arrangement. At the rear and on top of the work top a 22x95 mm plank is secured to the wall to protect things from falling behind the work top.
The height of the work top should be such that when the vice is fitted the top of the vice shoul be at the same height as the elbow of the person using it when standing. This will give the best working height. The leg structure will get the shop colour any day ...
Extra Work Tops (Benches)
These are used either as space around machines for tooling and half-eady stuff, or as work tops for assembly or painting. Made in the same way as the main work top but some at lower height for sitting down work. Well treated surfaces makes cleaning and work much more pleasant.
On such extra work areas I try to add at least one useful shelf below and with a depth the will not hinder work sitting down. In most cases I also add a 75 mm high drawer under the work top for tooling and other things. This drawer runs on simple roller rails of kitchen drawer type. A good handle on the drawer is a must.
Another very useful type of storage. The use of doors and drawers are selected depending on what should be stored. Mostly it will be a combination. In my work shop there are two types;
One like the adjacent for storing the small lathe and its accessories. It is completely home made from a purchased 40 cm wide shelf. A table top of 35x75 mm wood has been glued together and all has been painted/varnished for best durability. The picture shows the lower rolling cabinet with two wide drawers and doors in front of the lathe.
The lathe is mounted onto a board. Some rubber feet stops the board/lathe from moving when standing on a work top.
The other rolling cabinet is used for most of the electrical machines (drills, routers, saws etc) that otherwise tends to pile up in bad cardboard boxes. One drawer for every type of machine makes it easy to find tha right one when needed.
The bench is made from two 400 mm wide kitchen cabinets with a 40 mm work top. The cabinets got an under carriage for casters to make it easier to roll it around or in under the main work top. Very useful!
In the picture above no drawers are included and the left smaller drawer not completely done. The existing one is an old ironing board drawer now used for the granite marking-out plate together with some of the marking out equipment. More about the marking out plate under another heading.
The Toolmakers Box
Last but not least, here is my toolmakers box (seen on top of the rolling cabinet above). Here I put the smaller and more sensitive tools like steel rulers, calipers. In other drawers DTI's, precision angle gauges, micrometers key files and diamond files are found. Every item in its place and the drawers have a green table felt interior mostly for traditional reasons and because I like it.
The box is made from a 300 mm wide shelf together with some strips and MDF-bottoming. Quite fiddly to make but I am satisfied with the result. Such boxes can be bought but at a price, and I think it is a great satisfaction to make it oneself. In addition you get it precisely as you want.