Saturday, March 21, 2020

Building A Bench

The scenario looks bleak.  We're all forced to be quarantined due to a bit of an over-reaction (which is better than an under-reaction).  Suddenly, everyone is home, every day, all day.  What's an introvert supposed to do?

Well, when you have two wooden tool boxes sitting on the floors of the garage and house, and you know fewer people will be at the big box store, you go to the big box store and buy some wood.

I started by first defining what I needed.  I have a shop vacuum that is 23" tall, so I needed a shelf that was at least that in ground clearance.  The wall was 51" long, and I wanted 21" out.  Two shelves would help me organize the two tool boxes along with some projects to get them out of the way.

I started by making the wooden frames for the shelves out of 2x4's.  It's a simple half-lap joint, really, then four 3" screws in each corner to secure it like nobody's business.

I built the legs by taking four 2x6's and clamping them together, and then making the cuts for the shelves.  There are two shelves only, since the top one needs to hold the tool boxes, and I don't want those out of reach.  Instead of trying to angle cut, I ran a series of kerf cuts with the saw.  The remaining pieces of wood were hit by hammer at an angle to break them free, and then the last pieces still attached were chiseled out.  It made for a quick cut out that was fairly perfect without needing a dado.

With those cut, I glued and screwed two legs to each shelf.  This will make it easier to assemble.  The rear 2x6 legs had the 6" surface facing to the front.  The front legs had the 6" surface facing the sides.  This allowed for a much more rigid structure.

Once those were dry, and before combining them into the final structure, I needed to add some cross beam supports.  I did three of them on the bottom shelf, and five on the top (I really wanted support under those heavy wooden tool boxes).  I used this time to make cuts in the shelf frame.  I did not screw any of these supports, since they came top-down.

While those were drying, I two the remaining two chunks of 2x4's and built a cross brace for the back.  I measured where the brace needed to be, set up the braces into position to match, and then marked lines.  These were again a half-lap joint, so I used the portable saw to kerf the openings out, knock out the big pieces, and chisel the remaining surface flat.  (I did put four screws in this joint when I glued it to make sure it wasn't going anywhere.)

The assembly was then glued and screwed together for the final structure.

I skinned the shelves with some plywood after allowing it to dry a bit, then moved it into place.  The skins were done just tacking it down with some brads, because they could warp and it's easier to pry them off with brads than with brads and glue.

That allowed me to move everything around.  I finally got my Gerstner and Harbor Freight tool boxes off of the ground (sort of, they were stacked on 2x4's).

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