I’m stuck with a project, and could use some inspiration. If you want to skip all the background information, scroll down until you see “Let’s Brainstorm!” in big bold letters and you see this rendering again.
I had built the first part of a heavy duty tool cabinet workbench, and discussed it at length back in December. Then, I realized I had to go back to the drawing board.
I wanted to turn my 2-section tool box workbench into a larger corner workbench.
I recently ordered some more 80/20 t-slot aluminum extrusions for 2 projects. In that last “back to the drawing board” post, Visbert talked up the benefits of 80/20’s 2020 extrusions, which are based on their 10-series 1″ extrusions. The 2020 extrusions are doubled up in both directions, for a 2″ x 2″ footprint.
I had built my cabinet from 15-series extrusions – 1.5″ x 3″ for the legs, and 1.5″ x 1.5″ elsewhere.
Visbert had some great points about 2020 extrusion benefits. Since I’m bound to have more 80/20-based projects (I love working with the stuff), I figured a comparison was in order.
I wanted to build a parts cabinet, for my Sortimo T-Boxxes, and the 2020 extrusions seemed fitting.
The 15-series extrusion with its 1.5″ base worked better for my drawer slide dimensions. My working plans for a large corner workbench involve anchor fasteners, so I figured I’d do a rebuild of the tool cabinet I built and was already using to store some tools in.
The plywood drawers are still unfinished. I first started working on them in July and glued them up in September. Yikes! I guess I’ll finish them when I start working on the next set of drawers.
Here is what the tool cabinet looked like:
Why is it titled Mach 1? Did I mean Mark 1?
And here’s what the new one looks like:
This version, Mark II?, is build using 80/20’s anchor fasteners. I opted to have them machine the anchor counterbores, because my drill press is buried and I need this bench up and running soon.
The 2020 extrusions work well for the parts cabinet build – I’ll try to take a photo of that soon, but I really like the 15-series extrusions for the workbench. The fasteners are larger, and since I use 1×1 profiles for the 15-series (1.5″ x 1.5″) instead of 2×2 for the 10-series (2″ x 2″), I need half as many fasteners and half as many counterbores.
Price-wise, one 15-series double anchor is around the same as two long 10-series double anchors.
Since the 15-series extrusions work better for drawer slides, as in the 3/4″ front-to-first-slot spacing is easier to work with than the 1/2″ front-to-first-slot spacing in the 20-series, I’ll likely use it for the workbench build.
I also decided to go with load-bearing columns. Earlier plans called for 7-foot long base footprints, with vertical sections being reconfigurable by sliding columns left to right. But it seems more complicated, and less customizable.
If I design and build the workbenches such that the columns bear all the weight and horizontal sections are for stability and squareness, I can reconfigure things more easily later on. Add more legs, and I can split 2 connected workbench sections into separate tool stands or drawer units.
I partly wish I went with anchor fasteners earlier on – here’s more info if you’re curious. I used structural brackets because they’re easy to install, and easy to move around. But ultimately there was a lot of hardware involved – a LOT. It was great for prototyping, but some aspects were difficult to install, and I had to make design compromises.
With the new design, I carefully measured and calculated how much front-to-back spacing was needed in order to line up the drawer slides’ mounting holes with the vertical t-slots of the workbench legs.
It turns out to be 10-5/16″, which I rounded slightly to 10.313″. I ordered these parts from 80/20, pre-cut to fit, and they replaced the 12″ extrusions I had used. Don’t worry, those 12″ pieces will be reused – that’s the beauty of 80/20.
I was able to reduce the depth from 18″ to 16.3″. The top might still be 18″, but I like the idea of having a slimmer workbench against one wall, and a wider one against the other.
Going with anchors allowed me to reclaim some extra space. Not enough for my 8th-built shallow drawer, but enough for a pull-out mini work surface. Maybe I’ll use it as a tool photo platform when every other work surface space is cluttered with tools and project pieces.
That brings me to my dilemma.
One workbench section has a 24″ section, and will have a 28″ section for holding wider stuff. Right now it’s 24″, but I want to add a few inches to insure at least 26″ of inner drawer width.
So one 24″ bank of drawers, and a soon to be built 28″ bank of drawers. That’s on the right. It’s 16.3″ deep.
For the left, I’m thinking a 24″ bank of drawers, plus 2x 15″ drawer banks. Maybe 18″ and 12″? I’m undecided.
How to connect the two?! There needs to be some separation, otherwise opening any drawer closest to the corner will smack into the drawer pulls on the other side of the workbench. I need maybe 2 more inches diagonal.
If I widen the gap to 6″ left and 6″ right, it creates a diagonal gap of 8″ and change. I can use the 6″ spaces for small shelves to hold stuff, but what about the corner area? Open it up to create a big space for misc. stuff? But that’s going to result in a lot of wasted space for rarely accessed stuff that I should probably store elsewhere.
Do I close it up and use concealed hinges to create a lifting workbench top section, that can reveal hidden storage? How often is my workbench going to be clean enough for me to lift up part of the top?
If I connect the 2 parts of the workbench as close as I can, maybe I just write off that corner space? Space is going to be wasted no matter what.
What if I make it a cabinet instead of a drawer section? 12″? 15″ width? And then that could be used to shove stuff into corner shelves.
But again, if I have a very deep corner section, and a small opening to load it up with, will I waste so much space that I may as well just seal it up in order to maximize my drawer count?
What to do about that corner?!
Here’s what I’m going to do: I’m going to finalize the parts later this week and then order the rest of the workbench parts, excluding the corner-related segments.
This is also why I like the idea of floor-to-worktop legs idea, rather than adding support feet to a box. If I use 80/20 to build workbenches for the garage, I might go for the elevated box design style. But for this smallish space, ~7′ x 7′, designing and building the bench up from sections is proving to be easier and quicker. I can do things one step at a time.
Right now, there’s a Gladiator workbench in the space. Its legs are around 16″ from the wall, and all that’s kept there is stuff I wanted out of the way. I don’t consider it used storage space. That’s why I’m reluctant to space things out such to improve access to the corner storage.
I’m strongly considering SOSS concealed hinges (not inexpensive at $28 via Amazon), maybe with gas springs, to create secret access to an enclosed corner storage compartment. Maybe I can store tall stuff in there, such as my photography soft boxes and tripod, or I can add a shelf and use it for certain pieces of equipment.
Hmm… imagine that – I raise the lid, pull out a hose, and use a hidden dust extractor or fume extractor for soldering. I planned to keep my units in a different corner or the room, or shelf, but maybe they can fit within the corner space. Hoses aren’t exactly easy to store anywhere, and these tools need airflow and ventilation to operate, so they couldn’t work with the hatch closed or sealed.
Once I have the workbench sorted out, I’ll turn my attention to cutting a new top for my Ikea Galant desk. It’s an L-shaped desk that’s 31″ deep and 63″ wide in the long direction, and 48″ wide x 24″ deep in the short direction. It worked in my old workspace but is completely impractical with my current setup. If cutting a custom top won’t give me ideal results, I’ll fashion something else out of 80/20, and will connect it to the left side of the workbench to wrap around the other corner.
Phew, that’s a lot of words. I’ll clean up some more so the next post is mostly photos.
The left workbench is going to be around 22″ deep, and the right one is around 16″ deep. Add a few inches, and we’re talking about a maybe 25″ x 20″ x 38″ tall space – not a trivial volume to just seal up and ignore.
How do you make good use of corner spaces? Any ideas for me?
P.S. Are you following ToolGuyd on Instagram? Ben is @Electronsmith.
Koko the Talking Ape
Would it help if you used recessed drawer pulls, or just cut holes in the drawer fronts? Then you need less clearance, and that gap becomes maybe 6″ instead of 8″.
About how to use that corner space: whatever you put there should be something you don’t need to access often, so something like dust collection is out. What about a small air compressor? Electronics like surge protection or a wifi router?
That’s what I was thinking too. Sound-insulate the cavity and drop in a small compressor. Make sure you can turn it on-off, set the regulator, and drain the tank easily enough. Or, wire it up and make a charging/electronics/wifi station with a narrow pull-out drawer like a spice rack.
We almost always had this sort of discussion with clients when we were doing kitchens. Some questions asked:
Do we make it a 90 degree corner or build it out with a larger cabinet with a face meeting the 2 sides at 45 degrees?
Do we put a sink in the corner and trash bins underneath?
Do we put a lazy- susan assembly in the corner?
Do we use one 90 degree door? or 2 doors to access the space?
Do we add a rack out bin system with integral door fronts?
Do we put a small appliance in the corner with an elevator?
If you Google “kitchen corner cabinet” you’ll probably see some other ideas.
Or you could make it dead storage with a rolling cabinet – where you need to pull it away from the wall to access the other.
Put your stationary shop vac there, let the bag come up through the top, with a built in hose connection on the bench. Good use of space, all your tools can then be used with a vac.
Koko the Talking Ape
Yeah, I considered that, but I thought that would make it hard to empty the vac? Or maybe you solve that with “let the back come up through the top”?
That or your compressor fits well and if you go oiliness your almost never have to fish it out of there
You’re*** not your. Apologies for the typo
You had it right the first time. Your is possessive. You’re is a contraction of you are.
Rev-a-shelf makes lazy susan hardware sets that allow one to make their own shelves. You could make part storage bins on a pie shape and add as many shelves as you need, or will fit in the vertical space based on your designs.
Put an air compressor there.
I just finished a rebuild of my garage, and as in the previous one (consumed by fire), I did not put cabinets in the corners. I found that the tall vertical spaces come in handy for storing long objects, of which I had enough over time to fill up all 4 corners. In a kitchen, it would look odd certainly to have exposed spare piping, dowel rod, spare curtain rods, old golf clubs, etc., but in the shop, it makes them accessible and easy to find. A large corner space might be best utilised with a rack of PCV or ABS tubes to help organise the inevitable long things that collect.
I have an L shape workbench. In the corner is my access to my crawl space so I cannot permanently cover it up. To use the space the best I can I have my shop vac there along with a portable air compressor. The shop vac is hooked up to my miter saw with a hose routed under the bench to the end where the saw is.
I’ve been contemplating redoing my workbench to give me more of an actual miter saw station. I like the idea of the aluminum.
Here’s something I’ve been exploring for a miter system. It’s the fastcap system. They will sell only the track, the fence and the brackets for attachment to your miter saw. I’ve been looking at it, since I don’t have space for a permanent setup, but could set this up on any bench, etc. The thing I like is how exact it appears to be, with room for stops, etc. Also, no need to make the miter saw stand so it is level with the counter top.
I’ve been thinking that the track could go along a table, workbench, stand, etc. and into a corner when in use. It could be stored in a corner area vertically, along with the brackets, etc. I like storing tall things in corners. In another corner, in front on the access door to the crawl space :), I have my shop vac with extra hoses stored above it (hanging). Since I use a cyclone outside the corner, I don’t have to empty the vac that much.
I said “no need to make the miter saw stand so it is level with the counter top” and when I re-read it that seems cryptic. I meant, “no need to make a separate miter saw stand with a recess for the saw so that the cutting surface of the saw is level with the bench top” whew!
Here’s a short video showing how it works:
I just put stuff back there I never use and should get rid of.
I agree with JMG. Build a lazy susan that you can store in that corner. I have a flip top for hidden storage in my workbench but as you said, my bench is never clear enough to get to it without moving a bunch of stuff.
If you continue the top over you can make an entire section on casters that fits in the cavity. The drawers you were planning on can be on the normally visible section with the previously dead space only available when you pivot it out. Heres a picture of what I was thinking. The small gap means you can make the rolling portion bigger as it makes pivoting it out easier.
As others have said, the dead space can be used for a compressor or shop vac with the added benefit that when you need to oil or empty, it is accessible.
A good idea, but the drawers have very specific mounting spacings. For a cart, I’d have to go with smaller drawers – 18″ instead of 22″.
Maybe I can make 2 small carts that roll into the space, in and out.
Let’s assume you have a solid top and leveling feet. If so, you can make the section next to the dead section pull-outable. Just don’t attach the top to the pull out section and lower the leveling feet just a bit and you can still get to the storage space when needed. That way you can still use 22″ drawers for the pull out part. Here’s a picture.
What program did you use for that? Reminds me of the time I searched high and low in high school or college for isometric paper.
Next time I have a post like this, I’ll include the sketchup file.
I’m liking this idea a lot! It would mean higher costs and a little bit of wasted space horizontally (3″?), but would give me full access to the inner corner. It would have to be “stuff I need in this room but not often” kinds of things.
Maybe I can swap the 24″ section to this area, for a decent sized pull out cart that can be used as an auxiliary table. I could use locking casters instead of leveling feet/glides, and can add locking tabs to keep it in place.
Or maybe I’ll create a smaller rollout cart and skip the idea of shelves. Maybe a custom version of the Ikea Raskog (http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/20271892/), going back to your previous idea.
Maybe I’ll keep that at 15″ or so, and fit my fume extractor and small dust extractor to it. It would make it easier to do some quick soldering and cutting/drilling/etc.
The corner alcove can have a few shelves for bulky stuff, or split into a full-height section and half-height for a combination of taller stuff and bulky stuff.
I’ll do some prototyping using spare 80/20. Might order materials for the 2 left-side bays and then finalize the corner and cart as the final stage.
The linked sketch reminds me of MIT’s Tinker CAD (owned by Auto desk now) . If you have not check it out, you should.
I was originally thinking of an air compressor in the corner too, maybe made out of refrigerator compressor so its quiet. But this seem like a much better use of space at a relatively small loss in space efficiency. You also gain the benefit of having a space you can scoot chair under.
A hinged area will also collect any dust or spills. But if you do decide to go that direction, my company has switched to these instead of soss ones. http://www.agb.it/eng/news.php?id=17993
If its only two you need, I can just ship you them. I do have a couple of soss style ones laying around if you prefer those as well.
How come you switched from SOSS?
A quick search didn’t turn up any USA sources for the AGB Eclipse 2.0, but it does look a lot sleeker than the SOSS. Are they priced similarly?
Thanks for the offer! I just might take advantage of it!
Good point about a hinged area collecting dust. Maybe there can be foam between hinged components as an attempt to keep dust out.
I’m also seeing other potential for a hinged area, with a small box built underneath to hold small tools, a soldering station, something that is used frequently but less than ideal to keep out in the open.
They are priced similarly so these being fancier and made in Italy made sense for us since we sell European products. You can find them on ebay for $25-30 usually. I know they have at least some official channels but they want crazy money.
Italians put a slight slant on the handle side of their doors so when you close the door, the face of the door that goes up against the door stop has the same or smaller arc then the face of the door on the outside. This allows for smaller reveal. You could do even an extreme angle of 45 degrees on the 3 non hinges sides so that its almost self sealing with its own weight. If you add plastidip or some rubber spray, it might be almost water proof. Let me know, I assume you’re able to see my contact info.
Didn’t notice my autofiller started using my whole email as screen name, so now I know you can see my contact info.
It would actually make an ideal location for something along the lines of a safe for long term storage of seldom used but important documents (life insurance, deeds, etc) as long as you can fully open the door. It’s also out of the way and semi hidden, especially if you put other rolling cabinets/storage bins in front of the door.
I’ve also seen a friend turn a similar location into a central shop vac by putting a regular heavy duty shop vac into the top of the workbench (he actually took the motor/vac assembly off of the large plastic top and put it into the top of the desk separate from the inlet and outlet holes, but you could just as easily just cut a hole big enough to accept the entire top housing of a shop vac) and then put a square bin underneath and made and airtight door to get it out. His was piped outside for the outlet (and filtered) and then had three inlets for a hose, on in the corner, and one at each end of the worktop, just underneath. Takes a little more work, but works very well when you get it done right.
since i see small drawers on this – and what looks like setups for smaller tools, and the like I’m thinking I see wiring being used on this work bench. Or at least tools in some of those drawers are going to be of the smaller variety.
IE I’m not seeing drawers setup for impact wrenches or 1/2 drive sockets etc. I might be wrong but fundamentally what’s the purpose of this work area – I see woodwork, general assembly, and fine detail work – maybe.
to that end – make a waste collection spot that’s accessible – emptiable. Maybe even rig 2 bins – one for recycling type and the other general. or one paper stuff and the other hard stuffs.
something like that.
There several good ideas here. I like the shop-vac idea.
I’ve designed two kitchens in the past and in both cases, ended up using large lazy-susan (there are typically two sizes of lazy susans in almost every line of kitchen cabinets: small and large. Small ones, though cheaper, have too much dead space and are waste of money. ) Without the lazy-suzan, accessing items in the back is a suitable job for a contortionist.
If you tend to keep long items in the shop (long extrusions, tubing, shrink tubing, ..etc) then you can fill the space with round cardboard or PVC tubing and store those items vertically. for larger items concrete forms work great for that purpose.
if you use a lot of wire, you can store the spools below and bring up the wire through holes in the top. The spool scan sit on a shelve and perhaps have a flip-up top so it s makes easier to open and load new spools.
Personally, I have a small drill press in the corner junction of two work benches and just open storage underneath. But, the storage space was not my top priority.
I would put a bar fridge in the corner anfled 45 to the walls and continue the benchtop over it.
I’ve been looking all afternoon for a readily available pneumatic solution which would raise up out of the corner with storage shelves under the work surface. Nothing seems to be readily available on the market but one could be made with some pneumatic arms. Or if you can get you hands on a used motor and pulls from one of those tv stands that conceals the tv when not in use and modify it
Linear actuators would do it, but I would need at least 2, maybe 4 to ensure even lifting.
And if I kept things carefully placed, I wouldn’t need to clean off the area first.
But… I’d need long throw, which would be costly, even if there were just 2.
I considered this angle.
I should have mentioned this, but the workbench will be in my office, for things like electronics work, and small precise stuff that a small dust collector can handle. Woodworking and most metalworking will be done in garage or outside.
Back on December 27th I said:
“We built, or installed all sorts of kitchen corner cabinets. Some were not so novel under sink spaces with stacked lazy-susan baskets for cleaning supplies. One more innovative one – used a lift to bring up a platform with a commercial Hobart mixer – raising its covering butcher block top with it. We worked with a specialist lift company on this – and I think it became something like a $10,000 corner cabinet. After the job was completed , I’m not sure how much practical use it got – and while that lift was more than capable of carrying the load of the big mixer – I was always concerned about how things might rattle-apart if some heavy bread dough got caught in its dough hooks. I don’t recall that we ever had a call back – but on kitchens that cost more than many houses I sometimes suspect that they may be more for show than for use.
Using this sort of idea for a shop you might build a sturdy corner cabinet with an open top and cleats all around to support structurally-sound base for something like a sanding station on one side and a grinder on the other (top and bottom) flipping them over when you needed one or the other, No fancy electro-hydraulic lift – just brute force to get the job done.”
If this is inside, and for electronics work. I would build a low stand in the lower part and place a UPS or a power conditioner. Then above that I would use a powered sewing machine lift to raise some small project boxes or small part storage out from below the work surface. http://www.rockler.com/sewing-machine-lift-mechanism
I have pretty much the same idea. A hidden pop up with shelves with linear actuators. It’s definitely have the cool factor with great usability. I think two well placed linear actuators would be able to do the job. You might need to come up with some sort of track system to keep thing in place but two should be plenty in term of force.
A cheaper alternative would be having a hidden hook that can be revealed to hoist the whole thing up. Then the only things left is to add some props to secure it in place once it’s in the up position.
I would build the whole thing from lumber. Anchor to the block or studs & run cross bracing for load bearing. I don’t want to seem rude, but those aluminum extrusion bars suck. I’d also be weary of that ikea desk. Not sure if I’d use that for a work bench desk. You already have the drawers built for small items so I don’t understand the need for hidden compartments & drawers. Also what kind of work are you going to be using the bench for? Metal work? Wood work? Electronic repairs? I’ve got a mig welder suspended from underneath the top of one of my benches, but its well built work bench. Build your drawers with ball bearing slides off of a 2×6 anchored to plate or angle iron coming off the sides from the bottom of the bench top. Another idea is to find some old wooden book shelves (not ikea particle board junk) & cut em to what you want & anchor to your wall studs. You can add or subtract as many bins as desired with 1x/plywood. They won’t fall. In fact thats what I did for one of my corner work area’s. But that aluminum ain’t ideal for heavy loads even with the columns you described. Just anchor through the back of whatever you’re using to the studs or block & you’ll be good. For a dust or fume extractor, get a small attic fan, box it & make a sliding door cover for it. Just my 2 cents.
Electronics, small fabrication, some review testing, bench testing, misc. stuff, photography.
The Ikea desk is being used as a desk, but there are small parts all over it, and the right side has become a dump-all. I also find the 31″ depth to be too much. So I can reclaim maybe 6″ if I use a 25″ top, and the short end of the L-desk can be cut back a little bit too – 22″ to match up with the workbench. This would give me easier access to stuff in the corner. If I use 80/20, it would allow more streamlined connection to the workbench for maybe a little better storage efficiency, but I don’t think it’s necessary. I’d like to try putting a new top on first to see what that does.
I’m considering wood cabinets for the garage because there is a lot of space to cover. Realistically, it would cost more than Lista tech boxes to line the walls with 80/20 drawered cabinets.
I’m going the DIY route for the inside workspace b/c I can’t easily bring tool cabinets up there. I brought a Milwaukee 30″ for testing, and it was completely unsuited for the space. I have a deeper unit I wanted to bring up, but it would be impossible for 2 people to bring up the stairs. I couldn’t even get it up over 3 garage stairs.
I’ve got a Gladiator workbench in the space now, and it’s great but complicates the storage. There’s a 27″ tool cabinet underneath. I have more 26″ units, but they’re in use elsewhere and only have 4 cabinets.
I didn’t want wood for the office workbench – it’s not adjustable enough. Just one trial and error prototyping session would turn side rails into swiss cheese.
For the corner, could you use plywood, brackets, tracks, and either pullies or chains to make a corner storage compartment? Using pullies or chains and a hand crank, you wont have to worry about a motor wearing out and being unable to access what you need. Maybe you can create a raised lip out of wood to keep bench debris from falling into the mechanism. Additionally you can cut up a large mud flap around any exposed area out lf the way or moving parts to reduce airborne dust and debris. Granted, this would be a project.
Those 80/20 with the anchor fasteners look really neat. I would love to see a more details post comparing the two system along with some rough cost. It seem like the 80/20 is more expensive with cheaper fastener?
The drawback I see is that having it counterbores mean that it’s harder to configure them on the fly in the field.
The costs are pretty straightforward.
1515-s (smooth faced) is $0.53 per inch plus $1.95 per cut. So 10 inches would be $5.30 plus $1.95.
Counterbores are $2.60 each. Or you can do them yourself with an end mill or possibly piloted or unpiloted counterbore. It has to be very exact.
Anchors are not cheap – a 15-series anchor is $4.75 for 1, or $5.80 for a double. But, this can be cheaper than using corner plates and the such, and simpler too.
I didn’t go with anchors initially because you need to be absolutely sure about where the anchors go.
Or, end fasteners are easier to do oneself. I made myself a drilling jig a few years ago. You can also buy them for I believe $30 and change. I made one based off if their design, with a hardened drill guide, T-slot nuts, and metal dowels. End fasteners have T-shaped metal that slide into a track, and fasteners that slide into end taps of a mated extrusion. An access hole through the first track is needed to tighten the screw into the end tap – that’s where the drilling jig comes into play.
Plates and angles are easier to use, and DIY solutions can be used instead of 80/20’s. Their stuff is anodized and nicely finished, and you can sometimes find surplus, blemished, or used plates for less.
You can also order 8-foot lengths of extrusion and cut them down to size. I used to do that, but for this project I need very specific sizes to work with the drawer slides.
Thanks Stuart, $0.53/inch are very reasonable. Look like the anchors route can get expensive quickly.
How difficult is this to turn the hex bolt on the anchor? From the picture it look like a very tight turning angle.
Both require ball end hex drivers.
The 10-series was more restrictive; I need to find my Bondhus T-handle drivers, but made due with a PB Swiss hex key and Klein P-handle driver.
Also, the 10-32 fasteners were tight. I think maybe the coating tolerances were off. I was constantly worried I was cross-threading the fasteners, or that they sent me metric instead of inch, but they seem be holding well enough.
The 15-series anchors were a lot easier to work with. Initial assembly was a lot easier, and tightening was a lot easier.
I’m having the same issue in my basement. I had two workbenches against adjacent walls such that a square was formed from one side of each bench and 2 sides from the walls. I recently pushed the longer workbench down to create an L shape bench. This gave me room to move my drill press to the far right of the bench and my shop vac or garbage bin next to that. But now I feel like I’m losing 2 feet of bench space. I wanted to do some sort of cabinets above the bench, but with the lights in my shop I’d have to lower the cabinets about 4 inches to clear the lights. I would need 2×4 material to do this which I don’t have in stock. Work space is just a clustertruck of problems.
could you not do the counterbores and the like with a drill press? cut with a metal blade on a mitre saw? Seems very expensive
I would still keep the corner thing simple – sure a powered lift and the like would be nice but is it really necessary vs you know you need a place for trash and the like and this way it would be out of the way.
I was thinking it was going to be a heavy duty bench with vises etc. But yeah if its a light duty bench, then the aluminum will definitely work & it will look slick when your done. I’m not familiar with gladiator benches. I’ve always built my own to the specs according to the applicable duties I’d be using it for. One last idea, find an old kitchen table @ a yardsale, side of the road etc. Miter your 90 in the corner & fasten your bars to studs & bracket to the table. Is the parts cabinet that you constructed going to be used with the bench? Is this for an office, garage, basement? Question, for a bench thats barely over 2′ on each side, is all of that aluminum & hardware and this much thought input really worth the time & monetary investment? I was under the impression that you were building a workbench of considerable size. Thats a lot of metal for such a small project. Dude just get some 1x/ply, 2x, bearing slides, fasteners, & the power tools to build it & just do it. Cut it to size & put it together. If you want it to look fancy, varnish & finish the wood. All of that aluminum seems unnecessary for this project. You’ll be done in a day or three with lumber.
Why wouldn’t you think this would be capable of heavy duty work? It’s pretty solid. I might fix them to the wall too, but for anti-tip reasons, not extra stability.
As mentioned, I like adjustability. Corner cabinet now, mobile tool carts in a few years when I find the time and workshop space to build some built-ins.
I think Stuart was aiming for a high-tech modern look – not a clone of a kitchen cabinet – and something within his skill level to build himself and be happy with the results. Sure, as you say, you can make a functional case using ” some 1x/ply, 2x, bearing slides etc.” but like some of my past clients who wanted a custom copper range hood with a commercial fire suppression system, lavastone and copper counter tops and cabinetry that looks like fine furniture – you want what you want and are willing to pay for it.
People have pretty much already covered my thoughts on the corner (unless you want to consider a hexagonal aquarium up top with the plumbing in the space below you’re trying to fill ;). However, just going to share something about the overall design. With all drawers under the work surface, you can only stand up, like in a kitchen. No place for working on a stool with your knees under the bench top. If you sacrifice some drawer space to give yourself a seated workspace by the corner, you can access shelving or a cabinet under the corner. Yes, you lose drawer space, but you can put those drawers wherever you currently do seated detail work and now sit in the corner.
Great point about room for a stool!
I have a small-base stool from Ikea, and in storage a few tall drafting stools I used to use with a standing desk. I’m still running through the idea of a pull-out tool cart, which would give me seating space for long sessions. Perhaps it won’t be large enough for a full chair base, but certainly enough for a small stool or leaning stool.
BTW – most cabinets that we stand in front of to work at (e.g. kitchens and baths) have a toe kick allowing you to get up a bit closer. Your design provides maximum storage space by bringing the drawers almost to floor level – but that doesn’t provide a toe kick.
Good point. The benchtop will extend forward at least an inch or 2. I’m thinking 2″ in front, 1″ in back, so that I can use my 25″ wide butcher block Ikea countertops without having to trim them.
There will also be handle pulls.
So while there won’t be a toe kick, there will be some space for lower body and feet clearance.
Right now the lowest bar is quite a bit closer to the floor than before, since I was able to remove an extra 3″ of support brackets. But there’s not a lot of space for cleaning and things like extension cord routing, so I’ll be raising the casters a little bit – at least another inch.
And if that’s not enough, I’ll take out the topmost slides which are to be a work surface drawer, and simply raise everything up 2″ or so.
That’s why I like working with 80/20 – nothing is ever set in stone. This is also a benefit of going with leg-supported loads, rather than horizontal supports on top of which the vertical supports are placed – slightly more tweakability.
Sounds like a plan. I guess that some cabinet designer – long before we ever heard about ergonomics – figured out the idea of toe kicks. They are still in general use for kitchens – more than overhanging countertops – because overhanging countertops can obscure the contents in the back of top drawers (much like drawers that don’t have full-extension slides)