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Tuesday 31 May 2016

Workbench upgrade

This bank holiday weekend I spent a lot of time tidying up and throwing things out of our various sheds. A long overdue job. Much of the stuff thrown out was from boxes we used to move house over 11 years ago! A full Land Rover load of old cables, computer bits, paint tins and general clutter gone to the recycling centre.

Either side of that job I upgraded the lighting in the workshop to LED tubes and made some removable additions for my workbench. All in all a busy long weekend.

I designed the bench for carpentry about 10 years ago. It has a dropped centre for sawing and is slatted to make it easier to clamp various sizes of timber while working on them. This works very well for what I designed it for but is not so convenient for the small models I have been working on more recently.

I decided to make some changes. I bought a large A1 cutting mat and attached that to a board to overlay on the bench. I have also made an infill section to cover the slats so I am less likely to lose small components through the middle on to the floor.

Both add-ons just lift off. I cleared a space to store them at the side of the workshop slightly raised to avoid the potentially damp floor.

That's Lemmy, he thinks he's helping :-)

The centre section is made from 9mm ply and has battens at each end to stop it sliding along. The board for the cutting mat is made from 12mm MDF and has pins made out of cut down galvanised nails to keep it in place. Both boards are finished with a single coat of some left over quick drying floor varnish which I have found handy for many projects.

The cutting mat itself is just tacked to the board using several layers of spray mount. I was concerned that changes in temperature would cause undulations in the mat if it was too securely glued to the MDF board.

The spray mount was enough to keep the mat from sliding about and will even store vertically for a short while but I have had to use contact adhesive along two edges to fix it more securely for longer term storage.

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