I’m toying with an idea that I’m hoping to solicit some feedback on before starting my build. I have a small workshop where I need a workbench with flexibility and I also need storage for tools.
My original idea was to build a cabinet for all my tools. Basically, a floor to ceiling cabinet. Plus, I would build a workbench. Probably the official Kreg workbench. Something small and versatile. Upon reflection of maximizing my workshop I came up with the idea to make rolling modular workbench/cubes/shelves.
I figured the cubes could double as my workbench and provide me much needed shelf space. Additionally, if I make about 4 of them I would gain a ton of flexibility. My idea is to be able to somehow make them attach or clamp to one another back-to-back. This way I can scatter them around when I don’t need a bench and bring them together in a variety of configurations when I need them. They could also double as out-feed surfaces for sawing too.
Attached is my very crud design to give you an idea of my idea. I’m thinking that the work surface needs to be about 2’x2’. That way they’re easy to stow and a few of them joined end-to-end or back-to-back or both would give me a ton of work surface and still retain the ability to get to the tools inside.
Is this a good idea? I’m looking for any kind of input to make sure I get it figured out before building it. Any considerations to be made? I’m specifically hoping someone will have an idea of how to attach them when I want to amass a workbench.
You could make something like this.
Instead of the sandwiched top, you could use simple MDF and just modify the framing so you didn't have to cut dado's, rabbets, etc...
Put some casters on it and make it mobile. If you have a table saw, you could make the finished height slightly lower than your saw so you have outfeed support.
I would build the small Kreg work bench to be the center piece if you will, of your shop. Then go with a few of the "cubes". That would make you very modular. Good idea.
Any ideas of how to keep them tethered together when working on them? I'm trying to think of some sort of buckle/clasp/clamp that I could use to attach them together.
I have a desk that has tables that can be attached in different configurations depending on the office setup. I did this when I was still renting because I never knew what my "new" place my look like. I used hinges where half of the hinge is attached to one piece and the other half attached to another piece. I would then just slide the two pieces together and tap the pin in to hold the desk together. I realize a work bench is a totally different animal but if you used large enough hinges it should hold the cubes together fairly well. Then when you want to take them apart you can just tap the pin out.
I've found 2-drawer legal size file cabinets, to be very handy.
Metal drawer file cabinets, can be purchased, at a reasonable price, from a used office furniture store.
These file cabinet drawers feature full extension roll-out tracks, that operate smoothly, and are made of a heavier gauge metal, that will hold a lot of weight. (A drawer full of paper or books weigh a lot; therefore they'll support a drawer full of wood working shop tools).
An intermediate, half-drawer or tray, can be made of wood, and installed inside of each deep drawer.
Make the intermediate drawer, that fits into the main drawer--- akin to a pull-out tray in kitchen cabinets.
Make this drawer about half the dimension, front-to-back, and of a depth to facilitate smaller tools.
EX, the bottom section of the drawer to house routers, and the top tray to house router bits and associated tools.
Casters can be attached to the base, for mobility.
Make a sub-base/platform, of 3/4'' plywood, for the file cabinet, and secure the casters to the base.
Use heavy duty casters, 3'' dia wheel---2 rigid and 2 swivel w/lock---or all four swivel casters w/locking brakes. (I used these type on my mobile units--- http://www.rockler.com/product.cfm?page=11182).
Make a top member, frame, box, or the like, to set onto the cabinet top. This section can be made to a dimensional height, so as to be flush/in the same plane as a table saw height. If space allows, a drawer can be made that fits into this top section---providing another source for tool storage.
One can make 3 or 4 of these of the units, and banked together to make a nice larger work surface area.
Locking casters can be activated, to keep the units in place.
When not in use, as a large work surface area, they can be stored side-by-side, along a shop wall.
With 4 of these units, one can have lots of drawer storage.
Each unit can also suffice as a separate base to accommodate, a bench top drill press, band saw, router table, or a whole array of bench top tools. As a mobile station, they can be readily pulled out and moved to a convenient location, for the task at hand.
TIP: Label the drawer fronts, with their applicable contents. With so many drawers, you'll be spending a big part of your time, opening & closing drawers, to find what your looking for.
One can fabricate their own from wood, with drawers and the base to facilitate casters.
Alternate design: An old wood office desk, if one can find one---(NO--- mine is not for sale). Remove the stationary legs, attach a base, and affix a 6'' caster set---rigid at the rear, swivel with lock, at the front. The large surface area of these desks, is very useful for many tasks. Two of these units is great, if you have the space.
The 2 drawer legal size file cabinets, referenced above, measure