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  • Myrtle Beach, SC
  • United States
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  • Ken Darga

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Profile Information

Which Kreg products do you own?
Kreg Jig K4 Master System
How would you describe yourself?
Intermediate DIY'er
What's one interesting fact about you, your life, your garage, shop, or home?
I'm a firefighter trying to design a firefighter themed work bench

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At 11:16pm on August 31, 2014, Ken Darga said…

Hi Todd,

Thanks for your timely reply.

Glad to hear you like some of the ideas.

The K4 is my choice over the K5.

I like the design feature, that permits adjustment of the stop collar.

It will allow you to fine tune the drilling depth.

Make all your design plans and drawings before proceeding.

Where applicable, make full size patterns, before cutting the wood.

Patterns can be made from poster board material---

use packaging tape across the pattern joints, for larger size pieces.

I'd make the top planks from 2x8's, edges butted, and use an overlay panel of 1/4" tempered hardboard, over the 2x8's.  The overlay can be affixed using construction adhesive.  When it get damaged, it can be replaced.

Extend the ends of the 2x8's, far enough beyond the legs, to allow bolting of a vise on either end of the bench.  (Mine is about 10").

Plan for bench dog holes in your top.---very handy to  have for working wood---planing, sanding, assembly, and the like.

You can also plan for a wood workers vise, to be located on one end.

They will come in very hand for many tasks.  ( I have one on one end, and one in the center.

Diamond plate looks nice, but---not practical for a work bench top.

A smooth surface is the way to go.

A metal work top surface is more suitable, for doing metal work.

Use 1/8" hardboard to make patterns.  1/4" is better if you plan to used a router and trim bits.

For the hydrant, you can use a gal size plastic contain, like a mini 5 gal water bottle, or gallon size an ice tea jug (it contains a spigot).  Cover the outside with wood slats or strips, akin to barrel slats.  Fill all the joints with silicone caulk, so as to make it smooth, and paint it.  The slats can be bonded to the plastic with silicone adhesive.  

I think it would look pretty cool.

Make the emblems, with the details carved into 1/4" thick wood.

(Carving can be accomplished using inexpensive carving tools, available from craft stores.  Give the carving chisel edges a keen sharpened cutting edge).

Finish with the desired accenting, details and colors.

Mortise an area into the bench, to accept the desired item(s)---

akin to making an inlay.  

The emblem could be made flush with the surrounding surface.

(Mortise out an area, to accept the inlay emblem.  A mortise can be chiseled out, or use a router and square up the corners).

If making the legs from 4x4 stock, the emblems can be fitted into the legs.

Most of the prep work and making of the smaller items can be done before commencing with the build.  

(One can accomplish many of these tasks, wearing a cast or confined to a wheel chair).

Have fun with your design and builds.


At 8:55pm on August 29, 2014, Ken Darga said…

PS---attach a fire extinguisher to the front of your work bench.

At 8:54pm on August 29, 2014, Ken Darga said…

Welcome Todd, to the Kreg Community.

Re Kreg Tools

For starters, I'd suggest the Kreg Jig Master Kit---

The K5 is the current new model

the K4 the previous model.

Both are find.

Some express their desire for the new K5.

The setup block, makes in simpler, as the drill depth setting is dictated by the screw length, for the applicable material thickness.

Perhaps, you could obtain and review a copy of the manual(s) to familiarize yourself, before procuring the kit(s).

I'd suggest selecting some simple easy to make items, so as to get familiar with the pocket hole joinery methods.

Then proceed to expand with some associated pocket hole joinery accessories.

Starting out with the basics, then add on as needs arise.

There are some pocket hole joinery books available on todays market.

One very good book, with instructions and photos, is "The Pocket Hole Drilling Jig Project Book", by Danny Proulx.

Re Work Bench Plans

Perhaps you could do a Google Search, for "work benches".

Review the various designs and their associated construction.

Select a design build, keeping in mind the available tools you possess, to make such a build.

A workbench can be constructed according to the builders skill levels.

A bench as simple as 2x4 material with a couple layers of plywood or MDF for the top.

Drawers are very useful, for storing tools on one side, and double doors on another side with shelves for storing tools.

Re Firefighter Theme

You can do a Google Search---I'm sure you'll find several, that will be appealing to you liking.

Items, such as firefighters tools you use in your line of work, could be incorporated in the accenting of the build.

Ex, carve and chisel out the outline of an axe in the legs, and paint the components with the applicable colors.

"Myrtle Beach Fire Dept" logo, carved and painted into the apron of the work bench.

The bottoms of old boots, fitted over the front legs.

The emblem of an old firemen's hat, recessed into the apron of the bench.

An outline of a firemen's hat, carved into the workbench apron.

The carved lines can be filled-in/darkened using a wood burning tool or soldering iron.

Replica scaled down ladders, to hang and store wood working tools.

Cabinet door and drawer handles using old "boot pull-up straps".

A replica fire hydrant, with an enclosed water bottle, and fitted with a spigot to pour the drink.  (The fire hydrant could be fabricated from wood, made up of multiple pieces joined together).

Miniature firetruck tires for wheels, made from sections wood, and attached at the base of the work bench legs.

A old firefighters safety belt as your tool belt, with applicable tool pouch(s).

Just to name a few.

There are nearly limitless possibilities. 



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