Monday, November 25, 2013

Building a workbench - part 3

My husband is still at it! Thank goodness he's been blogging lately because I honestly haven't gotten much done.

Here is his third and final workbench post. (Part 1 and Part 2 can be found here and here if you missed them.)

Today I’ll show you the finishing touch on the workbench.  The lighting!  For some reason our garage only has a single overhead light so a work light on this bench was a necessity.  This only took about an hour.  It should have been less, but I failed to read an important sticker that was on the light that explained something that was easily avoidable.  I won’t get into that to save myself a little bit of embarrassment.  Let’s get started.

First, I needed to attach some arms for the light to hang from.  This was the easiest part of an already easy job.  I measure the arms to the length I wanted and I fastened them to the top of the posts at the back of the bench with three wood screws for each arm.
Now, this would probably have been good and strong enough to hold the light on it’s own, but I didn’t like the way it looked.  I decided to add angled support braces under each arm.  This serves to add more support for the arms and also dresses it up a bit.  The support braces were each 19 1/8” with a 45 degree inside cut on each end.  This was the most time consuming part.  Not fastening the braces to the structure, but cutting the angles on the pieces of wood.  Currently I do not own a power miter saw so I used a miter box and a hand saw.  Perfectly accurate cuts but it took some time to get through a 2x4 and I needed to make 4 cuts over all.  Definitely put some wear on the shoulder.  Here’s how the cut looks before being added to the structure.

I used two wood screws on each end of the braces to fasten them to the post and the support arm.  That should be self-explanatory, but here’s a picture.
Next, I needed a way to hang the light from these arms.  Before I just screwed something in I wanted to went ahead and measured for pilot holes for a couple of eye screws.  The pilot holes were perfectly centered and two inches from the front of the arm.
The eye screws start off easily enough but then they need a little help getting seated to the depth I wanted.  I used a screw driver to add a bit more torque and help me out.
With that done it was time to hang the light.  The chain that the light came with didn’t have a way to secure itself to the eye screws so I used a couple of anchor shackles to connect the chain to the eye screws.  Now I didn’t take a picture of this, but it looked like one chain was a bit longer than the other when I got the light hanged (I hate using that word in this context but that’s English for you).  The light wasn’t hanging level so I took down the lower hanging side and removed a link in the chain and put it back up.  It was very close to level now so I didn’t bother messing with it again.
Almost done!
Now we’re pretty close to done!  Just plug it in and I should be good, right?
Let there be light!
Right!  It worked on the first try!  Ha!  I’ll clean up the cord later and find a way to hide it or keep it secured somehow.
Well, that’s it for you.  An easy workbench for a garage or shop or whatever you’d like.  Not hard to do and it was done for just at $100.  I’ve looked around and smaller prebuilt workbenches can run you several hundred dollars.  If you’ve got the tools and a little bit of know how you can easily save some money by doing it yourself.  Why spend more?!
Thanks for reading and have a happy Thanksgiving!

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