DIY: The workbench

As I noted in my weekly post, there was some DIYing going on in the Ward/Coppage household this weekend.

I wanted to have a workbench in my basement so that I’d have a surface to undertake other projects, store my tools and just carry out repairs and maintenance on things around the house. And also because I fancied building something with my bare hands (and some power tools).

I roped Matthijs into helping, so first off, we needed more parts on top of what I’d gotten Sunday morning. (This is where a classical “Transport fiets”, literally a transport bike, comes in handy, for those of us who do not have cars). The hardware store being a 10-15 minutes cycle, this wasn’t too bad anyway.

Trip 1: flying solo, thankfully it wasn’t too windy.

We then set to with the tape measure and the square. We measured out all the lengths we needed. At this point, I must confess to some geekiness, over the week I prepared by optimising the amount of wood I would need to buy for the cuts I needed. And by optimise, I mean quite literally, running an optimiser in excel.

However, at this point, a further confession is needed, in that in my plan, I calculated something wrong, meaning I programmed the optimiser wrong, and bought one piece of wood to many. (That’s not the problem, I can always use it for something else).

A few minutes typing in the constraints, and off we go!
A few minutes typing in the constraints, and off we go!

So yes, I learned a lesson in the importance of accurate planning. There are a few other instances where I planned things wrong, which in my mind is simply knowledge I can apply to the next project (like the tools I bought).

Anyway, it’s a simple enough design based roughly on the designs found at the art of manliness, which in turn are contributed by the folk over at one project closer. Though much smaller than either designs proposed there, which is due to the constraint of living in a small apartment in Amsterdam, rather than a large house in the mid-western USA.

But enough waffle, here are some pictures:

Trip 2: one method of strapping timber to a bike
Method 2 for strapping timber to a bike.
Busy screwing the fixings to the inderside of the top surface. Can you spot my first mistake?
Various bits and pieces at various steps of completion
Almost done, just the shelf to add below and the castors to bolt on.
Leave tools on top to weigh it down so that the glue can set.

All-in, I’d say it was just over €80 worth of material, and a decent afternoon’s worth of work (plus an hour next week to polish off the last few steps like the shelf and wheels). If anyone would like to commission one, I’d be happy to make them one! (with a small mark-up) 😉


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