One of my favorite and most used shop builds is my miter saw stand. I looked it up today and I built this in Feb of 2014. It was one of the first things I built for my old shop but it was before I was making build videos.
It’s mobile so I can move it about, which I do very often. It has foldable wings that don’t interfere with the deck when down but do help support longer joints when up. I built a large bin to quickly toss in cut offs to get rid of and a shelf to just as quickly place cut offs that are worth keeping.
At the time I had a miter saw that didn’t have a sliding feature and I built the stand for that saw. Since then, I’ve passed it along to my dad and switched over to a saw that is sliding. Although with this new saw, I can’t rotate it to a full 45 degrees without the back bumping into the frame of the stand. I’ve been just dealing with it up until now, but I’ve finally had enough and have decided to remake the stand.
I thought about going to a more stationary unit but decided against it. I love my stand being mobile as I often move it around, and I love having the ability to expand or collapse it’s footprint as needed.
I started by using my track saw to cut down two sheets of plywood into the different pieces needed. If you’re interested in building your own, I do have a set of plans available here.
Almost all the pieces are a rectangle so this goes pretty quickly. The only slightly odd shaped parts are the two wing supports. When cutting these, I joined both together and cut out one large rectangle to start. This way I could just make a diagonal cut and have two pieces.
Next I quickly taped the two parts together before taking them to the bandsaw and cutting out that top notch. Be sure to use the fence when making long straight cuts like this.
Then shove it out of the way to freehand and finish it. Now I have two identical parts.
Moving onto assembly. I’m using my Armor Tool jig to create pocket holes in three pieces that will be the shelves. I first set up the jig with a piece of my material in it’s jaws to adjust the depth of the drilling block, and the collar on the bit. You can use 2x4s as side supports for wider pieces like this.
After drilling in the rest of the pocket holes on the other shelves I brought out my Rockler Clamp It Square Jigs to help assemble things together. You’ll notice I’m using two different types of plywood. I was using what I had on hand which was one sheet of red oak veneer ply and one construction grade ply. I arranged the parts so all the visible pieces were cut from the nicer ply and the more hidden ones from the construction grade. These jigs make quick work of assembling a box and making sure it goes together at a 90.
When I was done attaching the bottom, I went ahead and attached four casters. You know, I make almost everything I build in the shop mobile but this stand by far gets moved the most. So even if you skip casters on your other builds, I recommend not skipping them on this one.
To put in the top shelf, I flipped the unit on it’s head then placed in two spacers to act as a ledge. Notice I’m placing the shelves with the pocket holes down. This way you won’t see them when the unit is complete.
Also, if you get a set of these plans and have a different saw you’ll just need to measure from a flat surface up to the deck of your saw to figure out where to place this shelf.
I repeated with new spacers to place the shelf. If you wanted to change up your stand so it was all shelves you could carry on with this process until the space was filled.
Lets go ahead and keep things upside down for a second, it will just make attaching the next pieces easier. These parts will be what the wings will be hinged onto later on. And since they need to be flushed to the top of the sides, I could use some glue (in this case I’m using Titebond Original) then only worry about lining it up flush to the front.
With that the body is done, I could move the entire thing down to the ground and start attaching the wings. To do this I first cut to size a piano hinge to fit the fold up wings.
You can make quick work of this if you use a reciprocating saw but a hack saw will work as well. I used my SuperJaws to hold onto the hinge as I cut it.
To make sure it was lined up in the proper place I used two Bessey quick clamps to clamp down a scrap board to the top of my wing.
Since piano hinge screws are so small and hard to get started, I used a small pre drill before driving in the screws. If you use the stock screws that come with the hinge, I recommend driving them in by hand as they are incredibly easy to over tighten and strip out.
Next, I repeated the process by setting the wing in place and attaching the other side of the hinge to the built out piece I attached in the last step. I suppose I could have made things easier on myself by leaving the unit upside down on my workbench. That’s a tip to make your build easier, if you tackle this one.
Alright then after repeating on the other side you can see I have two foldable wings. Now to add the supports to keep them open.
I cut yet another two strips of hinge to length, then stuck one wing support at a time in my SuperJaws to attach. I went ahead and upgraded the screws used here to something a little more heavy duty than the stock screws. Oh, with the wings being directional I made sure I was attaching the hinge in the correct orientation so that it would fold correctly when opened and closed.
Four Easy Workbench Improvements - Upgrading the Ultimate Workbench - YouTube
Let me catch you up incase you missed the first video on this build: It’s a 4×8 top with an overhang on all sides for clamping area. A speed square holder on every corner because honestly, where do they always disappear to? A giant middle cubby to store anything and everything, mostly tools in my case. A mallet holder. Plenty of screw box holders, and even more hardware storage bins that are on French cleats so they are removable or rearrangeable. Both sides have four drawers all along the bottom. Then the other end has a custom bench cookie dispenser, clamp storage for both squeeze clamps and quick clamps, then also plenty of tape storage. : ) It makes me laugh just how much crap I managed to store on this thing already.
The first modification was to flip the workbench on it’s back and add some more feet. As it is now, I haven’t experienced the bottom bowing but I do plan on adding cubbies next to this section which I bet would cause the bottom to bow. I quickly made up some simple little feet in the shape of an L. I first used my Armor Tool pocket hole jig to drill in some pocket holes on each set, then used glue and brad nails to attach the pieces into their L shape. Since this is an indoor project I’m using Titebond original wood glue for the entire build.
The plan is to make these inside feet adjustable, because there is no way the concrete floor will be perfectly level. To do that, next I cut some small blocks that would fit inside my L pieces. I used a handscrew clamp to hold onto these securely while I used the drill press and a forester bit to drill a hole for my adjustable feet.
I used glue and brad nails to attach these into place, then found my pocket hole screws in my new hardware storage area and attached the feet to the center of each railing.
I used a piece of tape to hold each one in place while I tipped the workbench back over on its feet. Then I crawled underneath to not only remove the piece of tape, but to also thread down each foot so they were all touching the ground.
Ok support reinforcements are in, next was to add in some cubbies to break up the one big main cubby. The problem with having such a tall space is I typically have one row of tools on the shelf then everything above it is wasted. To combat that, I added in shelves….and I stuck with shelves over drawers because I love the high visibly and quick accessibility for this space. I just needed another tier.
I started by cutting up some dividers and again using my Armor Tool jig to drill in some pocket holes. If you have this jig, don’t forget that a 2×4 is the perfect height for side supports when drilling in wide material.
When attaching the dividers to the bench, I used what will be the shelving bottom as a spacer, then I made sure it was sitting in the cubby squarely before putting the screws. I didn’t use glue here incase I want to change up the size arrangement in the future. Its worth noting that I placed these directly in line with the feet I added in the previous step.
Next, to add a second layer of shelves, I cut and then attached some small rails. I used glue and my brad nailer for this. I also used a spacer to make getting the height the same on all of them. I personally made my bottom shelf higher than the top, but I recommend getting an idea on what you want to store here before determining the height of these.
Next up was to cut the shelving bottoms to fit on top of these rails and in between the dividers.
If you want, you can make them permanent and nail them to the rails. However, I wanted mine to slide out so I wouldn’t have to squat or bend over to see what’s on there. To prevent things from falling off as I pull the shelf out, I cut then attached two side walls for each cubby.
Then on the front, I also cut and attached a piece that acts as not only a stop block to keep the shelf from just going back into the space, but also as a convenient hand pull for the shelf.
To prevent the shelf from just falling out, I cut some strips and attached them directly up front and above the side walls of each shelf. Now I can pull each shelf almost all the way out without it falling.
How to Mold and Cast Your Hand! Lifecasting a Hand with Alginate and Plaster - YouTube
The first thing I always grab when walking into my shop is my hearing protection. I personal wear bluetooth OSHA compliant ISOtunes. I have two models I toggled back and forth between, the Pro version with a memory wire, and the Xtra version without. Both hang around my neck when not in use but then at the end of the day I normally just toss them down on whatever surface I’m closest to. Which means in the morning I have to go on a hunt to find them. The best way to fix constantly loosing something is to make a home for it so in today’s video I’m going to be doing just that.
I could have just put a hook on the wall, but how boring. Instead, I thought it would be funny to have a hand coming out the wall in the classic Rock On hand symbol (since my ISOtunes allow me to jam to music while in my shop). This is a casting of my actual hand and it’s called livecasting. Let me show you the process.
This project does make a mess and since I anticipated that, I set up a workstation of two plastic portable workbench tables. I grabbed a pail of water, some small plastic trash cans and some mixers to throw in a drill. However, lesson learned! Don’t use the mixers. They must mix the ingredients together too quickly as the mixers ruined my first batch.
I went with these trashcans because of the hand shape I was going after. I wanted a bent wrist on my cast. I needed something that gave my hand room at the angle I wanted it to cast. So figure out the hand shape you’re going with first, then find a container that fits.
Now there are two common mold materials. One is silicone and the other is alginate, which uses algae as its main ingredient. Alginate the one I’m using.
I followed the mixing instructions to mix together an amount that I thought would cover my hand in the container. The ingredients are the powder of the alginate and water. I measured out the water first, then poured the powder in on top then stirred really well.
When I formed my hand shape, I made sure not to leave any space between my fingers and my palm. I tucked my fingers and this will make the cast stronger.
I plunged my hand all the way in until I touched the bottom of the can and then pulled my hand back up about 1/2”. Then I just sat and let it start hardening.
One benefit to using Alginate is its fast set time. You only have to wait about 5 mins before the contents are ready for your hand to be removed. When it was time to pull out my hand, I started to gentle wiggle my hand and fingers until I felt the mold material letting loose. Then I just pulled my hand out.
Now you can’t see really, but at this point I have a mold of my rock on hand shape and it’s time to pour in the plaster to make a cast.
You’ll want to immediately start the process for pouring in your plaster. It’s just as simple as the alginate mixing, where you follow the mixing ratios of the provided powder with water.
I once again started off with the measured amount of water then stired in the powder. Make sure you mix this together enough to get the lumps out.
Once it had a good consistancy, I poured some into the alginate mold.
I didn’t fill it up immediately though, I poured in just enough to get into the fingers, then I rotated the container around to try and make sure the plaster was coating all the fingers without getting an air bubble trapped. Then I filled it up the rest of the way.
The next step is to try and get as many of the air bubbles out a possible. You can kinda shake the container, but I grabbed my small sawzall without a blade, and used it to gently vibrate out the bubbles.
Then last thing I did before leaving it alone to set up was to grab a lag bolt and insert it into the wrist, threads facing out. When it drys I’ll have a way to thread it into my wall. You can see I just threaded it into a piece of wood, centered it, then rested it across the top of the mold.
Skip ahead one hour and the mold and cast are ready!
I flipped my container upside down to drop the mold then used a knife to tear into it and release my hand. Alginate is used for one time molds, so I wasn’t worried about preserving the mold.
I found it insane how much detail the cast had in it. Wrinkles, veins, and finger prints. It’s really crazy.
Now you can see on the top of mine that I have small holes from not getting out all the little air bubbles. I did it a few times and was never able to 100% get rid of these, so my fix was to fill them in before painting.
For the small ones on top I used a thick and quick setting glue from Titebone called Thick and Quick. I chose this one because it’s a white glue and not yellow. You can see that it takes just a small amount to fill in all those small little holes.
Then for other imperfections, like where the bolt head was slightly poking through, I covered with joint compound then blended in with some sanding. Also, if you have a few bumps of plaster on your cast, they are simple enough to pop off with a razor blade.
Not only is this a fun project, but it’s also incredibly quick to complete. I let my..
Organize Your Hardware! In the Wall Hardware Storage - YouTube
In this video I’ll be tackling a project I’ve been wanting to do since building my shop….in the wall hardware storage. Now before you freak out on me in the comments, it’s important to note that this is an interior wall. It holds 157 containers, and was very simple to do. Lets get into how I did it.
This is the dividing wall between my metal shop and my woodworking shop. I started by unscrewing two panels on the far right of it and moving the sheets out of the way.
So my original plan was to rip both 4×8 sheets down the center, place the top half of the top sheet and the lower half of the bottom sheet back in place then have containers in between. This would allow all containers to be within my reach by standing on the ground. With that, I used my track saw and ripped down the boards in the middle. Then I went back to my wall and started clearing out spay foam insulation.
As I said in the intro, this is an interior wall so I don’t mind giving up the insulation here.
My intention was to build a shelving system, made from dados essentially, that would accept a plastic storage container I found that fit perfectly inside the wall.
Ok ok, lets build some dado shelves. ….dado shelves?….yeah I think that’s a fitting name.
To make these, I first started by grabbing my dado stack and placing 1/2” in my tablesaw. I’ll be using a Half Lap Jig made by Rockler to make sure I can get these repeatable cuts accurate in both spacing and size. The jig is intended to be used for single pass operations, buuuuut since dado stacks don’t go up to 1” (which is what I needed mine to be cut at), I did a test piece to figure out how to make it work for a two pass operation.
I started by cutting in a rabbet on the end, then measuring over the distance I wanted between my containers and making a mark. I butted the edge of my rabbet up against the metal key then adjusted the fence over so my mark was in line with the blade. I pushed it through to make the cut, then moved the board over so this fresh dado was now sitting on the metal key. Then I continued the process.
To make the second pass to enlarge the dado, I repeated the same process. I started with my rabbet, lining up the stack so it was just outside of that first pass. Once it was cut in, I pushed the inside edge up against the metal key then adjusted the fence on the jig so the stack lined up perfectly for my next cut. This locks in the spacing so now I could make a cut, then as long as I placed the inside edge up against the metal key, it would hit where I needed it to and enlarge the dado to 1”.
Since I planned to do plenty more of these boards, I made two pencil marks on my fence to mark each location.
When making the dados, I left my boards wide enough to create matching pairs of shelves. To get individual shelves, I used my track saw to split it down the middle. Doing it this way ensures they in fact match and the slots will line up with one another.
I repeated the process because the studs being 16 on center is juuuust wide enough for two rows of containers. In fact, it is just a tad bit too wide. I did a mock up on my workbench before putting things together and I was short by exactly 1/2”. That’s an easy fix though. I cut a piece of 1/2” plywood down to the same size and stuck it in between the two inside shelves. There. Perfect fit.
The outside shelves are simple enough to attach, as they go directly on the inside face of the studs. However, I did stick a counter sink bit in my drill and pre drill the placement holes. This way I could move my mobile workbench into place then easily attach the unit while holding it in position.
You’ll see that I started off quite small, that’s because I wanted to test that this would actually work before diving in. But so far so good I’d say.
Moving on to attaching the center section. For this part I started off using pocket holes. I pulled out my Armor Tool Pocket Hole Jig and drilled in about four holes along this length. Remember that Armor made the height of the jig the same as a 2×4 so you can easily place supports under longer work pieces.
Once I drilled in the pocket holes, I did a few more countersunk holes then attached the dado shelves to the center filler piece of ply. I once again prepped by placing screws in the pockets before setting it into place, then adjusted the left and right position so the gap was equal on both containers. Woo Hoo!!! It’s working!
Alright, theory was proven, I felt like I had a working system so I continued on! This time I cut dados in larger sheets that would fill up the entire length of the bay. In fact, I used the half sheet I wouldn’t be placing back on the wall, to make up all my shelves which meant I didn’t have to buy any material for this project.
I repeated the process to hang things, but this time after the first shelf went up, I used a level and a scrap piece of wood to make sure they were truly in line.
You can see I just spanned across the distance with the wood, and placed the level on top. I did the same when it came time to install the center section but instead of using a piece of wood, I inserted two containers with the front lip poking out, and placed my level across their fronts.
Gardening is something I’ve been wanting to get into, so this week I built a raised garden bed. I raised it off the ground not only because I live on mostly rock but also so I won’t have to kill my back or knees when tending to it. When designing the big box I decided to add in some built in storage for tools or extra fertizler, or even a hat and basket. Lets jump into how I did it.
Since this is an outdoor project I’m using Cedar for the vast majority of the build. I started off by flipping out the wings of my miter saw stand and cutting down the boards that will make up the front, back, and two side panels. I do have a set of plans for this project if you would like a cutlist, material list, and dimensions.
Next I set a round over bit in my router table and gave all the long edges a gentle rounding. This will take the boards from butting up to each other at a hard 90 on that very front edge and will soften the overall look.
Here’s a close up so you can see the difference….hard 90 edges vs rounded over edges. It’ a small detail but creates a drastically differently look.
Now to make the side panels. I first cut some corner posts, if you will, and these will be used to attach the slats easily. Since this is an outdoor project I’m using only Titebond III since it’s a waterproof wood glue. You wouldn’t want to use a glue that would desolve when it rains. I applied a bead on the post then started attaching the side slats.
After making sure it was square to the post I would pre drill then attach it with screws. I finished with one side then flipped it around and repeated on the other. Then of course with two sides being needed for the planter, I finished with that one then repeated to make a second.
I grabbed some Triton Superjaws to stabilize one of the panels for me while attaching, and this helped keep everything in place while I attached the ends. I once again laid down a bead of Titebond III then repeated with predrilling and driving in screws.
This project might be big but it comes together surprisingly quick! That’s three sides done, so I flipped it over and did the same to the remaining side.
Since I’ll be adding in drawers to utilize most of the wasted space under the bed, I left off some of the panels on this side. You’ll see that more clearly later on.
Next was to add the trim to the corners. I first attached some scraps to build up the posts in this drawer area so that everything would be on the same level. Then it was as simple as cutting the boards to length, laying down some more glue, then nailing it in place with my pin nailer. I went with nails here to avoid screw heads. It probably isn’t obvious from this angle but these trim boards also double as four legs for the planter.
I set that aside, and started a new work area in front of it, to assemble some simple framing structure that will allow me to add a deck as well as the drawers. I started by taking measurements of the inside of my planter then cut my 1x4s and some 2x4s to length to match. Now, if you aren’t wanting to add drawers then placing these framing members isn’t a big deal But, if you want drawers like me then take your time to get these boards spaced evenly and squarely because they dictate the size of the drawers.
Alrighty, now to fit it inside the planter. I built it outside then inserted it just to avoid having screws on the outside of the slats. I shimmied it into place then backed it out just slightly so I could lay down some wood glue. I referenced one of the slats to line this up evenly around the entire planter. You can see that I used a brad nailer here to clamp the board in place while that glue had time to set up.
Cool, and that is a great start, so now to add a deck. I will be lining my planter with a pond liner so I built my deck from plywood however if you won’t be lining yours then using a slatted design is another method. After cutting my deck to size and also cutting the corners to compensate for the corner posts then I dropped it in place. Ha, it’s always a good feeling when it fits the first time.
With the deck in, I next added in some intermediate bracing on both of the long sides of the planter to prevent them from wanting to bow out. I set the brace in place and started my predrill so that one screw would hit each slat. Then I followed with screws, using a square to make sure it went on nice and straight.
Next came the liner. I went with a liner because I’m going to be trying out a submerged irrigation system where I’ll have a resevior of water at the bottom of my planter. It’s kinda like a soaker hose but instead of dripping in constant water from the top, I’m keeping it at the bottom for the plants to drink from.
I got a fish safe plastic liner (meaning no harmful chemicals to seep into the food) that is about 6mil thick and spread it inside the planter. I used a staple gun to staple it down into the bottom and corners, then worked my way up the sides and onto the top. You don’t have to go overboard with the staples here but you do want to apply enough so that when you fill it with soil, it won’t want to slip down.
The very top lip is where I applied the most staples actually, I placed one about every 8”.
Now was the top trim. These are also cut from cedar 1x4s and are placed directly on top so if you have any producing staples then just be sure to hammer them down flush. I started by attaching the two longer sides then the two shorter sides. When I went to place the short sides I didn’t like how much rocking there was so I quickly added in a scrap piece flush with the top slat to support it. Oh, and I also went back and duct taped over all the bottom staples. This might be overkill, but since I’m adding drawers under it, I’d rather be safe than sorry. And that is the outside of the planter done.
Ok now lets make this reservoir! I saw the idea in a magazine and they said to use perforated drain tube with a fabric sleeve (You can find this at any big box stores). This is corrugated plastic hose that has perforations all around it. The holes will allow water in and out but the fabric will keep soil out.
It’s all coming together you guys! All the insulation and wiring is installed and now I’m finally over the hump of sheathing the walls and covering the ceiling in a corrugated polycarbonate material from Tuftex. The ceiling and walls look incredible : ) Admittedly, it’s been a heck of a lot of work and my body is some kinda sore. If you haven’t already check out the last video covering the wiring and insulation found here or you can start from the beginning of the build here. I appreciate you stopping by to learn more about the process.
Installing Shop Walls and Ceiling - YouTube
Some of the links above are affiliate links. If you make a purchase using one of these links, I will get a small commission from the sale of the products. In a small way it helps to keep this website alive and kicking and I appreciate your support in this way. Cheers – April
The shop is coming along, and man is it kicking my butt! Admittedly, the building process is a labor of love and I really do enjoy it to the fullest. This week I installed all of the lap siding and board and batten siding. I was inspired by a fellow builder who designs and builds a lot of structures with a wainscoting on the bottom third of the exterior walls. My wainscoting features a board and batten style which I suspect will look incredible once it’s painted. The lap siding seemed never ending but with good help and a rented sissor lift, it was knocked out in only about 2.5 days. If you haven’t already, check out the video below to see how it all went. As always, thanks for stopping by. – April
Build A Shop - Installing Lap siding and Board and Batten - YouTube
The links above are affiliate links. If you make a purchase using one of these links, I will get a small commission from the sale of the products. In a small way it helps to keep this website alive and kicking and I appreciate your support in this way. Cheers – April
Well I’m side stepping from the shop for this week’s video to bring you this bath caddy. It’s made from spare walnut I had left over from the table I finished earlier last year. I first designed the bath caddy in SketchUp which really helps me to visualize my work before cutting any material. Even if I’m not working with something as precious as walnut, I still prefer this method of making my ideas come to life. Check out the video down below if you haven’t already to see this project take shape. I had a load of fun building it to custom fit my Chromebook, Kindle, iPhone, and a glass of wine – you know, all the essentials for a long soak in the tub. : )
The links above are affiliate links. If you make a purchase using one of these links, I will get a small commission from the sale of the products. In a small way it helps to keep this website alive and kicking and I appreciate your support in this way.