This is the desk that I had been using for a bench in the old studio.
|Big old school desk. The floor flange is where I had a flex-shaft hanger mounted.|
Brian Meek posted the original Frankenbench instructions that I'm following. The top will be raised 8 inches. That should put it just about armpit level when I'm seated. Since I've never used a European style bench (and only occasionally used a real bench of any kind) I'm waiting until I'm into the build before deciding what shape it should be.
|Top off and innards exposed.|
The center drawer will become a tool and sweeps drawer.
Taking a cue from Brian Meek's post, I'll put in two half-depth supports on top of the inner drawer stack rails. I determined that I needed the following bill of materials:
- 1" x 8" x 8' common board (2) for the risers
- 1/4" MDF sheet (1) for the drawer stack tops
- corner braces (12) to attach the risers to each other and the top
- strap plates (4) to attach the top assembly to the base
- wood screws
Sun 29 May 2016 - I've been to the hardware store and gotten lumber for the bench risers and the drawer stack tops as well as the hardware I'll need to build and attach the risers. While there I also picked up the lumber for the power tool benches that I'll need to build after this.
Mon 30 May 2016 - Today I'm getting started on the Frankenbench. I pulled the top off the desk so that I could measure, cut and fit risers to lift the top to the correct height. There were some fixes that needed to be done before anything else could be done. There were two braces that spanned the center of the desk. They had to go because they would interfere with the open space needed to access the bench pin. Out they went.
|First one gone and the second to follow shortly.|
|Left connects to right again.|
|Had to lay the desk on its back to get this screwed into place.|
|A little TLC - wood glue and clamps|
Using the strap plates I got the sides and back connected to the bench body. Then they got attached to each other with heavy corner braces. Finally I connected the two interior short walls to the back riser.
It's ready to attach the top after the drawer stacks are capped off.
I'll want a light under the counter and a power strip. And I'd like to cut down the center drawer for a tool drawer and add a sweeps pan. I still haven't decided what shape to make the bench pin opening.
Tue 31 May 2016 - Today's task was getting the drawer stacks covered. That was a fiddly job because of the shape left by the interior short walls. So I made a cardboard template before cutting the MDF.
|Cardboard template for the right side.|
|Fits the other side when turned over.|
|This side needed a support glued in at the back.|
Wed 1 Jun 2016 - Got a lot done today. The bench top is secured to the risers and the body of the bench.
I cut a semi-circle out of the top for the main opening. That took about an hour of jigsawing. This is a solid wood desktop.
|Looks like a jeweler's bench now.|
|It fits! I have on-bench storage.|
Thu 2 Jun 2016 - I cut down the center drawer and added a wooden brace to the front. Then I mounted a small fluorescent light fixture under the bench top. Finally I attached a power strip to the side of the bench.
|Sweeps drawer and under-counter light.|
|"It's alive! It's alive!|
Frankenbench has electrical power, a tool/sweeps drawer, under-counter lighting, and it's in the intended spot in the studio. I've got the flex-shaft mounted and some tools in place.There may be some tweaks yet to come but for now it's ready for work.
Time for a happy dance.