Wednesday, June 13, 2012
Instant Bench Top Extension
Dan's Shop Rule #7: No matter how large your workbench is, it will always need to be just a little larger.
So the other day I'm working on the Rolltop desk; it was sitting up on the bench, and I needed to take the top off and work on that as well - ah, rule #7. What to do? The desk was heavy, awkward and, especially at that stage of repair, weak. I really couldn't take it down.
As I was turning this problem over in my mind, I started to focus on the plywood bench cover I was using under the desk to protect from glue drips etc. Then I remembered Rule #9.
Dan's Shop Rule #9: All tools have at least three uses.
Well, I'd originally built the plywood and 2x4 cover for protecting the bench from the mess of cleaning rusty tools - sort of a more permanent version of cardboard. It slips over the bench top and into the vise. Hmm. What would happen if I slid it partially off the end and tightened the vise? Whoa! Cool! Instant larger bench! Take that Rule #7!
The pictures below illustrate this simple, yet slow to be discovered, second use:
There is of course a limit to how much weight can be placed on the extension before it starts to sag. With the desk on top, I added a clamp opposite the vise to help hold everything tight.
So, now I've started to wonder about the third use of the plywood cover...