Wednesday 14 October 2015

The Case - A Workbench Adventure

The workbench is a nice "side" project :-) .
I'm busy at work for the time being, so some low-brainer work in the shop is ideal for relaxation.

As mentioned a few weeks ago. The workbench is a must for me. I've thought about it for such a long time. 
It was simply time to start. Even if my table is not done and the deck is not clear.
And the first steps, building the case, are really easy to do and don't require a great deal of attention.

The Case

I have started to build the case with gluing in the lower support blocks. These blocks are used to support the bottom panel and to assure the right position.

Lower support block (left)

The blocks were glued in and fixed with two small nails so that no clamps were needed.

Next step was to mark the locations and drilling the holes for the toe kick screws. And then, of course, to mount the toe kick.

Toe kick screwed in

That done it is easy to fix the bottom panel. I could clamp it now to the support blocks and the toe kick.

Bottom panel clamped to support block

Now I have fixed my drilling template to the edge of the side panel. That makes drilling a no-brainer.

Drilling w. drilling template

I have pre-drilled all holes trough the side panel into the bottom board. Then I've made the holes in the side panel wider so that the screws won't bite. And finally countersunk them all.

Spacer block for top panel

Same procedure for the top panels. Just one little detail here. I've used some self made spacer blocks to locate the top boards into the right position.

All that done I've test mounted all parts just with a few screws, to see if everything came out as planned.
Looks good so far.

First case done

You can see the first case in the picture. I've temporarily clamped a panel to the left side that will double the outsides of the cases.


That case is really solid. Even with just a few screws. I'm pretty confident that there will be no warping or distorting. Nevertheless I've decided to insert some stiffeners.
The first action I will do is to insert a batten under the bottom panel. I will make them out of 2x4's and fit them between the two side panels.
I think I will achieve a bit more solidity and stability. And, yes, weight.
Additionally I will mount some of such stiffeners below the top panel. But therefore I have to figure out a few more details like depth of the drawers and dimensions of the drawer runners.

All three cases are now prepared for assembly. Next step is the construction of the two outer sides.

That's it for this week.

Stay tuned!


  1. Stiffeners are your friend, there is an amazing amount of racking forces when planing.
    Curious to see how this pans out.

    1. Hi Bob,
      yeah you convinced me already :-) .
      I think it will be not too fancy. So don't be disappointed. Just a few battens and somehow an inside frame.

  2. Hi Stefan,
    I second Bob's point on stiffeners. Did you think of using dadoes on this? They would boost the anti racking forces and up the power of the braces/stiffeners.

    1. Hi Ralph,
      for the battens below the bottom panel I have thought about using dadoes.
      Just a thing of hand tools and plywood. But I think it will be doable.
      For the top I'm unsure at the moment. I could do a single dovetail or simply using pocket holes.