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Old 06-15-2014, 03:44 PM
Goblu Goblu is offline
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Michigan
Posts: 483
Default Shop workstations from salvaged materials

So, here's another salvaged material project. The EZ system makes it easy to used salvaged materials. You can leave the finish on the wood, especially if it's shop furniture. I made two of them. For each one, I used the following:

Salvaged materials:
1. 3 flat cabinet doors for the top, bottom and one shelf
2. 3 pieces of ply for back and sides
3. Oak boards and strips from 2 solid oak cabinet doors for edging and front boards
4. Semi-gloss paint for plywood sides and back. Gel stain and poly for wood parts.
5. Wood screws and lag screws
6. shelf pins

The cost for these was under $10 I'd estimate.

New Materials
1. Pocket hole screws
2. Wood glue
3. Harbor freight casters under $25 depending on sale prices and coupons

Here are the casters I like really well (with brake) (fixed caster matching above one) These are a maroon color, not black

I also used a cheaper blue set of casters on one of the cabinets, but I like the poly ones better. I don't try to salvage casters as you rarely find a decent set (never for me). Without the casters these would be very cheap indeed. But the casters are great for smaller shop areas. One of the better HF buys, imho.

I plan to make several more "shelves" with various small power tools mounted to bases and some jigs mounted to bases to store inside the cabinet on shelf pins. I haven't decided yet on how to make the top to accommodate the jigs/tools. For now, I'll just clamp them on. There are various systems, I like the one by Danny Proulx in his book "Building Woodshop Workstations". I loosely modeled these cabinets after his design.

I'm replacing some kitchen cabinet doors and refacing the cabinets, but the old doors are good quality solid oak with kerf cuts to mimic boards as you can see in the first photo. I used these for edging ply and the front boards that tie the cabinet together. This was a cinch to cut using the tracksaw system. Repeatable narrow strips (3/4 x 1/4) that already have a finish on them would be very difficult with the table saw slippery for one thing. I also used one of the edge boards with the routed edge on for the shelf ends that I used to make the plywood door used for the shelf deep enough to fit the cabinet. I glued and pocketholed this to the plywood I used for the shelf (fourth photo shows the back). This is a good way to make shelves that fit if you have plywood that's too narrow or too short.

Salvage projects are often one of a kind, since you shape the project around the materials available. Great for a hobbyist, not for pros who need to use standard materials to speed things up.

I used some salvaged gel stain on the wood parts, some of which were bare wood and some of which were finished. I've used gel stain before to cover scratches in wood. Just wipe into the scratches and wipe off the surrounding finished area with paint thinner. Luckily I had the right color gel stain. It's great stuff for this type of work. The poly that goes over it was salvaged, too. About $1 a quart at salvage. (Habitat for Humanity Restore sale). It goes a long way, so I will be able to make "matching" shop furniture in the future.

Perhaps this will give people some ideas of ways to set up a shop cheaply. Or to save your money for more expensive tools.
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Last edited by Goblu; 06-15-2014 at 05:37 PM.
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