Friday, November 14, 2008

The work-table in the garage

My blog friends already know that since for a job i am a software engineer, which is a conceptual activity, in my free time i like instead to be involved with manual abilities, to take care of concrete things that can be touched, handled, modeled. Besides my passion for gardening and its satisfaction for the production of genuine fruits and vegetables (actually the merit for this should be given to Mother Nature that pretty much does all of the job), i like to deal with little works for the house. One essential tool for doing this activity is a work-table. Not having one, and not even having the space to put it (once i put the car in the garage, there is not much space left over) i thought to build one by myself. A tip-top one. ;-) Obviously it would have been very helpful to have a work-table to get through this enterprise, but if i had had one i wouldn't have started it at all, so i had to manage without. The idea was to spend the less money that i could, and to give a second life to some unused material i had around, in particular two wooden boards for house-building, sized about 50cm by 200cm [20" by 79"], those ones that are used for the scaffolds or to model the reinforced concrete (that were left over by the masons of the house building yard), and a couple of plywood foils i could get from the company i work for, that were used for the packaging of some products and were so destined to the garbage bin.
The CAD project of the table (seen from the bottom)
As a first thing i made the project on the pc with a CAD software, using the standard measure for the height (90cm [35"]) and other dimensions compatible with the material i had. The operation was for me quite easy because that CAD is the same software i use at work. I cut the right size the boards and i worked them with the vibrating sander (to remove little pieces of cement, the waterproof paint and to make them the smoothest i could). I removed the structure of the packaging from the plywoods, i cut them the right size and sandblasted them too. Then i glued with vinyl paste the two boards, side by side, to the two plywoods, one on the top and the other on the bottom. In order to let the glue do its job, i left it for one week all well-pressed with some bricks on the top. I wanted to use also some nails or screws to attach the plywoods to the boards better but it didn't look necessary at all, the glue was enough.
Left: sanding the boards; right: preparing the plywoods
At a bricolage shop i bought some rough ledges (the cheapest), that i cut the right size and sanded too.
The ledges, cut and sanded.
I joined with some angular metal straps (and some other vinyl paste) the ledges to build the structures of the legs. Then i painted everything with some waxed impregnating water paint, to protect and make the surfaces stronger. The fixed parts of the legs, after being hinged to the mobile ones, they have been attached to the wall with some nog-screws.
Left: all the parts ready to be put together; right: the legs fixed to the wall
Finally i attached to the structure the top plane, screwing it to the fixed parts of the legs with hinges.
Here the final result. Left: the table open, right: closed
I liked this work a lot. It came out exactly how i wanted, and even better looking than how it's supposed to be (at the end it's only a work table for the garage!). I enjoyed the work very much and i am satisfied so much that i am almost planning to build some furniture for the house (which we need very much)... I wonder if my wife agrees :-) It was very cheap: 24 euros for the ledges to make the legs, 15 euros for the paint, 10 euros for the glue, about 15 euros for the metal straps, the hinges, the screws and other necessities (total 64 euros).


Rowena said...

Of course I agree! And I can't wait to use that table as part of the plan to turn the garage into a pet salon. We do fashionable fur "cuts" and pedicures too! :lol:

tychecat said...

As I understand it the table is designed so that the legs fold in against the wall and the top drops down - very useful if you have limited space and don't intend to leave stuff on it.
When we moved to Florida from Indiana - where I had a barn with a large and solid worktable (4'X8' or 1.22X2.44 cm) as well as room for a large SUV and a tractor - we ended up with a garage with room for two small cars. As we have only a Honda CR-V, This is roomy enough for me to have two small (60X120 cm) solid worktables - both with storage space and drawers as well as pegboard on the wall behind them. Unlike yours, mine are both always covered with stuff - which has to be cleared away if I want to work - I expect yours will be more useful - but where will you keep your stuff?

dario said...

Yes, the movement of the legs are exactly the way you say.
Unfortunately i don't have space, because i think i will miss drawers over there and also the possibility to leave a mess on the top.
For all the stuff i already have a stand (maybe you can see it in the top left of the first photo), and also i want to put some shelves on the wall over the table. That's not very comfortable, but it's the only solution without enough space.

dario said...

;-) Rowena, i am waiting for you to put on those things for holding the dogs on the table

Aaron Abitia said...

Wow, great idea and great job Dario. I want to make one of those for my garage now.