It seems like I’ve been planning to build some work benches for almost as long as we’ve owned our house, but it’s only recently that I actually made the dream come true.
Why did it take so long? mostly because it took forever for me to actually tidy up enough down there to have a space to put them.
Now, some people would simply buy a flat packed set of shelves and put them together, but I decided that I wanted to build shelves, so that I could make them:
- Very sturdy,
- Just the right height for me,
- Just the right depth for me (for easy reach to the shadowboard behind, but maximum work space), and
- Optimal length for the space
The original plan had been to simply buy some 30x30x3mm SHS (square steel tube) and either use my old stick welder, or buy a nice new gassed\gasless MIG welder. Of course, if I’d wanted to make it a less painful experience, I would have bought new steel (possibly cut to length by the steel shop) and bought a MIG welder to do the job… however, I’m a tight arse, so in the end decided that rather than spend a heap of money on a decent welder (or more likely: spend a smaller amount of money on what would no doubt turn out to be a slightly crappy welder), I would just make do with my old stick welder.
Of course this may not have been to big an issue, had I just bought the 3mm thick steel tube, however around the same time, I found a pile of old steel next to an commercial waste bin, waiting to go to the rubbish tip, and decided that I’d convert this old steel into a new bench. I’m a scrounger, and this sort of thing appeals to me immensely on a fundamental level, not to mention the fact that it saved me the $250 that I would have spent on steel, plus it’s better for the environment to recycle the steel, rather than letting it just get thrown out.
Now, the scrounged steel sounds like a good idea, except that the steel I found was 50x25x1.6mm RHS. This is a decent section in terms of strength, however the 1.6mm thick steel was VERY difficult to weld with the stick welder, which I haven’t practised with in about 10 years, so there was a LOT of swearing, grinding, and re-welding, and no small number of holes blown in the steel. But, in the end, it all came together…
Here are some photos of the steel going from rubbish to bench. I think I spent about $160 on timber and decent epoxy paint, and that includes the shadowboard.
The Scrounged Steel:
Enlist The Help of The Cutest T.A.s:
Drill out the rivets:
Cut off the welded bracketry
The trimmed steel
The work in progress
The finished benches
3D printed feet for leveling:
Add a shadow board
Now we’re ready to work!
For the Thingiverse Files for the 3D printed feet that I made for the bench, here is the link: https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:3103166