Here’s a little confession for you: Sometimes I build things without plans. And sometimes, when I build things without plans, they turn out… not exactly as I expected.
I know, you just fell over with shock, right?
Let’s talk about my indoor workbench for a minute. This is currently on my five-project list, and I was bound a determined to be able to cross it off before the end of the weekend. I already had most of the body built using old wood from my barn pile, so I thought putting the top together, hauling it all inside, and assembling it would be a piece of cake.
I started by ripping the 2″ rustic maple planks down to the right width for the top of the table…
(For those of you keeping track, that is a table saw in my shop, more on that beast later.)
I used my kreg jig (here’s a tutorial on how) to join four 9″ planks together for the top:
The top of the table is 3×5 and weighs approximately four thousand pounds. Seriously. Okay, maybe it’s like a hundred and ten pounds, but either way, not light like a feather and I have (another) strained neck muscle to prove it.
However, it is sturdy as hell, and that’s the point. My litmus test for “is it strong enough” is “can I sit on it without breaking it in half?”… this one passed.
I hauled all of the pieces into the house on Saturday with the intent of assembling them and then checking this project off the list…
(You’re sensing some foreshadowing here, aren’t you?)
So far so good…
Upside-down for the caster installation…
And then I flipped her over, stood back…
And then I realized that 1.) my entryway is an effing disaster (shocking), and 2.) like the heart of the Grinch, this workbench was not the right size. It is, in fact, three sizes too tall.
Swear to god, the top of the table about comes up to my armpit.
Here’s how this happened… I meant to build the table a smidge over 36″. Like 37 maybe, just a bit taller than counter height. Well, I cut the legs before the casters actually arrived, and since they were 6″ casters, I just assumed they would add about 6″ of height. That was a poor assumption. I also wasn’t sure how the top would shake down, and I ended up adding another inch with the thickness of the maple stock I bought. So my 36″ work table is 39″, and I basically can’t reach the top of it without a step ladder.
So. That’s awesome.
I thought about trying it out at this height, and while it might be okay with bar-height stools (the one shown is the Machinist stool from Industry West, which is not bar height, but they do make them that size), I just can’t work comfortably standing up at this thing. Which means I have a few options:
- Replace the 6″ casters with 4″ casters to bring it down a few inches.
- Cut a few inches off the bottom of the barn beams.
- Remove the casters altogether.
- Grow 6″ taller.
Not sure how I’m going to tackle it, but I think I might hold out for that last one…