DIY Workbench ideas

CZLoco

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So I'm sitting here, trying to plan for my upcoming Bronco engine replacement, where I'm also doing a lot of cool little things while the engine is out.
One of them being to Zinc plate a bunch of parts, since the Bronco will be with me till I die.
A workbench would be super handy for zinc plating.
Like you see in the pic below. A surface for several sunken-in 5 gallon buckets.
Yes that older guy is me in 20 more years.
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I was thinking, hey I'd make a double-top bench.
First top is for all those buckets.
Then I'd have a hinged second top above that.
A regular surface top that hides the bucket top.

Remember those old school dining room tables where you removed the top and underneath was a card playing table. Something like that.
Can't seem to find any super cool pics and I'm not gonna spend all night looking.
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Then I decided I'd also make it into a router table. :lol:
But if I'm going to make it double as a router table or tablesaw table, then I need MOBILITY!
Get it out of the side of the garage and out into the middle where I have room to swing wood around!

CASTERS!
Wait, then I'd want height-adjustable casters to prevent oingo-boingo on the table.
I start researching that and came across these super cool casters.
You kick the foot up and the wheels come down.
Roll it where you want it then kick the feet down and the wheels go back up.
How cool is this shit!
 
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Master-Cylinder

Duck Loving Curmudgeon and Legendary Race Wrench
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Unless you're going to be plating shit every day or weeks for years, just set the buckets on the bench and take them down for storage.
I've had flip up wheels on my my table saw and tyre balancer for a decade or more. Mind are more heavy duty than the ones you have shown. They are the tits!
 
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CZLoco

CZLoco

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They look awesome. I found clones for as little as $37 for the set of four.
I think these are the originals, at $50.
Amazon product
The problem with taking the buckets down for storage, is where do I store them...
If I wanted to go balls-to-the wall, I'd need a minimum of six buckets!
The color chromates (blue & yellow) add extra protection to the top of the zinc, to make it last longer.
A bucket of each.
More if I wanted more than one rinse bucket.
  1. Degreaser
  2. Acid
  3. Electrolyte solution
  4. Blue Chromate
  5. Yellow Chromate
  6. Water Rinse
 

Master-Cylinder

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I had to plate long skinny stuff, rear brake operating rods, and rear brake torque arms that were too long for a five gallon bucket. I used 3 inch PVC pipes with a cap on the bottom. I had to make a rack to keep them from falling over.
My buckets have lids on them and are stored under a bottom shelf in the other garage.
 
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CZLoco

CZLoco

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What a smart idea with the PVC.
I've got several things in mind that I want to plate, which won't fit in a bucket.
Dunno what I'll do about those yet.
I hear it's harder to zinc plate large things. Uniformly.
I had been thinking about cardboard boxes cut down in height.
Then lining them with painters overspray plastic.
 
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CZLoco

CZLoco

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You were able to plate half the item at a time?
How did that work out, where they meet together?
 

Master-Cylinder

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What a smart idea with the PVC.
I've got several things in mind that I want to plate, which won't fit in a bucket.
Dunno what I'll do about those yet.
I hear it's harder to zinc plate large things. Uniformly.
I had been thinking about cardboard boxes cut down in height.
Then lining them with painters overspray plastic.
I was thinking aboot getting 4 inch PVC, gluing the caps on, then splitting it in two on the band saw. Band saw has flip up wheel on it too.
 

Master-Cylinder

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You were able to plate half the item at a time?
How did that work out, where they meet together?
The parts were completely submerged. I may have flipped them half way thru. I did run plates to the bottom. The stuff came out nice, nice enough for a guy to win a Vintage Bike Show with the parts I plated.
He worked for Helmet House, I got a new helmet out of the deal.
 
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CZLoco

CZLoco

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Those look fantastic.

Timers?
Cellphones have built-in timers.
You can set as many as you want at the same time, for different times.
I can see how a standalone might be kinda handy though.

I've spent some time researching DIY benches now.
This is a very deep, dark hole.
I may need to revisit another time before I go off and spend two months building the perfect bench.
 

maui

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regarding work benches, don't over think it.

I built some tables a couple of years ago, had a local shop break (that's bend) to 90º 4" legs on a piece 8x36? I'll measure it tomorrow if you want. I built a frame out of box tube, and a wood top to lay the steel on. This way when you're hammering on shit the wood acts like a dead blow. You can still weld, grind, etc and use a magnetic base of dial indicators. Space under is for storage, or a rolling bottom tool box. I made them tall because I like tall tables. You should also be looking at FIRMLY bolting a BIG FUCKING VICE on one corner. You should not skimp on the vice. What ever you think it's gonna be, multiply by 8.

I have my vice mounted on my welding table which is a complete different set up. I can snap a picture of that too if ya like
 
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CZLoco

CZLoco

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I've got a nice large sized vice.
Thought I might put it on the end of the bench.
But seriously, overthinking is my downfall.
Or saving grace.
You can look at it in a multitude of ways.

Why do it this way when you can do it that way and it'll be perfect for the everythings.
 

maui

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I'll take a couple pictures tomorrow if ya like. The steel table was .125 thick. People would always drop something on the table and be surprised. They would ask if it's solid steel er sumthinn....:roll:
 

Master-Cylinder

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I'll take a couple pictures tomorrow if ya like. The steel table was .125 thick. People would always drop something on the table and be surprised. They would ask if it's solid steel er sumthinn....:roll:
I have a 4x7 foot slab of 3/16th steel in my garage. I put in in the car garage and park my truck over it. I originally got the steel to make a nice one piece top for my motorcycle lift. Then ran out of room in the motorcycle garage. So the lift and steel are under my truck. There's a 4x8 foot piece of expanded steel under there too.
I need a bigger place.
 

pimpslayer

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/---/
I hear it's harder to zinc plate large things. Uniformly.
I had been thinking about cardboard boxes cut down in height.
Then lining them with painters overspray plastic.
Better reinforce that box real good, otherwise, the weight of the liquid will bust out the corners or push over the side...

I would build a wood box out of plywood.
.
 

Snail

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I've built dozens of tables out of wood, if I could grow steel and aluminum it might be different.
For adjustable height the legs can be three pieces sandwiched together, with the center piece slotted and bolted to the other two. Relax the bolts and slide the center piece to desired height and tighten the bolts.
 
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CZLoco

CZLoco

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Eddie, it's far better to start a new project than to finish an old one.
The Bronco did not ask for permission!
Other than a few small things on the Bronco, I was just getting back into the house projects.

Better reinforce that box real good, otherwise, the weight of the liquid will bust out the corners or push over the side...
I would build a wood box out of plywood.
Good call-out.
While I don't anticipate having the 5 gallon buckets full at any time, it is possible they might be.
Which could equate to about 80lbs of weight.
I was thinking 3/4" top for the buckets, with 2x4 bracing underneath.

Then the swivel/pull-up top would be a couple of 3/4" plywood glued together to make 1.5" thick top that I'd be banging on.
With more 2x4 sandwiched between the bucket top and top-top, for support.

This is kinda what I'm thinking right now.
Except I'd reserve the end of the bench for a non-movable Vice like Maui suggested.

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CZLoco

CZLoco

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#First Draft

I tried to quicky-learn Sketchup but there is no quick with Sketchup.
 
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CZLoco

CZLoco

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Anyone know of a decent chemical-resistant paint for 2x4's and plywood?
 

Snail

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If you're loading 7 five gallon buckets you'll need some bracing or thicker plywood.
 
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CZLoco

CZLoco

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If you're loading 7 five gallon buckets you'll need some bracing or thicker plywood.
Yep, I was planning on the 2x4's in the picture above.

Some classy DIY here:
 
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CZLoco

CZLoco

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Geez, it looks like gluing a ton of 2x4's together as a huge top is WAY less expensive than a pair of decent 4x8 sheets glued together!!!
And it looks like I'd need to ask for "kiln dried" wood, so it's not wet.

This is what I'm thinking of right now.
Not quite sure about it all yet, just getting creative.
IDK yet how to make the top bench-top lift up by 90* so I can access the buckets under it.
Some heavy duty hinges of course. But will that work?!?
It's hard to picture things in my head. I really need to learn Adobe or Sketchup someday.

No support 2x4's shown in the first picture.
This is a front view.
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This is a side view.
The top benchtop would need room behind it to fold upward.
30683
 
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CZLoco

CZLoco

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The more I think about a bench, the more I wonder why I haven't built one before.
I have a small 1.5' x 3' rolling bench I built that is great but too small really.
Plus it's more like a rolling desk/armrest than anything else.
 
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CZLoco

CZLoco

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Top benchtop lifted up, giving access to the electroplating buckets process below.
Buckets will have sealed screw-on lids from Gamma.
I should still add breather holes in the side support too though.
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Master-Cylinder

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Just have the buckets sit on a lower shelf at the proper height. You can then put center legs under the lower shelf.
I still think you're better off just sitting the buckets on the floor, then stack them in the corner when not in use, which will be 99% of the time. You need lids on the buckets of course. Maybe even a round piece of plywood on the lids to keep them from caving in over the years of sitting there not being used.
And think of this, when you want to run off a batch of plating, you'll have to clear all the junk off the top of your flip up work bench. Hassle.
I probably have a larger garage than you, I couldn't see wasting the space for the thing you want to build. Lots of stuff can be stored under an open workbench. Not so when it has a line of buckets half way under it.
 
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CZLoco

CZLoco

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That's a valid argument.
I may succumb to it.
Still thinking.
 
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CZLoco

CZLoco

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I figure I'd still have 25" of clearance under the buckets though.
Assuming a 42" bench height and a pair of 3.5" benchtops.
Buckets are something like 13" tall.
 

Master-Cylinder

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Some of my work benches are just aluminum covered plywood sitting on lower tool box cabinets. One eight foot long bench has storage space under it.
 

Snail

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If you wanted to make it trick, build a torsion box top, w/two sliders that pull out from the ends, each with a hinged set of legs. Splat, clean cool and light weight.
 

Master-Cylinder

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I think I'm gonna git a Caswell Chrome Kit. I need to re-chrome the head light reflector on my olde Vespa. I guess you can send it somewhere and get it re-silvered...maybe.
 
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CZLoco

CZLoco

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Have I asked yet?
How long is your copy cad plating lasting?
Like a couple few years or a lifetime?
 
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CZLoco

CZLoco

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I ditched the flip-top idea and discovered heavy-duty drawer slides.
Just build a regular bench and then have a pair of pull-out drawers that hold the shorter 3.5 gallon buckets.
One gallon = ~8lbs
And still room underneath for other stuffs.
Just waiting on free cash and time to start.
 

Master-Cylinder

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Have I asked yet?
How long is your copy cad plating lasting?
Like a couple few years or a lifetime?
I dunno. I plated a bunch of stuff years ago. Haven't looked at it since. But I plated pounds and pounds of stuff with only needing to buy new plates. I'd probably have to buy some new supplies when I need to plate stuff again. When I have time to plate stuff again.
 
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CZLoco

CZLoco

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96"W x 36"H x 32"D

My Sketchup design.
What a pain it is learning Sketchup.
But I'm super glad I did.
This app has huge potential once I figure it all out.
A good skill to learn.
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More pix coming up shortly. I need a break.
 

Master-Cylinder

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I don't care much for those clamps. I have some of those plastic ones, broke one. A set of all metal ones work way better. I have metal ones now.
And just think how handy it would be to have a Dewalt (or other) Miter Saw.
 
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CZLoco

CZLoco

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I don't care much for those clamps. I have some of those plastic ones, broke one.
The plastic clamps have worked well for me but I'm sure there are better (and more expensive) alternatives.
Those corner clamp things sucked and are going back to Amazon.
They might work okay for some things, but NOT for 2x4's. Too small.

And just think how handy it would be to have a Dewalt (or other) Miter Saw.
I forgot, I do have one and it would have been way easier! :dash2:
It's buried under a bunch of junk.
The workbench will become its new home.
 
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CZLoco

CZLoco

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I took a lyft to Home Depot. Did my shopping around for about an hour.
Lurch came to pick me up, and used his truck to deliver all the wood to my house.
Which saved me $80 HD home delivery fee. :up:

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PITA corner clamps :fu:
I make drill jigs.
You can see the x2 drill jig below.
I also had a x4 drill jig.
That ended up being a great idea and saved me time and made things look less rednecky.
Titebond glue is the shit. I screwed & glued everything except the top.
I drilled all screw holes to save myself from cracking 2x4's.
Titebond will actually "expand" as it dries and is super strong.
The DIY home theater speaker community loves this glue.
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I'm very happy with these screws.
But the bit for the head was a weird torx.
And the bit that comes in the two boxes I bought, kept slipping out of my hammer drill.
I managed. :roll:
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Seems I have exactly 1.5" from the blade to make my cuts when using the right angle or anything else to keep the DeWalt aligned to the cut. :up:
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I like my new right angle.
It's not plastic.
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Faaackkk..
I designed the whole deal around 2x4x8's.
And when the HD website didn't match local inventory, I bought 2x4x10's instead.
But forgot that I did that, and built a freaking 10' long bench frame! :hissyfit:
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More pix in a second..
 
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