Not long after I had built the power tool workbench and started using it I realised that having 3 power cables going from the bench to wall outlet was pain. The solution was simple, purchase and fit a power bank. it was just a matter of me remembering to buy one when I went to the shops.
Anyway I found a good power bank at our local Lidl store. It has six outlets and a good length of cable to connect to the wall power socket. So now it’s fitted on the back of the power tool workbench and all the static tools are plugged into it. Everything is now much tidier and more importantly safer because there is no longer a mess of cables stretching to wall sockets.
Here is a picture of it fitted to the back of the workbench.
In an attempt to try and get some sort of organisation in my workshop I decided to build a power tool workbench made from upcycled pallet wood. The idea was to get the chop saw, pillar drill and planner/thicknesser all in one place and all at a comfortable working height for me. I find leaning forward to work at a standard height bench gives me back ache quite quickly. So my ideal workbench is quick a bit higher than the norm! Ideally this bench should also have a lower shelf where the portable power tools could be stores in their respective cases. Finally this power tool workbench should be on castors so it can me around in the workshop.
So now we know what we want lets go and build it. I started off by making one of the sides, as you can see below. There are no fancy joints, the whole thing is screwed together using rather large screws. Once this first side was assembled, everything else could evolve from it.
Next part of the build was to build end struts and join them to the existing side structure that has just been completed. You can see what I mean from the picture below, the whole thing is on it’s side at the moment while it’s all screwed together.
The picture below shows the power tool workbench main structure completed and in the upright position. One of the joys of using recycled pallet wood in projects is that nothing is ever “straight”. Just look at the long piece at the top on the left, very warped but for this job it’s fine.
Now we need to be looking at making the top for this bench. Again this is going to made from upcycled pallet wood, but this time we are going to be using the planks. First thing to do is try and select enough planks that are roughly the same thickness so we get a fairly level top. I say fairly level because it doesn’t have to be absolutely level.
As you can see in the picture above, some of the top planks have already been fitted and others have been selected for use, although they will need cutting to length and then they will be screwed to the frame.
The picture above shows the top completely fitted and the castors screwed on the corners on the underside. So now we are getting there. Next job is to place the power tools onto the workbench to ensure there is enough room, as shown below.
Fortunately the guesstimations worked and there is more than enough room for everything, with ample space for the pieces of wood being worked.
In this picture the bottom shelf is still to be fitted although in reality it has already been fitted. I will take photo at the next opportunity and add it to this post.
So there you have it, a custom built power tool workbench made completely from upcycle pallet wood. This workbench cost next to nothing to build, apart from the four castors at a couple of quid each. Right at the start of this project I decided to leave the wood rough and not sanded. I couldn’t justify the extra time spent on sanding etc when really there was no need for it.
This power tool workbench made from upcycled pallet wood is in almost constant use and it’s doing the job great. I am also really pleased I gave some thought about the height as I haven’t felt any backache at all after working at this bench. That’s the real beauty of doing it yourself, you can make it to “fit” you.
I do hope this has been of interest to you and given you some ideas, I haven’t provided any dimensions because you should really build this to suit you and your workspace.
A need arose for new workbench lighting surrounds for Shalini’s work area!
Over Christmas 2018 we completely rebuilt Shalini’s work area for her Copper Smith work. This comprised new benches and a big rearrangement of her layout of tools and equipment etc.
On completion of all of this Shalini realised that the current lighting set up just wasn’t up to the mark anymore so a solution had to be found.
Simple Workbench Lighting Surrounds using Pallet Wood
This project is a mix of old and new, in that all the wood used is pallet wood and therefore upcycled, the electrical bits are all new as are the wall brackets and wire.
So initially it was a matter of working out were the new lighting should go and how big it should be. then we found a couple of light fittings that were adjustable and would work with GU10 LED bulbs.
This gave me something to work with as I now had dimensions, so building the lighting surrounds could commence.
Sadly I never took pictures during the build of these but they are relatively simple, each of these pallet wood light surrounds comprises of the following components:
3 x long pallet wood planks, cut to length to suit your light fittings
3 x short pieces cut from one plank, length of each to equal width of two long planks side by side
2 x wall brackets and screws
Light fitting and bulbs
Wire and switch
First job was to cut the 3 long planks to length and then sand them down. I didn’t sand them two much as we wanted to preserve the rustic feel of the wood. We also chose not to finish the wood at all and left it bare so it would age naturally.
Next I laid two planks side by side and then took the overall width measurement, this gave me the size of the 3 smaller pieces. These were then cut and fixed across the two longer pieces at 90 degrees. One at each end and one in the middle. This is shown in the picture to the right has been taken from above.
At this point I laid the two long planks on their back and positioned the light fitting and determined were the hole for the cable would have to be drilled. After this the fitting was wired up and an inline switch incorporated so it would be in easy reach when sitting at the workbench. Of course it was also important that the light was covering the right areas of Shalini’s benches. Quick point, if you don’t know how to do the electrics maybe get a competent person to do it.
With the wiring completed and checked the light fitting was attached to the planks. Then the third long piece of wood was attached to the front of the lighting surround. Then the two wall brackets were fitted, one at each end.
To complete the job the workbench lighting surrounds were fixed to the walls in the right places and bulbs fitted, then it was time for the grand switch on!
We both think they look good and are very functional giving a good spread of light in the right places.
So in conclusion these two workbench lighting surrounds made from upcycled pallet wood were easy to build. The costs involved came from the actual light fitting, bulbs, wire and switches. But we are sure they still came in at lot less than ready made items, if in fact we could have found anything like these!