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Create Your Own Portable Workspace

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Old 03-20-2011, 12:49 AM   #1
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Shwiggie's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 135
Location: Meridian, MS
After doing minor alterations over the years (the first was modding Energon Megatron to make his sword and tank turret optionally hand-held), I've decided to get into it a bit more. My first step was coming here, of course . . . but after reading tutorials, tips, and techniques, my first glaring problem was the lack of a real place to work. I don't have a whole room (or half of one for that matter) to devote to the practice, so I needed a workspace that I could put away.

After reading this article in last month's Popular Mechanics, I set to work. Despite my utter lack of woodworking skills, I've nearly gotten it done and am currently finishing it up. After I get everything filled, sanded, and stained, I'll be ready to load my Dremel, files, soldering iron, and such into it by Monday. Hopefully my styrene order will arrive by midweek so I can get started.

Originally Posted by Popular Mechanics
Instant Workbench Plans: Take Your Workshop With You
This suitcase-size box unfolds into a work surface and a square foot of hardware storage. Build it and take your tools on tour.
By Ben Heck

1.) Gather Parts

I designed a mobile bench because the projects I build on my webcast, The Ben Heck Show, typically happen in locations without a shop. To build it, first use a table saw to cut a 4 x 4–foot sheet of -inch plywood into panels at the dimensions shown. Obtain two cabinetmaker’s cup hinges (Salice or Blum brands work), four 1 x 1–inch leaf hinges, a box of 1-inch No. 6 wood screws, a 1⁄8-inch combination drill bit and countersink, a 6-inch metal handle, wood glue, eight rubber feet and magnetic cabinet latches.

2.) Build the Box

Drill mortises and mount the cup-hinge hardware to attach the main work surface (C) to the base of the unit (E). Rout a recessed grip into the outer face of C. Mount the left and right flaps (A and B, respectively) to both sides of C using screws and 1-inch hinges. Plan the larger flap (B) to open on the side of your dominant hand. Make sure A and B fold flat atop C. Next, drive 1-inch wood screws through the sides (D) into the base and top (F). Drive 1-inch screws through the back (G) to secure the sides. Mount magnetic latches under the top. Check to make sure the hinge knuckles at each edge of C clear the sides and that the latch acts as a stop for A, B and C when the box is closed. Mount the handle. Fasten the magnet latches’ mates to the faces of A and B. Add feet to the outer faces of E and C.

3.) Stow Tools

Add Velcro strips to store tools along the back panel. I often do electronics work, so I carry a small multimeter, a soldering iron, wire strippers, pliers and tweezers. Any kit should have a hobbyist’s vise, which I use to grip small parts. When working on a tabletop, the vise’s attachment clamp can stabilize the bench itself. Other good all-purpose items include screwdrivers, a flashlight, calipers and scissors. My hot-glue gun sees a lot of action—bring an extension cord and a power strip if you’ll need electricity on the go.
(Original Source: Print - Instant Workbench Plans: Take Your Workshop With You - Popular Mechanics)
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Last edited by Superquad7; 03-20-2011 at 02:46 AM..
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