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Hauntless
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Note: This is a repost of an old tutorial whose links to pictures were broken with the software update at HF.

Not quite Halloween prop related but thought this would help in easing your prop building tasks. This tutorial shows how to make easy and cheap workshop tables that can be converted to desks, carts, storage shelves and workbenches.



Here's the video for this tutorial:



Materials Needed (to make one 36 1/2" tall x 20 3/4" wide x 22 1/2" deep table):
Four 36" 2x4's (legs)
Four 20 3/4" 2x4's (width spans)
Four 19 1/2" 2x4's (depth spans)
22 1/2 x 20 3/4" half-inch thick plywood
22 1/2 x 17 3/4" half-inch thick plywood
2 1/2" drywall screws (at least 64)
1 1/4" drywall screws (at least 8)
Shims (if needed)

Tools Needed:
Clamps
Power drill
7/64 drill bit
Saw (circular, table or chop saw)
Ruler
Pen



Determine Height & Depth (picture 1): You are building the two side spans of your table (the depth). First - determine how tall you want the table. This table needs to be 36 1/2" tall. The plywood top used was 1/2" thick so the legs need to be cut to 36". You will need four legs. Place two of them on your workshop table. Now you have to determine how deep you need the sides of your table to be. Later on you will be attaching spanning 2x4's on the back side and front side of your table (width spans). So (to determine depth of the side spans you are going to build right now) measure how deep you want your finished table and subtract the thickness of two 2x4's. Each 2x4 is 1 1/2" thick (not 2") so 1 1/2" + 1 1/2" = 3". For this table it needs to have the finished depth of 22 1/2". Therefore cut your depth spans to be 19 1/2" (22 1/2" - 3" = 19 1/2"). You need 4 of these also.

Spread two of the legs 19 1/2" apart and place one depth span evenly along the edges of the legs on one side and place the other depth span on the other side to keep the legs evenly spaced apart. Be sure that the first depth span is even with the legs and clamp down on all sides.

Pre-drill with a 7/32 drill bit and screw into place using 2 1/2" screws. Do this a total of four screws in each corner. Very important: Be sure that the four screws make a straight square pattern. Later on you will be driving screws that will run along the other sides and you don't want them hitting each other. You can see in the picture that two of the screws are evenly spaced along the top quadrant of the wood and the second set of screws are 2/3'rds of the way down from the top. That way when you are later putting in the other screws you can place those in the top 1/3rd of the wood and bottom quadrant and the odds of hitting the screws already in place are lessened.

Attach other Depth Span (picture 2): Loosen the clamps and flip around so now the feet part of the side is flush with your workshop table and place the other depth span 2" from the bottom. This will create a space by the feet of the table so you can sweep underneath it later on. Re-clamp and screw into place.

Repeat all of this for the other depth spans.

Note: This section of instructions was, by far, the most difficult set of instructions I have EVER, EVER! created. I deserve a medal or something. heh.



Attach Width Spans (picture 1): Determine how wide you'd like your table and cut the wood needed to be the same width. This table is going to be 20 3/4" wide. So four 20 3/4" wide 2x4's were cut. Place the two depth spans (with legs facing out) on your floor equally apart and place the width spans over each end. Be sure to maintain the 2" clearance for the feet of the table. Clamp down. Pre-drill and screw in one screw in each corner. Be careful not to hit the other screws that are already there. Later on you will be putting in the other 3 screws into each corner.

Flip & Attach Other Side (picture 2): Flip the table over to the other side, place the remaining width spans, clamp and place one screw into each corner like the other side.



Turn Upright and Secure: Turn the table upright and push and tug it so it settles down into a fairly square and level table and drill in the rest of the screws. Have a total of 4 screws in each corner.



Add Tabletop (picture 1): Cut a piece of plywood the width and depth of your table. Pre-drill and screw in with 1 1/4" screws. Place one screw in each corner.

Add Shelves and Shim (picture 2): If desired - add in shelves. If your table wobbles a little you could shove in shims on the unbalanced foot.



Rolling Carts and Workbenches: You can add wheels to a table and turn that into a rolling cart. Be sure to make adjustments to the height of your table legs to compensate for the added height the wheels will give you. Buy two swivel wheels and two stationary wheels. Don't do what I did and get four swivel ones. Makes for an irritating rolling experience... If you need to secure the position of the cart get wheels with brakes.

Notice the band saw cart. That height of the cart was lowered a lot so the platform of the band saw was level with the workbench. This allows you to easily feed in wood into the band saw from the workbench.

Workbench: You can add additional legs and spans to increase the width and strength load of a table to make it into a sturdy workbench. Also use a thicker plywood topping and metal screws (not drywall screws).







Desks: Desks are easy! Just omit the bottom-front width span. These desks were upgraded with some great wood found at Lowe's. The desks are each topped with a 1x24x72 laminated pine panel: https://www.lowes.com/pd/Common-3-4-in-x-24-in-x-6-ft-Actual-0-709-in-x-23-25-in-x-5-98-ft-Edge-Glued-Panel-Spruce-Pine-Fir-Board/1000894042





https://www.halloweenforum.com/media/storage-shelves.145588/full[/IMG].
Storage Shelves (picture 1): If you need storage shelves just add more spans and insert plywood or OSB. OSB was used here because it was cheaper.

Multiple Storage Shelves (picture 2): If you want to have those OSB shelves butt up against each other then cut out the spaces where the spans are. If your shelving unit has many shelves and the space in between is too shallow you may have difficulty sliding in the shelf while building it. Either raise the shelves in your design or cut the OSB shelf in half and secure each side individually.

What's sweet about these shelves is when it comes time to move - just unscrew.
 

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Mad Monster Maker
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2,672 Posts
Great tutorial, Terra, and great timing. My first project this year is to get my workshop organized, and I've been contemplating what type of shelving to use. Ironically, I just got back from Great Northern Tools, looking at band saws, among other things. Great idea on designing a cart to match the height of the workbench to height of the saw's table.
 

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Hauntless
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8,332 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Great tutorial, Terra! I wish I had the room for some more workbenches.

Maybe someday.........
Well, if you sold me your Mustang you'd have plenty of room in the garage ;)

Great tutorial, Terra, and great timing. My first project this year is to get my workshop organized, and I've been contemplating what type of shelving to use. Ironically, I just got back from Great Northern Tools, looking at band saws, among other things. Great idea on designing a cart to match the height of the workbench to height of the saw's table.
Thanks! I was quite proud of that AHA! moment. The teeny tiny table of the band saw always drove me nuts. It's also great to be able to pull away the carts to have easy 360 degree access to the entire workbench for those HUGE projects.
 

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Registered
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I'm suspicious... that work area and bench look WAAAAY to clean and organized. LOL Great setup there! I'm jealous. My biggest problem would be I would would turn all that space into storage for more scares and props and such. You wouldn't be able to FIND the tools! LOL
 

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Hauntless
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