How to build a workbench

Now we come to the actual fixtures in the workshop. The first requisite is the workbench, which you can make to suit the dimensions of the shop. It should be sturdy, have as large a working surface as possible, and a rack for tools built on to it, which enables you to have ready at hand all the tools which you need. This rack should be attached to the wall (against which bench is placed), to prevent vibration of the tools while work is being done on the bench.

However, if you do not wish to make a workbench, but want to use instead an old sturdy kitchen table, by all means convert that into a bench. And on the wall, above the table, attach a separate rack for the tools, and you have your complete working unit.

Building a free rack for tools

Whether you have this attached to the workbench, or over the converted kitchen table, the type of rack is the same. Make three or four holes for rawl plugs in the wall masonry, and attach the rack to the wall with screws. The holes that are bored in the rack for the tools should be of the sizes necessary to accommodate the various tools. The front row of holes can have some slit open to the edge of the board, for flat blades (such as a chisel or knife) to be passed through, then the handle turned after tool is inserted.

The final design of rack is optional-you may want only one row of holes, or else you may want clamps on top of board for tools. There is no hard and fast rule about this-you select whatever tool rack you feel would please you best and give you most convenience. Some tools are too large to be hung on a rack and need to be laid flat, such as hammer, saw, etc. In that case, have an additional rack-a wide flat shelf screwed on to wall, above the tool rack-for the purpose of the larger tools. Or, if you don’t prefer a rack, you could have a tool cabinet, or convert an old bookcase or bookshelves and stand it next to your table or workbench so you can lay the tools on the shelves. You don’t have to go out and buy a lot of new things and lumber-you’d be surprised how many articles you can convert which are now unused in your house.

Make certain that sharp-bladed tools, such as saws and knives, are kept out of reach of children. Place those on the highest shelf, or in closed cabinet, when not in use.

Have a special box on the shelf for bits-they are usually kept in a roll of soft cloth, like the old flannel cases used for silverware.

How to make nail and screw jars

Nails can be a nuisance if not properly sorted, each size should be put into a glass jar so it can be seen easily-and it also lets you know when the supply is running low and more should be bought. The same applies to screws.

Build a rack for the jars so they will not be in the way and will stand less chance of being broken. These jars are also good for other items, such as hooks, bolts, nuts, and washers.

The wood should be heavy enough to carry the weight, but doesn’t have to be too thick. Saw the board to desired size. Draw a line down center of the length of the board. Mark off distances of jars, allowing at least 1 inch clearance between each jar. The length of shelf and the number of jars depends on your own needs, of course. Pierce a hole through center of the metal top of the jar (of course, you use screw-top jars only!). Lay the jar top on the board, with the hole pierced in the cover to match the mark you’ve already made on the board. Drive a screw through the hole into the board, using 1/2 inch round head screw.¬†Attach the shelf (with the jar tops now screwed under it) to the wall.