Workbench drawers

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alex robinson

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I am getting round to making a more suitable workbench than the old (but massive) sideboard I have currently. I have some sweet chestnut that I am going to make the frame out of and have the chance to nab some old fire doors that I was going to use to make the top. What would people suggest as the most efficient way of making the drawers for it? I don't need it to be a work of art, just relatively sturdy and with as much storage as possible. I have a shed as a workshop and do a lot of turning, so anything not in drawers gets covered in shavings!

Does this look sensible as a starting point? I am a leftie, hence the vice is on the "wrong" end.

1667391349767.png
 
I'm also in the planning stages for a workbench that will replace the framed MFT top on trestles that I currently use. I like the idea that Dennis of Hooked on Wood uses, where each drawer is the same box with different sized fronts, allowing you to move them around to your hearts desire

Sean
 
I'm also in the planning stages for a workbench that will replace the framed MFT top on trestles that I currently use. I like the idea that Dennis of Hooked on Wood uses, where each drawer is the same box with different sized fronts, allowing you to move them around to your hearts desire

Sean
He has too many drawers!!!
 
I had planned to do this to my bench, using u-channel and skateboard wheels or something of the sort, with the intention of the drawers opening both ways.
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After working on a kitchen island the odd time, I knew I wanted space for my toes.
This is the design I chose,(if thats even a correct statement) as the drawers put a limit to much designing, and I had plenty of old door stiles and rails to use,
so it is what it is.
Both tenons and knock down hardware used for the OCD newbie woodworker at the time i.e bit odd and non traditional I suppose.

I had the intention of making a big slab top for this base,
but it turns out to be the perfect height with the counter top material.

A bit of sweet and sour really, as it's going to take some effort to try and resolve,
if I ever want to replace with a slab instead,

leathercraft.JPG


But the design has its uses, if you decide to keep it floating,
one can use both sides, i.e I think more useful than the full width of the base.
SAM_4104.JPG
 
easily adapted for a bench but a little large...
my mobile storage.....small grinders, big grinders drill etc etc....the trays just run on 2" angle iron
IMG_6610.jpeg

also some drawers under the fettling table...3/4 ply all glued n screwed.....6 bearings from skate wheels per drawer....gotta be 50kilos per drawer....opening both sides, also 2" angle iron runners....

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sorry about the mess.....lol....end of a big job....
 
I like the idea of being able to access drawers from both ends, but I don't have enough space in the shed for the bench not to be against the wall. I see quite a few people are just using drawers sliding on the frame as opposed to anything fancy. Are runners overly complicating things?
 
I'd say you could buy suitable ones, never looked, suppose it's how much you're willing to pay.
Forgot to mention earlier, space under the top is important for clamping, or holdfasts..
so I cannot simply knock off, say 2" off the rails.
Perhaps if I'd used knock down hardware everywhere I could reposition the strechers
and lop off the legs.
Your top rails would impede clamping, should you decide the top drawers be removable, and look like you could trap something on them.
Having drawers or whatever sitting on them, I have thin ply for this purpose
instead would be more versatile.


Just saying if you cant make it "adjustable" then you'd better make it right.
I value most of all the right height for hand planing, no compromise for me.
Can't make the work lower on the bench, but I can easily make it higher,
say on some bearers.

Not much room for design when you consider everything really.
That is, regarding making a bench with four strechers.

Another way to approach it is rolling toolboxs like Clogs system,
and trying to design something around that.
Likely a difficult proposition to design something compact like that,
well at least without some steel involved, if going for something freestanding
and not bolted down.
 
I am getting round to making a more suitable workbench than the old (but massive) sideboard I have currently. I have some sweet chestnut that I am going to make the frame out of and have the chance to nab some old fire doors that I was going to use to make the top. What would people suggest as the most efficient way of making the drawers for it? I don't need it to be a work of art, just relatively sturdy and with as much storage as possible. I have a shed as a workshop and do a lot of turning, so anything not in drawers gets covered in shavings!

Does this look sensible as a starting point? I am a leftie, hence the vice is on the "wrong" end.

View attachment 146369
Virtually any draw building method will work, use full extension draw slides and in my opinion you have too few too deep draws.
Shallow draws make loosing stuff less likely and knowing what is in them easy, dividers are also useful . My current setup is 2 open shelves 6 40mm draws and 2 deeper draws. This has been in use for the last 14 years and I see no reason to change it. If I were to change anything it would be to swap the 6 cheap draw runners for full extension ones.
C04F19E0-C259-4107-A30F-E7494CCFD962.jpeg
 
decent full width drawer runners "at a decent price".....stuff of dreams.....hahaha....
if I have to use runners, all mine come from the skip......I have quite a few, just in case......lol......
even getting qual ply to make drawers with at a price u can afford would be nice.....
I was buying resin bonded 3/4 ply at £12 per sheet not that long ago but u did have to buy a pack of 50 sheets....

Ttrees........using steel is like a trip to the dark side for most.....hahaha......
mind, it's easy for me as I've been using the stuff all my life.....
 
I'd say you could buy suitable ones, never looked, suppose it's how much you're willing to pay.
Forgot to mention earlier, space under the top is important for clamping, or holdfasts..
so I cannot simply knock off, say 2" off the rails.
Perhaps if I'd used knock down hardware everywhere I could reposition the strechers
and lop off the legs.
Your top rails would impede clamping, should you decide the top drawers be removable, and look like you could trap something on them.
Having drawers or whatever sitting on them, I have thin ply for this purpose
instead would be more versatile.
I see what you mean about stuff getting trapped - a top to prevent that sounds an excellent idea.

How much space under the top would you suggest? I had thought having the top resting on the rails would make things sturdier. Do you mean the top entirely floating, supported only by the 4 legs, or having the rails inset a bit meaning there is a 2" or so overhang?
 
Virtually any draw building method will work, use full extension draw slides and in my opinion you have too few too deep draws.
Shallow draws make loosing stuff less likely and knowing what is in them easy, dividers are also useful . My current setup is 2 open shelves 6 40mm draws and 2 deeper draws. This has been in use for the last 14 years and I see no reason to change it. If I were to change anything it would be to swap the 6 cheap draw runners for full extension ones.View attachment 146415
Interesting to hear more, smaller drawers is a good idea. I want to store power tools in the big bottom ones, but more smaller ones above sounds good. Some of the pictures of benches you see on youtube and the like with millions of drawers look a fiddly and impractical and I wanted to keep things simple and functional.
 
Second hand kitchen drawers.
A high end kitchen will have nice heavy duty runners, some metal sided some undermount.
People are often chucking out really decent kitchen stuff. Gumtree is often good for it.

Ollie
 
I see what you mean about stuff getting trapped - a top to prevent that sounds an excellent idea.

How much space under the top would you suggest? I had thought having the top resting on the rails would make things sturdier. Do you mean the top entirely floating, supported only by the 4 legs, or having the rails inset a bit meaning there is a 2" or so overhang?
Just a consideration, but it may be a good idea to have the space for your favourite clamps, or holdfasts, or for fish containers (euro containers likely have every size imaginable), or whatever boxes you might come across.

Just for interest sake, 9" would allow for these clamps,
not that you couldn't take a saw to the handles.

Also some other considerations regarding the lower strechers, might be for allowing space for a broom,
no overhang means less support where you might want it most,
which then introduces necessity of clearance for ones feet.
If you have to tap something like an M10 thread on something awkward,
you might appreciate the extra leverage one can get from the foot (not just toes) when starting the tap off.



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