Am I planning this right? - Router Forums
 
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-18-2010, 04:04 PM Thread Starter
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Default Am I planning this right?

I was setting down and starting to come up with some plans for my bench and cabinets. I started to think about the dimensions I was going to use for the cabinets and the bench and was not sure is there was something else to consider.

Here are a few details and what I have considered in my planning.

I am only 5'8" and don't have a real long reach, so I don't want a gigantic bench that I can't reach the wall. However, I read somewhere that since I was planning on having cabinets on the wall above the bench that I should make the bench top at least 32" from front to back. My table saw is around 37" tall and is around 30"+ deep. That seems like a stretch for me if I am reaching for tools or something on peg board on the wall. I may end up with 32" bench where the cabinets are and drop it back to 26" where the peg board and tools are at. (Or I might move the pegboard out from the wall somehow and not worry about all the extra work of two bench sizes.)

I have also read that I should have the top with around 4" of overhang from the cabinets. If that is 4" from every side then the cabinets are going to be 24" deep from front to back.

Since I don't have near enough bench space right now I have on occasion tossed a 1/4 sheet of plywood on the top of the table saw and used it as a bench. I really like the height that it puts my hands and arms at. Maybe a bit less to really take some of the stress off my shoulders with arms being held so high at times. So, lets say that I am considering putting the top of the table at 35". I was also planning on the bench top being two 3/4" sheets of MDF, that was mounted to a 2X4 support structure. For a total thickness of 3" for the top. That requires the cabinet to be 32" tall to give me the desired 35".

The cabinet widths are now what I am thinking about. The cabinets at the ends of the benches are going to be "large" storage areas with two doors on the front. I might also have a big sliding drawer on the bottom. A couple of the middle cabinets are going to be tall and thin and nothing but drawers. I am planning on using them like towers and putting the miter saw between them at a lower level, so the bench top and the miter saw surface is at the same level.

I was thinking the end cabinets would be around 36" wide and maybe the towers at 18" wide. But I don't know if this is the best plan.

Is there is a good rule of thumb on how wide a cabinet needs to be based off the height and depth of unit? Or should I just go as wide as I think I need it to be?

Am I going about this the correct way?


Tim

"But before we use any power tools lets talk about shop safety. Be sure to read, understand, and follow all the safety rules that come with your power tools. Knowing how to use your power tools properly will greatly reduce the risk of personal injury. And remember this... There is no more important safety rule than to wear these... safety glasses." -- Norm
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-18-2010, 10:55 PM
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Wow.. I don't really know what to say just make your bench and cabinets to whats comfortable to you.. for your the one that will be using it. I my self never gave it that much thought, when I was building my workbench just started building with no plan. I lucked out it was 1/4" lower than my table saw and now its a workbench and a out feed table.. good luck and lets see some photos of your bench and cabinet when you get it done..

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Last edited by drasbell; 01-18-2010 at 11:00 PM.
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-19-2010, 12:19 AM
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Hi Tim... When I went to building my workbench I used the kitchen counter as a reference to start with. The standard, I think, is 36 but I went a couple of inches smaller to 34 for the workbench. You want to consider what you may be building on it and consider that height also. I'm 5'6" and 34 high and 35 deep worked OK for me. That puts my benchtop router table about chest high which is a tad higher than I like but not terrible. Benchtop drill press is about right but I built a stand for it anyway rather than lift it up and down. Same for the bandsaw. With the benchtop tools I need because of overall space availability cabinets weren't an option. Went for a couple of shallow, about 8" deep shelves. Deep cabinets and shelves tend to swallow stuff anyway.
Hope this helps

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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-19-2010, 08:26 AM
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I would suggest lowering the TS. I'm 5'10" and 37" is too tall for me. Mine is 34".
My work benches are also 34" tall. The main one is a 30" solid core door mounted up against the wall..

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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-19-2010, 09:33 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drasbell View Post
Wow.. I don't really know what to say just make your bench and cabinets to whats comfortable to you.. for your the one that will be using it. I my self never gave it that much thought, when I was building my workbench just started building with no plan. I lucked out it was 1/4" lower than my table saw and now its a workbench and a out feed table.. good luck and lets see some photos of your bench and cabinet when you get it done..
I was kind of confirming what I thought with the "build it how I wanted it " plan. Thanks for the input.

As for photos... Yeah, considering I am a photographer by trade right now, I will be posting photos along the way.

Tim

"But before we use any power tools lets talk about shop safety. Be sure to read, understand, and follow all the safety rules that come with your power tools. Knowing how to use your power tools properly will greatly reduce the risk of personal injury. And remember this... There is no more important safety rule than to wear these... safety glasses." -- Norm
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-19-2010, 10:02 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by jschaben View Post
Hi Tim... When I went to building my workbench I used the kitchen counter as a reference to start with. The standard, I think, is 36 but I went a couple of inches smaller to 34 for the workbench. You want to consider what you may be building on it and consider that height also. I'm 5'6" and 34 high and 35 deep worked OK for me. That puts my benchtop router table about chest high which is a tad higher than I like but not terrible. Benchtop drill press is about right but I built a stand for it anyway rather than lift it up and down. Same for the bandsaw. With the benchtop tools I need because of overall space availability cabinets weren't an option. Went for a couple of shallow, about 8" deep shelves. Deep cabinets and shelves tend to swallow stuff anyway.
Hope this helps
I don't have a ton of stuff that sets on the bench right now except my small drill press. It's one of the Craftsman bench top drill presses that I might have to replace anyway. (Works fine with small bits but once I get a large bit in it.... makes a racket and looks, and acts, like the bit is bent.)

The router I was thinking about building into the bench so it would not be above the bench top. That is one reason I was picking that height of the bench. I have been using my router table top on a couple saw horses and it has been at a great height for me.

As for the cabinets vs shelves... I currently have 18" deep plastic shelves from Home Depot and I don't really like having them. I like cabinets with doors that hide everything . I am also going to be making compartments and shelf areas under the bench to hold certain tools when not in use.

I also have a gigantic garage, well, as far as attached garages in this area goes... It's a three car garage and has 12' ceilings. I am planning on having some cabinets that are off the bench that I can open and get things that I use from time to time. I am also going to have another row of cabinets that are much higher for longer term storage. I don't mind having to use a ladder to get the items out but I want a solid surface to put them on and them to not be visible all the time.

I already have a 17' X 8' loft in the garage over the double bay to store the big things that can't fit in a cabinet. (http://www.routerforums.com/show-n-t...p-storage.html)



Tim

"But before we use any power tools lets talk about shop safety. Be sure to read, understand, and follow all the safety rules that come with your power tools. Knowing how to use your power tools properly will greatly reduce the risk of personal injury. And remember this... There is no more important safety rule than to wear these... safety glasses." -- Norm
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-19-2010, 10:14 AM Thread Starter
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I would suggest lowering the TS. I'm 5'10" and 37" is too tall for me. Mine is 34".
My work benches are also 34" tall. The main one is a 30" solid core door mounted up against the wall..
Mike,

I actually kind of like the height of the TS. Granted, I have had to cut any type of sheet goods yet. (That will happen with this bench build) But so far it's been a nice height.

I am not sure if I could lower the TS anyway. It's on a metal stand and has a small framework around it with the wheels and lift so I can move it around. I would love to have a nice table around the TS and have it in the middle of the room but since this is a working garage (read that as the wife wants to park in the garage) I have to be able to move the TS into the corner of the garage when I am done with my projects.


I have used a solid core door for a long time as well. I usually just put it on a couple saw horses when I need it. But BOY!!! it's heavy and a pain to put on the stands by myself. That's one reason I want a permanent bench that I don't have to move around.

Tim

"But before we use any power tools lets talk about shop safety. Be sure to read, understand, and follow all the safety rules that come with your power tools. Knowing how to use your power tools properly will greatly reduce the risk of personal injury. And remember this... There is no more important safety rule than to wear these... safety glasses." -- Norm
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-20-2010, 12:26 AM
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Christopher Schwarz wrote a book on work benches called "Workbenches, From Design & Theory to Construction & Use".
In it he states the proper height for a workbench is easily attained by standing upright and measuring the distance from your 1st knuckle on your tiny finger to the floor.

This is a guide and it depends what sort of woodworking you do and by that I mean hand work or more machinery style wood working. I like a lower bench for hand planing since it allows you to put your weight down on the plane easier.

However for my benches I built in my garage along the wall I set the height from the top to the floor at 39". I am 6' 2" and did not want to bend over as much to save a ailing back. Again the joy of making it yourself is you get to make it for you and just you.
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-23-2010, 10:57 PM
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Hey Tim from the Dallas GA one, I lived in Houston for 17 years, was a casework PM. We always had stand up counter tops 36" high, sit down 30-32". For the most part work tops from front to wall max 30", overhang 1". That was for lab cabinets, but a place to start. I understand the 4" overhang but I have not incorporated it at all my counters tops. I have one central, free standing that is my main work area that is 56”x 56” +/-. On that I have one side overhanging about 8”. Just make it yours and to fit you, and when you don’t like it change what you don’t like some time down the line.

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