Crawls Backward (When Alarmed)

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New Craftsman Workbench for The Dungeon

I've had a small hiatus from the blog due to...unforseen stuff.

A couple of weeks ago we had some severe thunderstorms.  Nothing was damaged, but there was a backup in a gutter, which in turn caused a waterfall onto one of the casement window wells, resulting in about 5 gallons of water getting into the basement and some of it finding its way over to The Dungeon.

Nothing was damaged, and it was relatively easy to clean up, but it motivated me to clean up all the stuff overflowing to the floor and get it properly stored.  So I got a couple of cheap storage cabinets from The Despot, and I also got a new workbench with storage.

Here's The Dungeon before.  There is all sorts of project stuff piled up on the bench, and you can see more on the floor.  At times it's gotten so bad that I can't get to the main tool chest on the left, not to mention the ROSS or the drill press on the table near the wall.

The two new cabinets will let me label and store this junk, and get it out of the shipping boxes it came in!

I also got a 6 foot (just shy of 2 meters) long Craftsman workbench with drawer and shelf units.  I'll show just a couple of highlights from putting it together.

Since this thing is fairly large, and since it may need to be moved periodically, I decided to put casters on it.

In the picture, you can see the legs that come with the thing.  They're sort of short.

You can also see the casters - 3 inch - that I procured at The Despot.  I needed eight of them total, but the threads matched exactly (3/8-16 if you want to know).

One of the casters going in.  You can see that I used anti-sieze on the threads.  I actually used it on virtually every bolt on the whole thing while assembling it.  I figured if I ever need to take it apart, it can't hurt.

There are really 4 pieces for this bench.  First is the basic bench.  You get your choice of tops - I have the basic MDF.  I would love to have butcher block, but none of the stores near me stock it, and I wanted to get this thing together.  I'm thinking I might just make a top for it down the road.

Then there is a 5-drawer cabinet that's an option.  It's probably bigger than my main tool chest bottom cabinet.  Which is good, because I need storage.

Also I have a 3-shelf unit that also goes under the bench.  And item 4 are a back and doors for the shelf.  So 4 separate pieces and more $, £, kr, €, ¥, etc., for Sears.

It's a decent unit, but I will say that the sheet metal is reasonably heavy but will flex if you want it to.  A couple places in the instructions it said "square the unit," meaning, put pressure on the given section so the bolt holes line up, quickly stick a bolt in, and breathe a sigh of relief.

It is NOT as nicely made as my old Craftsman stuff for sure.  You can get the nicer stuff (made here in the USA), but you'll pay twice as much.  The tool section in my local Sears over the last 30 years has gone from being a big section in the store with all quality stuff to a small section with just 10% quality stuff.  Depressing, but you just need to know where to find the quality stuff - mainly elsewhere.  I have Craftsman tools I've owned for 30 years that are still in excellent shape and used regularly.  I'm not sure their newer tools will last that long.

I had considered a "Husky" cabinet at The Despot ('Husky' being Despot's house name), but it was not so good and a lot smaller than what I ended up with.

One of the time-consuming highlights of assembling this thing was the glides for the drawers.  You get the pleasure of putting the cabinet-side and drawer-side glides onto the respective pieces.  Yes, YOU put them on, they are not pre-assembled.  I suppose this is part of the cost of "building it to a price".  Sigh.

It's not difficult but I didn't expect I'd have to do it.  Then, when I went to put the drawers in, 4 of the 5 wouldn't stay on the tracks!  Fortunately, it's easy to bend adjust the sides of the cabinet to fine-tune the glides so that they all work.

The upside of the self-assembly is that I was able to easily lubricate the glides with lithium grease as they went together.

Here's the bench with the drawer cabinet and shelf unit all ready to go.  The door on the right is pretty much a must I think - you could have open shelves but stuff might slide off, and the door helps hide the junk you might stash in there!

Overall, it's actually pretty solid and should do the job.  I'll put the ROSS and the drill press on top and I'll still have some workspace.  So now I'll have 2 bench tops to use.

I also need to get some lighting over there.  Hmmm.


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