Upcycle: Sanding Station

In the summer I snagged an old Craftsman workbench (model 706653800) for $30. I thought it would make a great sanding station for my workshop. Here is a before and after of just the table (near the end is a photo with my sanding machines attached). I’m really happy with how it turned out!

One of the first tasks was to make use of the right side. I started by cutting a couple of plywood panels and screwing them in.

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If you look back at the post where I took out a couple of walls to open up my workshop, you can see a unit with five drawers. When I dismantled it, I saved the drawers and slides. This was the perfect project to use a few.

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The drawers were too wide, deep, and tall, so I had to resize them in every dimension. Thankfully glue wasn’t used in the original assembly, so they were easy to break down.

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It felt like I measured and checked my calculations 10 times before cutting anything to size. I didn’t want to rush it and cut too much from any pieses, so I ook my time and the assembly went well. Putting the drawer slides in was tricky, but I made everything fit.

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I cut a plywood base and attached it to the frame. Then I screwed in some locking casters ($4/each at Harbor Freight). I drilled holes for the drawer handles before taking both sets of drawers out and removing all of the slides. After two coats of a glossy black on the body and base, I was finally able to move it to the basement and free up the space in my garage.

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I sanded the wood drawers, wire brushed the original drawers, and cleaned all of the drawer slides with Brakleen. The faces got two coats of glossy white and the handles were sprayed with metallic aluminum.

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I’m really glad I decided to paint everything. Having this and the lathe stand in more of a finished condition makes the shop feel much nicer. I might have to paint some of my previous shop projects.

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I gave the galvanized metal top a good scrubbing with a soft brush according to what I’d read and it was still in rough shape. So I used a wire brush and a wire wheel on a drill. It ate up the rust, but went through some of the galvanizing. I found a product made by Rust-oleum to resurface the metal that looked promising for less than $5.

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I did 3 good coats, screwed the metal back to the MDF, and attached it to the stand. Looked pretty sweet if you ask me!

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I gave the galvanizing a full week to cure. I’d read about people having mixed results with it scraping off.

My original plan was to make some kind of hinging platform for the larger belt/disc sander so I could flip it on the side to use the belt for edge sanding. It couldn’t come up with a layout to make it work though, especially making sure I still had access to all of the dust ports. This configuration should work just fine.

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From left to right:

  1. Craftsman 4×36″ belt and 6″ disc (Model 137.215360)
  2. Ryobi oscillating spindle (Model OSS500)
  3. Craftsman 1×30″ belt and 5″ disc (Model 137.215150)

I bought all three of these used and paid $25, $50, and $30. The smaller Craftsman sander was still sealed in its original box. If you buy the Harbor Freight versions of these three machines, the new prices are $70, $145, and $85 respectively or $56, $116, and $68 with 20% off coupons if you make separate trips to the store. I love buying used tools!

All of the power cords run along the back and then over to the right side where there is a power strip (free from Harbor Freight) and an extension cord ($9 at Harbor Freight) so I only have to deal with one plug.

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My shop feels infinitely more organized without the three sanding machines scattered across the floor. All that’s left now is to fill up the drawers with my hand sanders, sand paper, and accessories.

Custom Belt Guards for a Craftsman 12 Inch Wood Lathe (113.23800)

After I improved the lathe table in September I actually did start on a belt guard for about 15 minutes and then didn’t touch it for weeks. Happy to say I finally got back to the project and ended up making a guard for each belt.

According to the product manual, here’s a sketch of the main belt guard.

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I actually found one for sale on eBay and here are pics from that listing.

The pictures of the speed chart turned out to be especially useful because I was able to manipulate them in a graphics app to create my label.

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This was a fun build where I got to try a lot of new things. I hadn’t created a video in a long time and it showed because there were several times when I forgot to turn the camera on or off. I tried some new editing stuff too, like sequences for repetitive build actions.

I need a simple project to learn how to use the lathe. Any suggestions?

Discounted Apple Services

I uploaded this to Instagram the other day, which got me thinking I should make a proper post to explain.

You may not know this, but if you have your Apple account loaded with a balance from gift cards, it’ll pay for things you buy with your account. Mine pays for iOS and Mac apps, an Apple Music membership, movie rentals, and an iCloud storage plan.

You can find Apple gift cards for 15-20% off several times a year, especially around the holidays. Never pay full price for Apple services again!

Switching to Ryobi Cordless Tools

I haven’t seen a cordless system with the variety of cordless tools available from Ryobi. They’re also really affordable and Home Depot runs a lot of specials on them. I found a great deal on a used set of six tools, so I’m making the switch.

Judging by the saw dust on this shelf I think it’s time to clean my entire shop and get some kind of air filtration system.

Link Dump – 2018/11/14

Brakleen

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Sometimes I learn about a product so good I wonder why I’ve never heard of it. Let me introduce you to Brakleen. It’s marketed as an “aerosol brake parts cleaner,” which I bet it excels at. It might get a lot more use if it was pushed as a general degreaser though, which is what I used it for.

I had some old drawer slides all gunked up with grease and dirt. This spray made quick work of the job and even eliminated the need for elbow grease. 😉

Buy a can so you have it when you need to clean up some grease.