Thursday, September 27, 2012

Workbench Plan

Workbench design
I'm still working on the porch railing but not for much longer. 'Bout got that job scratched off the list. But while I'm mining the woodworking vein, I want to build a workbench for the new woodshop. I drew up a plan the other day that should be cheap but strong and serviceable. I've got a couple of woodworking vises already, so just the expense of some construction lumber and a piece of thick particleboard and I'll be set. While I'd like to be seeing some progress on the 900 or the VW, I think getting the woodshop in order would be time well spent. I've got some other woodworking things to finish up inside the shack and I'll be more prone to finish those if I've got the shop in order. It would be nice to be able to get back on the boat project someday as well. I can only imagine having the VW, 900 and the boat all finished up by Spring. Nah, that'll never happen. I might be able to do two out of three, though. The 900 for sure.

The workbench sketch was done the old fashioned way - just a plain piece of paper, an oblique front view and a right side view. Top left is a material list, bottom right is the cut list for all the individual pieces. I don't have a drafting program on my computer, nor do I probably need one for what I'm going to be doing at home, especially any type of woodworking. However, I made a base for a drill press on my new job to give it some extra stability. The floor has hot water heating tubes in it so nothing can be fastened down to the concrete. I figured I'd need to run my idea past my boss who's normally at another campus, so some type of drafting program would be just the ticket instead of me sending him a sketch like the one above with a big shadow of the camera across the bottom of it. Plus we have a CNC plasma cutting set-up at the college. A guy just might want to make a fancy part for a motorcycle or Volkswagen some time. It would be nice to be able to draw something up that was easy to feed to the CNC, like a dxf file. Those darn computers just can't deal with a sketch drawn up on the kitchen table by hand.

The computer in the lab where I'm spending a lot of my time now has SketchUp on it. Surly told me about this program a couple of years ago but I didn't have the time or a pressing need to learn it then. However, now I've got the chance to pick it up on company time. Good things do come to those who wait! I usually have a little time every day to sit in front of the computer. This might be a good productive use of that time. I've been listening to The Science of Natural Healing from the Great Courses while doing my lab chores. I've got it loaded up on my MP3 player and normally there are no other distractions, so it's a good way to listen to the info. I've got a set on the Italian Renaissance I bought while laid up that I didn't get all the way through that I'm going to do next. So in addition to earning a couple of bucks on the part time job, I'm furthering my education. I was planning on signing up for an Italian class over the computer but I might just concentrate my efforts on learning a new CAD drafting program. Never too old to learn something new and it's nice to have the opportunity. Of course, I could just relax for a little while. I think they mentioned that in the stress management classes. At least I've got it narrowed down to one or the other and not both.


dorkpunch said...

Sketchup is awesome... You would br amazed what a 7th grader can do after only two weeks of playing around on it. Check out the tutorial vids on the sketchup website (apparently google sold sketchup to Trimble? Hope the vids are still there), they have a lot of great info. Its pretty easy when you catch on to the basics! Cant wait to see what you come up with.

Shop Teacher Bob said...

7th graders and senior citizens are a little different when it comes to technology but I usually do OK if it's something I'm interested in. Since I'm working at a college, I figure I should be able to do better than a sketch on the back of a bar napkin. I'll get started on it and we'll see what happens.

Haven't heard from you in a while - hope your school year is going well.