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Shop Furniture Sucks; And Ya Gotta Do It


I'm very much against making my own shop furniture. It's not that I can't or that I don't have the tools, it's just that my shop time is limited enough where I just can't bring myself to spend that limited time working on a bench, table, cart, or something else. I'd sooner buy a piece than make it.

That had to change this weekend.

Over the past few weeks I've acquired a band saw, a planer, and an oscillating sander. All of them are large enough that they really do need their own surface, but they're also relatively heavy, and therein lies the problem.


As you all know I start cancer treatments next week, which will include daily radiation and weekly chemo. It's no joke what these treatments do to your body, so I needed to get these heavy tools onto carts so I could move them as needed to power outlets, my driveway, garage, etc. After a trip to Home Depot to pick up some cheap 2x4s and mdf project boards along with 12 casters, I set out in my shop to build these. Saturday was hours of building and figuring out, and Sunday was a breeze. It was amazing how fast the third card went together as opposed to the first one.

I also learned the importance of knowing what tools you have and of buying tools at opportune times to use later. For the first time in a project I used my Kreg K4 pocket hole jig and my Kreg corner clamps, both of which sped things up dramatically. To be clear, these weren't perfect, but I also wasn't trying for perfection. I was trying for efficient and effective, all of which these three carts ended up being. They aren't pretty or perfectly square (although they're close enough where it doesn't matter) but they are sturdy, they roll easily, and the casters lock when they're at their destination so that they stay put while I'm working on them. I also made them the same height as my two collapsible work surfaces so that I could use them in conjunction with the carts.


All in all, a thing I hate doing ended up making my shop infinitely more effective and efficient and also will enable me to continue to enjoy my making in my shop even after chemoradiation starts doing awful things to me, which, as I've written before, might be the one thing that keeps me sane.