Friday, February 11, 2011

Shallow thinking

Still restrain yourselves from getting excited, but things all appear to tilt, rotate, and tilt'n'rotate like they're supposed to. Of course this is when it's upside down, so it may only work the right way up in Australia...

Just a few minor things still to do, like flattening the bench top, thinking up a wizard scheme to solve my board jack problem and so forth. Oh, and of course at the moment there's a hole in my tool tray, dear Liza.

I was going to fill in one end, but then I started to wonder. While I like my tool tray for catching things from throwing themselves off the back of the bench when it's not standing against a wall and being able to stand my planes upright but with the blade over the open tray, it's true it does harbour things, particularly in the front corner, where I can't see them. So I was wondering about making the whole tool tray simply shallower. Say an inch or so. What say the reader? Any precedents for that?


  1. Sounds like a great idea. On the bright side it would make cleaning out the shavings much easier and you would be able to see see things in the tray much easier. Think I might do it to mine.

    Best of luck,

    Jim Marsh

  2. She's a beauty Alf!

    Great work...


  3. That is an easy choice. Make a filler piece for the tray and just set it in. If you live with it for a while and you like it, make it permanent. Try one that only reduces it. Try one that fills it. You could also make little hinged compartments or boxes that fit the tray that can be taken out and moved around.

  4. I've been thinking of making a new bench with two trays--one for sawdust and spills, the other for "tools being used on a project but not at the moment."

    --Anonymous Comment-Leaving Person

  5. What's the right size for a tool tray? Hmmm... Some say any size is too big but I'm sure an inch won't matter much. A tray in itself is handy but the location at the back is just somewhat strange so I use a seperate tray, much like the one you serve the tea on. It is very good for getting all the tools out of the way quickly while keeping the workbench clean. I can totally recommend it!

  6. You could add a long triangular piece on the front inner edge of the tray (much like the ramps at the ends) to fill the "out of sight" corner while not losing depth.


  7. What's wrong with a bench slave? It has a few advantages over a jack board; it can be got totally out of the way when not needed; it can be used elsewhere - today I used mine to support the outboard end of a drawer which was held face up by one side in the end vice, the face would have been at the wrong height for working holding it any other way; it doesn't need any modifications to the bench itself ...

  8. WOW!!!

    It looks so good. Quite a serious lump of elaborate metal you've got there.

    By the way NZ is close enough to OZ that I could gladly do the upside/rightwayup test if you like! :-)

    Yep, the setting in of a filler piece is a great idea, perhaps several thinner ones to workout the ideal depth, I'll bet UK has 6 or 12mm MDF for the job.

    Stephen Ruddock
    enjoying upside down gravity in NZ

  9. Theres no rule to say the tool tray need to be the full length of the top. You could always have the tray only occupty the dead space behind the end vice.



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