My friend Doug Currie came over yesterday afternoon, and together we cut and installed the “subroadbed” level of the counter for my workshop cabinets.
“Subroadbed” is the perfect term for this, since I used a popular subroadbed material for my counter: 3/4″ plywood. I actually used two layers of 3/4″ ply, with each layer staggered to overlap the joints between sheets and the layers glued to each other with “No More Nails”.
For this project, I had the lumber yard cut 4×8 foot panels into 2×4 sheets, which were the perfect depth for the counter and easier to swing about the shop – it’s spacious, but not that big. A track saw and my work table, which is drilled for bench dogs, made short work of cutting panels to length.
As the above photo shows, the plywood lines up with the front face of the drawers: I’ll add a nice trim piece along the front edge of the counter, which will provide a small overhang. Before I do that, I’ll repaint the walls above the cabinets and then install my replaceable surface (the “roadbed”, if you will).
Finally, I’ll built a raised shelf along the back of the counter, on which I will be able to lay test tracks of various scales and gauges. And I have a pair of power bars to mount – one above each leg of the L.
Meantime, I’ve already started to move some tools into place to get an idea of how I can set up the counter:
The corner (at left) will be home to the Sherline Mill I picked up from a friend back (gulp!) in 2012. It’s well past time I started using the thing – and once I have the space set up, I’ll be able to do that. Other items that will find space on the counter include a sensitive drill press and a tap holder, a sharpening station, a sanding station, soldering station and resistance soldering unit, plus in-progress projects and … well, you get the idea. Now you know why I wanted such a larger counter.
With the notable exception of the mill, it’s expected that most of these tools will be moved from the counter to the work-table when needed. My friend Chris Abbott and I are already planning how that table will be set up as a flexible work space.
(Thanks for the help yesterday, Doug – much appreciated!)