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Thread: Building table


  1. #1

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    Building table

    Hi,

    I am looking to build a new table for building airplanes and would appreciate seeing anything that people have to share. I know lots of people build on a hollow core door over two saw benches and I have too for some time. But, I just did a course in ergonomics and it's inspired me to think about better design solutions. As part of the course I re-did my home office and I was really surprised at how much nicer a place it is to work now. I am hoping to achieve the same sort of thing with this new building table.

    I have a small shop, just a corner of the garage, and I build models between .60-size and 50cc. I want to incorporate a few things into the table, like:

    - storage slots for rolled up plans and balsa
    - a space for balsa scraps that are big enough to still be useful
    - a sanding area that can be hooked up to a dust extractor, but can be covered up when not is use I.e. It becomes useful building space)
    - cradles for supporting a fuselage or wing while I work on it (potentially these would fold down when not in use)
    - a cutting board / area for cutting stock and sanding to fit
    - a peg board or cupboard for keeping hand tools at the ready
    - storage space for a slec fuselage jig and a wing building jig, and potentially a few bench dogs or clamps to secure them when in use
    - a lamp or two that can be moved around to illuminate work as required.

    Thanks for showing me what you've got.
    Maker of fine kindling

  2. #2
    Moderator BMatthews's Avatar
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    If you have the room I'd suggest a kitchen style wall bench with storage drawers under and the usual upper cabinets. Then out in the middle of the floor area have an island table either fixed or on locking or jack down casters so you can work on the model from any direction.

    The center island table would be an ideal place to put a long 3 or 4 foot long pigeon hole arrangement accessible from one end for plans and balsa. And a couple of 24 inch wide drawers just under the top would allow for good size scraps to be stored and easily searched.

    The pigeon hole area isn't just for balsa and plans either. Those same pigeon holes will also store rolls of covering, music wire and other long skinny items. To allow for cuttings. These same items would also fit into the scrap drawers once cut short enough to fit in the 22 to 24 inch inside width.

    If you're comfy with cabinet making and installing drawers and slides is to look at the island work bench having a set of extra wide drawers for all these long things and the balsa instead of pigeon holes where you can only access the end. Drawers with 38 inch inside width and with hardboard separators at a 4 inch spacing or as you find suitable would be perfect for storing sheet wood on edge so you can instantly see the width. The separators being useful to avoid the wood falling over when you remove a few sheets or have less than what is needed to fill the drawer and self support.

    Don't skimp on lighting. Invest in new or used new high frequency ballast 4 foot fluorescent lights and use them end to end along the wall mounted counter/bench and one directly over the island. If your room is big enough perhaps two spaced over the island about 3 feet apart to light the island with less shadowing and also to scatter around into the rest of the room.

    Again if the room is big enough to support these work surfaces and storage then I'd suggest that 10 feet of kitchen counter units and top along a wall is nice as well as a 32x 60 island. If that's too big for your area then 28x54 is about as small as I'd go for an island. Anything less and you will find that it's too small.

    If you have power tools such as a small drill press or a jig or bandsaw be sure you allow for them to sit on the end of the counter or on a separate table or work station where you won't ding your models when you're swinging wings and the like around.

    A wall unit that you make up which has extra long shelving for at least a couple of shelves worth would be nice as well. We model makers seem to end up with LOTS of longer stock items that simply don't fit well in normal shops. I prefer a plywood sides cabinet style with doors. But I've become rather OCD on a "clean" shop these days. In truth three lines of shelf bracket tracking arranged from a foot off the floor to just shy of the ceiling on three adjacent studs and set up with an assortment of the snap in shelf consoles and shelving can provide a huge amount of flexible use storage that can easily change as conditions develop. With this you don't always need a shelf either. The brackets along can be set up with some split tubing and padding to safely support materials or model parts.

    And the bottom line is that I don't know of anyone that ever found that they made too much storage space in any shop. So go crazy on that aspect. And don't forget to think VERTICAL! If you get some used kitchen cabinets mount them so you can use the space on top of the cabinets. Just don't get them TOO close to the counter since with models you're not working as flat as you would be when cooking. Just set them the same as a typical kitchen counter to upper spacing.
    Last edited by BMatthews; 11-14-2013 at 01:45 PM.
    Witty saying to be plagarized shortly.....

  3. #3
    Boomerang1's Avatar
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    Then out in the middle of the floor area have an island table either fixed or on locking or jack down casters so you can work on the model from any direction.
    That's what I did. A bench for the heavier work & a building table on castors that I can move around.
    At my last house I had limited space so I made the table with a metal frame so when I was finished
    building I could roll it in front of my car with the table overhanging the bonnet so, in reality, it took up no
    room at all in the garage.

    No storage under the building table though.

    When I lay up a wing or fuselage I have a separate building board which sits on the table. - John.

  4. #4
    Moderator BMatthews's Avatar
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    No storage under the building table though.
    Sure there was. You stored part of your car there....
    Witty saying to be plagarized shortly.....

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    Here is a very inexpensive board that works great.

    Well, sorry. This forum's method of handling pictures really sucks.

    See the board and where to get it in my build thread here: http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2011807

    Go to post 11 for the details and photos.

    Tom

  6. #6

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    Hi Tom,

    I've been thinking about moving to magnets but haven't taken the leap yet. Not sure if i'll do it all in the one 'renovation' or maybe in a second step.

    Thanks,

    Joel
    Maker of fine kindling

  7. #7

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    I will never go back to pins again, ever.

    Magnets are SO much easier.

    Tom

  8. #8

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    This will not make all your prerequisites but I found a old teachers school desk on craigs list for free and took the short legs off and bolted on a wooden frame on the bottom to make it taller and placed wheels on it. I can move it around the garage and work from every side. It has drawers in it to store tools and I built a shelf were your legs would normaly go. It is a good solid formica surface over steel, magnets stick to it. It however is not totaly flat so I do still use a wood board to build on top of. I have my power tools (sander, bandsaw) on a different table with wheels. I think you would need an extra large table to have all you sanders and tools together with a fuse and wing layed out on it.

  9. #9

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    Basically we need as much flat space as possible for building models. I suggest fitting a carpenters vice flush with the top and fitting all seldom used gadgets into the vice rather than bolting each to the bench.

    If your workshop has to share the garage with a car, my sketch shows a possible solution. It uses the principle that modern cars are so low at the front that a bench could be built over the bonnet /hood .

    Click image for larger version. 

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    note the rubber ball hanging from the roof which touches the windshield to prevent driving in too far. Also an old tyre to prevent damage to car.
    Last edited by kdc; 11-28-2013 at 12:50 PM.

  10. #10
    Boomerang1's Avatar
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    If your workshop has to share the garage with a car, my sketch shows a possible solution. It uses the principle that modern cars are so low at the front that a bench could be built over the bonnet /hood .
    Ummmmm.... Like this?

    One edge folds down so it can fit through a doorway so I can model out of the garage if the weathers nice.

    My plywood building board sits on top when I'm framing something up. - John.
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  11. #11

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    Table

    Though I do not have to share my garage with a car or vehicle floor space is at a premium so my bench is framed from square steel tubing and my table saw slides underneath. I have removable castors so it’s easily moved to the middle where I can work all around the bench if need be. The top is a solid core door with Homosote on top to hold the pins. As you can see placing a board sideways allows easy access to completed airframes while still leaving room on the table for other projects. One could always fill in the space under the table with shelves or cabinets as needed.
    Dennis
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  12. #12

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    My sketch was actually of a fixed partition to divide the garage into a separate part for aeromodelling. Instead of just dividing vertically the partition was intended to form a bench as shown. I never actually built this as I bought another house with a double garage. I just thought the idea might inspire someone else to make something similar If you live in a cold damp climate the idea would isolate the often wet car from the modelling area.
    Regardless of whether it's fixed or movable the over car part needs something to prevent glue, paint etc falling through and damaging the car. A sheet of thick polythene or something attached to the bench might preserve the cars looks & value.

    Here in Britain lots of people use plasterboard as a building surface as it takes pins very easily and is so cheap. I think plasterboard is what is called sheetrock in USA but I am not sure it's exactly the same.

  13. #13
    wxman2's Avatar
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    The hobby room is finally setup after a move last year.... Have another area out in the garage for items like CNC, band saw, drill press, etc...

    https://scontent-b-atl.xx.fbcdn.net/...06254184_o.jpg


    https://fbcdn-sphotos-b-a.akamaihd.n...51614125_o.jpg
    Last edited by wxman2; 01-21-2014 at 12:01 PM.

  14. #14
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    Sent from my Dry-Erase-Board

  15. #15

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    Hi guys,

    Thanks for the contributions. Unfortunately I have put this project on hol as work commitments have taken over.

    The lure of a flatpack set up nearly got me over Christmas when a pretty nice one went on sale. I decided it was better to wait for the opportunity to do what i want than to submit and wind up with a set up that wasn't getting used anyways because of other priorities.

    In the meantime though i appreciate the contributions and hope to see more come through.

    Joel
    Maker of fine kindling

  16. #16

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    This could easily be a building table. I made mine as a storage cabinet in my office but it's so cold in my shop I'm thinking about starting my new Herr Pitts Special on it so I'm warm while I build. I have to see how flat the top is. I know when I built it I wasn't worried about it being perfectly flat but it's bolted on so I can shim it if necessary.

    The link is how I built this unit. It shows the original board I put on it because I had to stop working on it before it was finished and wanted to use it in the mean time. It now has the top shown in the image in this post. Normally I use the cabinet to pack orders for my fixture sets. I love this cabinet. I want to build a larger one for my shop. I have at least 200 of these bins floating around the house. I love them too. But seems like I always need one on the bottom of the stack. The cabinet allows me to slide out the one I need.

    http://www.airfieldmodels.com/inform...inet/index.htm
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    Work is what I do for the love of it. A job is how I pay for it.
    Please visit AirfieldModels.com

  17. #17

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    Thanks mate,

    I do like that. I actually use quite a few take away containers to store bits and bobs, they are cheap and just the right size for many different things in this hobby. They also seem to be a standard size. So, you definitely have me thinking there. Next time i go to the hardware store i will have a closer look at the bins.

    Thanks for chiming in, been a big fan of your website for years.

    Joel
    Maker of fine kindling

  18. #18

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    Hi Joel,

    Thanks. I don't even remember posting that article. My computer died a couple weeks ago and when I was moving files around to ensure nothing was lost I found out that I not only wrote it but uploaded it. You don't have to route the sticks. If I do it again then I'll probably just use 3/4" square for the bins to sit on top of.

    I've cracked a couple of the runners by pulling up on the bin without pulling it out. CA'd back together but still. If the bins sit on top instead of in slots that's not even an issue.
    Work is what I do for the love of it. A job is how I pay for it.
    Please visit AirfieldModels.com


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