Step one of my first project for this shop season is done. (Those of us in the cold, cold north in uninsulated, unheated shops - though it does have AC! - tend not to do too much WWing in the cold dark winter.)
The project is a simple project - add shelves to the reloading bench in an attempt to organize the mess that has evolved from a bit of clutter so as to be able to do some reloading for the other warm weather hobby. (My wife's obsession with organization is starting to rub off on me a little bit - don't tell her, but I think she is on to something here! )
Step one was to replace the twisted 2 by 4 that was the top of the back stand of the bench with a nice flat 2 by 6 to act as a top shelf. This is done. I also want to add two shelves to the back stand. I will try to get those done this week sometime, though I'm not sure whether I want to use some spare plywood (see, the wife lets me keep it if it is a spare piece of wood instead of a scrap) or resaw the other half of the 2 by 6 that I bought today for the top.
Here is the bench after the twisted 2 by 4 is replaced with the straight 2 by 6 on top. Note the clutter and disarray.
I finished adding the shelves yesterday and added the caster assemblies today. Here it is in it's new home!
It took me awhile to figure out how to put the casters on. I didn't want to have to take everything off and tip it sideways, so I decided to get some pole style casters (as opposed to screw hole base plate style) and put them into some 2 by 4 stock. Then I was trying to figure out how to keep the bench level while attaching the 2 by 4's with casters (before realizing that each caster was in two parts). My first thought was to mount the 2 by 4's to a piece of plywood and slide the bench onto the plywood. The problem with this is that I wasn't sure how to precisely line up my caster holes so that the 2 by 4's would be aligned to bolt on to the bench.
I eventually realized that I only needed the plywood as an index and that the screws holding the 2 by 4's to the bench were the load bearing elements (I may end up supplementing this with a couple pieces of 3/8" threaded rod and associated hardware). This meant that I could get by with 1/2" plywood and didn't need 3/4" as well as that I didn't need one whole continuous piece of plywood. So I ripped an 8' by 10" scrap of plywood on my bandsaw - after appropriately cutting each section to length I had two shelves and two index pieces.
After the glue dried on the caster sub-assemblies, I drilled the caster holes. Then I placed a sub-assembly in front of the bench, gently tilted the bench backward and slid in the sub-assembly with my foot. After repeating the process in the back, I zipped in some screws to attach the sub-assembly 2 by 4 to one on the bench frame 2 by 4's. Then I carefully screwed together three offcut portions of 2 by 4 and 2 by 6 to make a little height block which I slid under the bench with my foot while tipping the bench sideways. Once the casters were in place, I repeated on the other side and was done.
My first project of this years shop season is now done.