Other boards to make the Multi-Function Workbench

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Other boards to make the Multi-Function Workbench

Post by Suso » Mon Jun 22, 2020 2:07 pm

Hello, I'm going to copy/paste here a conversation that I had privately with Kenneth, a user from Mallorca, talking about the possibilities of using other kind of plywood boards that are easier to find in the islands to make the Multi-Function Workbench. I think it may be interesting information for other users with similar problems. The conversation was translated into google translator, sorry for the possible mistakes:

Kenneth Truyers:
Hi, I wanted to thank you for the videos and plans, not only from the workbench, but also all the other videos. They are very well made!

I have purchased the plans for the Multi-Function Workbench and am in the process of assembling it.

I have a question about the plywood boards. After searching hard to find 18mm and 9mm plywood, I couldn't find 18mm birch and 9mm Okumen. In the end, the only thing I found (reasonably priced) was 18mm Okumen and 9mm birch, just the other way around :-\

I wanted to ask you if you think this could be a problem because the frame will be softwood instead of Birch(hardwood). I was thinking of some way to improve it and since I ordered the finger joint beech countertop from BasicMadera, there will be some pieces left over. I was thinking that maybe I can use some piece from there to make the structure a little bit stronger. I wanted to see what you think or if I had any advice.

Thank you!

Suso Caamanho:
Hi! first of all and to put myself in situation, a question:

Where are you from?

birch board is very common in Spain, that's why I ask you. It is easy to find both online and in carpentry stores. There are several qualities depending on the knots on the faces of the board, and the one with the most defects is usually quite cheap, you should have no problems.

Doing it as you say is not a good idea, you will weaken the structure by changing the material of the bench frames, and it's even worse if you will add more weight by changing the material of the drawers for a heavier one, such as birch.

Here in sections 4 and 5 you will find more info about how to find plywood boards:

If you want, send me the prices that you find from the birch board so I can guide you better.

Okumen is a good soft plywood, but also poplar, squid or even pine, there are several types of soft plywood.

Another thing, if you are going to load the bench with a lot of storage, add two more wheels, one the center of each frame.

and lastly, the finger joint beech board usually absorbs quite a bit of moisture the first few months, after a few months it stabilizes. Leave slack in the rear screws on the lid, the ones on the side of the doors, and don't tighten them too much to allow that movement due to humidity. I even had to cut the lid back to size. You will notice it in the short direction of the board, almost nothing in the longest direction.


Kenneth Truyers:

Hello, thank you very much for the reply.

I am Belgian, living in Mallorca.

For the 18mm har plywoodwood, almost everyone I found were 20mm, not 18mm, and of these many charged something like € 0.90 for each cut. I have received a couple of quotes around € 1000-€ 1500 (for 2x Birch 18mm, 6x Okumen 18mm, 2x Okumen 9mm).
I have looked both in physical stores and in wooden warehouses.

In the end the most reasonable option was to buy them backwards(18mm Okumen and 9mm birch), which ended up costing me about € 500 for everything.
The truth is that with so many options and not knowing the world, I have messed around a bit and maybe it was not the most correct decision.
The issue is that I have already bought them, so, although it is not perfect, I think I will continue with this and try to minimize the problems that it can cause.
The wheel in the middle had already planned to add it for exactly that reason. I'm looking at whether to reinforce the frame in another way.

As for the beech board, thanks, I'll keep that in mind.

Suso Caamanho:
hi again kenneth

Of course, in the islands everything is complicated, I imagine it will not be the first time it happens to you. Worst cases I have seen in the Canary Islands, where some user of my website has gone crazy to find some materials.

Those prices you are talking about is with cuts included? If so, €500 is a very good price, worth a try.

If you put both wheels in the middle, you shouldn't have a problem. By joining the two frames with the two cabinets, in addition to use screws as you can see in my videos, you can also apply wood glue, I think that way you will have no problems. By applying glue, the frames will be greatly reinforced. The bad thing is that you will not be able to dismantle the bench if one day you need to move, although this may not be a problem for you.

Let me know if you have more questions,


Kenneth Truyers:

Yes, I looked for the boards in warehouses and specialized stores. In the end I have returned to Leroy Merlin, where the cut is free.
Another thing is that in total there were 8 panels instead of 9, because they are all of the same plywood. So I did the MaxCut again and managed to remove one more board.

In the warehouses and specialized stores have better prices, but they charge a lot for the cut. I hope once I have the bench done this will no longer be a problem as I can make the cuts myself :-)
But hey, you have to start somewhere.

In the frame I have used glue and screws (from behind, where they are not seen), because I needed clamps to do the force in all at once. The truth has been quite good, today I will join all the legs and the stringers.
In the cabinets I will also use the same way: glue + screws. I will follow your advice and use glue when attaching the two cabinets to the two frames, as I do not have in mind to move the bench.

As soon as I have done it, I will upload the photos to the forum.

Thank you very much for the help, and again congratulations on the plans!

Kenneth Truyers

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