15 minute bench

This is my 15 minute garden bench.

Last weekend I built a compost and some planter boxes.


After a while I needed a break, I didn´t have anywhere to sit and leftovers from the compost was lying around on the ground.

Since I am a lazy guy, I used the leftovers to make a bench. The result was a very simple bench , not so stylish, but… you can sit on it and it is actually very sturdy.

I call it “15 minute bench” because it is perfect for a 15 minute coffee and snuff break, and it only takes about 15 minutes to build!? …... almost anyway  ;) .

 I didn´t really knew how the finished bench would look like when i started…. I improvosed…..
Sometimes when i improvise, the result doesn´t meet my or my wifes expectations, but in this case it did ! :)


Workshop 1.0 
The first tour

Hi again, its been a while!
It´s over a year ago i posted something on the blog. Maybe some of you thought I got tired of woodworking? or blogging? - well no!

I could start by telling you what has happend the last 18 months, the reasons of my abscence , but I really want to tell you about my woodshop. - So , I will only give you the short version.

I started a new job and it was so much to do it was crazy. Unfortunately I pressed myself to the limit and far beyond that.... It was not a pleasent experience..... I left the job. It took me quite a while to straighten up and get the stress out of my system. Now I´m "fit for fight"  again :) , ....enough said about that...It was not only bad things that happened last year, my wife and I also moved to a larger appartment just by the sea, something we should have done years ago. It certainly raised the quality of our lives.

Now I want to tell you about my "new" workshop.
First, a small summery.
When I started building the shop it looked like this.  I will not go in to details about how I got it and where it is located (you can read about it in former posts in this subject)

It was just a small basement, but I saw the potential and made a planning sketch in sketchup.

When i made the plans, I made it from the needs I experienced when I put up my workshop at our summer house. It didnt take me long to realize that it was the wrong approach.

The noise.
On the countryside it´s just to put some ear protection on if you have a noisy machine . You don´t have to consider the neighbours. In my shop, the walls were very thin and hollow. The noise from my machines went out in the stairwell and disturbed the other tenants. I had to soundproof the walls. I built a new wall on the inside of the old. I reinforced the wall by atleast 10 inches (25cm). That took both time and space and a small shop just got smaller.

Tools and storage for a small workshop
In the countryside I can store wood and larger pieces outside or in another building. In this case, everything had to be stored inside the shop due to the fact that we moved (my shop is in the building next to our former appartment). I couldn´t use the storageroom who tenants in the building could use. I had to rethink the choice of machines and storage solutions.

I found it challenging to find small machines and powertools with quality. In some cases I modified some of my old tools (e.g the lathe) to fit the new shop. Another solution was to put everything on wheels.

After a several months the first version of the shop was ready, "The shop 1.0" . I almost succeed in follow my sketchup plans. The Shop is, of course, under constant development and it will never be completely finished. There is a lot of things left to do.

Anyway, below you can take i quick tour in my shop "as is" september 2013.

Left side and front

Above: Pictures of the left side of the shop.   A long bench from wall to wall where i have my small lathe, small drillpress and my grinder. the dark frame is a french cleat system that runs all around the shop

My old workbench is under the windows. The old bench needs a big facelift, a coming project, for sure. On the bench you can see a toolchest i was working on at the time.

The french cleat system is perfect, I decided to upgrade with two more frames.

 Right side of the shop

At the left i have my woodstorage, the bandsaw, my planer/jointer and some books. 

My bandsaw and planer/jointer are mounted together on a reinforced old TV stand. (on wheels of course - everything except my workbenches got wheels) Someday I will make a custom stand for this workstation. 

Next to the bandsaw I have my next workstation, my belt/disk sander. The corner was the only spot I found for my dustcollecter.  
On the wall behind the sander I have my clamp storage and a shelf for my handplanes.

Next to the dustcollector my routertable got its place. I am planning to make another table who fits my needs a bit better, this is too big fo my shop. Above the routertable i have my wall hanging tool cabinet.      

In the next corner i have my lathe tools, a simple rack made of ply and pine. Above the lathe you can see the cabinet i was working on in an earlier picture.

Ok, thats it for the time. I will continue this shop tour with more pictures soon. 
Thanks for watching.   


Potting Bench

I love working outdoors. If the weather was better in Sweden, I would probably just have a shed with a roof without walls as a workshop. Here is my first outdoor project for this year.

A Potting Bench.

My wife wanted a sturdy bench that could handle very heavy use.
she wanted it big with many practical features.

  • Box for garden soil 
  • Removable grid (so the old soil can fall through into a bucket or a wheelbarrow)
  • Strong hooks to hang heavy stuff in. 
  • Suspension device for the garden hose.
  • etc..

I asked her to look in some of my books on outdoor woodworking , to see if she could find something inspiring.

She didn't find the bench she was looking for, closest to her demands was Alan and Gill Bridgewaters potting table in the book "outdoor Woodworking "

Inspired by the table in the book i made my own version/design, bigger ,sturdier and with more features.

Hopefully this bench will last for many years :)

The completed bench in its place in the garden

I made it in slow growing pine
Legs are 3"by 4"´s 
The frame is 2"by 5"´s 
Bench top and shelves are 1"by 4"´s
the Hooks are 1 1/4"  dowels 

The top shelve with hooks underneath
I made a simple knob at the top with a handsaw and a rasp 
I drilled holes and used 1 1/4" dowels as hooks. I sawed some curves under the top shelves and on the consoles, to give the bench a personal "look"

On the left side of the bench I made a suspension device for the garden hose and a removable grid 

I used three dowels and a plate of 1" pine to make the suspension device for the garden hose. I drilled holes for the dowels in the bench and screwed the plate on to them 
A removable grid so the old soil can fall through. You can easily put a bucket or a wheelbarrow under the grid to collect the used soil.

Strong hooks to hang heavy stuff in
at the other side I made a box for soil 

I put hinges at the bottom of box to "open" the bottom and thereby easily remove dirt and help cleaning
Two hooks to hang stuff in and a lock for the bottom of the box
Below you can find more pictures of the Potting Bench 

#2 Planning my new workshop

Hi All

I have not had the opportunity to move into my new workshop yet. One of the walls had big gaps between floor and wall, and my landlord is currently building a new wall for me. In the meantime I made a drawing in sketchup to make sure that everything fits.

4X4 meter is small for a workshop which makes it important to have good planning. I started making a drawing with Grizzlys shop planner, but realized that if you really want to get a vision of ​​how the workshop will look like, then SketchUp is unbeatable.

Here are some pictures of my SketchUp drawings
To the left, I will build a long table that covers the entire wall. On it, I’ll have my benchtop machines, drillpress, lathe , beltsander, etc.. The machines who are not that heavy and as I do not use as often, such as the grinder and the scrollsaw, I will be able to put away on shelves and in drawers to get more space when needed.

To the right I’ll have wall-mounted shelves for various things (you can never have too many shelves) under the shelves, I will have my larger machines such as my shopvac, router table and my jointer / planer.
in the middle next to the windows, I will build a workbench

Nearest the door, I will have a lumberrack.and of course, the tablesaw in the middle of workshop

if you want to take a closer look you can find my SketchUp model in SketchUps 3d Warehouse: search for 13X13 Woodworking Shop, or you can follow this link >>

thanks for reading

Happy thoughts /Henrik