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

# 1 , The New Workshop

Hi All
As you have noticed I have been away from my blog a few weeks , almost 2 months actually :(
the reason ? - ... i lost my workshop!

Is it possible to lose an entire workshop?  -yes it is.

ok i will tell the story!
As you all know by now  i have a house in the countryside where i spend most of my weekends and holidays. I do have a workshop there but there is not much time to do real woodworking. There is always something to fix and repair and with a big garden, well… time just flies away. 

So i needed a space here in stockholm where i can escape the stress and the world outside for a while and do some woodworking. And I found it , 6 months ago i found a perfect little room in our building, in the basement next to the laundryroom. But .. (there is always a but)  it was not for longtime hire, i could use it, and I did,  but with a noticeperiod of a few weeks the superintendent could ask me to leave at anytime. I hoped to have the room at least 1 year, sadly that was not the case, a few months ago they wanted the key back. I wasn´t even able to finish my wall hanging tool cabinet before i had to empty the small shop.

Yesterday was yesterday,  today i am a happy guy full of excitment.

I got a new shop!

yes !
Our appartment is in the central part of Stockholm, not in the absolut central part, but central enough to have problems finding a place for me to do some woodworking. I wanted something permanent, i wanted my very own woodshop . After advertising online and calling every landlord in the neighbourhood i almost gave up. nothing was avalible at a reasonable price.

Last week I received a call, a small basement had become vacant in the building next to our
The price was fair- I took it

its not that big , actually it´s very small, but it is MY NEW WORKSHOP ! :)
4X4 meters 2 windows and just 50 meters away, it could not be better!
This is me standing in my new empty shop, it will soon be filled with toys  uuhhm  ... i mean tools :) 

ok it looks a bit rough but it got the potential to become a wonderful creative shop.

As you can see i have a lot to do , i have to build workbenches, shelves and toolstands ,I´ll have a very busy summer and fall :)

happy thoughts

/ Henrik

Wall Hanging tool Cabinet Part 3: The doors

I finally got the time to work with the doors to my cabinet.

My first idea was to make panel doors but I do want the surface on the inside of the doors to be as clean as possible, without joints. i also want to use the full thickness of the plywood, 18 mm, to be able to hang tools on the inside.

I decided to make a compromise, the look of panel doors on the outside and the sturdiness of using a clean plywood surface on the inside.   

 I made the frame in 15mm pine and joined them with a half in half joint.

i attached the frame to the plywood with glue and dowels (sorry no pictures of that)

now i need to buy some hinges and decide what kind of finish i will use. 

to be continued ... 

Wall Hanging tool Cabinet Part 2: Building the cabinet

As you can see below, I've been inspired a lot by the tool chest "the woodwhisperer" did last summer .
Although i have Simplified it a bit.
I hope he doesn't mind that. 
I will, as he did, use mortise and tenons for the joinery.
Plywood is sold in sizes 1200x2400. To see that everything fits on one sheet of plywood, I drew all the parts (Roughly) on paper. I do not want too much waste.

I cut all the pieces and laminated the bottom pieces  to double the thickness, I did the same with the top.

I also mitered the edges to make it more practical and esthetic.

Then I routed mortises (my router table came in handy and the work went much faster thanks to the router table) in the bottompiece, in the backpiece and on the toppiece.

I also made tenons in the panels. 

I put it all together to see that everything was ok , No Glue!

OK everything did fit and seems to work fine

Now i will start with the doors
to be continued ...

Wall Hanging tool Cabinet part 1: Design

Spring, at last! This year's winter was perhaps not the coldest or the most snowy, but it's still just as great when spring arrives.

For me it's also about moving my projects and tools to my "Summer" workshop.
As some of you know, i have two different workshops.In the winter I have my shop in a tiny basement here in my building in the city, and in the summer i move my shop into the countryside to our countryplace. In my Summer shop I have much more space and therfore much bigger machines :) .

Move to a different workshop every six months requires a lot of planning. Earlier this year I made some simple tool boxes which will facilitate the move. Now I intend to make a cabinet for my handtools, well maybe not all the handtools but for the most important. The idea is to make a cabinet that can hang on the wall and you easily can lift down to the trunk of a car or a van and drive to the country and easily put up on the wall at the "summer"shop.

I have searched the internet for inspiration and found that Marc Spagnuolo aka "The woodwhisperer" made a wall hanging toolcabinet which looked sturdy and easy to make. I will make my own interpretation of his design.

I will make it out of 18mm plywood and the dimensions will be 1100 mm*600mm *250mm. It will hang by wall by a "french cleat".

 i´ll keep you updated

Another "Great project on the net"

Matthias Wandel, woodgears.ca or http://www.youtube.com/user/Matthiaswandel?ob=0
is a wonderful woodworker, I love his videos.

He gives an engineer's approach to woodworking. He builds everything
from useless machines entirely built of wood too very useful jigs and
tools that you never thought was possible to build in wood. Fantastic!

Do you want to build your own bandsaw http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NbOlG7THecM or maybe a jointer
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mdgg_M07VhI or other woodworking machines? Then this is the site to visit woodgears.ca.

Here is my wife's favorite, which she tries to persuade me to make:) and maybe someday i will build it


Easy made toolboxes

Hi  a few weeks ago i bought an angle grinder. The price was right and i couldn't resist.

Don't take me wrong i really needed a new small angle grinder. And there it was, a small Makita, perfect for my needs. ok i know i buy tools in the same way women buy shoes.(or in my wifes case , jackets and coats)  but i really needed one and the price was right.

But you always get what you pay for, in this case the angle grinder in it self was a bargain but i didnt get a box with it.

i really need boxes for my tools. My shop is very small and i want to be able to move my tools around to use them in different places.

So i decided to make a toolbox for the angle grinder and  for my "new"power drill who also was delivered without box.

I had some scrap pieces of construction plywood i used for the sides and the for the top and bottom i used old bookshelves in pine.


i really like projects when i can go down to the shop and use what i already have without going to the store and buy  "the optimal" wood for "the perfect" solution. 

In this case, the result from ...
1 plywood board (construction plywood ), 600*1000*12 mm  
2 pine boards appr. 200*1200*15 mm
1 sleeping pad 
some valnut stain and lacquer
4 hinges 

and 3 (maybe 4) hours of work 

...was 2 useful boxes that hopefully will last many years!   

Unfortunately i didnt take any pictures during the process but they are made really simple. 
Plywood sides (mitre joints with splines)
Top and bottom in pine (2 pine boards glued together to get the right width)

The inside was made of plywood and an old sleeping pad. 

 I stained the sides.  And covered the top/bottom with lacquer. 

The inside of the boxes...  

...made from Plywood and a sleeping pad . 

 i made a removeable rack for the discs 

A perfect fit for my power drill