Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Tool Tray

I shipped the changing table out this AM. Sure was good to get it out of the shop, sure cost a penny or two to get it to Houston.

My shop is too small and has too many benches, machines, and stuff to have more than one project going at any time. I expect a new shop sized Moravian bench is the next project but before that build I wanted to fix something that was bugging me about the portable Moravian bench.

I have a split slab on the main bench and it works very well. Because it works well on the main bench I tried a split slab on the portable bench. Problem, there is less real estate on the portable bench making the secondary slab is too small. There was always danger that things would be knocked off. It never happened but there were several close calls. Anyway cut to the chase: After thinking about it and several seconds of butt scratching I decided the best approach would be to re-saw the slab and use it to make a tool tray and that's how I spent the afternoon.

The good news, by using the bottom of the slab for the bottom of the tool tray it already had the holes for the pegs and all I had to do was clean it up after the re-saw and and take the top part of the re-saw to make the edge of the tool tray. It was pretty quick and dirty, the only reason it took most of the afternoon was waiting for the glue to dry.

Anyway here are a couple or three photos, one staged as if working:

From the other side:

I had to put it to use:

Damn I love this little bench. I find I use it as much as and maybe more than the main bench. The wood screw vise is faster than the QR metal vise and holds better. Also the bench is perfect height for planing with metal planes. 

As always click 'em to big 'em.

A couple of things I think I will like about the tool tray: I kept the split so I can hold chisels, saws, and squares in the split. I can also use the split to clean out the tool tray without removing it from the bench. I may do the same type tool tray on the big Moravian bench. 



  1. "My shop is too small and I have too many benches" Said the man with a straight face about to start yet another bench...??

    Maybe you should had simply repurpose one of those small travelling benches as a changing table ? :-)

    Bob, who also has a small shop, I have too many tools … err no I meant I need a bigger shop :-)

    1. But, but, but...I need five benches :-). The portable bench will go to its home, the bins of the motorhome, once the new bench is finished. Leaving only four benches in the shop and yes sir I need every one of 'em. Only over my cold dead body can you take one away, Oh shit I'm channelling the NRA, back on my meds.

      ken, with a workbench problem.

      Truth is I enjoy building benches. I just need to find room or something to do with 'em.

  2. Anonymous11:25 AM

    The ability to have a tool tray and store upright as well like it is a split benchtop is a great idea. I can see where this adds value. Also, wouldn't be too hard to change if you ended up not liking it.


    1. Joe,

      Thanks, I use the split on the main bench all the time. I expect this will be the same.


    2. Joe,

      Just wanted to add. Building benches is kinda like buying cars, the first model year is never the best, after three or four models most of the bugs get worked out. One of the reasons I advise first time builders to just build cheep and fast, You need several under your belt to figure out what works.