It has been a bit over a week… and over last weekend and parts of this week I have really felt like I turned a corner on this project. Granted this is only 3/4 of the room redone… but it is really coming together.
I finished putting the higher shelves up late last week and moved onto the benches over the weekend.
This took more leveling and more work to get things right for the bench top to be consistent all the way around the room. The old bench tops were uneven, not level and way to low for my liking. Using the laser level, I found the best option for getting the new bench height. I wanted to stick to standard lumber dimensions if possible.
I settled on slightly under 37” from the floor. This allowed me to use standard 2x4s to raise the lower bench top – and 2x3s for the slightly higher section.
I would end up using shims to level things out as I went around building up the new bench supports onto of the old bench top.
In addition to raising the old bench heights I added a new section for my painting area. With good leg room and space for necessary tools. This area will be 24” deep… and the same overall bench height as the rest of the space.
I made sure to try and space my supports for the new bench top so I could slide in these trays I picked up at IKEA last year. I think they are for shoes maybe? I can’t remember for sure. I do need more of them now – so I will get the proper IKEA name for them on my next trip.
My new bench will be 32” deep instead of the old 24” depth. This will allow me to push things back against the wall and still have a generous area to clutter with projects lol. I chose 3/4” thick MDF for the bench top material. It is super smooth and flat… which will be great for assembly projects.
I got up early Sunday and cut down all the MDF for the bench tops. I ran into one problem… MDF sheets run 1” larger (length an width) … maybe I should know this – but I didn’t. I ended up repositioning several 2×4 and 2×3 supports to make sure my sheets ended on a support for nailing. It wasn’t something I couldn’t fix… it really just cut into my time on finishing this. Next time, measure first when planning lol.
After that slight detour everything really went into place. I had a few issues with things not being square (the walls of the room) and so I had slight adjustments to make on each MDF panel as I fitted them onto the bench. I dry fitted all of the panels – double checking the fit before nailing them all down. After the tops were in place I ran my router down the entire edge to round over the sharp MDF edge… This was a very dust inducing task… but I am very pleased with the outcome.
On the following day I dusted everything off and hunted though my cabinet of left over paint. I found 3/4 of a gallon of semi-gloss black paint from a project a few years ago and figured it was as good as anything else. I proceeded to tape off the wall from the bench and painted the bench top to seal and protect the MDF.
I had already decided I was going to cover this with a recycled rubber mat – so the black would actually be perfect.
I had just enough of the roll of rubber material to cover the bench top … and it took me about 2 hours to cut and fit all the sections.
I think it will work out very good for the longevity of the countertops.
Wrapping things up on the new benches – I vacuumed all the wood dust on the floor and which had settled all over everything. I have about a half gallon of the black paint left after painting the counter tops – so my plan is to paint all of the sides and fronts of the benches after I have completed the room project and flooring options worked out.
I started eagerly yesterday with putting stuff back into place in the newly remodeled areas in the hobby room. Things are coming together nicely … I am hoping to clear out the remainder of the room so I can continue on with the rest of the room this weekend. Hoping to have the room entirely done in the next 2 weeks.