In the process of getting the area under my existing workbench cleared out to make room for the Big Honking Roubo Workbench project, I realized that one thing that had to go was my combination storage cart and downdraft sanding table. The Roubo has stretchers between the legs, and rollaway carts won’t fit under it. This was a tough decision. Not because it was irreplaceable, or expensive, or particularly artistic. Just because it was so damn clever. It had two shelves that were storage for various small power tools and jigs, and the top four inches were a downdraft sanding table with a dust collector attachment.
But it had to go. So before I lost my nerve I pulled the screws, knocked it apart, salvaged what I could of the plywood, and junked the rest. I bought and assembled another metal tool stand on a rolling base to replace the old wooden cart my jointer was sitting on, and most of the things stored in the sanding cart are now below the jointer – including the bench grinder, dovetail jigs, dial indicator, and circular saw. Honestly, after the Stickley table, the dovetail jig might just get sold. The satisfaction I get out of looking at the hand-cut dovetails might just make it obsolete.
The sanding cart also stored various sanding tools – pad sander, orbital sander, belt sander, belts, discs, and so on. As the new workbench approaches, I’m going to build some portable tool boxes for those that will go back under the workbench, across the stretchers. More on that later.
I’ll have to make a smaller downdraft sanding table – maybe a portable box, a few inches thick that can be clamped on the workbench. It’ll work fine, but I’ll miss the old one. Shop work in a small space like this is all about making tradeoffs. I trade space for convenience, time moving things around for time working, and extra effort for the freedom to have a workspace like this at all.
And as long as I don’t make tradeoffs that compromise my safety or the quality of my work, that’s okay.