October 15, 2013

Building My Model Building Station, Part 1

Moving across the country- I packed my supplies and left. I literally cannot do anything until I have a model building work station set up. This originally involved putting it in the living room- but the schematic for my apartment differed from what was advertised- so I have the room in my room to include my model building station.

For all of my furniture we have been using 2 by 4 wall STUDs. I figure it is such a common and strong material that I will continue with it. The model desk has to fulfill a couple of purposes.

1) Provide an area for me to build, sand and paint my models.
2) Provide adequate ventilation of paint fumes.
3) Protect from paint spillage.
4) Protect from water spillage.
5) Be comfortable to work at.

Item #1 is our primary goal. For item #2, a custom vent booth will be constructed in a week or two (no painting is required yet). #3- guard bars will be installed in determined locations to prevent paint jars from spilling over onto the carpet. #4 will involve putting down newspaper and getting a green workpad and #5 is addressed by making it wide enough underneath to fit my legs under, and high enough to match my desk at 29.5" off of the ground.

The lumber store sells Plywood in 4' by 8' sections. I like 15/32" thick plywood for two reasons. It is a prefect mix of affordability and strength in thickness- I would need to support something like 1/4" plywood.

If the top to my table is 60" by 26", we are going to have a lot of left over wood. Being resourceful is taking what you have and making use of it. My roommate and I are constructing an entertainment center for the living room- and we need plywood panels for the exterior. Turns out with some AUTOCAD calculations I can get five pieces out of one 4' by 8' section of plywood- four for the entertainment center and one for my desk. According to those same calculations, I will need four 2x4 STUDs at 8 feet long each.

This design for the station is based off of the design for my desk. It is open source- feel free to use it as you see fit. There are no dimensions on this diagram.

I have found through real life experience that the supports connecting the feet add a lot of stability to the desk. If you were really picky you could add a back support in the back- but my desk is sturdy enough that I don't believe it will be necessary as the load on this desk at any given time does not exceed 50 lbs (23kg).

This is the base design that will fulfill objective #1. To reach the others, modifications will be made to the desk at a later time, especially when the shelf unit for supplies and models is added. The world is your oyster so to speak when it comes to design- just make sure any structure you build can support the load you are putting on top of it.

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