Bench Wars Part 3

Using the sheet shown in my previous post, I placed an order.

FYI, my bench top is 97 inches long and 25.75 inches deep (about 246 cm x 63 cm). I was shooting for a modular set up that was 95 by 19 inches (about 241 cm x 48 cm). This is where the sheet came in handy.

The HobbyZone site can be a tiny bit confusing. Although one can choose between Dollars, Euro or Zloty, all of the prices include VAT. This is only subtracted once the order is placed. For example, the OM03 Corner Drawer Module is listed at $32.57 on the site, but the actual cost is only $26.48. It's not the worst thing in the world, as the order ended up being much less than I thought.

Here is the final order:

Here is the box upon arrival:

 (I'll cover the paint stands in a subsequent blog)

Being composed of lots and lots of MDF, I was fearful that the shipping from Poland with be prohibitive. Miraculously, the nearly 75 pound box was just $138.86 to ship via UPS to the U.S.

As can be seen, the order was blocked out inside with cardboard tubing wrapped in bubble wrap. Pretty clever. The invoice was in a plastic sleeve and included some stickers and pencils:

There were a total of 24 boxes inside:

Each box is essentially a small kit, so I was in for a lot of construction! Here are the parts for one of the three-drawer units:

In the shot above, the drawer components can be seen, as well as the part for the "carcass" that contains them. The carcass parts are all slotted and notched. The small holes in the square parts to the left are for magnets, which attach the various units together (more on this later). The back of the unit is coated on the inside with sturdy vinyl sheeting, as are the drawer fronts and the dividers (the slotted parts).

Jeff pitched in to help and we were soon knee-deep in parts. We used Elmer's Carpenter's Wood Glue—the yellow stuff, for all assembly.

A hint from Jeff: the drawer fronts don't have a slot to lock them in place on the bottom. He used a lot of extra glue in this area and it had a kind of caulking effect, sealing the front firmly in place. Wood glue shrinks considerably once dry, so this doesn't have any effect on the handsome finish of the parts.

I should say that this is not necessary for the drawers to function properly. It simply adds strength to each part and helps keep small parts from finding their way under the drawer fronts once in use.

Here is another of the side pieces, this time for the corner drawer unit:

As suggested in the excellent instructions, we secured the units using masking tape while they dried:

During construction, we kept an bucket of water on the floor with several clean sponges in it. We used these to keep the excess glue under control and make sure everything remained neat and tidy.

Working together diligently, we were able to complete all 24 modules in one day. When working with wood glue, it's important to let it dry overnight for the best bond. Working with MDF is interesting, as the material will swell slightly when exposed to glue, then shrink back as it dries. This creates a very strong bond.

We left that night with all the units drying in various spots around the office.

Next: the results!