Pack Rat Workbench

I’m a definite pack rat.  Not a hoarder, I just can’t seem to throw some things out.  Ok, that sounds pretty hoarder-like, but there’s a difference between having something just to have it (I know, I’m oversimplifying) and knowing that eventually I’ll get around using that thing.  I guess that sounds even less convincing.  But sometimes, years of saving things actually pays off.

My workbench is a good example.  It is one of the more important pieces of equipment that I use daily.  Much of the work I do, that’s not on the loom itself, happens at the workbench.  It’s really more of a table than a workbench.  And it’s not so much a pack rat item, since we were actually using it – it was our kitchen table for years at the old place, and Mrs. Daylight’s computer table before that.  We had purchased it at an antiquey thrift shop (Aunt Bill and Uncle Emma’s, I think) for probably way too much money.  The shop is long gone, but the table continues its useful life with renewed vigor.


It is nicely compact and has pull out extensions on either side if a little more space is needed, though I had never used them before moving here.  I also recently found this signature on the underside of the table from the maker.

Maker signature

However, it needed lots of work, so much so that I considered not bringing it with us during the move.  It was a bit beat up and some of the veneer was coming off, but the real problems were structural.  It had old style metal feet and legs that were so wobbly I couldn’t move it easily without causing more damage to the table or scraping up the floor.  And moving it is key to making the space more versatile.

So I started with the legs by re-gluing them and tightening the screws that hold them on.

Table with clamp

I also re-glued pieces of veneer that were coming off the top.  The pack rat that I am, I still had side pieces of veneer that had come off completely years ago, swearing that one day I would put them back on.  I finally glued those on, too.  Also part of the pack-rattery, I had a set of chair wheels from a garage sale year ago that I never had the heart to get rid of.  “Look – they’re practically new,” I probably said.  I drilled a hole in each leg and the wheels fit perfectly, snug and straight.  When done, the table was still no beauty queen, but it was solid and functional.

Table Wheel

Except for the wheels.  You can move the table around with one finger, which is great if you want to move it, bad if you want it to stay put.  Mostly I want it to stay put.  I decided to let it be for a while and I would think of some sort of wheel stops.  Then I noticed my spool winder that has a grippy surface on the bottom to assist with clamping to a table.  It was like a non-skid tape you might put on the edge of a stair.  In fact, it was exactly like a role of tape that I still had from a stair project from years ago and just couldn’t throw out.  I stuck the tape on the bottoms of four small scraps of 2 x 4 (brought from the old house, because, who doesn’t need scraps of wood?) and wedged one under each wheel housing – they fit perfectly!  And they grip, too.

Wheel stop     Wheel stop in use

A spot against the wall fits the table just right when I want it out of the way.

Table stowed

I would still insist that I’m not a hoarder, and you might not agree.  It seems to be working pretty well for me.



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