One of my friends commented not too long ago that, while my new door handles and hardware looked great, the front door itself looked as though each of the neighborhood squirrels had lined up and took….well you get the idea. Anyway, I decided that replacing the entire door was just way too costly at this point, and those monies could be better spent elsewhere (not drugs). So after buying some drugs, I decided that I’d try my hand at sanding down and painting the thing. I also had the bright idea, that while I was waiting for paint to dry on the door(s), I would build myself a little workbench for the garage. I decided to build a modified version of this workbench from the Family Handyman, Simple Workbench Plans.
After a couple of breakfast tacos it was time to head over to my local Home Depot for some supplies. As is usually the case, I spent more money on new tools than materials for my projects, but who gives a fuck because tools are awesome. I loaded up the truck with lumber, and headed home for some fucking sanding, painting, cutting, measuring, painting, screwing, and painting.
In addition to the workbench, I also needed to build a small 2×2 platform for my water heater, which I’ll be swapping out sometime in the near future. I figured that three sheets of plywood and a dozen 2x4x10’s would be enough for everything, and I’d have a bit of wood left over for the odd-job. I got a really nice (re: expensive) piece of birch plywood for the top of the bench, which I thought would make a nice surface to work on and shit, because I’m classy. Other supplies included a pound of 3 inch exterior grade wood screws, some saw-horses (don’t fucking buy the cheapest saw-horses they have, these things are pieces of shit), a small framing square, and some other random shit. For the front door, I picked up a quart of Behr semi-gloss exterior paint in what they call Red Pepper, as well as a cheap finish sander and some small foam paint rollers for doors/cabinets.
The first order of business was to cut up all of the 2×4’s for the workbench legs and frame. I picked up a set of Ryobi power tools a while ago, which included a small 5.5″ circular saw and while I was suspicious as to whether or not it would be able to chew through 3/4″ plywood, it ended up doing a pretty good job (with some caveats). It plows through batteries like a reckless riverboat captain, but luckily the kit came with two batteries, and I was able to swap them out about as fast as I could burn through them. Overall I’m pretty happy that I didn’t have to buy a corded circular saw just yet, though I’m sure I’ll end up getting one in the future.
Once I finished cutting up all the lumber, it was time to assemble the legs and shelf boxes. The legs are just two 2×4’s screwed together, and the boxes consist of a 2×4 frame with a piece of 5/8″ plywood on top. Additionally, I decided to plop another piece of 3/4′ birch plywood on top of the top piece, for extra strength and a clean work surface. Since this shit’s probably getting redundant by now, I’ll just get to the fucking pictures you impatient bastards.
Well there’s the finished product, I used 1.25″ wood screws to secure the birch top to the top shelf box, and ingeniously thought of flipping the box over and screwing them in from the underside of the bench, so that work surface is completely smooth and free from screws. This shit is heavy as fuck, and built like a tank. Some rough calculations give the thing an ultimate yield strength of about 6,000 pounds, which means I could park my fucking truck (or your mother) on top of it before it broke.
Once I finished up the workbench, it was time to get going on the front door. I popped the hinges out, removed the hardware, and loaded it up on the worst fucking saw-horses in the universe. I started out with some 150 grit sandpaper loaded into the Ryobi finish sander (not a bad way to spend $30), and got to work on the main door panel and the raised sections. I manually sanded the edges of the door panels, and anywhere else the finish sander couldn’t reach. I’m not sure how many layers of old, shitty paint were on this thing, but it was a lot. Hopefully it wasn’t lead-based paint….
I had originally hoped to paint both sides of the door, but once I got to sanding, I realized I wasn’t going to have time to let 2-3 coats of paint dry on each side of the door before the end of the day, and thought sleeping without a front door was a bad idea. Once I finished sanding, I shop-vac’d off both sides of the door, and wiped them down with a damp rag to get all of the dust off. I started by painting all of the recessed areas on the door panels, and then rolling the flat sections with a foam roller specially designed for doors and cabinets. The paint went on nicely, and the red pepper has a really nice color to it. Here is a picture of the door after the first coat of paint…
I ended up putting three coats of paint on the front door, as well as the other non-interior sides. Each of which took way too fucking long to dry, I killed time by cleaning up the garage, and sliding the new workbench into the corner where it now resides. I also broke down and stacked up some of the 200 cardboard boxes that I’ve acquired over the last 4 months, which I’m slowly feeding into my recyclables can. Here’s the finished product, hopefully the assholes trying to sell me magazines and Jehovah’s witnesses appreciate the effort I put into this, and yes, I know that in the Latin alphabet Jehovah is spelled with an “I”.
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