Monday, July 15, 2013

Stabilizing the ShopStand

I carved my banjo neck using the ShopStand I bought used from a guy who wanted out of lutherie. It worked great except I used it bolted to a piece of MDF the way I acquired it. That was a pretty terrible way to work, involving a lot of shims and instability, so I figured eventually I'd bolt it to the floor. Luckily I discovered StewMac's tip to bolt it to a patio block before I started busting up the basement floor. Never content with just following directions, I had the additional idea to attach wheels to the block for portability and add a hardboard subbase so the floor doesn't get scratched.

Here it is (I probably should have had help carrying the block downstairs, but I made it):

Drilling through concrete is pretty fun. I've got no beef with the Harbor Freight rotary hammer and masonry bit set.

Outcome: sort of. It basically works and is holding together for now (that's a phrase I know from parenting).

The first problem was attaching the hardboard to the bottom. I wanted to glue it. First I tried epoxy, but that didn't work at all. Then I loaded it up with 3M Super 77, which worked for a while. It stopped working after I blasted the snot out of the block with the rotary hammer and pounded five drop-in anchors down with the setting tool. (Yes, there are only four bolts visible; the information you're missing is there is one broken bolt/anchor pair hidden in there.)

The second problem (related to the hidden hardware mentioned in the previous paragraph) is that drop-in anchors (this kind) don't work very well in soft patio block concrete! Witness this bottom-facing crater caused by the worst installation:

Anyway, like I said it works and I didn't throw out my back. I'll try to vacuum up the crater and reglue the subbase now that everything is in its place.

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