The top surface of my sharpening station will have three components: a laminated top on the left-hand side, a solid wood top on the right-hand side, and a tool tray that hangs between them in the center. I decided to fabricate and attach the two work surfaces first, and then I can build the tool tray to exactly fit the space in-between.
My cabinet is low since it was originally intended to be the base of a workbench, so I needed to come up with a method to elevate the top to a comfortable working height. I milled down some 2x4 scraps and created simple cleats that the work surface can rest on. A few pocket screws were all I needed to lock the laminate top in place. Both the cleats and the top are mounted flush with the back of the cabinet but overhang a bit on the front, which will make it more comfortable to work at while standing. The top overhangs the end of the cabinet by a larger margin, so I can also sit down if I wish. Yeah, I’m lazy. The one mistake I made here was fabricating all six cleats at the same time. I found out later that I won’t be able to get my wood top to the same thickness as the laminate top, so the two cleats on the right-hand side of the cabinet will need to be taller to compensate. Once I know the final thickness of the wood top, I’ll remake those two cleats.
Speaking of the wood top, I also milled down my hodge-podge of construction lumber scraps and started the glue-up. The wood top needs to be 27” wide. To make the glue-up a little easier, I created three sub-assemblies. Once they’re out of the clamps and cleaned up I’ll run them through my planer to bring them all to a consistent thickness, and then I can join them into the final piece. In the picture here you can see that two are already in the clamps and the third is on the far left-hand side of the bench ready for glue. I know what you’re thinking… and yes, cleaning up all that glue squeeze out really sucked.