Author Topic: Using sand for ballast in workshop cabinet  (Read 3429 times)

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Offline patriot

  • Posts: 133
    • Wood Working By Design
Using sand for ballast in workshop cabinet
« on: June 20, 2017, 05:40 PM »
I am just finishing my sharpening station and decided that this small cabinet - 20" depth x 30" width x 32" height - needed some ballast to give it some mass.  My thinking is that because it will not be attached to a wall it will need to be heavy to withstand the normal stress associated with sharpening.  The rear wheels are fixed and the front wheels rotate and lock.

My Tormek will sit on the left side of the top, the other side will be used to place the water/oil/diamond stone that I will be using when sharpening my tool.

264644-0264646-1

Below the last drawer there is a 2-3/4" high cavity and I filled it will two bags of playground sand.  Each bag claimed to be 50 lbs which theoretically gives me 100 lbs of ballast.  While this is all well and good (so far ...) a little voice in my head keeps telling me that I'm overlooking something.  I've racked my brain for several days and cannot think of any reason why this is not a good idea.

One thought did come to my mind and that is the possiblity of water getting into the sand somehow.  I'm sloppy, but not that sloppy.  Any water that may accidentily get in there could come from the Tormek's water trough, but that's a real stretch.  The top will be 1" melamine and I plan to add a 3/4" x 1"(ht) splash guard all around the edge of the melamine top, so there'd have to be really huge water spill to flow over that.  That's just is not going to happen.

Another possibility is insects taking up residence in the sand.  I could sprinkle some lime over the sand and that would probably discourage any freeloaders.

Anyway, if anyone has some thoughts on this I would love to hear them.

Thanks!
'If you don't know where you're going, any road will get you there' Lewis Carroll

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Offline mikeyr

  • Posts: 53
Re: Using sand for ballast in workshop cabinet
« Reply #1 on: June 20, 2017, 05:56 PM »
get to know a reloader and tell him you will store all his lead :)

I always have 300-400lbs. of lead around to melt, that is how my reloading bench is held down so when i use the press, its rock steady.

Anyway, it will potentially cost you some money, but you could put some lead in there and still have room left over to use part of the drawer.  I would go for the sand because its cheap.
ex-cabinet maker, now I just play with wood

Offline patriot

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    • Wood Working By Design
Re: Using sand for ballast in workshop cabinet
« Reply #2 on: June 20, 2017, 07:10 PM »
@mikeyr

My 'financial advisor' suggested the same thing until she realized shot was MUCH more expensive than sand. [scared]

Thanks for the suggestion and the recommendation. [big grin]
'If you don't know where you're going, any road will get you there' Lewis Carroll

Offline Svar

  • Posts: 1019
Re: Using sand for ballast in workshop cabinet
« Reply #3 on: June 20, 2017, 07:15 PM »
Have you considered, gravel, bricks, or a custom concrete block? Although, frankly, I don't see why you need ballast in the first place.

Offline patriot

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Re: Using sand for ballast in workshop cabinet
« Reply #4 on: June 20, 2017, 07:23 PM »
@Svar

I tried rocks but because the maximum height of the space below the last drawer is only about 2-3/4" (ht) most rocks were either too tall or too low resulting in poor density.  I could only get one layer of bricks - laying on their wide side - and again, poor density.  I thought about the cement, but I think the density would be equal to the sand that is now in there since cement is basically all sand and other particulate.

I want a rock steady work station and the additional weight should do that for me.

Thanks!
'If you don't know where you're going, any road will get you there' Lewis Carroll

Offline huntdupl

  • Posts: 18
Re: Using sand for ballast in workshop cabinet
« Reply #5 on: June 20, 2017, 07:28 PM »
You could build a set of collapsible outriggers, similar to a cherry picker or crane. Drop some bags on the legs, store then somewhere else. Mass is great but I think increasing your footprint will help a lot. Borate (50 mile) may be a good additive for pest if you're worried about that. I'd also suggest some casters that have kick-down pedistalls, similar to those you see on carts for lathes or joiners.
CT Midi, RO150, DF500

Offline patriot

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Re: Using sand for ballast in workshop cabinet
« Reply #6 on: June 20, 2017, 10:08 PM »
@huntdupl

I'm pretty sure these are not the type of casters you were referring to, but these do lock well and are very durable. I purchased them from Lee Valley and have used these casters on all of my mobile tools for over fifteen years without a single problem. I will do some research on the casters you recommended.



Thanks for your suggestions.

'If you don't know where you're going, any road will get you there' Lewis Carroll

Offline woodwrights_corner

  • Posts: 68
Re: Using sand for ballast in workshop cabinet
« Reply #7 on: June 21, 2017, 09:10 AM »
Consider the fire bricks used to line a fireplace.  They are solid, heavier and come in standard and thinner sizes.  Might work for you.

Offline tjbnwi

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  • Cedar Tucky Indiana
Re: Using sand for ballast in workshop cabinet
« Reply #8 on: June 21, 2017, 09:15 AM »
Leave the sand. You've already have gone over the possible scenarios and can find not real downside to the sand.

Go sharpen something...

Tom

Offline patriot

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Re: Using sand for ballast in workshop cabinet
« Reply #9 on: June 21, 2017, 09:35 AM »
@woodwrights_corner

Thanks for your post.  I will take your suggestions into consideration.
'If you don't know where you're going, any road will get you there' Lewis Carroll

Offline patriot

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Re: Using sand for ballast in workshop cabinet
« Reply #10 on: June 21, 2017, 09:39 AM »
Leave the sand. You've already have gone over the possible scenarios and can find not real downside to the sand.

Go sharpen something...

Tom

LOL!  That's a plan.  Thanks for the great idea.  [big grin]
'If you don't know where you're going, any road will get you there' Lewis Carroll

Offline SRSemenza

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Re: Using sand for ballast in workshop cabinet
« Reply #11 on: June 21, 2017, 09:42 AM »
Leave the sand. You've already have gone over the possible scenarios and can find not real downside to the sand.

Go sharpen something...

Tom

LOL!  That's a plan.  Thanks for the great idea.  [big grin]


Plus the sand should be easy enough to check on once in a while to make sure everything is OK. Dig to the bottom see if water is being held etc.  Fix it if a problem arises.

Seth

Offline patriot

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Re: Using sand for ballast in workshop cabinet
« Reply #12 on: June 21, 2017, 09:54 AM »
@SRSemenza

Thanks for your suggestions. 

The thought of having our bug guy spray the sand just occurred to me.  That would eliminate the possibility of bugs taking up residence, but because the interior/exterior perimeters of my shop have already been sprayed this is probably nothing to worry about.

Moisture is my real concern, so your suggestion of taking a look at the sand every once in a while is a great idea. 

Thank you!
'If you don't know where you're going, any road will get you there' Lewis Carroll

Offline Bert Vanderveen

  • Posts: 343
Re: Using sand for ballast in workshop cabinet
« Reply #13 on: June 21, 2017, 01:24 PM »
Put the sand in (plastic) bags, don't overfill, leave some room for the sand to move around - close bag with tie wrap or whatever. Arrange bags in cabinet bottom. Presto!
Cheers, Bert Vanderveen

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Offline patriot

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Re: Using sand for ballast in workshop cabinet
« Reply #14 on: June 21, 2017, 01:27 PM »
@Bert Vanderveen

Thanks for the great ideas!  Will look into doing just that.
'If you don't know where you're going, any road will get you there' Lewis Carroll

Offline zapdafish

  • Posts: 427
Re: Using sand for ballast in workshop cabinet
« Reply #15 on: June 21, 2017, 05:04 PM »

I had something on a cart and it kept moving on me too but I just back it up to the wall or back it up to my workbench.
CT22, TS55, Kapex, RO150, Domino, RS 2 E

Offline courtneylane

  • Posts: 1
Re: Using sand for ballast in workshop cabinet
« Reply #16 on: July 27, 2017, 03:21 PM »
I've used a lot of different things for that. But the sand and method that you've described here is really useful

Offline Bob D.

  • Posts: 577
Re: Using sand for ballast in workshop cabinet
« Reply #17 on: July 27, 2017, 04:29 PM »
Watch Craig's List for some cheap weights or look at yard sales.
You're bound to find a few 25 pounders for cheap.

I checked my local CL and found a number of sellers at .40, .50, and at .75 cents per pound.

The density is greater than sand so should be able to get as much ballast with no mess.
-----
It's a table saw, do you know where your fingers are?

Offline patriot

  • Posts: 133
    • Wood Working By Design
Re: Using sand for ballast in workshop cabinet
« Reply #18 on: July 27, 2017, 04:53 PM »
I've used a lot of different things for that. But the sand and method that you've described here is really useful

Thanks.  The finished cabinet is shown in this thread.

So far the sand-filled base of this small cabinet has worked out perfectly for me.  I think the two sand bags cost about $3-$4 each so it was an inexpensive solution to my weight problem.  I have not had to lock the wheels so I guess the weight has been sufficient to steady and keep it in place.

I have another small cabinet to build for my oscillating drum sander and it will use the same sand method but for a different reason.  This drum sander is top heavy so the sand in its base will help offset this to some degree.  This time I plan on designing the base cavity so that two sand bags will fit in the base without having to break the bags open.  I may post this project when done.
'If you don't know where you're going, any road will get you there' Lewis Carroll

Offline patriot

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    • Wood Working By Design
Re: Using sand for ballast in workshop cabinet
« Reply #19 on: July 27, 2017, 04:57 PM »
@courtneylane

I think Bob D.'s weight idea is a good one.  The weights would be less of a mess, that's for sure.
'If you don't know where you're going, any road will get you there' Lewis Carroll

Offline patriot

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    • Wood Working By Design
Re: Using sand for ballast in workshop cabinet
« Reply #20 on: July 27, 2017, 04:58 PM »
@Bob D.

I fully agree with you:  using weights would be less of a mess.

Great idea!  Thanks.
'If you don't know where you're going, any road will get you there' Lewis Carroll