Handy Devices Special
Build a Bar, Workbench
It was a tough year for John Bergen and the family's McKnight Farms. An hour north of the Canadian-U.S. border, near Carman, in Manitoba, Canada, a deep drought hurt the crops last growing season. With less grain to haul this winter, Bergen found some unexpected time on his hands.
So, he built a bar. With a workbench. But, not just any bar-workbench combination. This is the type of thing a guy builds when he has the time to do it. With January temps in the single digits and gale-force winds blowing snow across the prairie, a guy has time to think.
Bergen's bar-workbench is a winter project way better than, say, "15 brilliant things to do with 5-gallon buckets." It's a real project someone else dreamed up. Google it.
"We always thought of building an island for the shop," Bergen explains, "something where the guys can eat lunch, have a cup of coffee." Or, some other beverage.
Bergen married into McKnight Farms when he met Laurhys. They, with a son and daughter, live and work on a family-business farm going back six generations. The farm is located in the north Red River Valley and yields oats, canola, soybeans and 72- to 85-day corn. The operation has been here at Carman since the early 1950s.
The workbench and bar occupy a 12-foot-long corner of the 9,600-square-foot shop. It's built of reclaimed barn wood that has been stored on the farm. "We couldn't throw it away," Bergen explains.
Here's a tour of the bar-bench Bergen built:
-- The bar and workbench feature two levels. The bar area has space for several stools standing on a raised platform. Bergen installed the barn boards horizontally under the bar top. Nice touch.
-- Moving around the work side of the project, there are nooks and crannies for storage -- rags, tubes of grease, anything.
-- There is a place to hang a mechanic's creeper on the side of the bench.
-- Circular slots are cut into the top of the bench are for grease guns. There's a hole for trash and the trash can below. Bergen also puts the grease tips down there. Any grease that drips from them falls into the can.
-- Under the bench is a rolling toolbox that can be taken out into the shop.
-- On the bench are a pair of power strips to charge the tools -- nice Milwaukee tools, by the way -- cell phones, etc.
-- Nearby are a couple more cubby holes and an attractive, illuminated McKnight Farms Ltd. sign.
-- Watch a video showing the completed project at https://www.dtnpf.com/…
-- Cash for your ideas: Share with us your project ideas, and we'll pay you $400 upon publication. To submit a Handy Device, please send clear photographs or detailed drawings, and a complete explanation of your idea. We'd like to see a video, too, but that's optional. If you have published your idea on social media (Twitter, Instagram, Facebook), send us the link. With each entry, include your name, address and telephone number.
Send Handy Device entries to: email@example.com
Sorry, but we can't acknowledge submissions or return photographs, drawings or documentation.
(c) Copyright 2022 DTN, LLC. All rights reserved.