Another project from the Woodsbum garage that I feel many could benefit from. Some of you will already have a cleaning table for your wild game, fish and wild or garden produce. For those of you who don’t, its a serious luxury when performing cleaning tasks better done outside the kitchen. I use my table for a variety of things, from cleaning game and veggies to mixing up dog food, and any other task that requires an easily cleanable surface. I also have the convenience of having a laundry sink in my garage. This deep sink is another great addition to any Woodsbum garage setup, but we are focusing today on what will become an extension of that sink (how to install a utility sink).
Construction of the cleaning table is a project that has its basis more on timing and chance because of the best ways to procure the table surface. My table is made from a kitchen counter remnant from a big box hardware store. I was able to watch the racks at my local store until several sections of 4′ counter were on a clearance discount cart at the front of the store. I purchased a 4′ section of the counter for $8(a fraction of what it would cost new). Most cheap counter pieces are laminated formica or similar material over a particle board core with a several inch splash guard on the back and wrapped rounded front. They are waterproof, stain resistant, and not too hard on a knife- basically the ideal counter top for a cleaning table. A thank you goes out to whoever mis-measured or mis-ordered this piece of counter and returned it to the store- you saved me a bundle.
I walked out of the store feeling great, having procured a brand new counter for such a cheap price. If you don’t have such a store, or need a cleaning table sooner there are other ways of locating a good solid top for your cleaning table, keeping in mind that something waterproof and easily cleaned is important. A friend or neighbor who is remodeling a kitchen perhaps, or if you happen upon a piece of counter on bulk garbage day, or from a contractor, that will work just as well. Its good to make a mental list of these types of things (counter pieces, kitchen cabinets, table legs, etc.) that you can re-purpose for projects like this. Having a list, mental or otherwise, will allow you to capitalize when you happen upon them rather then miss the opportunity.
From here on out, it is a relatively simple process of making a set of 2×4 legs to match the counter top. I chose to make the legs the right height to match up just below the surface of my utility sink. As with all of my table legs, the design mimics one my father used many years ago for his work benches, which includes a shelf about 8 inches off the floor for additional storage(work bench plans here). You can never have too much storage. I am planning on routing a deep blood groove around the counter. Though this will cut through the waterproof surface, I will add a few layers of urethane to protect the exposed particle board. This blood groove will end at a hole drilled into the side of the laundry sink. The two will be connected with a short length of plastic piping. This way you can easily wash the counter down and allow the excess water to drain off into the sink. Some silicon calk finishes up the job so that is is water tight.
There are a few other little additions that increase the usefulness of such a space many times over. Attention to such details take an ordinary shop and turn it into something that is a pleasure to work in. Such additions to my cleaning area include a paper towel holder (or towel rack) and a spot to affix a clip light when working at night. I also added a magnetic tool holder to the wall above the counter with enough capacity to hold some of my favorite knives, a sharpening steel, and a pair of kitchen shears. In a bin below the table I have a variety set of garbage, plastic, and food storage bags, along with several clean bowls. Having all of these items available and at arms reach saves time and energy when you are focused on your catch or harvest.