If like me you have a bad back you don’t want to be bending over working on a carcase on the floor and besides it is unhygienic. On the other hand you probably don’t want to spend £400 on buying a stainless steel larder table.
You don’t have to be a joiner but you will need a jigsaw, pencil, tape measure a pair of butt hinges, screws , 4 X 1” Tech screws and a screwdriver preferably cordless . Get your hands on a wheelie bin about inches wide and some suitable timber as follows.
- Make a pair of wooden trestles. The sort of trestles have been used in church halls and by the WRVI to put up temporary tables for years. You may be lucky and find a pair but they must be the same height when stood up. Mine were made out of 30” X 2” X ¾” timber screwed together ( see photos 1 & 2.)
- They are joined together at the top by a pair of butt hinges. You make the two sides of identical size as high as you want them (this is largely guess work depending upon how tall you are but you shouldn,t be bent over to work on the table} and then put the 2 top edges back to back with the butts of the hinges between the tops and screw them in place.(see photo 3).Make sure the hinges are on the uprights so when the legs are stood up a gap appears in the top which will be about 1 3/4inches.(see photo 3)
- If you go to B & Q you can buy a pair of flat retaining bars that screw onto one leg and then the hook part fits over a screw in the other leg.(see photos 4 & 5). These have to be in the same place on each leg so that the trestles are locked at the same height when open and in use.
- Now find a wheelie bin of about 20 “ width and using a jig saw cut the front off leaving a 6” rim on the sides and bottom (see photo 6) .The front edge is the one without the wheels. I marked mine with a pencil. The plastic cuts easily and can be rubbed with sand paper to give a smooth edge. I cut out most of the base of mine by marking it out in pen and using a jig saw but looking back I should have just cut a 6”wide scoop out of the centre which would lock a beast’s neck in place. (see photo 7)
- Get two pieces of timber approx. as long as the width of the bin made out of dressed 2” x”2 which will be about 1 and ¾ inches finished. Using sand paper and a plane smooth down each piece of two by two till it will fit into the top of the trestle when it is stood upright.(see photos 7&8 ) This enables you to cut the two by two to the right length.
- About 6 “ in from either end of the wheelie bin draw a line in pencil on the inner surface at a level distance from each end .About ¼ of the way along the line drill 2 pilot holes in the plastic. Put the two by two underneath the holes about its centre of the wood keeping the top and bottom edge of the wood level with the bin sides. Drill through the pilot holes in the plastic to make pilot holes in the wood and then screw in 1” Tech screws from the inner surface of the bin into the wood.(see photos 8 & 9) (Tech screws are normally used for putting tin sheets or cladding on a roof and have a rubber seal on their base. This will prevent blood and water seeping into the base blocks of the tray).
- Now stand your trestles up and lock the legs in place and simply put your plastic tray on top. The wood on the bottom of the tray should fit into the top of the trestles (photo 10 ) and lock the whole thing in place and the job is done. (photo 11)The tray should be a nice height to work on and be level and the carcase will be held in place by its own weight.
The plastic is easily washed down and is therefore hygienic. If you made it of a height to suit yourself you should be able to work on a carcase easily without straining your back When not needed the whole thing comes apart and can be leant against a wall.(Photo 12) It might have cost £40 and a bit of effort but it’s a handy tool. Wheelie bins are pretty rigid and my table will support my weight ( a slender 16 stone) and up to now it has accomodated fallow, roe and reds easily.