random musings

February 25, 2012

A workbench

In my parent's home Dad had a gorgeous workbench. It ran half the width of an oversized two car garage and was deep enough to store jars of nails and other fasters while still having space to work with. To this day I can't remember Dad actually using it.

Fast forward to now - I have a big (top secret!) project in the works and an in desperate need of a workbench. Of course, my workshop setup isn't ideal - the basement floor - so I'm thinking good prep would be to make my own workbench.  In my dreams I'd (re)create the luxurious bench that Dad had. But considering the basement area I'm working in now will eventually get finished, and all my woodworking tools will get banished to a smaller dank corner of the basement, I really need something that can be maneuvered through a standard door opening. My thought is something like this:


with final dimensions of 48"(L) x 24"(W) x 34"(H). If all things go well, I'll make another one on casters with shorter length, say 24". That way I can set them up next to each other for bigger projects for one to act as a feed table or for use with sheet goods.

Last weekend I made the first one! I'm combining the pics above with the plans for this bench from as well as inspiration from


Shopping List:
6 @ 2" x 4" x 8'
wood screws

Cut List (all 2 x 4):
8 @ 33" - legs
2 @ 20" - bottom shelf supports
4 @ 44"- stretchers
4 @ 10 3/4"- upper supports

Not on list:
scrap wood for shelving material (14" lengths, 10 pieces)
16" x 48" x 1"osb (rated for subflooring)
6" x 48" x 1 " whiteboard

The final result isn't pretty, but definitely functional. I pieced together the top from a few scrap pieces of osb and other wood I already had on hand. The reason for combining the three plans is to avoid the 90-degree legs which are common to ideas from the ana-white site and make use of sheet goods I already had. The bulk of two 2 x 4's (or one 4x4) makes for a sturdier base. And this sucker is sturdy. I climbed all over it without feeling any deflection, and although it is entirely possible for one person to move it, two sets of hands and backs makes the job much much easier.

Ways to turn this into and even better workbench:

  1. add locking casters for portability (will probably add this when I make the second unit)
  2. a second "sacrificial" layer of material for the top for durability.
  3. an extra shelf support higher up as a place to store my clamps (need to build up more scraps first)

five days five ways  feature friday free for all

1 comment:

  1. Totally jealous - i would love a proper workbench. No space for me but you should go crazy and make one really fabulous so I can live vicariously :)