Build A Workbench Essentials
I suggest you build a workbench capable of withstanding the heaviest of the work pieces you will be making. I’m presuming you have only basic equipment on which to cut the wood to size, such as a couple of trestles or two old stools, even a garden wall will do. If you don’t mind getting into hot water then dining chairs, providing they are well covered and you can resist sawing through them.
Below I have written detailed instructions of the materials required to make a bench the same as mine and a plan shouldn’t be required. However that may not be to your liking and so I have investigated plans from the Internet and these are all via a reputable supplier.(Click on the photos or the underlined words)
The Photo shows a simple workbench just completed and with minimal joints. I wish though that the floor had been swept first, it must have been dinner time and the roasted joint cooked.
Another good one to build a workbench which is sturdy but light and which may pull at your heartstrings because it’s called the Labor-of-Love Workbench Plan
How about what looks a very neat and tidy bench and tool display, if you are limited to the space available in your workshop/garage/basement... It’s so well organised it puts mine to shame, I rather like the stool too.
Tough-Stuff Workbench Plan
Perhaps this Acorn model grabs your attention. The only alteration I would make to the actual worksurfaces in a few of these benches, would be to use sawn wood (unplaned)for the worktop because I don’t want my workpieces slip, slip, sliding away over a smooth surface. Also I often temporarily screw or nail stop blocks to the surface when frame building or tool sharpening.
Above are 2 build a workbench solutions and storage cupboards should you want to utilise a corner area or have just enough space for the bench to sit against a wall. Very spiff and spam.
The more traditional free standing benches like the one above are my preference, but only because I have enough room and work from both sides.
If you prefer obtaining more ideas and instructions of woodworking workbenches along with storage solutions then perhaps a book will be your choice and How to Make Workbenches & Shop Storage Solutions is the book I would plump for.
Backt to Details of My Workbench
The tools you will require to build a workbench are:
Panel saw, Cordless drill or pozi screwdriver and wheel brace,
4mm drill bit, Countersink bit or 12mm drill bit, Tape measure and pencil, 90 degree square, not required if the panel saw handle has a 90 degree, 60 x 3" pozi screws.
The timber required to make a workbench the same as mine 8' x 3'4" x 3' high
15 @ 8'x8"x2" sawn timmber, no need for planed and its more expensive and rough
sawn isn't as rough as it sounds.
4 @ 3'x3"x3"
The cost of the timbers is approx $ 120.00
Dimensions To Suit
The height to build a workbench is most important. You don't want it too low as you'll end up with a bad back and I will have to come out to massage it.
I am 5'10" and the finished height of mine is 3'2".
I have a latted running board to stand upon, it keeps my feet off the cold floor. This is made by placing 4 @ 19"x 2"x 1" at equal distances on the floor then screwing 5 @ 8'x 3"x 1" to them, leaving spaces of 1" between them all.
If you are unsure of your optimum working height, build a workbench height as detailed here, you can always cut the corner posts when built.
As for the depth, you may not have sufficient space to make yours 40" deep, I work from both sdes of the bench, hence this width.
2' deep is adequate and you will need 5 less 8" x 2". That's minus 4 for the top and shelf and minus 1 for the ends.
Similarly of course the width of 8' may be too much but I suggest 6' should be the minimum width. Again alter your order accordingly.
If I carry on reducing like this you'll end up working off the dining chairs permanently !!
Let’s Build The Workbench
Front of the workbench.
Measure the thickness of an 8" x 2", it may not be a full 2".
Assuming it is measure 2" in from one end, use the square to draw a line across
Screw a small piece of timber ( baton ) to the outside of the line
Repeat at the opposite end
Place 2 corner posts on the floor approximately 6' apart and place the plank on them, baton facing down.
Position the plank to the top of the post butting against the baton.
Screw the plank to the post with 2 screws set 1" from top and bottom ( reason for this later )
Repeat at the opposite end
You now have the outer ( face side ) top rail fitted to 2 corner posts.
Flip it over so that the face side is now facing down.
Unscrew the 2 batons.
From the bottom of the post mark a line 6" up and 14" up.
From the outside edge mark a line 2" in, you should now have an 8" x 1" rectangle
Repeat on the opposite post
At the top of the posts measure the distance between the posts and add to this measurement 2".
Cut a plank to this measurement and screw to the posts, aligning them over the rectangles, having marked the screw positions 1" down and up.
Tip. When pilot drilling ( making a hole for the screw ) with the 4mm bit, angle the bit slightly towards the outer edge
Build a workbench front is complete, give yourself a pat on the back, put the kettle on..then
Make an exact copy for the rear, perhaps you should have delayed that cuppa.
N.B. We have fitted the bottom plank to the inside so that when the workbench is assembled we will have leg room and be able to work comfortably without straining.
Before you commence the sides, place 5 of the planks together on the floor and measure the overall width. I will assume its an exact 40"
Saw 1 plank into 2@ 36" lengths.
Mark the position of the screw pilot holes 1 ½” from the ends and 2" down and up
With the help of spare hands, stand upright the front and screw one of the 40" lengths to the corner post butting against the 2" overlap and at right angles to it, keeping all edges flush with each other.
Stand upright the rear and repeat the procedure
Repeat for the opposite side
What's it loking like ? Don't know about you, but whilst you admire I'm off for a smoke break.
We’re Almost There
At the top measure the distance between the corner posts and cut 1 plank into 2 @ 30".
Mark and pilot drill 2 holes to each of the ends, 1" in and 2" down and up.
Screw to the botttom rails
Pheeew.. nearly done, to build a workbench is almost complete
Ensuring, by measuring corner to corner across the top that the distances are the same, screw the top planks to the top rails.
The front plank of the bottom shelf will require 2 @ 3"x3" sections removed to fit round the corner posts.
Final tips : Before drilling any pilot holes, first drill a ½” hole, same depth deep, this will act as a countersink, because no screws should be flush with the timbers, especially the work surface.
Make yourelf 2 sawing blocks from any offcuts. you want a piece 8"x12" and 2 pieces 7"x2"x2".
Screw 1 of the 7" pieces ( stops ) to the 8" width, there will be a space of 1" at the right if you're right handed, then flip it over and do the same at the opposite end. As in half a German swastika
I'll be making a video soon of build a workbench and of many other topics in ths website... so keep popping back
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