Building a Workbench!

Created by shuabuilds on Sept. 17, 2019, 5:14 p.m.
  • Hey all, I have a bunch of space in my new garage in which I would love to build a workbench to use for my projects. I'm seeking inspiration. What has worked for you? What is your top must-have and top must-not for your favourite workbench?

    Pics of your workbenches for inspiration would be amazing if you're comfortable with it!


  • Probably far too late but here are some bits of advice I gathered a year or two ago when I builkt my first:

    1. If this is the first workbench you are building, embrace simplicity and accept that this is just the first version - so don't worry too much. Vices, drawers, cabinets, shelves, etc. can all come later. You won't know what you really want until you use it.
    2. Get inspiration from the interwebs and Pintrest in particular. I ended up working off a version of this
    3. Plan it in sketchup or fusion360 or whatever your preefed tool is for 3d modelling togive yourself some insight.
    4. Adjust the design dimensions to fit the space, the materials, and your needs. Set the worksurface to the height that suits you and the activities you'll be using it for. Don't be afraid to tweak things to make most efficient use of the sheet goods in particular.
    5. Use construction timber to keep it simple and relatively low cost - 2x4s are easy to use and will give you a lot of strength.
    6. Use an MDF or Plywood worksurface so it's cheap, flat and easy to replace should you need to. 12-25mm (1/2-1") and by all means stack a couple of sheets to get that thickness.
    7. Before starting to build, use a level to find the flatest bit of the floor in your workshop and build it there. Assembling the pieces upside down and check for square as you go.
    8. You can speed things up by batch cutting all the pieces. Leave more carefull cutting and fitting of each piece to more experienced builders. Accept that it will be a little quirky and not 100% square.

    Work in progress of my first workbench:

    And the end result:

    I sealed and painted the MDF worksurface to help make it as smooth and durable as possible.

    Installed an LED striplight from IKEA on the underside of the lowest shelf.

    Planned upgrades are are:

    • Installing a woodworking vice on the closet front corner.
    • Mounting the power strip on the end of the bench for easier access.
    • Using plywood on the wall above it to make a flexible tool storage (something more solid than pegboard).