This weekend, while cleaning out the garage, I decided that I needed a new workbench. For the past two years, I have been working off a banquet table that up until now has been adequate. Some of the issues that I have with the banquet table is that it’s pretty damn wobbly. When I am planing or scraping or sawing, I must first clear everything off the table or my violent actions will take care of that in a negative way. I crippled my twenty pound tool box as it went crashing to the floor. Oops… Also, the table is too low. At a height of 29″, I find myself stooping over my work and ending my day with a crinkled back (yeah, I said ‘crinkled.’ It’s a medical term… look it up). The one nice thing about the table is that when I need extra space, I can find a home for all my stuff and just fold it up and put it away. However, that’s a compelling reason to not make the upgrade (and probably a contributing attribute to the instability of the table for the task of woodworking).
So, I set out to build something that was easy and cheap. I am not the master woodworker. I need a functional, sturdy workbench that is big enough to accommodate my guitar, electronic, and other handyman duties. To the Depot!
My plan was simple. Make the bench dimensions the same as the table approximately 28″ x 50″. I needed only to raise the work surface to about 36″ which seems to be a height that works both sitting and standing. I plan to use 2x4s for the structure and 2x8s for the work surface. I don’t really have the tools to mill lumber, but I’m not too concerned with that. The 2x10s will have the divots between the timbers but I’m fine with that too. I plan to top the bench with 1/4″ MDF. It’s strong enough to give me a nice, flat surface and easy to replace when I drop a piano on it.
Here’s roughly the dimensions of the parts (I was kind of winging it):
8, 36″ 2x4s for the legs – Cut to 34″ after laminating
2, 50″ 2x4s for the long sides of the table top – cut to 50 inc
2, 23″ 2x4s for the short sides – the actual width of the 2×10 is 9 & 1/16″ wide
3, 54″ 2x10s for the top
- Add MDF top to surface
- Shelf under bench
- locking wheels so everything can move around
I planned to have a 2″ lip on the tabletop so the bench frame is is 4″ shorter than the top.
I started off with cutting the 2x4s on the miter saw. This took about 10 minutes after measuring off 36″ from my 4, 96″ 2x4s. Next, I cut the two 50″ inch frame lengths and finished off with the frame widths. The widths, I cut long in case I had bad math in my wingy dingy plan.
Next, I pulled out the 8 leg halves and began laminating them. I matched the best looking faces for the exterior (like it matters with this project) and applied ample amounts of Titebond to both surfaces, then clamped them and let them sit for 24 hours. Rinse and repeat 3x.
So, this is where I’m at right now. I’ll post more pictures as I start getting this together.