Post your (DIY) work benches!

Discussion in 'Around the House' started by dmention7, Dec 6, 2012.

  1. dmention7

    dmention7 Hater

    I'm looking for good ideas on a DIY work bench to build in the basement this winter--and also planning to rebuild my garage workspace in the spring--so if you've built something you're proud of, post it up! Bonus points for creative ways to integrate useful things like drawers, lighting, small parts storage, etc!
  2. 007CobaltLS

    007CobaltLS Member

    Well I can't help you...mine isn't is Craftsman. Pretty nice unit though. Of course it doesn't do any good sitting in my storage unit...then again I have no place for it where I'm living and even in a month when I'm living back at my mom's I won't need it since my dad built his own years ago to use.

    YSOSLO is the word, beotch

    No DIY for me either. I have this one from Menard's that I bought about 8yrs ago. It isn't what I would call "heavy duty", but it was easy to put together and it keeps the clutter in the two drawers (at least until your amount of clutter exceeds the volume of the drawers). The pegboard along the back allows for plenty of options for small storage too.

    FYI, the thing on top is a shelf with about a 1.5" metal lip to hold things in. This unit goes on sale from time to time for around $70, I believe.
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2012
  4. Picklz

    Picklz SUDO Make me a SAMCH

    If I manage to get mine cleaned off in the near future I'll take a picture of it, didn't do anything incredibly creative, I have a single shelf for storage underneath half of it (want to make it a double shelf this spring) and then the other half has a rolling 13 drawer tool chest from harbor freight under it. I have some pegboard mounted on the wall behind it, cabinets above, and then a worklight/extension cord on a retractable reel on the wall, as well as a air hose reel next to it.
  5. dmention7

    dmention7 Hater

    Yeah, Pete, I was just looking at that workbench the other day. I think it was $90 on sale when I saw it, but $70 would be a decent deal.

    I am thinking about hitting up the as-is section at IKEA for some cheap pre-assembled drawers and stuff.

    How about this for discussion.... what are some things that are good to keep in mind when designing a workbench? My thoughts right now are an overhead shelf with a pegboard backer, and lighting on the underside of the shelf. One or two drawers on the underside (like the bench Pete linked), a power strip somewhere on the backer, bench vise, maybe a table clamp on the side like you see on a lot of woodworking benches. I will probably also have a small compressor (1-3 gal for a trim nailer, airbrush, etc) nearby, soldering station...

    Just trying to think of what all I might want to accomodate for a general purpose workstation.
  6. Picklz

    Picklz SUDO Make me a SAMCH

    Power strip, preferably on the wall just above the bench is one thing I wish I had (and plan to add).

    Vice is awesome to have and I've gotten quite a bit of use out of mine, it's a larger, inexpensive harbor freight model and it's been doing great so far.

    I think I used 5/8" plywood for the top of mine, something heavy/strong enough that if you're pounding on something you don't have to worry about the top taking much damage. I also built mine entirely w/ screws, if a piece ever needs to be replaced, or I want to re-design a certain aspect I can just take it apart.

    Ability to fasten to the wall - I didn't do this with mine and the first time I went to use the vice - yeah not so good lol.

    Biggest thing is probably height and depth - I made mine about as deep as I had room for so I could store stuff along the back of it and still have room to work on items towards the front half.

    I have a couple of these mounted to the wall above the bench (under my cabinets) to hold misc hardware, electrical parts, etc and they work awesome -

    I bought a composite (plastic) pegboard kit from NorthernTool that I mounted behind my bench on the wall - similar to this but it was only 2 smaller sheets (maybe 8sqft total or so, not sure exactly) and probably a few less accessories. I'm Sure you can do the same w/ regular pegboard and piece together accessories, but I think I paid $30 or so and it's worked out awesome, the bins are great for storing parts while working on something, and various other odds and ends, and then I keep some of my most used tools up there so I dont have to go digging in the the toolchests.
  7. mndsm

    mndsm I'M OFFENDED!

    Well, if you need anymore remnant countertops, We can go to menards and cram another one in the MSP.....
  8. dmention7

    dmention7 Hater

    I like the idea of those pegboard mounted bins. Good way to keep hardware bits from multiple jobs separated but still close at hand.
  9. dmention7

    dmention7 Hater

    I think I am going to use something deeper than a countertop this time. Though it is nice because the surface is really easy to clean up.
  10. mOjO

    mOjO Member

    I dunno, but maybe they have wider styles for use in islands or something that you can use instead?

    Otherwise use two screwed and glued sheets of plywood for the top (for rigidity and as picklz stated for a vice) and then perhaps a layer of...uh...this stuff that looks like pegboard but with no holes.... Put it on for a nice smooth finish and/or a top you can strip off at a later date and replace if you've dinged/fucked it up. We used this very design at the two hardware stores I worked at.

    Maybe think about a trash bin catch where you can sweep all your stuff into (just a port hole you cut into the top and put a wastebasket under so you can sweep stuff into)?

    Find an old dresser. It may not be at a depth you want it, but who cares. pull it away from the wall to a depth you want your workbench to be and then cut a sheet of plywood to cover the top of the dresser and fill the gap behind it. Brace/support the plywood hanging off and build around it from there.

    Are you looking for form over function or function over form?
  11. dmention7

    dmention7 Hater

    This... I like this. Except I would probably want a removable cutout that fits into the porthole to make a smooth continuous work surface.

    Definitely function over form, but I am all about easy ways to make it look like I knew what I was doing when I built it. lol

    Any ideas on a good, durable, easily replaceable surface? I was kind of thinking about that, because a plywood surface is good, but I can forsee working with grese, oil or other liquids that could soak into plywood. I suppose I could always sand it smooth and give it a few good coats of polyurethane.
  12. mOjO

    mOjO Member

    This is what I was referring to when speaking of a top that's like pegboard but without the holes.

    This is some sort of 3pk of 2x4 sheets, but I know it comes in 4x8 sheets too. It's not as water resistant as a melamine counter top, but it's cheap, replaceable and pretty water resistant.
  13. niterydr

    niterydr Legendary Status!

    No workbenches, but I do have shelves around my entire garage for bin storage even above the garage door.
  14. dmention7

    dmention7 Hater

    Ah, good deal. I'll have to look into that stuff.
  15. Picklz

    Picklz SUDO Make me a SAMCH

    The idea of a removable cover w/ a wastebasket underneath is kind of neat if you have the space, a trash basket under the edge of the bench and a small hand broom works well enough though. I couldn't find my battery tender so decided looking for it was a good opportunity to clean my garage up a little bit - here is my lil workbench, I wish I had room for something larger but does the job well enough. It's kind of hacked apart right now from when I put the toolbox under it, will probably eventually fix that up a little bit.


    I'm thinking I may build a wooden top over my other toolchest, a second mini workbench area as a space to mount my miter saw but I'm not sure, also probably will put some storage bins above that area too

  16. YSOSLO

    YSOSLO is the word, beotch

    I really like Mojo's idea for the 1/4" replaceable top. I just might have to throw that on mine if I can ever get it cleared off. The two biggest considerations for me with regard to my workbench and garage in general were light and power. 8' flourescent fixtures really throw out a lot of light, and my two retractable power cord reels are my favorite and most often used items in my garage. If you're going to mount a power strip somewhere around your workbench, you may want to consider a longer one like this, so you have more room for blocky plug-ins and it covers more space in general. I've got the same type of small item storage that Picklz has on his workbench and for the most part it gets the job done, but there are other options out there that might be a better fit depending on what you're working with like the ones here, here and here. I definitely recommend mounting pegboard to the wall (with spacers, of course), because the stuff is fairly flexible which can be a PITA if you're not on a solid surface, like mine is....
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2012
  17. Picklz

    Picklz SUDO Make me a SAMCH

    Thanks for the link to that power strip Pete, pretty much exactly what I was looking for and pretty reasonably priced too! I might have to order one of those sooner than later.

    The first of your 3 storage links looks pretty dang nice too, will have to see if I can find a good spot to mount one of those.
  18. dmention7

    dmention7 Hater

    Yeah good call on the long power strip! Something like that will definitely be going in. Also picklz i like how you tucked your tool chests underneath. Good way to save floor space.
  19. dmention7

    dmention7 Hater

    I think a variant on this will need to have a spot. DIY FTW

  20. AJ

    AJ 110 HP of FURY!

    that, that is win. I need to do that!

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