Picture of Building a workshop from scratch
After being frustrated by not having enough room to work, not being able to find the right tools and supplies, and spending way too much time looking for things, we decided to clean out a basement utility room and build a workshop. We learned a lot of things along the way and hope our experience will be helpful to anyone who is thinking about building or adapting usable workspace.
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Step 1: Table of Contents

Because of its length, this Instructable is broken down into 3 main categories: Planning, Construction, and Organization. This makes it easier to navigate through it.

You can find:

-Planning on steps 2-8

-Construction on steps 9-24

-Organization on steps 25-37

Step 2: Site Preperation

Picture of Site Preperation
For us, site preparation began with a big cleanout. We threw out abandoned projects, broken parts, and other odds and ends. Organizing what we wanted to keep took a long time, but was very helpful later on as we tried to design storage and set priorities for the kinds of activities we wanted the workshop to support. After we cleared out the room and swept it clean, we assessed the space: how much room was there for bench space, for shelving, for hanging storage? How was the lighting? What existing functions of the room did we need to work around? (That whole-house vacuum tank to the right of the breaker boxes was exhibit A in this department.) We looked for things that might have needed repairing, but the room was in pretty good shape.

We were especially careful to sort through old pieces, parts, and hardware: our scrap drawers served us well in the project as we were able to find corner irons, odd-size screws, and other bits that saved us a trip to the hardware store. We now have 5 different bins of hardware, and another cabinet full of electronics parts.
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prdewa4 months ago

Excellent work..... I am in the middle of converting a 10x10 spare room in my apartment to a "neat" storage cum workspace .... I could relate to your first sentence - "After being frustrated by not having enough room to work, not being able
to find the right tools and supplies, and spending way too much time
looking for things, we decided to clean out a basement utility room and
build a workshop ....." Hope I could reach similar end results too :-) ..... Thanks for sharing and good luck with the workshop .......

Anthony.w.castillo made it!10 months ago

GREAT DESIGN! my floor in my garage is not level so it made measurements and leveling a pain. I'm not really good at this stuff so it took a little longer, i think i wan to add doors to the middle to hide some of the clutter. Thanks again.

gurobuzz1 year ago

Since I do a lot of different projects ( welding, electronics, woodworking, auto repair) I made a pretty easy counter top using 2 layers of particle board with a sheet metal cover.

dwosullivan4 years ago
I'm not sure about the US, but in Australia in the recent past, and maybe still, asbestos was used in the centre of fire doors. While it is an excellent building material, it does unfortunately lead to serious sickness in some people.
Just throwing that out there for people to consider.

Other than that it looks like a great workspace (so envious...)
its also true that only about 2 or 3% of the asbestos used in buildings (and I'm guessing fire doors as well) is of the type that can cause problems. Also the risk is during construction as the asbestos will not be going anywhere now that the benches are completed.

That being said I would still wear a mask while drilling through the doors for that reason.
hi ,
It was quite alarming reading what you had just posted regarding asbestos .
any asbestos big or small , and in any quantity is bad for you . Wearing a mask will not stop it getting to your lungs .
We have a huge problem of asbestos in the uk , especially in public building like schools and recently there has been several articles of teachers dying from asbestos related diseases - you figure .
if its affecting some teachers , imagine what its doing to the pupils.
Many firefighters and police that helped during September attacks , are experiencing asbestos related illnesses , see link below

so , in hindsight , please bear in mind that its will affect you no matter what you wear and could affect your health in the future .

Aww come on lets not get all kinds of hysterical about asbestos. Sure the stuff is deadly lethal to some people, but not all people! I must be in the latter group as I've messed around with the stuff on plenty of occasions for over 25 years now and it has never adversely impacted me.

I don't think twice about grabbing my asbestos blanket to use on jobs if it means the difference between burning down a house or not. Being in a burning building is hazardous to everyone!
Regardless of the "Type" of asbestos involved, breathing any dust or loose particles is bad for your health. If it is left untouched and sealed then there should be a decreased risk. On the other hand everything is hazardous to some degree, even Oxygen, which is needed for life, can hurt you.

pfred2 when you are using an asbestos blanket do you cut/grind/sand/shred it?
of course not. For those who do not know what an asbestos blanket is, Its just that a blanket made of asbestos only you use it between burnable material or anything you don't want to get scorch marks on while welding, brazing, Or using anything that produces a flame or a large amount of heat during construction, fixes or remodels. And yes anything sold in the US these days is the safe version. Not sure about other places. Opticalfx is correct. Always use a dust mask.
tim_n pfred22 years ago
Well, as someone who's uncle is currently dying from an asbestos related disease due to his years of work at motor company (his symptoms happening about 20 years later) I can assure you it's worth taking procautions.

There are masks that do filter it, they're expensive.

Any particulate product is best to do the drilling outside, wash workshop clothes seperately and directly after use.

Many people died due to dust coming off clothing. It only takes a few fibres to cause the damage.

I did an instructable about making bandaids from fungus in the forest and had plenty of hysterical 'think of the children' types from lifehacker saying how bad it was etc, so I know where you're coming from. It's a good 'ible regardless and there's no need for disclaimers.

Take care when reusing materials that you don't know the history of!

(I deconstructed a space heater recently filled with asbestos, did it safely, double bagged everything and disposed of responsibly. The bricks were cleaned and I literally eat off them now as they're in my pizza oven!)
Wyattr551232 years ago
Drywall has gypsum cores, not cement
mjdinsmore6 years ago
Where is the leg vice? Tail vice? How are you supposed to do woodworking on this? Dog holes? How do you clamp anything? It seems like the top has polyurethane / glossy finish and much too slippery to do much on it? Seems more like a storage area than a workshop to me. Sorry.
What part in any of this project gives you the impression that this is meant to be a "Woodworking" workshop. It is obviously electronics based. How about not complaining about the lack of functionality and recognize that it is a great instructable for a great, easy to build, and well organized workshop for his needs. I am sure that you can easily change the plans to suit your woodworking requirements. dwj300... great job... you obviously spent a log of time on making a well documented instructable. Thanks!
pfred2 lue425 years ago
What? You sit on resistors in your house? Everyone has woodworking requirements! That, and often when I do electronics I still need to hold something in a vise. Without some kind of a bench vise mjdinsmore is right, it is just shelves.
Mak5 pfred22 years ago
Step 36??
pfred2 Mak52 years ago
Might be an addition since I posted almost 3 years ago now.
Check out this book... it is the bible for designing a woodworking workshop.

pfred2 lue424 years ago
I have this book:

That other one you posted a link to looks pretty interesting as well.
So for the majority of the workbench did you not use anymore bracing in the center where the top of the work bench is?

I ask because in the one picture I see that you joint the front mirrored image of the shelves/workbench to the cleats in the wall but there is only one support on the left and right.

Do you have anymore pictures or anything like that?

I love that your work bench has the center shelves, that makes for a really good way to store stuff and I love how it looks.

where did you get this from??????
I found some at Lowe's. Pretty generic drawers though.
tinker2343 years ago
odin74 years ago
Thanks for the great idea. Sorry the clutter, in the picture.
jackbomber5 years ago
 great instructible. I have a simlar work bench. one very usefull tool I added was a  computer.  I wall mounted a flat panel monitor under a shelf that the computer sits on and have a wireless keyboard/mouse that sit on a shelf when not in use. It's nice to have the web at my disposal when working on projects. what better tool in a shop than having at my disposal? it's also nice to have it feeding my stereo whatever internet streaming audio I can find or just tunes from my media server. 
What do you do about dust entering your comp? Wood or metal working can generate alot of dust(Electronics too if you print and punch your own boards)
You'd be surprised how much dust comes out of computers that sit in offices their whole lives. Suit lint and paper dust from printers and copiers can really build up! I keep some computers in my garage workshop and once in a while I just blow them out with compressed air. It doesn't seem to really bother them.
qballcat5 years ago
Hi, im 14 and i want to build this.  ONLY  the bench,(and pegboard and stuff)  not any of the tools, what was the cost?  i cant exceed 800$ and i am buying 450$ worth of tools, just wondering.

dwj300 (author)  qballcat5 years ago
Not very much, the doors were the most expensive thing, the wood and pegboard probably cost around 250ish, but that really depends on the doors that you get. Good luck!
qballcat dwj3005 years ago
awesome, thanks alot :D
Scavenge your wood qballcat! Ask around construction sites and the such. It's cheaper to give the scraps away then to haul them out.
Fujo dwj3005 years ago
Why use doors unless you already have ones lying about??? cheaper to buy sheets of wood..
11richie214 years ago
nice work! on that before picture it looked like someone threw a grenade in there lol!
cimbru4 years ago
Very nice!
planetscape4 years ago
Even after merely skimming, I see you have assembled a marvelous collection of mightily freakin' clever ideas here! Great job!
dcrrcdx24 years ago
brilliant, wish i had the space!...
stan44 years ago
Nice job.

I find that over time my storage needs change, so I installed french cleats on the wall to hang my tools and shelves from. It allows me to move around tools and cabinets with ease. I used pre-primed finger jointed exterior trim board from a home improvement store. it is strait and just needs a top coat of paint.

Mig Welder4 years ago
For the countersinking, wouldn't it of been easier to drill the pilot hole then the countersink hole so you wouldn't have to find the exact center of the countersink?
Not sure if that makes sense but I think it might've made it a little easier.
dwj300 (author)  Mig Welder4 years ago
 Hmm, good idea! I think that would have worked slightly better, but going with my guy worked out pretty well.
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