I have an area in the old barn that is unused and I wanted to convert to a 'rough' working place. The floor is unlevelled , which require adjustable feet to adjust for the height difference up to 30 mm. The angle of the wall corners are not perpendicular, they are more like 86 to 93 degrees, which require a remissive design.


This is an extreme heavy duty work bench that can be used for really large weights. A bench that I built some years ago according to the same concept, was acting as a stand for a metal bench mill and lathe of approx. 200 kg totally, without any problems.

My build is 4.8 m long and 2.0 m wide at the sides. The work area is 800 mm deep (from front to rear) and 850 mm high from the ground.


The first thing you must ask yourself is:

  • Should there be any heavy, permanently mounted machines at the bench? And where should they be?
  • Will you have any vice (or several vices) mounted at the bench? And where should they be located?

The reason for you to ask these questions now, is that you should locate the cross sections directly below the loads to give the bench a firm support.

Some general tips according vices:

If you work with long objects, consider mounting two vices in line with each other. Obviously more expensive but definitely worth it!. Or if you build a shorter bench with a 90 deg. sideboard you can also use two vices, if they are rotatable

Calculate the number of cross sections needed. I recommend distance of approx. 1.0 m between each section. The bench may be unstable and not sturdy enough if a distance larger than 1.2 m is used.

As a general rule I never place any wood material in direct contact to concrete because moisture can/will be transported through the concrete and into the wood. So a gap, or a large washer, between wood and concrete is advisable.

Also consider any electrical wiring to power outlets, if needed. It's a good idea to have figured this out before building the bench.

What you need:

  • Ordinary wood working tools.
  • General wood screws, countersunk (I.e. diam: 5 and length 55).
  • Angle brackets, 50x50x35x3.0 - 4 per cross section.
  • Angle brackets ,90x35x35x3.0 - 1 per cross section.
  • Large screws, nuts and washers for adjustable feet: Hex bolt head M20x80 or longer. 2 per cross section
  • A lot of wood for building.
  • Laminate floor as protection surface
  • Vices: Optional

Total cost for 4.8 m x 2.0 m (in Swedish Krona, SEK):

  • Bench plate wood: 1060 SEK
  • Wood for cross section, lower shelf and additional pieces: 520 SEK
  • Laminate floor: 336 SEK
  • Angle Brackets 50x50: 72 SEK
  • Angle Brackets 50x90: 48 SEK
  • Hex bolts, nuts M20 and washers: 250 SEK
  • Wood screws, fasteners, etc.: 200 SEK

Total cost in USD: 2486 SEK => 380 USD (Feb 2014: USDSEK = 6.55)

Step 1: Lining up


First of course, fix the walls if they are damaged.

Lining up:

Start by drawing a horizontal levelled line at the walls describing the final working upper surface. (I am quite tall and prefer a working surface height of 850 mm). Be VERY careful that the line is absolutely horizontal because the whole build will rely on this line. Use a long level or a line laser. Double check the line position.

Find out where the cross sections will be located and at what height. The height is calculated by subtracting the total bench plate thickness together with the upper cross section height, from 850. In my case: 170 mm below upper surface.

Fasten consoles:

Firmly fasten the larger consoles 90x35x35x3.0 at the walls (with plugs if it's concrete). The purpose of these are to give you a small gap between the wood and the concrete wall, and secure the bench to the walls. It's very frustrating if the whole bench moves around or rattles when you are working furiously with some mean parts that need persuasion...

<p>Nice, but definitely not Extreme Heavy Duty, or just a standard bench.</p><p>An easy upgrade to heavy duty (but not extreme) would be to glue the top pieces together, then attach a 2x6 on the front on edge. </p><p>Calculating sag tells me your bench as is will sag about .1inch with a 2000lb load. Adding the 2x6 would half the sag (double the stiffness).</p><p>Without gluing the top boards, a 2000lb weight would probably damage the top.</p>
<p>What is oil hardened board ?</p>
<p>I think it also might be called 'hardboard'.</p><p>It is usually available in different hardness. Select one that has as hard surface as possible.</p>
<p>Tempered Hardboard is what he is talking about.</p>
<p>Oil hardened board is wood that has been boiled in Olive oil or Linseed oil for 8 minutes. It's good for carvings you want to last a long time as well as wooden pulleys. It also helps keep wood from splitting.</p><p><a href="http://www.woodcarvingillustrated.com/forum/f38/hardening-olive-oil-35850/" rel="nofollow">http://www.woodcarvingillustrated.com/forum/f38/ha...</a></p>
<p>Great looking work area. I have an almost identical layout that I need to build out for my wife for her own work area. Now I have no excuse to put it off except maybe converting it to the silly US system of inches/feet, etc. (Not a real problem but I may play that card if I need a few more weeks before I get started) I think I'll rebuild my own area after I get hers done, mine was supposed to be a temporary setup anyway. Again, Great Job and great Instructable, thanks for sharing it.</p>
<p>Sorry, can't resist ;) You know that there is just three countries that havn't converted to the metric system yet? Burma, Liberia and... well, ehum... USA.</p><p>Good luck with the build!</p>
<p>The United States being one of only three Countries: :=) While it is true we don't use the metric system, a few of us are trying to convert. It ain't easy for this 64 year old to go from something I have used all my life to a &quot;new/Old&quot; system. However, coming with the global economy we are seeing more and more of it. I would like to see the US switch in the schools, but it would take a generation before we saw results.</p><p>As to the bench, it is a great idea and a good use for the space. I have a similar area that needs or is crying for this type of bench in the basement. </p><p>Thanks fro your work and shareing. </p>
<p>How can you say it is an &quot;Extreme Heavy Duty Work Bench&quot;? For my standard work bench it would have to take 600 lb at any point. A HD bench would have to take about 1000 lb at any point. An &quot;Extreme Heavy Duty Work Bench&quot; would do double that. I doubt this bench could do that work day in day out. Why use such language? Just say it is a useful workbench, which it is, but it's not heavy duty or &quot;Extreme Heavy Duty&quot;</p>
<blockquote><strong>A ledge:</strong><br> Screw a ledge to the wall. Looks nice and makes the bench easier to clean without damaging the wall.<br></blockquote><p>It's also good to keep small parts, screws, etc. from falling into that gap between the wall and the bench top.</p>
<p>That is awesome sized work bench! Ah how I miss having my own home.</p>
nice workbench!
<p>Well done best 1 I've seen so far</p>
<p>I think calling it &quot;super heavy duty&quot; is a bit over generous. First, the lumber is spanning with its weak axis. With a thickness of 45mm, it can safely span no more than 900 mm. I am accustomed to using workbenches with 50 x 100, turned on edge, to take advantage of the strong axis of the wood. The boards are all face glued and span about 1800 mm. THAT&quot;S a super heavy duty workbench.</p><p>Still, your bench looks good and should handle most do-it-yourself kind of work. With the hardboard on top, I would have fastened the edges of the boards together to make the top act as one piece.</p>
Good job! amazing :)
timely! just moved house and about to build a workshop. Took my old bench with me. This gives me several improvements to implement.
<p>This is too funny! In the real world craftsmen use a sacrificial layer of Masonite (hardboard) or plywood as a work surface. Once one side is completely ruined they flip the sheets over to renew the surface. </p>
snyggt o stilrent.
Very nice. Re the saw- is that a hardened tooth saw? If so it may be sharp but it cannot be resharpened. I would say saws that can be sharpened are better. Hardened tooth saws you can only throw away when they become blunt.
<p>Yes it's a hardened saw. I like it because it's a little bit thicker than other saws and that gives a very straight cut. It doesn't bend or wobbles as much as thinner saws may do sometimes. And it's razor sharp.</p><p>I agree with you that an non-hardened saw last longer because it can be resharpenend. Therefore I have both kind of saws, for different kind of jobs.</p>
Very nice. Re the saw- is that a hardened tooth saw? If so it may be sharp but it cannot be resharpened. I would say saws that can be sharpened are better. Hardened tooth saws you can only throw away when they become blunt.
<p>Excellent job and great workshop, I will trying to perform in Mexico, I have a question, how you hang up the shelves?</p>
<p>The shelves on the wall, are mounted at the top with simple angle brackets screwed to the wall and the wood. At the bottom there is a ledge (thin, long piece of wood) screwed to the wall that bears the weight.</p><p>Or do you mean the shelf at the bottom of the bench?</p>
<p>So much talent and expertise in this build. I already have a workbench but I will certainly update it with all the great stuff from here !</p>
<p>which program did you use for the drawings?</p>
<p>I am using Catia V5. Modelling is done in 3D and projected to 2D.</p>
<p>Muy buen trabajo...felicitaciones. una idea, pintar el muro de color blanco...</p>
<p>Jealous. Like every guy (and probably gal) who sees this.</p><p>Great work.</p><p>Please do more.</p><p>Thank you.</p>
<p>Excellent photos and workmanship. Love the top surface too. An inspiration for my soon to be work shop.</p>
<p>Envy.LOVE! LOVE!</p>
<p>Cool!!!!!!!! Congratulations!</p>
<p>Seriously amazing. I mean really. </p>
<p>Excellent job. I too, like the use of laminate flooring. Very good, and understandable instructable.</p>
<p>Very nice design, well thought out and executed. The laminate flooring is genius.</p><p>I have a few &quot;vices&quot; myself but this is not the place LOL</p>
<p>I am envious. One day it will be my turn to have a place where I can make my workbench. Great job on yours!</p>
<p>Great bench! I really like the finished look, you planned this very well. Thank you for sharing with us! </p>
<p>This is exactly what I need in a work bench!</p>
&quot;tongue-and-groove&quot;, &quot;hardboard&quot;, &quot;vise/vises&quot; (&quot;vice&quot; is a type of crime). Otherwise FANTASTIC instructable, voted for you. excellent location for the lighting (closer to wall so the light comes from in front of and above you, so you won't shadow your work when you lean in). more lighting will be necessary, but that's next, right? ;-) Keep up the good work!
<p>Funny, I thought this, too. I looked it up and in the US the word &quot;vice&quot; refers to a bad habit or immoral behavior, while a &quot;vise&quot; is the device used to hold things fast to a bench. However, outside the US, &quot;vice&quot; is used for both definitions. </p><p>Love the project. Inspires me to work on something similar!</p>
<p>&quot;Vice&quot; is the English spelling of the American &quot;vise&quot;. When will those Americans learn to spell ? ;-)</p>
<p>Thank you for your vote (!) and the spelling info. Will correct the text.</p><p>Yep, more lightning in the room will be next (and already acquired).</p>
sorry wrong buton. As I said I also like the concrete color, on a white wall you see everything. Nice job!
<p>There's actually a good cause to not never paint concrete walls. Concrete transport moisture and therefor the paint MUST be able to pass the moisture, otherwise the paint will peel and the concrete crumble.</p><p>Several paints specify that they are moisture permeable, but they are not good enough. I only trust the 'old school' handmade paints for this, and they are really expensive.</p>
Never to old for learning :) I didn't know that, thank you. If you are talking about old school handmade paints what kind of paint are you talking about? I only know the paint with rapeseedoil and Harpuis ( I really do not know the English name for it. It was used in the past on mast of a ship)
<p>I think the correct English term is 'limewash' for the paint I use.</p>
<p>generally in the US its called whitewash, it works great in basements where the humidity is very high and has the added advantage of not being susceptible to mold....heres a recipe,(wear a mask and rubber gloves):</p><p>http://www.motherearthnews.com/homesteading-and-livestock/whitewashing-using-slaked-lime.aspx</p>
<p>If you're going to build this custom to the space then why bother with the foot levelers? Just cut the legs to the desired heights. That way you're getting the full face of the wood in contact with the floor instead of the much smaller area provided by the leveler post. </p>

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