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)