Eversince I can remember I have been making stuff and it has always been a dream of mine to have my very own workshop where I can let loose my creativity with great precision and style. Towards that end I have collected several tools over the years but have always felt the need for a place to call my own. My happy place :-)
Since I live in an apartment with ceramic tile floors it has become impossible for me to work on the floor for fear of cracking the tiles, so I finally decided to make my very own workbench.
Some of the design criteria or constraints I had in mind when I started with this were:
1. Workbench should be sturdy.
2. Can be used for a variety of things.
3. Flexible storage space
4. Minimum cost.
5. Minimum wastage of materials.
6. Require least variety of tools to make
1. For legs I used 3" x 3" x 30" solid wood legs. Unfortunately I do not know what kind of wood it is, I just asked the timber merchant to give me the cheapest he had.
2. For the remaining parts I used one full sheet of 18mm thick plywood, 4' x 6'.
3. 6 dozen 1.5" Screws/nails
4. Tools, the more the merrier.
I had gone to the timber shop a day before to find out what were the standard sizes of ply that were available (4'x6', 4'x7', 4'x8', 3'x6', 3'x7', 3'x8') then came back and made the cutting plan on Google Sketchup so that the least amout of wood would be left over.
Step 1: Gathering the materials
One of the tools I don't have is a saw for cutting large pieces of wood, and even if I did have one it would be virtually impossible to cut the plywood into the strips I need without a worbench and a powertool.
So to make my life easier I got the timber shop to cut up the entire plywood as per my cut-out plan using their circular saw.
You should now have the following materials
1. 4' x 3' ply for the work top
2. 3' x 2' ply for the storage/shelf top
3. 3" x 36" strips (4x)
4. 3" x 24" strips (4x)
5. 3" x 3" x 30" solid wood legs (4x)
You can go for thicker or thinner plywood depending on your usage, I though 18mm thick would be best value for money for me. A pouch of glue and about 6 dozen 1.5" screws are all that is left to be added to the materials list.
All the above raw materials cost me Rs.1500/- thats about 30$ (USD)
It is very important to have strong and sturdy legs (applies to you as well) as these are what will take the entire load of all the work that you will be doing on the workbench.
First step is to stand the legs on a flat surface and make sure they stand vertically and the cut ends are absolutely flat and square. Mark and cut the legs into equal lengths. My workbench legs are 30" long.