Instructables
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

Raw materials:
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.
 
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chengiz11 months ago
Excellent. You are a natural - wont take long before you become a pro!
This is an awesome project, it's really good for your first build! i may have to do something similar with my Evolution Tools thanks for sharing!
affitfather3 years ago
You can use hinges on one side. That way you could just swing it up and it would slide too. Throw some wheels that lock on the bottom and you'll really be in business.
this gives me some inspiration to make a new kind of workbench! now if i only had some money to buy lumber.
Mojo_JoJo (author) 4 years ago
I decided I don't need the overhang on all 4 sides, so I cut off about 5" wide strips from two opposite sides and cut them in half so I have 4 pieces. i.e. 5" x 18" x 4 pieces. I then nailed the pieces together to have myself a drawer to keep the tools. The bottom of the drawer is a sheet of particle board I had lying around.

I still have the option of cutting the remaining two sides and making an additional drawer if required in the future.

The handle for the drawer is an aluminium heatsink from the burnt regulator of my motorcycle which I knew would come handy one day. My wife keeps saying I collect junk and I am always trying to prove to her how useful the "junk" is...it's never ending :-)
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g0dswilll4 years ago
i'll third the cleats! that was the first thing that popped into my head!
andreq4 years ago
Nice instructables !

Would you mind uploading your blueprint ?

I really like the simple and small design!
Mojo_JoJo (author)  andreq4 years ago
Sorry I forgot, I meant to upload the Google Sketchup file earlier along with the pics but forgot. I have done it now, hope it is what you are looking for.
Here it is! Finaly! I've built my own workbench based on your design (thanks!) It's 48"x28" and 3 feet high. I used 1 piece of plywood 4'x8' that was cut at home depot (quite well actualy!) The feet are made from 2"x3". In the secound picture you can see I'm used the alsmot completed bench to cute holes for the bottom panel. I've added a piece of left over in the middle for added stability. (3rd picture)
andreq andreq4 years ago
forgot to press "upload" when adding my pictures -_- Take 2 :
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Mojo_JoJo (author)  andreq4 years ago
This just made my day :-) the next best thing to completing your own instructable is to see someone else benefit from it. What is the thickness of the plywood you used? If I am not wrong you have simply screwed the top surface from the top to the frame underneath? The piece in the middle is a good idea. Hope to see more instructables come off of this workbench :-)
I used 3/4 plywood as I tough that less than this would be too flimsy I used only 6 screw on the top surface for now. I'm living in an apartment too and I found out it didn't fit in a sharp corner to make it out... duh! I'll have to take it apart when I move (in a proper house!). It's a shame as I calculated the deepness based on the door width... it fit well in a door -_-
mpikas4 years ago
I'll second the cleats... that's what I did for the take down workbench that I made to go next to my desk in my office...
jdege4 years ago
I hadn't noticed your request for help, the first time through.  Are you still looking for a way of fastening the top to the base?

You could just screw it down.  But if you do, make sure you make the holes over-size.  The boards will expand and contract, as the humidity changes, but the plywood will not.  If you bolt them together without leaving room for expansion, you could get serious warping or buckling.  The workbench in my instructable expanded by about 3/8" over its first year.

I used s-clips to fasten the top.  These are pretty easy to use, if you have a router.  See step #27:

http://www.instructables.com/id/Building-a-real-woodworkers-workbench/#step27

Or you could just grab some 4-6" lengths of 2x2.  Drill some over-sized holes from front-to-back and bottom-to-top.  Then screw them into the inside of your top stretchers, and into the bottom of your top.

Mojo_JoJo (author)  jdege4 years ago
I already went ahead and fastened the top using bolts before I saw your reply, thanks for the tips though.

I did not get which boards you are refering to that would expand/contract, except for the legs everything else is plywood which I hope won't deform. It gets pretty humid during the monsoons here in India so it could be something I need to consider.
jdege Mojo_JoJo4 years ago
If you made your stretchers out of plywood, you'll be fine.  Plywood is dimensionally stable, it hardly moves at all.

But you will want to be aware of how wood expands and contracts, in future projects.  I've seen some very nice-looking projects ruined, because the builder tightly fastened two pieces of wood that were bound-and-determined to move in different directions. You can get cracking, warping, various sorts of problems.

woodworking.about.com/od/dealingwithproblems/p/expansion.htm
jdege4 years ago
I usually reserve the word "workbench" for a proper woodworker's workbench, with integrated woodworking vices, etc.  What you have I'd call a craft table or an assembly table.  It's something designed for you to set things on while you work.

www.instructables.com/id/Building-a-real-woodworkers-workbench/

That said, what you have looks like a very simple, solid, and effective design for an assembly table.  You should get years of solid service out of it.
Mojo_JoJo (author)  jdege4 years ago
I took workbench to mean a bench to work on and did not think it was used specifically for wood working :-)

I have practically no experience with woodworking and thought this would be a good learning exercise. I am extremely pleased that you think my design will work well for me, I was afraid I might have not made the best design choices and end up with something horribly wrong. Thanks for the encouragement !!
jdege Mojo_JoJo4 years ago
It's only the woodworkers who get hung up on the difference between a workbench and a work table.

As for your design choices, you made the best possible choice for someone who is just starting out, you built something. It's easy to make the fear of doing something wrong to prevent you from doing anything, or to spend so much time trying to create the perfect design for a bench that you never actually build it.

Truth is, I've never finished a project without having something about it I would have done differently, if I'd known when I started what I'd learned while doing it. But if I'd never started to do it, I'd have never learned at all.
rally9x jdege4 years ago
If you don't need a perfect surface you could just use screws or a bolt (make a pilot hole a bit smaller and have the bolt thread it). You could make a bigger hole a little bit larger at the top part so the screw/bolt is not on the surface and its easier to get to. You might want to look at some other workbenches for ideas since there are a lot of solutions to this problem up to some fairly complex ones that involve putting a slot inside the leg to have access to attach a nut to a bolt.

Jdege - What you said would probably be called a "woodworkers workbench" or a "classic woodworkers workbench" of which there are still many different styles,  different cultures even have many different ideas on woodworking benchs. You could have a "Computer Workbench" and it would still be a workbench.
rrod4364 years ago
maybe you could add cleats to the bottom of the work surface tight against the frame to make a friction fit. pop it off when you need to move it, pop it back on to work! hope that helps
troseph4 years ago
I built something like this for my soldering station. It works very well for craft and tinkering.