For the past year and a half we have been living in a small, one bedroom apartment, where the only place for me to get dirty work done is on the deck outside. When I first went to build something, I realized that I needed a surface to work on - primarily to protect the deck as I drilled through pieces of wood. However, being impatient to build something other than a proper workbench, I decided to use a small piece of particle board supported off the floor by some scraps of wood screwed to its bottom side. I later added a small drill press vise to this improvised "workbench." Over time it became apparent that my "workbench" needed an upgrade. Whenever I would support a workpiece in the vice, it was not really supported as the entire workbench would slide around on the floor. Additionally, after a day of work my legs would inevitably be sore from kneeling on the floor of the deck. Yes, I needed a proper workbench. As I pondered workbench ideas, I realized that I could use a workbench to solve another issue we were having on the deck. Over time a pile of scrap wood had begun to accumulate in the corner of the deck. Not only was this pile an eyesore, but the wood was entirely exposed to the elements. If I were to create an enclosed workbench with internal storage for the wood, I could solve both issues I was having.
I used Sketchup to draw up the design for the workbench. 4x4" posts would form the corners, with 2x4's and 2x2's being used for the remainder of the structure. 1/2" plywood would be used to enclose the sides of the workbench and for the construction of doors located at each end. The internal storage length would be slightly greater than 4', which would allow all of my scraps to easily fit. For the top of the workbench I decided to use a 3/4" thick PVC board. I was worried that a wood-based top would eventually degrade and potentially warp as the workbench would be out in the weather. The exposed wood components would be coated with a deck stain to give them some degree of weather protection.