Instructables

Tough Cheap Work Bench (My Bowling Alley)

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I noticed some discountinued flooring at my local big box store and saw the opportunity for a new bench in my future. It was relatively inexpensive and easy to do. Plus it looks like a bowling alley, how cool is that???
 
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Step 1: What you need...


Cheap Flooring:
  • Look for the solid or real engineered version. In my opinion it will give you the best work surface and will last the longest of the options I found. For the small area of a work bench it really does not take that much material.
  • I opted to go the cheap skate route; my usual modus operandi... I looked that the local flooring stores for close outs. They had the best price per foot but wanted me to buy whatever they had left, which was usually 2 or more boxes more material than I needed. So I started looking at the home stores and big box retailers. Eventually I found some on clearance. It was solid bamboo for about $15 a box. I bought three but could have gotten by with 2. Yours will vary. My bench is 2' by 22'.
Base wood:
  • You can use what ever wood you have laying around. I did not have enough of any one type to get it done so I bought some 19/32" sheathing plywood. I think it was about $17 per sheet. I needed a little more than 2 sheet so had to buy 3.
  • I put a cleat around the edges to use as a ledger. I used a combination of  2"x2" left over from another project and I ripped some 2"x4" lengthwise for the rest.
Hardware:
  • I used a combination of deck screws and misc screws from my misc. screw box to mount the ledger and attach the base to the edges.
  • For attaching the flooring to the top I used construction adhesive and a brad nailer.
unkldave1 year ago
That's a slick job, well done. I lucked into a pile of laminate flooring that a neighbor was replacing. I am building a work bench and will use it on the top and I have enough so that when the top is all scuffed up I can just dig out the rest of the scrap. I am working on sawhorses and plywood and can't wait to get a real workbench built. Yours looks great.
Machine2 years ago
Very, very nice bench. There's loads of space for ANYTHING.

You could nearly mend an aircraft carrier on that bench! Well, a little one, maybe one of those British aircraft carriers.

It even looks good and your tools are all readily available.

I am ENVIOUS. And it was only a pathetic $96 for the whole lot, how good is that!

OK, so now we all wanna see some serious building on that bench.

Thanks for showing us.
Hey! Pick on a country your own size.
We may not have a million and one nukes but our armed forces are as equally misguided as yours.
This is presuming your from America.
Oops! sorry for the angry tone - I'm only joking.
couchchangeracing (author)  Machine2 years ago
Thanks, I have some builds I need to get written and posted.
xizdaqrian2 years ago
That workbench really shows off your impressive screw driver collection. ;) It is a good looking top. Well done.
couchchangeracing (author)  xizdaqrian2 years ago
Thanks, it is way easier to find the one you need when they are all at arms reach.
tomaltman2 years ago
Another good place for small volume flooring is Craigslist. Great write up.
couchchangeracing (author)  tomaltman2 years ago
Thanks. That is true I have gotten some good stuff on Craigslist.
DoDo7292 years ago
Hi, Great minds do think alike. I have a 16' work bench and when I re-did my garage, I had two boxes of left over click flooring from my home reno, and used them for my workbench top. Worked out great. Check it out on my Instructables. Yours looks great. Good job.
couchchangeracing (author)  DoDo7292 years ago
Funny, we have some things in common. I looked at your bio. We have some same hobbies, I am the neighborhood bike guy and am regularly fixing a bike for somebody. I have 7 currently and ride as much as I can. I also like to putter in my garage. From the looks of it we have similar garage tending habits. We like to build stuff here and there to make our garage better. I have about 4 more instructables to get published when I get a chance. One is a cool tall bike and one is some garage stuff. Keep an eye out for my builds.

PS good job on your instructables I like them all.
aleholder2 years ago
Looks really nice. I never would have thought to use flooring for a work bench. Excellent idea!
couchchangeracing (author)  aleholder2 years ago
Thanks for the note. It is a very economical material especially if shopped for carefully. Plus easy to expand as needed.
profpat2 years ago
great long table, i do have a long work table too, but eventually it gets crowded with lots of stuff.
couchchangeracing (author)  profpat2 years ago
The opposite side of my garage has another 18 feet of similar bench top. That side gets to have stuff sit on it once in a while. This is the side where I try to get stuff done so I usually try to keep it clutter free (I am moderately successful).
dimtick2 years ago
hey, nice job!
does the work surface have intermediate supports or is it supported by the tool chests? how did you attach the 2x cleats to the walls?
the flooring really gives it a nice look.
couchchangeracing (author)  dimtick2 years ago
Thanks for the props,

Yes, it is entirely supported by the cleats and tool boxes. I tried to show the cleat attachment as best I could in the pictures. I used deck screw to attach to the wall at the studs and other places where I had wood runners under the peg board. I then screwed down through the plywood into the cleat from above as well. Hope that explains it well enough. If not I can get some more pictures for you.
Thanks for the reply.
I think that some intermediate countertop supports may be helpful. that way your not dependent on the toolchests for support since they're on wheels.
something like this would work well.
http://www.amazon.com/Heavy-Duty-Titanium-Shelf-Bracket/dp/B002TII0JY/ref=pd_cp_hi_3
just a thought.
anyway, nice job.
I'll hopefully be building one soon. my garage is totally disorganized and my wife is sick of me doing projects on the dining room table. can't imagine why.
:)
couchchangeracing (author)  dimtick2 years ago
There is a method to my madness. The stainless drawers are bolted in as well as some other attachment points. My thinking is to hopefully make it difficult if anyone ever decided to break into my garage and try to make off with them. If they get past the security system and the dog.
zazenergy2 years ago
you did an amazing job with this!
couchchangeracing (author)  zazenergy2 years ago
Thanks, I am trying to get caught up. I have at least 4 more to post in the coming weeks if I can stay focused.
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