When we recently moved into our new house, something in the garage was missing. Our old home had a work bench built in the early 50's in the garage and it was wonderful. The perfect size, location and had a sincere level of rustic charm mixed with heavy duty work on it. It didn't hurt that I spilled significant quantities of brake fluid all over doing a bleed either. It gave it an authentic look.
But the new house didn't have one. Which put me in the situation of a.) I needed a place to put tools. Having to traipse all over the garage to find something was getting old in a rush. And b.) I didn't want to spend a whole lot of money. I noticed store bought benches for about $100, I needed to be way less than that. Plus, DIY is so much better than just slapping some kit together. My goal was to build something that was sturdy, size-able and somewhat flexible in terms of where things go. Here is what I came up with.
I've been looking for plans for work benches for a while. This is a culmination of the things that I liked mapped to my size. For a project, it is probably the most simple thing that you can do. Total time, while watching 2 kids and having the battery die on my drill half way through the project was about 4 hours. Aside from splinters, no injuries occurred.
Speaking of injuries, measure twice, cut once, keep your hands out of saw blades, wear eye and ear protection, don't eat after 8pm if you want to lose weight. I'm not liable if any bad things happen as a result of following these plans.
Step 1: Get Your Lumber
Like I mentioned, I wanted to do this on the cheap. While I don't recommend stealing lumber from anywhere, if you're that kind of person, karma will get to you at some point and I'm not worried about it.
If you are a little more honest, wait for a hot day and take a cold case of Gatorade (or beer) over to your local residential construction site and see if you can barter your way into the scrap pile. This is what I did and the guys were more than willing to lend me a hand. I calculated what I would need before I went to the site as I didn't want to appear greedy. Just taking what I need to build my bench.
I got a sheet of plywood, a couple of scrap 4x4's and a few 2x4's. I would have preferred 2x6's, but beggars can't be choosers. My bench is 6' wide by 2 1/2' deep and 38" high. You might be saying that 38" sounds like a fairly unusual number but it is the length of the shortest 4x4 that I was able to get, so 38" worked out well. I think that I originally wanted 39 or 40 inches, but to save a bunch of money, I gave up 2 inches.
As for tools, be sure that you have a couple of good saws (mitre & circular) and a good drill. A carpenters pencil and a t-square are sure handy too. Now that I write this, it is probably safe to say that if you have those tools, you probably don't need an instructable, but hey, I've already started.