Workbench and Companion Worktable

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Introduction: Workbench and Companion Worktable

If Minecraft has taught us anything is that any serious crafting starts with a good workbench. Like a lot of people, space is limited and you have to make the most of it. So I really worked on reducing the footprint of the workbench for this project. I highly encourage you to customize either this design or a combination of all the great work available on Instructables to fit your needs.

I want to give credit to jakehathaway for the Worktable design.

I also have a different instructable for the wall shelves you see in the background 

Now let's get started !

Step 1: Get Your Materials

What you need can be easily found in any hardware store. What you will need for this project is : 

10 - 2x4
2 - 3/4" plywood sheets
150 - #8 2-1/2" wood screws
4 - dolly wheels

Please disregard the hinges on the picture as I originally wanted the workbench to be foldable but I was not impressed with the stability so I changed my design.

* You can probably use sheets of press wood (OSB) as it is cheaper but I prefer the look and durability of the 3/4" plywood. It will also look better when you apply finish on the top surface of the workbench.

Step 2: Cut Your Materials

This project is highly customizable so I encourage you to make it as you need it. In my project I would probably have made the workbench a full 8' long but as I realized, over 72", you start to have integrity problems with only 4 legs to support the weight. So in this case I made the my workbench 72" long.

Speaking of dimensions, here are mine :

Workbench 72" (L) - 28" (D) - 34" (H)
Worktable 60" (L) - 24" (D) - 29" (H*)

It is recommended that your main workbench height should be as high as your wrist / waist. The worktable should be about 5-6 inches lower.

Before you get to work, MAKE SURE YOU HAVE THE PROPER SAFETY EQUIPMENT ! 

Worktable
The great feature about the working table design is that it is really simple. You only need to have 4 length of 2x4. 

That gives me:
4 x 60"
4 x 26.5" (I will be adding the wheels that are 2.5" high)
4 x 24"

1 x 60"x24" plywood sheet
1 x 36" x 24" plywood sheet (bottom shelf)
1 x 24" x 24" plywood sheet (bottom drawer)

Workbench
The design is very similar but there isn't the same amount of pieces of 2x4

That gives me:
3 x 72"
4 x 34" 
4 x 25"

1 x 72"x28" plywood sheet

Step 3: Assembling the Worktable

Now that you have the cut raw materials, the fun part starts ! When assembling the legs, here are some tips that will make it easier to have a nice finished product. 

A) Assemble the legs first.

B) Link the legs with the frame support. Having the legs support inward will allow space for clamping.

C) Screw in the plywood top, bottom shelf and drawer. For the lower shelf, I actually had two level on the shelf strictly because I did not had two length of 60" plywood and I did not want to buy another sheet just for that.

D) Add scrap 2x4 pieces on the table legs and attach the dolly wheels.

Assembling Tips 
1) Pre-drill holes prior to putting the screws in. It might not look like much but it will help when assembling your workbench.
2) Place the screws diagonally making a diamond shape. This will also help down the road when completing the assembly.
3) Countersink the screws before drilling them. I have to admit I only did it for the top but if you don't make sure you don't overtight them as you don't want your wood to crack.
4) Place only one screw per side at the time. This will allow to square the legs before finishing the assembly of the legs. 

Step 4: Assembling the Workbench

The workbench is basically the same design than the worktable but I assembled it differently.

A) Assemble the top frame first. In this design, I liked having top back 2x4 to be on top instead.

B) Complete the legs assembly and assemble them to the top of the workbench.

C) Add the final support 2x4 to improved solidity of the workbench.


Step 5: Sanding and Finish

Now that the assembly is completed, the bench will look better once you sand off all the edges and the rough parts. Apply between two to four layers of wood finish (satin or semi-gloss). 

Step 6: Start Making !

I have been using my workbench for a little while now and the worktable on wheels turned out to be way more interesting to use as a giant keyboard tray. When I am working, I can leave some of my measuring tools on the worktable, push it back to work on the workbench and pull it back when I need to measure another piece. 

Now that you have a nice sturdy and finished workbench, let's get making !

4 People Made This Project!

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11 Comments

Made this - It is a awesome unit, super solid. The back lip, I made it taller then put peg board on it, and didn't build the shelf. All in with a case of beer I would say $150-200(depending on the beer you drink ;)) 5-6 hours of your time as well, I'm sure if we stuck at it and only bought a 6 pack, would of took only a few hours. I'll get around to taking a pic shortly

1 reply

Thanks for the feedback ! I'd like to see your build so be sure to post it here. I am really curious about the pegboard as this is definitively something I wanted to add to my workshop but could not really figure out so far.

I would say that for 100-150 $ you should be able to complete this project from scratch ( assuming you have all the required tools). 2x4 are fairly cheap but the 3/4" plywood sheet can be quite expensive sometime.

how much do the materials cost more or less

For the worktable, I did not see any flexing for the plywood top at the length of 60". For the workbench, when I first tried a folding design, I could not place any mid-support beam as it was getting in the way of the folding legs. The current support seems like they are sufficient for now but I would agree that adding one more support would increase the stability. Good idea !

What about any midsupport beams?

very nice, simple, straightforward design.

Your benches look really great! You should get plenty of service out of them.

Nice job, simple to construct but good & solid.
I like the fact that its a design that could easily be adapted to suit available materials, it would lend itself well to salvaged timber such as wooden bed frames or pallets.