Workbench (summerofprojects)


Introduction: Workbench (summerofprojects)

This is the workbench we designed and built for the apartment living room. The workbench needed to allow us to work on our electronics projects either standing or sitting on a stool. We also needed to build a workbench that would come apart easily enough to make moving it bearable. This same basic design would be very easy to scale depending on your own needs.

Step 1: Bill of Materials

materials (~80$)

- 4 10' 2"x4"
- 1 8' 2"x4"
- 1 4'x8' piece of melamine covered shelving (non-glossy)
- 1 box of 3" deck screws
- 16 3/8" bolts/washers/nuts

Step 2: Legs

Build the legs first. 2 24" and 2 42" 2"x4" will be needed. The taller pieces will be used on the sides and the smaller pieces will go across the inside. The shelves will sit on the cross pieces so one goes right at the top and the second we put 29" from the bottom. Before putting in the deck screws be sure to double check all the pieces are square and the middle pieces are at the same height.

Step 3: Shelves

For the shelves we're using the melamine shelving framed underneath. To prevent chipping the melamine be sure to put masking tape down before you cut.

The top shelf was cut to be the 24" deep and about 72" wide. The frame underneath used 2 69" wide pieces along the width and three 21" pieces orthogonal to that. One across the middle and two on the sides. Be sure to leave a lip for the piece to sit on the legs.

The bottom shelf was only half as deep. For this we used 2 69" wide pieces and 2 9" pieces. The bottom piece is small enough that a third brace for the frame is not necessary.

Step 4: Final Assembly

Now that the legs and shelves are made all that remains is to bolt them together. First place the shelves on the legs and clamp them down. This should get the shelves sitting pretty close to flush. It's easiest to first drill, auger and affix 2 bolts/shelf/side. Before drilling holes for the bolts note where all your screws are so you don't end up trying to drill right through them. With the first 8 bolts in place all the pieces should be sitting flush which will make it much easier to put in the last 2 bolts/shelf/side.



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    Just an idea: wouldn't it be cool to make a table/desk with a dry-erase surface? Please give me your thoughts

    3 replies

    I have many a time wished that the workbench's surface was dry erase. It would be easy enough to glue a dry erase surface on, but there is one issue I can think of, namely that dry erase surfaces tend to be easily scratchable. I might try some sort of acrylic (or some equivalent plastic) over a white surface because this might hold up better. I have not experimented with this setup, so I can't say for sure how well it works as a dry erase surface.

    You could always use a piece of Heavy Duty Glass painted white on the bottom.

    For weeks I've been searching for simple garden bench plans (I've recently discovered that I love to build stuff but I have no idea what I'm doing yet). With some minor material and measurement changes to your table, I think I've finally found what I need. Thank you, thank you! The weekend starts in 26 1/2 hours and I'm ready to go!! The cool thing is, I already have all the materials!

    am sorry, but did u screw or nailed the legs hidden from the outside view? and what kind of wood would suit a typical electronic work bench? thanks, i've always been looking forward to the day i will start making my own :D tnx

    3 replies

    ...follow up question: is there any reason why you use the non-glossy melamine covered shelving? why not the glossy one? tnx again

    It was available. As far as I know, the lumber stores around me only have non-glossy 3/4" melamine board. I used the glossy stuff (1/8") to make a few large whiteboards (instructable still in progress) and it scratches much more easily. In answer to your earlier questions, we used only screws and bolts. The bolts make it easy to separate the workspace, shelf, and two leg modules. I have found that screws hold much, much better in the long run (think many years). I used pine 2"x4"'s, but cheap is best. This workbench was not designed to be static-free or anything special, I was just commenting that it wasn't designed to do a lot "heavy" work on.

    ok thanks sir. am now pondering on using thick glass or some fiber material instead of melamine to accomodate my blade cutter in some non-electrical projects. i think what i really need is a work bench suitable for other projects too :)

    An alternative to putting the legs inside would be to make the top frame a bit shorter so the top covers the legs as suggested above for increased stability. Leaving the legs on the outside will allow a diagonal brace to be installed on each side providing front to back stability. Nice project, +1!

    1 reply

    Thanks. As I commented to trebuchet03, the sides are rather rigid, any wobble comes either from the surface of the floor it's on, or left to right.

    Nice work :) Next time, if possible, place the legs inside the frame for the bench top. This will provide more support and give it a overall better look ;)

    2 replies

    I was worried that the lost of 3" by putting the legs on the inside of the frame would cause it to be less stable. In fact, our new apartment has carpeting and this causes a bit of instability back-to-front (not structural wobbling, but rather from the base not being wide enough for it's height). It should also be noted that this workbench is designed to be modular and easily movable (1 person can take it apart and move it with ease), which was a trade-off for stability. I cut a piece of metal scrap with a hack-saw on it a while back and noted its rocking, but again, I do a lot of bread-boarding, etc. on it, so I don't notice any instability. As noted, the attachment of a diagonal brace across the back would greatly increase its stability, but hurt it's modularity (currently I just clamped one there which makes it quite stable).

    I have a number of 2x4's and flatboards left over from home renovations, and I was thinking of building a bench, so this is a perfect fit. It'll let me sit myself down in front of the tv with a work area to work on more instructables. :)