Introduction: Simple Workbench

About: My name is Randy and I am a Community Manager in these here parts. In a previous life I had founded and run the Instructables Design Studio (RIP) @ Autodesk's Pier 9 Technology Center. I'm also the author of t…

A few weeks ago I got tired of being hunched behind a desk all day. I was already surrounded by all kinds of alternative desks, so I decided to throw my hat into the ring. I've been in situations in the past at which I've worked at workbenches or work counters and always found these experiences highly enjoyable. I prefer to have the option to stand while I work and like having lots of space to spread out my stuff and move around. So, I recently got rid of my desk and replaced it with two rolling workbenches.

Follows are simple instructions for putting together a rolling workbench.

Step 1: Get Rid of Your Old Desk

Before you can build a standing workbench, the laws of physics dictate that you must first un-occupy the space that you wish to occupy.

Put it on Criagslist and greatly under-price it so that someone will actually buy it.

Step 2: Go Get Stuff

You will need:

(x2) 48" x 36" x 3/4 plywood board
(x1) Set of adjustable bench legs
(x4) Locking casters with threaded rods
(x1) Miniwax Water-based Polycrylic
(x1) brush
(x1) fine grit sandpaper
(x1) pencil
(x1) tape measure
(x1) screwdriver
(x1) power drill with misc. drill bits
(x20) 1-1/4" wood screws
(x20) washers

12" x 48" and/or 18" x 48" plywood board for storage shelves
Misc. nuts, bolts and washers

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Step 3: Mark the Holes

Lay the boards, one atop the other, on the ground. Measure 3.5" in from the edge and place the table leg upside down. When you are sure it is even with the table, use a pencil and trace the table leg's screw holes.

Step 4: Drill

Remove the bench legs and drill pilot holes for your wood screws in the center of each marking. Be careful not to drill all the way through both boards.

Step 5: Fasten the Bench Legs

Put the bench legs back in place and fasten them tightly to the boards using wood screws and washers (as pictured).

If you don't plan on adding shelves underneath later on, Hiroak has this to say:
You need to support the legs like the one with the shelf. If you are rolling that baby around and hits something your legs will fold under using wood screws. You should consider using carriage bolts and counter sinking them, then fill the holes with harding putty for a smooth surface.

Step 6: Attach the Casters

Attach the casters to the bottom of the table posts by simply threading them in place. Adjust the height of the table so that it is right for you.

A standard counter is around 34" - 36".

Step 7: Sand

Sand the workbench to get rid of any rough edges before sealing it.

Brush it off when you are done.

Step 8: Seal the Workbench

Wheel the workbench into a well-ventilated space.

Stir your finish and apply a thin coat in one direction (either horizontal or vertical). Wait for it to dry.

Once dry, lightly sand it and then brush it off. Apply another coat of stain in the opposite direction that you did with the first coat.

Repeat this process alternating brush stroke direction four or five times.

Step 9: Add Shelves (optional)

When you are done, you can add shelves to the underside of the workbench so that you have some extra storage.

I didn't bother to finish the shelves or do anything too fancy with them. Basically, I drilled some holes in the plywood and bolted them down. It's not the prettiest, but it gets the job done.

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