IKEA Hack: Practical Workbench




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I needed a standing desk in my workshop, and I always need tons of storage space. Solution? Making a workbench from IKEA products with a lot of drawers!

Supply list(with links):

Tools used:

  • Miter saw
  • Drill
  • Pliers

Step 1: Gathering Supplies

First of all, we have to take a trip to IKEA to buy the supplies we need. We're going to use 6 of the tallest TROFAST shelf frames, with the EKBACKEN countertop on top of them. We'll also buy all the TROFAST drawers with lids that we need.

Step 2: Assembling the Storage Units

Now we just have to put together all those storage units. The first one is always the most work, while the other 5 went super quickly. There we have it, all of them standing back to back in two rows.

Step 3: Attaching the Units Together

Sirst we'll clamp them together, then measure the depth of both units. We'll use a 2x2" to bind them together. We'll drill inn one length on each side of the walls, and screw straight through both of them. Predrilling holes is a must! Don't want to break any of that wood. We're doing it on both sides to balance the pressure, both at the top and at the bottom.

Step 4: Inserting Guides

We'll now insert all the guides that came with the units. A simple screw will hold them steadily in place, and these will hold the drawers.

Step 5: Adding Power Outlets

We want this workbench to be as convenient as possible, so we're adding some power outlets to one side. We'll measure some distance from the top, add a guideline and then fasten the backside og the power outled along that line. We can then push on the rest of the outlet, and drill it in place. Some wire clamps will hold the wire in place, and at the end there we can add a second power outlet. Here we're connecting it to a power cord that has a power plug at the end, which will power the workbench when needed.

Always check local regulations when dealing with mains power, be careful, and if you're in doubt: don't do it, and consult with a qualified electrician. An alternative is to run 12 volt DC power to be able to power lights and lighter chargers, etc.

Step 6: Keep the Cables Tidy!

To keep things tidy when it's not in use, we'll also add this coat hanger to the side that can hold the cord. It just makes it a little bit easier to manage.

Step 7: Measure the Countertop

It's time to attach the dark oak EKBACKEN countertop. We don't want it to be unaligned with the storage units, so we'll first figure out how much margin there should be on each of the sides. Using a straight edge, we'll draw the lines of where the countertop will meet the storage units.

Step 8: RGB LED-strip Underlight

Right around the lines we drew, we'll add some LED-strips. For the corners we can use some handy angled LED-joints - which makes it a lot easier. Hopefully the adhesive that's on the LED-strip will hold on its own, if not we'll have to come back with some hot glue. Shouldn't be an issue.

Step 9: Drilling in the Countertop

Again, predrilling is always a good idea, so we'll do that first. We're drilling directly through the top of the storage units, which is where we will insert screws to mount the countertop. The LED-strips helps aligning it, and we can then add some weight to the top to keep everything steady while drilling in the screws. We're adding about 3-4 screws for each storage unit, so quite many, actually!

Step 10: Completing the Workbench

Finally we can add the drawers. This is the best part! The great thing about this is that you don't need to have drawers in all the units. I left one partly empty, and that's where I store my drill press. Also, as this workbench is going to be in a workshop, the lids are incredibly handy, as I'll be able to avoid dust collection at the bottom of the drawers.

Step 11: Finished!

Finished, the LED-lights will definitely look tacky with a color-changing program, but one color at the time works just fine. The lights also illuminates what's inside the drawers when you open them, so they are also quite functional. Thanks for reading through, enjoy your weekend!

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    11 Discussions


    2 years ago

    Really nice !! Thanks for having shared your idea :)


    2 years ago

    I love it!

    By the way, where are the links to the rgb light strips?

    5 replies

    Reply 2 years ago

    Must have disappeared. Hmm. At least they are in the video description


    Reply 2 years ago

    I couldn't understand where you said to buy them. Could you tell me?


    Reply 2 years ago

    Partsexpress.com is a good source for led strips. They even go on sale there once in a while.


    2 years ago

    Great idea - thanks for sharing it.


    2 years ago

    Looks like something I need to put on the "Honey Do" list!!

    Thanks for showing us a great idea!!