Portable Work Bench




Introduction: Portable Work Bench

About: Engineer by trade, bodger by nature

my old work bench has needed replacing for a while, it was built as a stop gap when i got my new shed from left overs and second hand materials. the top was second had when I built it has been disintegrating for a while. So when we rearranged the spare room and removed and dismantled the desks I decided to make use of the work tops for 2 benches.

What I wanted was 2 benches that I could move around the shed depending on what project I was doing, whilst also providing storage/shelving for tools and materials.

this instructable documents the building of the second bench I used first one as practice

Step 1: Materials

I have to confess I’m bit of a hoarder, the majority of my materials were off cuts, scrounged or just lying around the shed.

worktop - originally dining table, I cut it in half to build 2 desks, will now be repurposed into 2 work bench

legs - off cuts from decking project x6

framework - 34mmx34mmx2400mm, planed timber this I had to buy, 3 lengths

- 34mmx19mmx2400mm, planed timber offcuts from previous projects

shelves - pallets from work, they normally get skipped so I grabbed some to do this project

castors - x4 again these I had to buy

screws - is it just me who has a big tin of screws, bolts etc collected over the years

Step 2: Worktop and Leg Frames

to start with I placed the worktop on the bench upside down, then measured the long edge to get dimensions for the front support. I then measured, marked and cut 4 pieces ( 2 for work top and 2 for leg frame). next I clamped the 2 supports flush to each edge of the work top and measured between the 2 supports to get the measurements for cross supports and centre supports and then measured,marked and cut 4 cross supports and 4 centre supports. To fix the supports (whilst clamped) I pilot drilled the screw holes and then screwed the supports to the bench. to fit the cross pieces I used 2 offcuts same as the leg pieces to position the cross pieces in the correct position to allow legs to be flush with sides and then clamped them in place and drilled and screwed in place. I then measured and marked the midpoint of long edge and again used the offcuts to position the centre supports and again drilled and screwed in place

for the leg frame I clamped the supports on top of the worktop frame to give me an exact copy of the top frame and then drilled and screwed the frame together ensuring not to screw it to the other frame.

Step 3: Legs

in this bench I will have 6 legs, 4 corner legs and 2 central legs so I can have split level shelves. as you can see in picture two of the legs are slightly different in size ( joy of using offcuts) so these will be the centre legs.I positioned 2 corner legs and 1 middle leg on first side and clamped in place and then drilled and screwed in place. after rotating the bench 180 degrees I then repeated on the second side. once all the legs were in place I positioned the lower frame so it was flush with leg bottoms and guess what I clamped it in place, then drilled and screwed. I then put the bench end up on floor and screwed the wheels onto 4corners ensuring they were attached to all 3 pieces of wood.

Step 4: Shelves

with the bench correct way up its now time to fit shelves. first I measured between the corner legs and measured, marked and cut 3 pallet strips, then measured between middle leg and corner leg and measured, marked and cut 4 pieces from pallet wood. These will be bottom shelf, these were then drilled and screwed to bottom frame, I didn't measure spacings between slats, just did it by eye.

next the middle shelf, I cut 2 battens to stretch across front to back leg, I then cut 5 slats to fit between middle and corner leg which were then drilled and screwed to battens. after measuring and marking the shelf height the complete shelf was clamped by the battens to the legs and drilled and screwed in place. I then checked heights by placing mitre saw, table saw and hoover on the shelves, everything fits perfect.

Step 5: Finished Project

and that is the finished bench. I decided not to treat the legs, frames and shelves as they will get a battering so in my opinion its not worth it. I will however at a later date get some heavy duty varnish to treat the work top to try and give it a bit of protection.

in the intro to the instructable i mentioned that this is in fact the second of two benches and that I used the first as my practice bench and then amended the design as required. the first bench has no middle legs and no shelves as it mainly holds stacking boxes so the shelves would just reduce capacity apart from that the benches are built same way and almost identical.

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    Kink Jarfold
    Kink Jarfold

    2 years ago on Step 5

    Yes, my doppelgänger, you did well. I, too, use what is available. I'm setting up new small part-of-a-garage workshop and scrounge around for material to do projects. Good Instructable. Show those whippersnappers out there how it's done.