The Ultimate Plywood Workbench (plus Shop Storage Solutions)

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Intro: The Ultimate Plywood Workbench (plus Shop Storage Solutions)

I built a quick but strong assembly table/workbench. I also threw in some really handy shop storage solutions.

Don't miss the full build video above for more details

And if you'd like to see a full set of plans, be sure to click here

Step 1: Things I Used in This Project:

Step 2: Break Down the Sheets of Plywood

This whole project is made out of 3 sheets of plywood. The first thing I did was to break down one sheet of plywood with my track saw into more manageable sized pieces. And then I used my table saw to rip the pieces into the final dimensions.

Step 3: Assemble the Legs & Side Panels

I started off by assembling the pieces for the legs, utilizing my Super Jaws to help hold everything in place. Just about everything in this workbench is glued and screwed together. Be sure and click the link above for the plans to see the full cut list. I then glued and screwed the side panels into place.

Step 4: Attach the Bottom Shelf & Supporting Stretchers

I then cut the lower stretchers and supports for the bottom shelf. And then cut down a sheet of plywood and screwed it in, becoming the bottom shelf.

Step 5: Attach the Top Stretchers and Workbench Top

I then repeated the process and attached the stretchers to support the workbench top, which is made from a full sheet of plywood. I screwed in the top, countersinking the screws so they would sit beneath the surface and not interfere with projects.

Step 6: Adding French Cleats for Hardware Storage Bins

I decided to add in some tool storage to the sides to make things more functional. I cut some cleats on my table saw and then attached wooden storage bins that I made years ago. I have a tutorial on how I made the storage bins here.

Step 7: Adding in Drill Storage

I wanted a place to store my drills close by while working on a project. I cut in two notches directly into the table top with my jigsaw for them to conveniently set in.

Step 8: Speed Square Storage

I made some super simple holders to store speed squares underneath the workbench top. I simply attached two strips of plywood in an L-shape. Two of those L-shapes facing each other, with a gap in between, makes for a great slot to slide in the speed square.

Step 9: Adding Screw Box Storage

I like to conveniently have all of my boxes of screws in one location and making a holder for the boxes is easily done with scrap wood. I made one and attached it to the end of my workbench. I have a video here on how I made it.

Step 10: Pencil & Bit Storage and Mallet Holders

Rockler already has a great solution for pencil and bit storage. The product is called Shop Blocks. I decided to screw mine to the side of my workbench for easy accessibility.

I then used some more scraps and made two holders to store my mallet close by.

Step 11: Tape Storage

On the other end of my workbench, I drilled half inch holes and then stuck in half inch dowels for tape storage.

Step 12: Quick Clamp Storage

I cut two small plywood blocks to hold some PVC in-between. I attached the blocks with pocket holes and drilled a slight recess to set the PVC ends in. For the larger quick clamps, I drilled in more holes for dowels and hung them from the dowels. I made sure to keep the length of the dowels no longer than the over hang of my workbench top.

Step 13: Bench Cookie Dispenser

I cut some 3" PVC on my miter saw to the height of the number of bench cookies that I have. I cut in a slot at the bottom that was the same hight as one cookie which will give me a grab point to pull one out from the bottom. I then cut a 3" circle from some scrap wood and then glued it on to the bottom to hold the cookies in place. I then countersunk some screws and attached it to my workbench leg.

Step 14: Wooden Railing System for Bottom Drawers

To utilize the space on the bottom of the workbench, I made a railing system from plywood to hold some sliding drawers. I flipped the workbench on it's side so I could have bottom access. And then I glued and screwed in all of the rails.

Step 15: Making Bottom Drawers

I got an additional two sheets of 1/2" plywood and cut them down on my table saw to make the drawers. I glued my drawers together, knowing that I'm not going to be putting much weight in them. I then attached wooden rails to the sides and then put a coat of paste wax on the railing system to help them slide smoothly.

Step 16: Attaching 4 Quick Release Casters

The last thing I did was to attach 4 quick-release workbench casters. I want this workbench stationary the majority of the time. But I still want the ability to make it quickly mobile when needed. These casters make this big workbench mobile very quick and easily.

I hope you are able to use this workbench build or any of the shop storage solutions to make your space more functional. And once again, here is a link to the plans if you'd like to see my cut list and make your own workbench.

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15 Discussions

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ArthurJ5

21 days ago

Love the cookie dispenser!

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YDandAss

22 days ago

Holy chizz, April, muh muh mind is blown!

Quick? That'd take me a week or three. Or it might turn into a major career move! But I'm old (not sure I can even still lift full sheets of 3/4). I do need something like that, though, so I'm going to check out your set of plans. Maybe I can laminate thinner plywood.

Excellent!

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ArthurJ5YDandAss

Reply 21 days ago

Don’t laminate thin stock, you’ll spend a fortune on glue and end up with a wavy top. Instead find a supplier that will cut to size or use a skillsaw to cut the ply into manageable pieces. Next idea is to hire some teenagers.

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YANKO1947

22 days ago on Introduction

A really nice and great job! You really do excellent work. Explained and demo great as well. It was a pleasure to watch as well! I hope I can see more of your work. Your sponsors are definitely not wasting their money. I wish I could do as good a job too! Very respectfully JOHN

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cwilliams34

23 days ago

Lots of simple ideas that make me rethink some of my more complex solutions....really great.

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JimTheSoundman

23 days ago

Why are the casters on the sides instead of the ends? Seems like you would be a lot less prone to trip over them if they were on the ends.

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TonyF12

23 days ago

Nice job! Also great use of space! Thank you.

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Replicator

23 days ago

This is fantastic! I think i will be stealing some of your ideas for my metal workshop. :)

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OutofPatience

24 days ago

Awesome! I think you thought of everything on this one.

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p0laris

24 days ago

April! Congrats on the new shop; I'm super jealous.Keep those updates coming! *insert Wilkerson wave here*

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OldElvis

24 days ago

Very nice design, I can only imagine how much homework went into designing it. Great instructable

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stever_sl

24 days ago

Amazing project, but please use a dust mask when you're cutting and drilling wood or plastic. I damaged my own lungs by not doing that when I was younger, and now I wish I'd listened to all the warnings people tried to give me. Anyway, this gives me some ideas for add-ons for my stained glass workbench. I've been wondering where to put the soldering irons, glass cutters, rolls of copper foil tape, and various chemicals - I think an enlarged version of your screw box holders will be ideal for that!

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Kink Jarfold

27 days ago on Step 16

Dang, April, I forgot to give you a thumbs up.

KJ

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Kink Jarfold

27 days ago on Introduction

All right, April, you just made a dozen Instructables in one. That new shop is really shaping up. BTW, loved the gates!

KJ