Friday, February 3, 2012

New workbenches - Part 1

You have probably noticed that all of our work so far has been on temporary (and my wife might argue inappropriate) surfaces. Well no more working on the floor or the washing machine, we're going to build some permanent workbenches for my basement.

The first step was coming up with a design by browsing the web to see what other people were building. I wanted to use construction lumber and keep it fairly simple and cheap. In the end I combined several elements from each design to come up with something I liked and then worked out the measurements so the final product would be 24" wide and 33" tall. Here are enough 2x4 pieces cut to length to make three benches which can be moved around the shop.

This joint is one element I borrowed from a design I found online that is pretty simple to make and very strong when the surfaces are glued in addition to screws. The two stacked 2x4s will become a leg of the workbench.

This sort of joint will connect across each pair of legs near the top and floor.

After a LOT of cutting and chiseling I ended up with seven of these pairs of legs which are the basic building block of my workbench design. The two five foot benches will use two of these while the eight foot will have three to add more support in the middle. Probably overkill but I want these to be sturdy.

Here is one of the five foot benches coming together. The bottom cross pieces will hold the legs and also support a shelf for more storage.

I was going to just put the cross pieces on the surface but i decided to cut another lap joint to make it look nicer and also be stronger because the leg is supported by the face of the lap.

So here are the structures of the first two benches. The top supports are 2x8s which will give a good vertical surface for clamping boards to plane on edge, etc. You can see how the upper boards will hold the plywood top and the lower boards will form a storage shelf.

See Part 2 for the finishing touches ...

1 comment:

  1. Adding storage spaces – it may add a little more work but incorporating drawers, shelves and hooks on your workbench project can help in making you more organized and in saving space on your workroom.