Upon completion of my garage build last year, it was now time to build myself a heavy-duty workbench, that would both fit nicely in the space and allow plenty of storage.
I wanted it to last, hence it needed to be strong and durable, but also very functional.
After looking at a few ideas on instructables see here, I started the initial design concepts.
Step 1: Design
My requirements were:
- Lots of worktop space
- Storage provision
- Heavy Duty
- Provision for a chop saw
In order to design a cost effective but suitable work bench I needed to compromise the space available with the standard materials readily available, reducing waste.
As my workshop is fairly narrow, I wanted to go for a really long workbench. And as 3m was the largest length of wood available at the supplier, that set the width of my bench.
By choosing a height and depth that would reduce off cuts, I ended up with a frame height of 847mm, and depth of 608mm.
I deliberated for a while over the worktop,
Two options matched the requirements;
- Planed & sanded scaffold boards, bonded together.
2. A solid oak worktop.
After evaluation, although the oak worktop was a higher initial outlay, it would require less work, and look better in the end, I chose that, plus my wife preferred it...
Step 2: Material List
Step 3: Wood Cutting
Using my chop saw (on my soon to be redundant folding bench) I cut all the Timber to the required lengths.
520mm for the thicker beams, and a combination of 520mm and 800mm for the smaller beams.
Step 4: Building the Square Frames
- I secured the cut timber together using clamps, and fixed using countersunk wood screws in pre-drilled holes.
- I then used a sanding disk to sand both ends whilst ensuring they were all the same length.
- I made the four main support structures of the frame, again using clamps to secure and screws to fix. My set square ensured each shape was trued up.
Step 5: Assembly
I fixed the square frames together (using only one screw at each point) with the rear and lower front beams, and stood the whole bench up.
After ensuring the frame was level, I added the front lower beams. I then permanently fixed all the frame together with three large screws at each intersection.
Step 6: Chop Saw Provision - Frame
In order to enable the chop saw bed to sit completely flush with the rest of the worktop, i needed to fix some beams onto the frame at the required height, and cut a pocket out of the upper front Main beam.
as the cutout was to be in the middle of the frame, the actual cutting process was quite tricky.
In the end after attempting several different methods, i carefully lowered the secured wood down onto my table saw blade. (incorrect use I know, but I was very careful.)
Step 7: Adding the Worktop
The worktop was carefully delivered by the company, and dropped straight onto the frame.
After a tiny bit of rearrangement, I added tome weights to the worktop and screwed it to the frame using the corner braces.
Step 8: Chop Saw Provision - Worktop
The chop saw required a rectangular cutout in the centre of the oak beam, which would then be dropped down 70 mm (height of the chopsaw from feet to bed) onto the frame below.
Because of this the cut needed to be clean, and the worktop removed section needed to remain damage free. I evaluated the options and decided to use a plunge saw (aka track saw), with guide track, which worked very well.
Step 9: Evaluation
The astute of you may notice, that the initial design had one lower front beam, but on the actual bench the middle section was removed.
This was for two reasons,
- One beam was badly warped, and i was having no look in running a full beam down my jointer.
- by removing the middle section, my Shopsmith (table saw) could sit at 90 degrees to the workbench, without hitting the workshop wall.
I also had to add an additional cut in the worktop to allow the chop saw to fully swivel round. A slight initial oversight.
One the whole i am happy with the workbench, and how sturdy and flat it is.
Next step shelves and drawers, To be continued..