Monday, May 26, 2014

DIY Work Bench (by JT)

Building a functional work bench had been on my mind since we built our dining table using the former table top sitting on plastic stands as our work bench. While the table top was okay to build the dining table, lining and clamping wood to the edge of the table top was almost impossible because of the rounded edges. The old table set up also vibrated because of the plastic supports; this can be annoying when cutting long pieces.

Our work bench set up

With all the issues I knew I had to build a work bench to suit future projects. Depending on styles and features it is easy to go overboard and over budget on a work bench. Luckily I did not have this problem because I was on a tight budget of $40 so I had to be creative with scrap wood from previous projects.

I gathered all the 2" x 4"s and plywood we had laying around

Fortunately I had just enough pieces for the legs
As always I started with a sketch of my ideas on paper and started editing based on budget and available scrap wood. I wanted a slim table that would accommodate cutting with a circular saw, have a lower layer for storage, require no set up (other than moving it to my work area in the garage) and have wheels so Jumi can easily move it around when she needs it.

Tools I used for the Project:
  • Circular saw
  • Jig Saw (optional but saves time)
  • Compound miter saw (optional but saves time)
  • Finish nail gun (optional but saves time)
  • Power Drill 
  • Safety glasses, ear muffs & safety gloves
Materials I bought
  • Casters with brakes - $12
  • Drawer handle pull - $4
  • Peg Board - $6
  • Wood glue - $6 
  • 2" x 4" x 16ft (I bought this to supplement the scrap wood) - $8

Matching scrap wood for bench legs

Bench legs standing

I split a 2" x 4" into two for the top connecting piece (I didn't have enough wood to go around)

Trying to figure out whether I had enough plywood for the bottom layer

Plywood for the bottom layer cut up

I saved a solid piece for my top (cutting surface)

In order to have a sturdy cutting / work surface, I decided to laminate scrap pieces to the solid piece

Fitting scrap pieces to create my laminate

Wood glue on the solid piece

Spread glue to cover entire surface for perfect lamination

Assemble plywood pieces and fasten with screws

Laminate done, I think it came out well

Casters with brakes for easy work set up and movement

Drawer handle pull

Installed peg board mostly for the looks, I do not plan to hang tools under bench

Work bench fits my 12" compound miter saw and router table (bottom)

Power outlet add convenience for multiple tool plug in

Clamp on lamp also fits perfectly on bench

There it is, nothing fancy but it's functional and gets the work done.