June, 2011

After years of compiling various tools, I decided I needed a proper workbench for the garage. I decided to custom build one since I couldn’t find any for sale with the specs I wanted. The finished product is 8′ long and 2′ wide. the bench is 34″ high and the backboard adds another 4′. I made it narrow so I could reach up high on the backboard without having to get a chair.  The whole project to about 24 man-hours once all the raw material was assembled. The total cost of the parts was only about $70.  This was my first major carpentry project in a long time.  I was grateful in my earlier investment of power tools which made this whole project quick and easy.
I started with a trip to the local lumber yard.  I decided not to mess around and just rented their truck to haul the lumber (rather than attempt to cram it into my minivan.  During the process, I lost my notebook (yikes!), and wasted several hours backtracking my steps to no avail.  So, I had to start over with the design from memory and quickly got back on track.
The build was uneventful and quick.  The staining and sealing process took the most time because the wood just sucked it in.  Once dry, I moved it into its spot in my garage and completed the assembly.  I found some discounted LED lamps at Frys Electronics which I modified and mounted on the top of the backboard.  I bought a 6-foot long power strip with lots of outlets – this let me control power to the entire bench with a single switch.  I permanently mounted my drill press and table saw on the corners with bolts leaving the middle free for projects.  I bought some child outlet covers and put them over the unused outlets to keep dust and debris out – they easily pop off when I need a free outlet.
Overall, I’m very satisfied with the final result.  Over time the backboard has warped a bit, so I need to anchor it to the wall.  Otherwise, it nicely fits all my tools and gives me plenty of room for projects.  I mainly use it for outdoor projects in warmer months, favoring my basement workshop for electronic and other indoor projects.
260303_229931217034110_810281_n  Building the frame
252813_229931270367438_1620909_n  Fitting the tops of the shelves.
253910_229931290367436_1181823_n  Fitting the backboard
248935_229931307034101_1690468_n  The finished project.  Take a good look because it will never look this clean again!

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