Workbench design. Viable?

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I need a specialized kind of workbench on a low budget and this is my thinking so far...
Basic requirement: laminate surface about 8ft by 2ft and 34 inches off the ground.
I've seen 8 ft laminate countertops for $80 at HD with a backsplash (which would be handy). I figure that's no more costly than MDF plus laminate plus glue and it saves me all of the tiresome edge banding and probably a new bit for my edge router.
So, how to support it? 8ft of kitchen base units would work fine but the cheapest ones will blow my budget.
Now, I'm thinking 2 by 4's which are cheap enough and some framing-type rigid ties to hold it all together. So I'm looking at a rectangle of 2 by 4's to support the countertop with 6 or 8 legs. Cross braces if, where and when required. I figure $20 or so bucks for the lumber and maybe $30 for ties and screws.
It won't need to support a huge weight (maybe 200 pounds distributed) but I don't want the darn thing swinging around in the breeze.
Is this viable? Alternate ideas/designs?
--
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On Fri, 15 Apr 2011 20:08:35 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@malch.com (Malcolm Hoar) wrote:

I've made at least 6 benches real close to your measurements with 2x4's. Plank or plywood tops instead of laminate. All have 6 2x4 legs. 4 full 8-footers. 2 at the top, 2 about midway on the legs. Where you put the midway ones determines shelf height to the top and height to the floor, so decide what you might store on the shelf and under the bench on the floor. All legs have a 2x4 tying the front and back. If you run these all directly under the long main rails you can lay a plank or plywood shelf there and nothing can fall off onto your foot except at the ends. There's a few different ways of putting it together, rails attached inside or outside the legs, etc, just give some thought to your design. Rails inside the legs will be less shelf width, but more knee room when working at the bench. I prefer that I predrilled the holes for long utility screws, basically drywall screws. Used 3 at every attach point. If you don't already have screws I suggest buying square shank. Easier to drive. These are rock solid and last forever. Could probably load a ton on them, so don't worry about that. You've got the right idea.
--Vic
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I love it when a plan comes together ;-)
Thanks a lot for that. Clearly this is viable. I just need to think through the fine details, position of the rails, final height etc. I still have to clear the space for this thing and completely reoganize my garage so I've got a little time to ponder the little things.
Thanks again.
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I recall very reasonable price. Seemed very sturdy. WW
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My wife saw what I assume is the same thing at Costco. I have to say I'm pretty dubious about the rigidity of any folding table design.
But I will take a look since I'm sure we'll be headed to Costco for supplies over the weekend.
I'm still pretty skeptical, however ;-)
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On Apr 15, 4:09pm, snipped-for-privacy@malch.com (Malcolm Hoar) wrote:
esnan.net> wrote:

Most folding table legs have some bends somewhere in the legs, and that will be the weak spot when it is heavily loaded. Srick with 2x4 unless you really plan on folding it up and moving it frequently. I have had a number of 2x4 framed workbenches and they can't be beat. I have plywood tops, and about every 7 - 10 years I clear off the top, take my belt sender to the top, and then recoat the top with at least 3 layers of varnish. Can't be beat.
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On Apr 15, 4:08pm, snipped-for-privacy@malch.com (Malcolm Hoar) wrote:

Why laminate?
My workbench has a OSB top covered with hardboard.
Every X number of years, when I feel that I've drill through it enough, spill-painted it, spill-oiled it, whatever, I simply replace the hardboard and I have a brand new workbench top.
I'm thinking I've "topped it off" it 3 times in 25 years, including the original.
It came with the house, topped with really rough 2 x 8's. I added the OSB and hardboard to give me a smooth, solid surface.
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It's for clean work (mainly involving paper). Laminate is just perfect for this task.
And I really like the stuff, for appropriate tasks. My old kitchen table was ruined -- rescued that with a sheet of laminate. Made a fantastic desk and shelving unit for my boys out of ply and laminate. Everyone that sees it thinks it's a $5000 custom job.
Mind you, hardboard is good stuff too! And for dirtier work that would be a good way to go, especially as it's so easily replaced once it's too beaten up.
In fact, I do have another small bench in my garage for the heavier tasks. I think I'll put some hardboard over that at the same time! Thanks ;-)
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On Apr 15, 7:38pm, snipped-for-privacy@malch.com (Malcolm Hoar) wrote:

White paper?
I think I'd want a solid dark color, hardboard comes to mind ;-) so that I'd have a contrasting surface to work on.
White paper on a light surface might be tiring on the eyes after a while.
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On Apr 15, 4:08pm, snipped-for-privacy@malch.com (Malcolm Hoar) wrote:

This is the time of year when people are pulling out kitchens and throwing away perfectly good cabinets. Put a listing on Freecycle or the wanted section of Craigslist, and peruse the listings as well. You might also want to call around to some kitchen contractors and ask if they could set aside some base cabinets for you and you'd pick them up the same day. It would save them on their dumping fee and you might get lucky.
R
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I did kinda think about that but not the seasonal factor. Very good point there. I might just try that briefly; I don't have a whole lot of time. Nor do I have a truck which limits my flexibility to that of my truck-owning friends ;-)
I'm quite sure there are a ton of good cabinets going to the dump if only one could easily intercept the things.
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On 4/15/2011 4:08 PM, Malcolm Hoar wrote:

https://picasaweb.google.com/actodesco/OurFranklinHouse#5390276162161191090 . Framing is 2x4s blue screwed to the concrete wall. The finished bench is in the following link and also in the next few pics in the sequence. https://picasaweb.google.com/actodesco/OurFranklinHouse#5402606639411077426 The top is actually MDF with floor laminate glued in place for the surface. Oak 1x2s finish the edges. And, because the ceiling in my basement is 9', I was able to put a shelf to support the lights, which provide lots of storage. There are also shallow drawers under the bench for storage, shown on this pic and the subsequent few. https://picasaweb.google.com/actodesco/OurFranklinHouse#5491673751739357826
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wrote:

Thanks for the pics -- very helpful indeed.
And that's a nice job. Love the way you've integrated the power and lighting too.
I probably won't have the time/budget for all of those refinements but I'll certainly keep them in mind as I finalize my design.
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On Sat, 16 Apr 2011 17:21:51 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@malch.com (Malcolm Hoar) wrote:

That's a nice design. I built a similar bare-bone 8-footer in my garage, with the 45 degree supports tied to wall studs. Keeps your floor space, and I roll my floor jack under that bench. If you go metal keep in mind you can't take apart a welded frame. Make sure you can get it to where you want it. One thing I like about my wood benches is they can come apart if I need to do that. But I've never taken one apart. The first one I built still sits in the same place in my old house 35 years later.
--Vic
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Old solid core doors can be had from door companies for cheap. They work great for a lot of things, and you can't beat the cost. Coupla bucks at yard sales, freecycle.org, local cheap for sale papers, craigslist.
Steve
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wrote:

My computer desk is a solid core door. Cheap and solid.
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Malcolm Hoar wrote:

Pretty much ____________

I would...
1. Make 2' x 8' frame of 2x4s Butted and nailed is fine
2. Screw on 2x4 legs at inside corners of frame and center of long frame sides. Screw to both frame members.
3. Inset 2x4 support pieces crosswise in the long frame pieces midway between the legs
That will give support every 24" to the top and that is plenty.
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dadiOH
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Thanks, that's kinda what I had in mind.
However, it look like these will be great for attaching the legs to the frame:
http://www.homedepot . com/h_d1/N-5yc1v/R-100374900/h_d2/ProductDisplay? langId=-1&storeId051&catalogId053
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Malcolm Hoar wrote:

Sure, nailing brackets will work just fine but why spend $4.98 *EACH* when 3-4 2 1/2" screws will do just as well? Yeah, I'm frugal. And proud of it :)
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Yeah, I'd go for that in a heartbeat if I thought there was a chance of finding one for $100 in a reasonable timeframe.
Maybe I'll get lucky. I will at least check Craigslist since that's quick and easy.
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