I've been eyeing up Sears work benches. They look to be laminates
fastened to metal frame supports.
I asked in Lowes if they sold them and the guy, said no 'he built his
own'. I guess for what they want for the sears I could buy a good table
saw and the materials to build my own with money to spare.
The dimensions of the sears workbench are just right. It (the one I
like) has a nice 8 ft run and a continuous worktop. But I haven't been
ablet to find a piece of wood with the desired thickness and in one
contiuous piece for the worktop. Lowes has pieces (precut) that come
close but not as wide. Is there another way to get what I want. And what
materials would be ideal for a garage workbench.
There must be plans floating around out there somewhere..
Get a used or damaged solid core, Preferably stave core, door.
I've thrown away and given away hundreds of doors. We made all
new office furniture for one company with the demolition stave
core black walnut doors, used them for ends, modesty panel, and
Commercial doors are available in many sizes, but quite normal
would be 3x7x1 3/4. Good doors already have hardwood stiles, or
rim it out with your choice. A pair of short file cabinets will
give you drawers and plenty of stability.
Bowling alley, especially the approaches, make good tops.
Keep the whole world singing . . . .
On Sat, 2 Jun 2007 20:32:01 -0400, email@example.com wrote:
I bought a 8 ft x 3 ft solid wood door from a building supplies
recycling store. Makes an excellent work table. Has a varnished maple
finish and weighs as solid heavy wood although I think its veneer
Do you want pretty, or do you want something you will be willing to scuff
up? A 2x4 frame with a couple of cross-pieces for rigidity, and a piece of
3/4 plywood attached to top with countersunk screws, works well. And when
top gets too beat up (like a real workbench should), you can easily flip it
over or replace it. If you want a pretty edge, band the exposed sides with
another piece of 2x4 or whatever. As to plans- just Google 'workbench
plans'- there are bound to be some out there. Lotsa ways to do it, most will
work okay. Really depends on your space and other available storage- my
preference is to keep the space below bench clear, for easy cleanup, other
than any needed cross-pieces to tie the end frames together. If you can
attach to wall, sometimes those aren't even needed. My father built a 22'x2'
bench along one side of a one-bay garage, under a bank of south-facing
windows, held up by triangle-shaped wood brackets screwed off to every other
stud. I can stand on it, and it doesn't wobble at all. I'm actually jealous-
a much nicer setup than I can do here.
Those pretty butcher-block or whatever benches they sell at Sears, Sams, and
similar places look nice- TOO nice. I'd spend all my time trying to avoid
messing them up with whatever I was working on. A perfect-looking workbench,
to me, is like those yuppie faux-gourmet kitchens in the magazines- meant
for others to see. I've seen real restaurant kitchens- they look more like a
real workshop. Not everything is new and shiny, everything doesn't match,
and storage is placed where it works, not where it looks pretty.
My workbench has a full width row of drawers just below the top, a full
width shelf 12" off the floor, and pull-out bins that tuck under the
shelf and just slide out on the floor. Instead of a door, I used a 4x8
sheet of 1-1/8" plywood for the top, and just stacked mass production
small parts drawers on the back of the bench. I just used 1x oak for a
perimeter band, but raised it 1/4" above the top of the bench, so little
parts don't roll off and escape onto the floor.
For email, replace firstnamelastinitial
with my first name and last initial.
The last one I made had to fit a somewhat narrow space next to the
garage door. So it was custom built to my own sketch using used 2 by 6
lumber from a discarded deck. Overall cost virtually nil. Good and
solid using screws to take engine parts. A four by four leg from an
old gate-post at the end not supported by walls is under the corner
mounted vise making it much safer to beat on something held in the
vise. Shelves above are high enough to allow something 24 inches high
to be worked on on the bench.
Benches are very much what you need them for. No one size/type fits
Completely different application downstairs; electronics bench is two
used 6' 8" (13 foot total) doors, end to end, supported on a frame
made from discarded steel shelving angle. No pounding on that one but
fair amount of space with shelves not too far above for test gear.
Respectfully suggest that if anyone is capable of making things 'on' a
work bench it would be a good exercise to build the bench itself as
A third bench was built quickly some 37+ years ago, while building
this house, using scrapped wood from some shipping pallets. It now
needs some repair and upgrading.
A fourth bench was found dumped; about four feet long, quite low but a
convenient height for some tasks, it had been ingeniously made of
pieces of cut off doors. Quite sturdy it mounts our largest/heaviest
So; conclusion! Decide what the bench will be used for and then build
it to that requirement. A gardener's potting bench need will be a
completely different thing to that of an electronic enthusiast's!
Only sissies "buy" workbenches. Real handymen or craftsman make their own.
Mine is two sheets of 3/4" plywood laminated together. A little wood glue
and th en screwed together from the bottom. Two thicknesses of MDF will be
solid, but heavier.
For the legs, use 2 x 4's. Make an apron of 1 x 4's or 1 x 6's and set the
top on that assembly. Put a full sized shelf on the bottom and it will be
On Sat, 2 Jun 2007 20:32:01 -0400, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
I have 2 workbenches, both using solid core doors. The one in my
"hobby shop" is just the white composition material that is standard
on a home depot door since this is not very destructive activity
(computer building and such).
The one in my garage shop is skinned with hardened masonite so when I
bung it up it is easy to replace. I still get many years out of one
skin, in spite of throwing transmissions and other nasty stuff on it.
I usually also keep scraps of plywood on the bench for backstops when
drilling, staining and other destructive activity.
I bought the wood (lowes calls it white wood.. so 'technical' they are)
today for my workbench. I only have a camry, so I had to get it broken
down for me. I had the 2x4's cut in half for the legs and I'll further
knock them down to about 42 inches as I want a 43 inch finished level
(like the fancy, smanzy one at sears)..
I got 5 (2x4's) of those and 5 -1x2x8's as well as a couple of 1x1x8's
and 2- 1x12x8 for the top. I guess I'll just have to knudge them
together as best I could (withe the 1x1's underneath) as I don't have
a planer to butt them up to be glued. I want a 24 inch work surface.
With the screws and all I'm at about 50 bucks. Could have done better if
I had a truck.
Another question is -should I stain the work bench. I guess it can't
hurt? Or is there a better finish for a shop bench...?
I might as well do the individual pieces before I slap it together (?)..
On Mon, 4 Jun 2007 22:43:31 -0400, email@example.com wrote:
I used Watco Danish oil on my bench. It penetrates and hardens the
wood, plus gives some protection. You can use just about any finish,
even some older finishes you might otherwise toss out. Stain doesn't
offer much protection, but is better than nothing at all.
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