Sunday, March 4, 2012

Work Bench

A couple decades ago when we bought our first home I decided to put my wood working shop in one end of the unfinished side of the basement.  While this arrangement worked there was several drawbacks that eventually forced me to think about moving my woodworking operations up to the garage.  In the basement cramped quarters made maneuvering longer pieces of lumber problematic and controlling the dust was always a difficult task.

Over the past couple of years I moved most of my woodworking tools up to the garage and this weekend I spent cleaning out an area in the back of the garage to set up my work bench.  I designed my bench and constructed the assembly from 2 x 4 lumber, carriage bolts and wood screws.  A friend of mine sourced for me a solid core institutional grade door that I used to make a very solid bench top.  I ripped about a 5" strip off one side of the door to make a tool stop along the back edge of the table top.

Fully assembled the bench weighs a ton but is very sturdy.  I have no doubt it could hold the weight of an automobile.  Luckily my modular design let me break the bench down into manageable pieces and bring them up from the basement.  The following picture shows the frame reassembled in the garage with bench top leaning against the wall behind.

I've got the urge to get creative and I think the garage is going to work out much better as a base of operations for my woodworking hobby especially once the weather warms up.  Opening the big overhead front door and the smaller walk out door along the back wall sets up a cross breeze that will help pull the dust out making it much easier to keep things clean.  The last piece of equipment yet to make the move up to ground level is my vintage Sears wood lathe.  Like the workbench I crafted a sturdy table for the lathe that will have to be disassembled before I can bring it up. 



  1. I don't mean this in a derogatory way at all, but I have to say Hank Hill would be proud. (Hank had very high standards.)

  2. I agree Chuck! Any man with the slightest inclination to mess about with tools needs a sturdy work bench.

  3. Very nice Mike. In the garage you'll be able to enjoy sweeping up with a leaf blower. Tom AB9NZ

  4. Nice job Mike. I need a work bench myself. Looks like a fun project. Did you get the boy involved? I see only one thing missing from your alter: a vice! what's up with that?

    1. Hi Mike, I have a bunch of wooden furniture clamps and C-clamps of various sizes so I just use those when I need to hold something steady. That way I keep the bench surface clear. I have a bench press vice that goes on the drill table and I do find that useful and good for small non-wood stuff like bike parts.