I'm interested in building a work bench in my garage. I salvaged a counter top thats about 5' long by 3' wide. What I need it some direction and materials I may need to build the thing. Any help would be much appreciated.
I just recently looked - wanted to improve on my previous home built ones.
Google "workbench plans" and you will get tired before you look at them all.
Results 1 - 10 of about 15,200 for "workbench plans". (0.07 seconds)
I ended up buying a prefab bench.
The way I've built numerous benches:
1. 4x4 for legs.
2. 5/8" plywood for shelves.
3. Cut dados for shelves.
4. Glue and screw shelves.
This made a very very sturdy bench.
Oh God yes. There are literally thousands of free plans out there. Find one that meets your budget and ability to build, and then simply change their dimentions to fit your needs/room/on-hand materials. You'll want to dimention everything off your countertop, easily done with some graph paper and a scale ruler.
I recommend finding several different plans, and make sure they have some degree of expansion ability - once you strat using it, it is very likely you'll start wishing for even more space to keep crowded shelves and tops to a minimum.
Never build around your immediate needs. Instead, build around possible future needs. That's the number one mistake I see homeowners make when they request I build something for them; and six months later, they are calling me back because they found out the hard way what they wanted at the time isn't sufficient for what they need now. Because of this, they end up spending a lot more money instead of just investing a little more at the onset of the project.
For instance, consider adding some heavy duty drop-leaf ends to your bench with heavy duty hinges. It will take up no more space, but if you need a little more working space you can move the bench to the middle of the shop and extend the folding leafs. This is also a metter of safety, as clutter is dangerous in and of itself. You might want to forgoe doors for cost considerations, and just leave the shelves open. High quality, heavy duty locking casters are a great option for a work bench if you may need to move it around.
One trick I've found particularly helpful is to use pegboard for the back of the lower shelves, instead of just letting them remain open. This adds very little cost and is GREAT for hanging tools you'll rarely use, such as those skinny wrenches to change the table saw blade. They will stay out of the way, organized, but always accessable.
I don't use drawers, as they are more money and labor and tend to get cluttered. It's a work bench, so it doesn't matter if you can see what it holds. Why add cost for no versatility? Same with doors. If you need to hide something in your work bench, you need better tools.
I disgree with fixed shelving. A doweling jig will give you much, much more versatility and costs an extra $40 or so for the tool and maybe $10 in pegs. As your jobs change, so can your workbench adjust to make it as comfortable and useful as possible. That's another reason for a pegboard back rather than a solid one. Let it be completely customizable for a few extra dollars now.
Also, consider carefully what it will be used for most of the time. Do you need spaces for mounted vices? What about height? Weight requirements - you can't use a bench of 5/8" plywood top to rebuild an engine, but 2" tops are wasted if you're reloading.
In essence, think carefully about what you'll use it for now and what you might possibly use it for in the future. Find some plans similiar to your needs, then modify them to fit your specific needs and possible expansion needs.
Ask any questions you have! I'm very good at drawing blueprints/plans, and if you'd like me to I'll be more than happy.
You're a good man, richardh247.
Wow, thanks guys. I like the drop leaf idea too!