My first workbench

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Project by chris85 posted 01-14-2011 08:56 PM 2175 views 4 times favorited 14 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I decided to build a garage workbench using some Christmas money.
The dimensions of this bench are 6ft long and 30 inches wide. I am not sure its max holding capacity, but so far it held me, my wife , my friend and a miter saw, so that is probably like 500lbs.

This is my first wood working project, and definitely not my last. I learned a lot in this project, like squaring is important. Having a tiled garage isn’t good because the friction is reduced which makes things slide a lot easier on the ground, especially when drilling. Also, i learned that treated wood is larger then untreated wood? yea, anyways so many quirks in this table but I am very proud of it!

If anyone is interested here are the plans for this workbench.
Also, in case anyone was wondering this bench set me back about $50. However you could make this a lot cheaper by not adding that top shelf. The top shelf alone took 9 2×4’s.

14 comments so far

View Paul Pomerleau's profile

Paul Pomerleau

309 posts in 3858 days

#1 posted 01-14-2011 09:06 PM

Good job… I am just starting out in woodworking as well, I had to make one too.
Keep up the good work.

-- Close to Ottawa Ontario Canada

View chris85's profile


26 posts in 3856 days

#2 posted 01-14-2011 09:09 PM


View Michael J's profile

Michael J

103 posts in 4372 days

#3 posted 01-14-2011 09:24 PM

Nice job! You must be the first person I’ve ever seen with a tiled garage.

-- Mike Minneapolis, MN

View chris85's profile


26 posts in 3856 days

#4 posted 01-14-2011 09:39 PM

Thanks for the compliment Mike.

The tile garage is a funny story. See, My wife and I just purchased this house in April 2010. The people who lived there before hand decided it would be a good idea to close in the car port and make it into a nice 25X25 playroom. Well, that added a ton of square footage to the house as well as extra strain the HVAC system. So we decided to plug up the HVAC vents and put in a garage door, thus turning the previous carport, turned play room , into a function garage.

View Dan's profile


3653 posts in 4045 days

#5 posted 01-14-2011 09:53 PM

Looks good for a first bench. The heavier the bench the less it will want to slide on the tile, you might want to consider adding another layer or two of plywood or mdf to the top of the work bench. That should add a decent amount of weight and will make it a bit more sturdy.

I like the top shelf and if it were my bench I would add a peg board under the top shelf all the way down to about the top of the work bench top. I think that would add a lot to it in sense of tool storage.

And yes Treated wood is heavier. I assume its because its treated with with some form of liquid chemical thus adding that weight. I have always hated working with treated wood. I hate the smell of the dust when cutting it.

-- Dan - "Collector of Hand Planes"

View helluvawreck's profile


32122 posts in 4031 days

#6 posted 01-14-2011 09:53 PM

Chris, this bench looks like it ought to get the job done for you since you are just starting out. You’ll probably want to add a woodworking vise to it as soon as possible so you might want to do a little research on those while you’re thinking about your next project. You did a nice job on the bench and welcome to Lumberjocks; you’ll enjoy it.

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View chris85's profile


26 posts in 3856 days

#7 posted 01-14-2011 09:56 PM

yea, working with the treated was a little more difficult, but I thought it would be a better option for the legs since they would be touching the ground.

Yes, I plan on adding peg board on the back for extra storage/handyness. I am also going to get a cheap power strip and fasten to the top shelf support so I can have a local power source.

I am considering painting the bench and adding some type of tough poly to the top of it. Any suggestions?

View Sodabowski's profile


2400 posts in 3998 days

#8 posted 01-14-2011 11:59 PM

Nice starting point here Chris. I don’t know for the poly top, but may I suggest big rubber pads used for washing machines to help prevent your bench from slipping on the tiles? By the way, these will be a good indicator of the pureness of the air in your work area, dust is far easier to see on these! Maybe the next logical step would be an air cleaner? :)

-- Thomas - there are no problems, there are only solutions.

View chris85's profile


26 posts in 3856 days

#9 posted 01-15-2011 12:04 AM

Rubber pads would be a great idea!

An air cleaner eh.. how much would that set me back?

View HorizontalMike's profile


7928 posts in 4079 days

#10 posted 01-15-2011 12:10 AM

If you still can, how about adding a plywood cover over the “bottom” of the top of the benchtop? This would act as a torsion box and really stiffen/strengthen it up. Does not need to be very thick, even 3/8” ply… Just an idea

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

View NBeener's profile


4816 posts in 4339 days

#11 posted 01-15-2011 12:13 AM

I love that the doors are open, again, and that we have HUNDREDS of new LJs joining, so … WELCOME !

Great job for a first bench, and a first project.

I agree with rubber feet. You could also throw a couple of bags of concrete on that lower shelf without losing TOO much room, and probably gaining a HEAP of stability !

-- -- Neil

View chris85's profile


26 posts in 3856 days

#12 posted 01-15-2011 12:14 AM

Mike- Thanks fo rthe idea of extra plywood for more stability. I will look into it and see what I can do!

Neil- Thanks for the welcome. The concrete is also a good idea.

I have it against a wall currently, so hopefully that will also help with stability.

View NBeener's profile


4816 posts in 4339 days

#13 posted 01-15-2011 12:19 AM

The wall will certainly help with stability in one direction.

It’s just amazing … when you start sawing, or turning screws, or … planing … how the forces want to make that bench dance on you !

I just finished my bench. Looking at similar things. May simply set it on some of that really grippy “RV shelf liner.” It’s usually cheap at Target or Wally World, or … even RV mail-order places. Keeps dishes from shifting, while traveling.

I’m guessing that … many of the benches that many LJs have built … are pushing 3-500+ pounds.

And for good reason :-)

-- -- Neil

View chris85's profile


26 posts in 3856 days

#14 posted 01-15-2011 12:24 AM

Neil – lol, that is very true. I will definitely look into something to stabilize it and to keep it from sliding.

Thanks for all the wisdom guys!

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 4280 days

#15 posted 01-15-2011 02:42 AM

just fastened the bench tothe wall both at the top and further down near the floor
and attach some ligt to the top shelf so you have good light over the bench
I wuold┬┤t paint it you will destroy it anyway and change the the tabletop if needed

ceep up the good work , and welcome to L J enjoy and have fun while you learn :-)


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