Garage Workbench

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Project by Derek Lyons posted 09-14-2008 07:34 PM 22216 views 12 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Garage Workbench
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After several weeks of screwing around, it’s finally complete…

Just a basic garage style workbench. I’m nowhere near ready to build a true woodworking bench yet.

This is the original design, with the middle shelf not shown for clarity. The front and back rails stabilize the edges of the 3/4” MDF top, the front rail is turned on its side for easier clamping of workpieces to the top.

Here are the leg pieces all precut, sorted and ready to go: from left to right – the top stretchers, the feet, and the legs.

Those playing along at home will note the parts count doesn’t match the design… When I laid the parts out on the floor I looked at the two toolboxes originally intended to go under the bench and realized that they both wouldn’t fit in a single ‘bay’ on the shelf and that putting one in each ‘bay’ would leave a space between them with an awkward post in the middle. So I changed the design in midstream and added a second middle leg to create a three ‘bay’ design, one for each toolbox and a third where I could later add drawers or a cabinet.

Here my buddy Joel assembles a leg in a jig a designed to hold the leg parts square and parallel.

I ensured the stop blocks on both the top and bottom parts of the jig were precisely positioned by clamping the base 2×4’s edge-to-edge, attaching the stop block across both bases, and then sawing through the stop blocks. The top and bottom were then aligned using a framing sqaure and clamped to my Workmate. A plywood stop was added to the top to align the top of the legs and small piece of scrap plywood was clamped to the top of one stop block to align the upper stretcher.

It took about an hour to figure out and build the jig – and fifteen minutes to build four sets of leg. Still, the time was well spent as the legs came out perfect and identical.

Here Joel is setting up the front rail for the lower shelf.

We positioned the shelf rails by cutting blocks the height of the shelf, clamping them to the legs, and then setting the rail on them and clamping the rail to the legs.

Once again those playing along at home will note the shelf is moved considerably when compared to the original design. Once the legs were up the first time, I realized the toolboxes I already had would be very awkward to get at because they had to be set back to clear the clamping area. Instead I raised to shelf so that the old recycle bins that I use as scrap bins will slide underneath. Over the next week or so I’ll build a separate toolbox stand holding them at a comfortable height and position.

No, Joel didn’t do all the work…

With the top temporarily in place, here I am notching out the shelf to fit around the legs.

Once everything was attached, we slid the bench into it’s final position and… well this picture speaks for itself:

Ok, that’s not all me… I’m blessed with a garage floor that was done right and is level with no humps that I’ve found.

The assembled bench:

Probably the only time it will be clean and clear in its lifetime…

More about assembling the bench (it was a damm good day) can be seen in my LJ blog.

-- Derek, Bremerton WA --

6 comments so far

View ChicoWoodnut's profile


904 posts in 4898 days

#1 posted 09-14-2008 07:38 PM

Nice job Derek thanks for Blogging.

Looks great and I’ll bet it works better than your old workbench (washer and dryer)

-- Scott - Chico California

View clieb91's profile


4262 posts in 5018 days

#2 posted 09-14-2008 07:49 PM

Derek, Looks like that bench has a lot of projects in its future. Nicely built and thanks for the great series of photos on the building process.


-- Chris L. "Don't Dream it, Be it."- (Purveyors of Portable Fun and Fidgets)

View oldskoolmodder's profile


802 posts in 4763 days

#3 posted 09-15-2008 01:37 AM

You will find your time will be spent (many hours) at that workbench, making other useful tools for your WW addiction. Who knows, there might even be a more substantial workbench that comes in a project. One of my favorite things to do, is to make tools for the shop area. Anything that can make the work seem like anything but…

Nice Job,

-- Respect your shop tools and they will respect you - Ric

View Derek Lyons's profile

Derek Lyons

584 posts in 4651 days

#4 posted 09-15-2008 07:21 AM

oldskool, yeah I’ve got a long list of things I’d like to build for the shop. My lovely Lady Wife has a growing list of projects she’d like me to do for her/the house.

I bet all of us LJers know which will end up taking priority… :)

-- Derek, Bremerton WA --

View Bradford's profile


1434 posts in 4906 days

#5 posted 09-16-2008 12:43 PM

Great Bench. Your garage has so much potential. You could recess so many cabinets in between the studs.

-- so much wood, so little time. Bradford. Wood-a-holics unanimous president

View GaryK's profile


10262 posts in 5071 days

#6 posted 09-16-2008 03:48 PM

Great job!

It reminds me of the bench I used to have in my garage shop, except I used a solid core door for the top.

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

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