A Garage Workbench
When the weather got warm again in the spring of 2007, I quickly jumped on the opportunity to get started on some outdoor projects. The first one was to build a new workbench for the garage. What else am I going to put stuff on when working on the Beetle? Where else will Lis put stuff when digging in the garden?
At some point in the past, a resident of this house apparently decided to remodel the kitchen and moved the old kitchen into the garage. Thus, when we moved in, this entire counter (complete with sink) was in the garage as a "workbench". If the sink was hooked up and worked it might have been cool, but it wasn't. Instead we just had a falling-apart "workbench" with sketchy cabinets below it that was a breeding ground for spiders. Plus, the sink in the middle of the "workbench" kind of made the whole thing useless. Here's what it looked like after we pulled it out of the garage.
This is the space that was left over after pulling the old kitchen counter out of the garage. When I said they moved the kitchen out, I really meant it - those are the matching kitchen cabinets mounted to the walls. What we needed was a workbench that would fit the area beneath those cabinets.
Not one to pass up an opportunity to play with a toy, I whipped out my copy of Sketchup
and started drawing plans for my new workbench. This is the simple design I produced. It requires about six or seven 2x4s, one sheet of plywood, and one pound of screws. Note that I didn't actually follow a few of the measurements shown here (namely the distances between crosspieces under the tabletop), so they might not actually be accurate.
Here's my sheet of plywood just after it was cut into the top and bottom pieces. Note that I dont have a fancy cutting rig like some people might; I got by just fine by just clamping a 2x4 to the right spot and running my circular saw along it. Simple! The sheet of plywood itself was supported by a few carefully-placed bricks. Make sure there aren't any bricks in the way before cutting!
After the tabletop and shelftop were cut up, the next step was to build the frame. Here's the tabletop frame just after it was completed. It was at this point that I realized one of the biggest problems with building a new workbench: you don't have a workbench on which to build it. I had to get by by using the old kitchen counter that was now sitting in the driveway.
After getting the top frame done, I clamped some legs to it so I could line it up on the wall. The final product only has legs on the front, while the back is secured to the wall studs that, as you can see, were very easy to find.
After putting in the frame for the shelf, I decided it was time to clamp the tabletop down and attach it to the frame. Note how I didn't bother waiting until the top was secured before I started using the workbench for its intended purpose.
A few screws later and I was done. A feature that showed up on the final product that wasn't in the original plans is the back "splash guard" on the tabletop. I had a three-inch wide strip of plywood left from cutting the lower shelf, and it fit perfectly in place there to prevent me from pushing stuff off the back. Mission accomplished!