Introduction: Sturdy Garage Workbench With Top Pegboard, Cabinet and Bottom Shelf
Any craftsman, carpenter or hobbyist will tell you that a good workbench is the most important element of any workshop.
Its construction, dimensions, characteristics are usually conditioned by the place where the workbench is located, but in general it should have a spacious tabletop, it should be very resistant (a lot of mass) that is, it should not "bounce" when subjected to strong impacts and You should have some storage space, at least for the tools and materials that are used the most.
There are tons of examples of doing this type of project on the web, including magazines, books, and lots of great youtube videos.
In this instructable, I have documented one of my latest projects designed and executed during 2022.
It has been a great challenge, but at the same time I enjoyed every day of work from the design itself to seeing it 100% built.
I will explain step by step how to make a similar one or if you prefer this information will allow you to adapt it to your own spaces or particular taste.
Let's do it!
Step 1: See the Video (1 Minute)
Take a look at this hyper fast video, which highlights the main features at the beginning before explaining in detail.
You will see in 1 in a little over a minute build and assemble:
- 84 solid woods 1 1/2" and 1 1/8" thicknesses pieces.
-18 plywood 15 mm thicknesses pieces.
-5 pegboard 3 mm thicknesses pieces.
-11 pieces prefabricated solid wood 10 mm thicknesses for the pegboard flashing.
-A lot of screws, glue, etc.
In the next steps I will explain in writing, with photos and plans how to build it.
Step 2: Materials, Tools and Others
- Solid wood (see step 3 and 4).
- Plywood 15 mm (see step 3).
- Pegboard (distance between holes 1" / holes Ø4-5mm, see step 3).
- 40 mm width x 10 mm thicknesses prefabricated solid wood.
- Power strip
- (11) Wood screws Ø6x100 mm.
- (171) Wood screws Ø5x70 mm.
- (16) Wood screws Ø5x45 mm.
- (5) Wood screws Ø4x45 mm.
- (24) Wood screws Ø4x35 mm.
- (8) Wood screws Ø4x15 mm.
- Loose-hide nails.
- Pegboard metal hooks
- (1,5L) Clear Varnish.
- Plastic putty.
- 5 m LED Strip Lights (5050 60 leds/m warm light 14.4W/m)
- LED Aluminum Profile U-Shape with plastic Diffuser Cover, End Caps and Mounting Clips.
- Table saw.
- Circular saw.
- Drilling machine.
- Jig saw.
- knife pen (cutter).
- Sand paper or flexible sanding sponges (super fine & fine).
- Metal hammer.
- Rubber hammer.
- Drilling bits mm.
- Vacuum cleaner electric.
- Portable electric hand air blower.
- Metalic ruler.
- Spirit level.
- Measuring tape.
- Carpenter square.
- Hand held belt grinder.
- Electric hand plane.
- Orbital sander.
- damp cloth.
- Putty knife.
Personal Protection Equipment (PPI):
- Carpenter apron.
- Work gloves.
- Protection glasses.
- Ear protector.
- Dust mask.
Step 3: Design
I based it on a workbench project, published in Popular Mechanic Magazine in March 1981 (Spanish version).
I chose it because I like it for its very sturdy, as well the design of strips of wood placed perpendicular to the longitudinal direction of the workbench in the same way as they are installed on floors.
I used Autodesk Fusion 360 software to do a complete design.
The main render and all the sheets, including an A2 size plan were created with 360 fusion. I imported the images in Adobe Illustrator and added notes, some dimensions, etc. then export to JPG or PDF. With fusion 360 I have made a complete animation simulating building the project. It can help you quickly understand how it is built (see youtube video). The design in fusion 360 included the position of all the screws for each of the sections of the project. In this print screen you can see that by selecting all the components (see left screen) at the bottom right, the number of screws is counted: 75 of Ø5x70mm in this case. That allowed me to indicate in step 2, the exact amount of each type.
Here is the link where you can access the model in fusion360:cfb70_ garage workbench
I started from the dimensions of my new room-workshop, which are 4,05 meters long x 2,05 meters wide x 2,30 m height, with two access doors.
It is an "L"-shaped piece of furniture fixed to the walls, which has a 55 cm wide countertop and with an approximate average total length of 4,2 m.
The work plane is 93 cm above the floor level.
Above workbench there is a classic pegboard 80 cm high that allows placing pegboard metal hooks to hang all kinds of tools.
On top of this board there is a cabinet that allows the storage of minor power tools and other types of things that are in constant use.
Under the workbench there is a shelf that allows the storage of medium to large power tools.
The support structure and the workbench are made of 2” and 1½" raw solid wood planed at 1½" and 1⅛”.
The legs are 4” rough solid wood planed to 3½”.
The pegboard is made of perforated fiber plate.
The pegboard flashing are 10 mm prefabricated solid wood.
Both the upper cabinet and the shelf are made of 15 mm plywood.
The final dimensions of all parts of this project are included in the attached table.
All the woods are joined together with wood screws and glue.
Surface finish: sand and perfectly level the entire countertop using the combination of a belt sander, electric plane and sandpaper. Clean the wood perfectly with the help of a damp cloth. Workbench finished with “polycrylic” (hydrolacquer). Cabinet finished with satin varnish.
LED strips (5050 60 leds/m warm light) inserted in aluminum profiles attached to the bottom of the cabinet.
I have included in the project, two powers strip with each enough outlets to plug in different tools at the same time.
Step 4: Getting the Wood
In wood-intensive jobs like this, both the quality of the work and its cost depend on the task of choosing the most suitable material for what you want to do.
I used a combination mainly of maple and arrowwood purchased rough and then planned until the final thicknesses from a small lumber store. In my case, I wanted the wood of the top bench and sides to have a variety of colors. But you could also use other types of wood such as: Ash white, Oak, etc.
Two sources of information on wood are for me very helpful: the site https://www.wood-database.com and an excellent mobile app (iOS) called "I.D. Wood" In both you can see a lot of useful information such as: hardness, type of grain, etc.
To build the workbench frame, bench, and legs you can:
a) buy wooden planks of the thicknesses indicated in the previous step, of equal widths and lengths and from them make the necessary cuts to obtain all the indicated parts (not my case).
b) buy raw wood planks of different widths and lengths and plan them until reaching the necessary thicknesses and from them make the necessary cuts to obtain all the indicated parts (this is my case).
In all cases, it is very important to take the necessary time to select woods that are straight, without cracks, without sags, etc.
Given the number of pieces of wood and before buying it, once I had the dimensions of the wooden boards available in the lumber shop, I used the Cutting Optimization Pro software that allows me to optimize the cuts (see a few screen prints of the main program, where the necessary cuts are loaded, the stock to buy and the result of the use of the wood (with plans indicating the optimized cuts).
Believe me that even though the use of software of this type is not mandatory, it gives great satisfaction to use the right amount of wood while minimizing scrap, particularly when it comes to hardwood with high costs.
I have included photos of the raw wood stowed in the lumber store ready to be sorted, the wood already separated prior to planing, and the planed wood on top of my truck ready to work in my shop.
Step 5: Cutting the Wood
The wood was cut primarily with a circular hand saw and a bench circular saw.
For the circular hand saw cuts I used a couple of sawhorses and a wooden countertop.
In all cases I suggest the use of safety elements, particularly goggles, hearing protectors and nose protectors.
Before cutting, it will be necessary to perfectly measure the parts to be cut with a pencil, metal ruler, tape measure and square.
After that, in the case of cutting with a handheld circular saw, fix the wood to be cut with clamps and then proceed to cut each of the parts, especially taking into account the thickness of the cutting disc.
In the case of a wooden bench that is assembled as a whole from individual parts, the precision of the cuts is very important to avoid false squares at the time of assembly, etc.
If you are an experienced entrepreneur, you probably do not need to take into account all the instructions indicated in this step.
After cutting the wood, proceed to sand it lightly, removing splinters, imperfections, etc.
Finally, with a pencil, place the identification of each piece to facilitate the assembly in the following steps.
Step 6: Frame Assembly
This step shows how to assemble the wooden frame that is fixed to the wall and the floor.
First, I took the A1 and C1 type pieces of wood, leaned them against the floor and the side skirting boards, and then fixed them to the floor using Ø10 fisher-type plastic plugs and Ø5 x 70 mm screws.
Then I took the type B woods and with the use of an electric drill I made 3 holes in each one, as indicated in Plan "Piece Type B" (See that in addition to the holes, as my wall has a plinth, I had to make a cut in the lower part of the pieces B according to the measurements indicated in that Plan).
Once the holes were made, I proceeded to mark the position of the wood's side on the wall with a pencil following the indications of Plan "Frame assembly".
Once the wood was positioned, I proceeded to make holes in the walls of the workshop with a sharp object or with the help of a drill bit. As in my case the walls are made of masonry, to fix the wood I used Ø10 fisher-type plastic plugs and Ø6 x 100 mm screws.
The wooden frame is concluded with the placement of the horizontal pieces type A2 and C2, fixed to the B pieces using Ø5 x 70 mm wood screws.
Even if you have penciled in the dimensions on the wall, I suggest you always check the positions and horizontals using a level.
In all of them, before passing the Ø5 and Ø6 screws, I used a Ø3.5 bit drill to facilitate the screwing of the wood.
Also to hide the screw heads in the wood, I countersunk the holes to a diameter larger than the size of the screw head diameter used.
Step 7: Bench Support Structure Assembly
This step shows how to assemble the set of wood that is fixed to the frame built in the previous step, which will support the bench and the shelf.
Take the wood type G with which we will build the legs. They have notches that allow them to be joined very firmly with the woods type D, E and F.
Before making the upper and lower notches, I used a ruler and a pencil marking the place where the notches will go, following the dimensions of plan No. I then used a utility knife to make a notch.
To make the top notches, I clamped the wood to a side table with clamps and used a handsaw to make cuts. To make other cuts I also used the bench circular saw very carefully, as you can see in the photo. With a lot of patience and with the use of a chisel, I proceeded to remove the parts of the notch and then I smoothed it using hand sandpaper.
To make the bottom notches, I used the circular bench saw, adjusting the height of the saw to make cuts approximately 3-4mm apart and with a notch height. With the help of the chisel, I proceeded to remove the cut sheets from the root and then smoothed them using a chisel and hand sandpaper.
You will find hundreds of videos on YouTube on how to best do this. The precision of the work is also essential in this step, so that the subsequent assembly of the wood is correct.
Once the notches were made, I placed the legs on the floor following the measurements indicated in drawing No. .. and I pre-assembled the wood type D holding them with the help of F-clamps.
The pieces of wood were joined together using glue and Ø5 x 70 mm screws after reviewing the dimensions, squareness and perfect horizontal levels. The holes were countersunk so that the head of the screws is hidden, using a countersink.
After doing this, I placed the wood type E and F glued to the legs with glue and screwed as indicated in the previous paragraph. These woods also have notch work as can be seen in the photos.
Before passing the Ø5 screws, I used a Ø3.5 bit drill to facilitate the screwing of the wood.
Step 8: Bench Assembly
First of all, I arranged all the woods without gluing them on the frame support bench, to choose the colors and textures of the different pieces of wood and check the measurements and how they fit in the set.
Then I fixed the R and S type wood glued together using F-clamps for perfect gluing and screwed to the support built in the previous step.
The following was the gluing of the T type woods together as a partial set using F-clamps, which once dry were fixed using only glue above the R and S pieces. In my case I did it in a set of 3 to 6 pieces according to the type and size of presses that I have.Once they were glued, I left them on the floor or on top of the bench support itself. See photos.
After assembling the side pieces H, I and J, I proceeded to sand and perfectly level the entire countertop using the combination of a belt sander, electric plane and sandpaper.
Patience and the amount of time in this step is very important so that the workbench looks like a continuous, smooth and perfectly level surface.
This step ends with the placement of the H, I, and J woods types using glue and Ø5 x 70 mm screws, with countersink to hide the screw heads.
As in the previous steps, before passing the Ø5 screws, I used a Ø3.5 bit drill to facilitate the screwing of the wood.
After I finished assembling the entire workbench, I re-sanded the assembled side pieces using the combination of belt sander, electric plane and sandpaper.
Step 9: Bench Surface Finish
Also before applying the surface finish, it is convenient to erase any pencil mark on those parts that are especially visible.
To remove imperfections from the wood and from the joints of the joints, I used plastic putty applied with a putty knife. After this, I let it dry and removed the excess by applying very fine manual sandpaper and belt sander.
Although many workbenches are left smooth without finishing or with impregnating agents, oils and even varnishes, in my case I decided to treat the wood with hydro-lacquering (Polycrylic) that gives the workbench a very fine finish, while providing surface hardness to the countertop facilitating cleaning, avoiding stains, etc.
Before applying the hydrolacquer, the wood must be very clean and without traces of dirt. I did that by vacuuming, brushing and finally applying a damp cloth to the whole thing.
I applied a sealer first. Once dry, I did a light sanding with fine grit sandpaper and cleaned again with a damp cloth.
I then applied 3 coats of hydrolacquer itself. You can use any polyurethane hydrolacquer for floors, which is normally used to “plasticize” wooden floors. The advantage is that the application is very simple with a brush, without the use of diluent or thinner. The product is like a milky liquid and the brushes are easily cleaned with water.
You have to follow the instructions of the particular product that you buy about the number of hours between hand and hand, consumption per square meter, etc.
Step 10: Cabinet Construction and Surface Finish
The cabinet is located in the upper part of the wooden frame fixed to the wall.
First I took the pieces M and N, which is the back cover of the cabinet and fixed them to the type B vertical woods, with screws Ø5 x 70 mm with countersink to hide the screw head.
Then I took the pieces O and P that are the top and bottom covers of the cabinet and fixed them with Ø5 x 45 mm screws also with countersink to hide the screw head.
Finally I took the wooden pieces type Q that are the side faces of the cabinet and also fixed them with Ø4 x 45 mm screws also with countersink to hide the screw head.
Once finished, I proceeded to sand and clean the wood perfectly with the help of a damp cloth, to apply satin varnish: 1 coat to seal with the application of 15% varnish with thinner and then 3 coats of varnish respecting the number of hours between coats explained in the particular product you have chosen.
Step 11: Pegboard Assembly
It consisted of fixing the perforated fiber boards types X, Y and Z to the wooden frame fixed to the wall (pieces type B), with Ø4 x 35 screws. As in the previous steps, before passing the Ø4 screws, I used a Ø2.5 bit drill to facilitate the screwing of the wood.
Before starting this step take the pieces U, V and W (mounting frame) and give them a hydro-lacquering treatment similar to that given to the wooden bench explained in step number 8.
This mounting frames are fixed to the board with glue and loose-head nails.
The board allows the placement of pegboard metal hooks as shown in the figure. There are many models and forms, which can be obtained in different stores. I use lengths 5, 8 and 12 cm (see photo).
This system has great flexibility when it comes to ordering the tools, but above all it has the flexibility to allow adjustments and rearrangements depending on the number of tools you have.
Step 12: Shelf Assembly and Surface Finish
The basic construction is concluded in this step. Here I supported the pieces of wood type AA1 and AA2 on the pieces of wood type D (that are part of the support structure of the bench).
The shelves were joined to D pieces using Ø5 x 45 mm screws. The holes were countersunk so that the head of the screws is hidden, using a countersink. Before passing the Ø5 screws, I used a Ø3.5 bit drill to facilitate the screwing of the wood.
Once finished, I proceeded finish the same as cabinet: to sand and clean the wood perfectly with the help of a damp cloth, to apply satin varnish: 1 coat to seal with the application of 15% varnish with thinner and then 3 coats of varnish respecting the number of hours between coats explained in the particular product you have chosen.
Step 13: Lights and Outlets Assembly
The tasks of the craftsman or carpenter require a work space that has an excellent level of lighting.
For this reason, in my case I decided to illuminate with LED strips (5050 60 leds/m warm light) inserted in aluminum profiles attached to the bottom of the cabinet.
I took the 5 m led roll and divided it into two sections, with the distance of the cabinets. Then I soldered the two independent led strips with serial connection. Alternatively, you can also find connectors to avoid soldering and facilitate assembly.
Then I glued the two LED strips to each of the profiles, previously cut to the length of each of the cabinets.
Then I fixed the profile supports with Ø4 x 15 mm screws to place the profile and LED strip assembly against the cabinet.
I installed a 12V electrical source in a safe place and made the necessary connections so that the lights turn on with a 1 point switch.
Finally, at each end of the workbench, I installed powers strip with each enough outlets to plug in different tools at the same time.
Step 14: Tools Arrangement
You will realize that this was one of the most anticipated moments: arranging the tools and machines on the workbench.
There are no fixed rules, I just try to ensure that there is a certain logic grouping by type of tools and that they are at hand and ordered in the same way.
An orderly and clean workshop is not mandatory, but from experience I can say that it reduces a lot of work time if it is.
In my case, in the room I added a bought garage shelving rack (width 900 mm, depth 450 mm, height 1000 mm with wooden shelves and pre-welded components for easy assembly) where I put paints, and many other things in glass containers with lids, etc.
Step 15: Adjustments / Additions / Upgrades?
In my case I opted for a piece of furniture with an "L" distribution, but modifications could perfectly be made.
For example, for a piece of furniture 3 m long, it is possible to modify the original files in fusion360 and adapt them according this.
The size of the bench's width could also be increased without modifications in bench support structure, frames neither legs. In my case this dimensions are optimal for the type of work that I do.
The board and the cabinet could be eliminated and only a countertop could be made to place in the central area of a workshop with larger dimensions.
Placement of a press:
This element is really necessary for those who are engaged in carpentry. In my case, the placement of a screw press was not considered a priority, but one could perfectly be attached. There are also hundreds of models on the internet to do it, as well as the screws ready to be installed. due to the dimensions of my workshop it is likely that I will install one like this later: pony 26545.
Just for those who don't know a bench dog is a removable clamp used on a woodworking workbench to hold an item fast while being worked. It is characteristically used in concert with an adjustable dog on a bench vise, allowing an item compressed between the two to be held fast on each end, and if offset in both directions.
Having made such a solid and firm workbench may allow me to add this possibility later.
Here two excellent videos on how to do it:
Step 16: Final Words
Thanks for reading to the end. That's all for this project!
We have created a profesional workbench for our workshop!
I hope you enjoyed this instructable as much as I have enjoyed it.
If you have any question ask them in the comments below!
I would also love to hear what you think about the project.
cfb70 - Instagram @cfb70ok
PS1: if you like the project, please choose it as a favorite ♥️ == THANKS
PS2: If you want to see my other works on instructables look here:
PS3: Quirky vector created by rawpixel.com - www.freepik.com
Runner Up in the