A workshop is incomplete without a solid workbench, and it was one of the first things we needed before we set out on any future projects. We designed the workbench to have a table saw on one end for ripping down ply and the like. We will also build another bench which will run the length of the workshop along one side for a drop saw and storage.
We wanted the workbench to be heavy and chunky – something that would hold up to a lot of abuse. The only timber we could source which had decent dimensions for the legs were treated fence posts. First we cut them to length as well as all the bracing, to the specifications of our 3D model. Google Sketchup has been an invaluable tool for designing a build before committing to the cuts.
We used a jig to create pocket holes for the screws, which are a lot more stable and have the benefit of being unseen.
We then assembled the frame of the lower shelf:
And then attached it to the legs:
The result resembled a cot:
We then ripped down some ply for the shelf and the tabletop, all under the dim light of an LED work lamp connected to a fifty metre extension cord back to the house. (Oh how delightful it will be once we finally have power in the workshop… Running extension cords through chicken crap and sheep shit in the rain ain’t fun.)
We used a jigsaw to cut out the corners of the plywood shelf to accommodate the legs of the workbench:
Clamped it down:
Turned the whole thing over and screwed up into the shelf so you can’t see any screws in the finished product:
We then attached the frame for the tabletop:
Screwed together two sheets of ply to make the tabletop extra durable:
Then flipped it over, clamped it down, and screwed up from underneath. As you can see, we left a goodly overhang for the top to allow work-pieces to be clamped with ease:
At this stage phase one of the workbench was pretty much complete! Just a bit of a sand…
And then we repeated the process by building an attachment for our table saw:
We bolted down the table saw for extra sturdiness:
We designed it in such a way that the top of the table saw was a few millimetres higher than the top of the workbench, so that when we were pushing wood through it wouldn’t get stuck on the lip of the workbench. A slight fall prevents this.
We’re happy with the result. It’s basic but it’s super strong and should hopefully hold up to decades of abuse. And finally we have a work surface for the projects on our endless list of things to build. No more working on the uneven floor, bruising our knees and hurting our necks. Yus!
It was a pleasure building a new door for the workshop on our new workbench, which will be the next post in this Workshop Revamp series. Stay tuned!