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Nov 15, 2012

A Weekend Well Spent: Building a $60 Versatile Workbench

Workbench refresh ... before.
This summer was a busy one for my family; we had a new baby (our second, a boy), and moved into a new house that we gutted and remodeled. At the same time. Needless to say, it was a bit crazy, and one side-effect of that was that all my tools got completely disorganized. Plus the new basement had no good storage for tools, save an ancient, ramshackle work bench that was barely standing upright. Enough of that, I thought, and made a plan to fix it. Read on to watch my video and see how easy it is to improve your own workbench situation.

I started by searching online for some workbench plans. There are thousands, but I liked these plans from the Family Handyman. This bench design fit my requirements: cheap, easy, and strong.

So a stopped by my local True Value hardware store and picked up a bunch of supplies, including brand new pegboard and organizers, as well as some extra hardware to bracket the bend to the foundation wall behind it.

Back home, I started with the funnest (not a word, I know) part of every project: demolition. I ripped out the old bench with little trouble, although that old wood is dense and took a little muscle to cut through with my reciprocating saw. 

After that, I cut my lumber to size on a miter saw, mostly following the plans, but making a few adjustments. I attached the legs with carriage bolts instead of screws, so I can take them off if I ever need to.

created at: 11/15/2012

Once the table was built, I added the upper shelf and pegboard on the back. I had plenty of pegboard left over, so I just added a piece to either side of the upper shelf legs. A cheap shop light is a must in any work area, and I also added a power strip to let me plug various devices and chargers in at the same time.

I didn't go nuts with the tool organization (some people like to sort every tool by type, size, etc.), I just made sure everything had some kind of hook or surface it could rest on. That way, my toolbox remains mostly empty, except for a few essentials, and I can just grab what I need from the work bench whenever I'm doing a project.

created at: 11/15/2012

Overall, this project took me about 4 hours (although probably half of that was spent just sorting and organizing tools. I spent about $60 on lumber and hardware, and another $20-30 on pegboard accessories. Without question, it was worth every minute and cent. If you've been putting up with an old, disorganized workbench for far too long, I strongly recommend you do something about it!

Thanks to True Value for sponsoring this post! All opinions are ours alone.



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joseb on Nov 18, 2012:

you must have been reading my mind!


maybe when spring comes araound again!