Sunday, September 15, 2013

I built an "All Purpose Workbench"

Project date: October 14, 2013.

According to a write up on The Art of Manliness, I could build “the only workbench you’ll ever need.” Now of course, this workbench is not a specialized bench, it is designed for the average guy with routine tasks.  Although it is a very sturdy bench, so much so that an engine block could easily be put on top of it.

Being that I just bought my first home and have no workbench in my garage, I decided to take on this project while my wife was out of town for a couple of weeks.

First, let me say I am not going to go through each step Ethan Hagan from One Project Closer did in his article.  If you want the directions to build it, then see "How to Make an All-Purpose Workbench", rather, I will just write about what I did and add to the material list as well as offer some suggestions based on what I discovered when I was building the workbench.

I would like to point out that the first exciting draw for this workbench was the price point.  According to Mr. Hagan the materials would be around $120 at the time of the article of April 4th, 2012.  However, the price tag for my Home Depot shopping list was $224.95.  I was definitely over budget!

The Casters
I opted to buy a better caster than the 2-1/2" locking casters.  I went with the 3" Polyurethane Casters with Brake which was $1 more than the suggested caster.

Model # 4120545EB
Store SKU # 194726

Here is my material list with the prices I paid:

1 Sheet of 3/4" sanded plywood ($45.97)
1 sheet of 3/8" plywood ($17.64)
9 2"x4"x96" stud @ $2.92 each ($26.28)
8 Simpson Rigid Tie RTC24 @ $5.40 each ($43.20)
2 100 count Simspon SD8 Screws @ $8.98 each ($17.96)
2  1 pkg (2 count) 3-inch #8 wood screws @ $1.18 each ($2.36)
1 tube of heavy duty construction adhesive (I already had a tube of liquid nails, I used it).
4 3-inch Polyurethane casters with brake @ $7.97 each ($31.88)
1 Belkin Metal mountable power strip ($7.98)

-- Used to attach the shelf top and the top of the workbench (needs flat head screws)
1 lb 1-5/8" Exterior wood screws ($8.47)  

-- Used to attach the 24" 2"x4" to the bottom of the legs to mount the casters
2 pkg - 4ct  #10 2-1/2" Wood Screws @ $1.18 each ($2.36)

-- Used to attach the casters
16  1/4" x 1" Lag screws @ $0.20 each ($3.20)
2 pg - 12ct 1/4" Zinc Washers @ $1.18 each ($2.36)

Things you may want to consider:

  • Pre-drill the holes for the shelf top, bench top, caster supports, as well as the ends of the center support 2"x4".
  • Put the shelf top and bench top on last.  You take a good chance of messing up the surface of the top if following the order of construction in the article.  I chose to put the bottom pieces of plywood on first then the casters then flip it over and put on the shelf and bench top last.
  • Sink the flat head screws used on the shelf and bench top slightly so that the surface is smooth.

My Workbench
I still have to stain, seal, and coat the shelf and bench top with Polyurethane, but here is the bench I built.

  That is about all I can offer on building this workbench.  These are my opinions and suggestions only, if you have any questions, let me know.

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