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Old 01-26-2011, 09:15 AM
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What is a good workbench?

Hi guys; I'll be setting up a basement garage this spring,
and will need a small workbench. The space where I want it
is limited, so maybe a 5' bench would be sufficent.

Anyone have experiences with the ones from Home Depot,
Harbor Freight, Sears, etc.....I've even considered building my
own. Any ideas?

Thanks,
ROE

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Old 01-26-2011, 10:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Runnin'OnEmpty
Hi guys; I'll be setting up a basement garage this spring,
and will need a small workbench. The space where I want it
is limited, so maybe a 5' bench would be sufficent.

Anyone have experiences with the ones from Home Depot,
Harbor Freight, Sears, etc.....I've even considered building my
own. Any ideas?

Thanks,
ROE
I usually build my own out of 2x4s. Anchor it to the wall if possible for additional stiffness.
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Old 01-26-2011, 10:54 AM
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I use solid core door slabs, 1 3/4" x 36" wide and usually 84-96" long, cut to length if needed, with 4x4's for legs.
I work construction, so they come up pretty regular.
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Old 01-26-2011, 11:00 AM
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i've often said that my most useful tool in my shop is my workbench.
if it's not going to be used for welding, i recommend building your own.
for flexibility, i recommend using fairly heavy duty saw horses and a 2x6 top.
make the saw horses out of 2x6 too.
i was able to find 2x6 t&g (tongue and groove) left overs from a jobsite.
mine is 6ftx3.5ft, but easily made any size you need.
mine sits in the middle of my shop and is plenty sturdy for big stuff.
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Old 01-26-2011, 12:03 PM
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I like the idea of and old kitchen counter with a stainless 1 sink for cleaning parts. You can run a piece of PVC pipe hanging straight down to a bucket to catch fluids. Kitchen counters are pretty tough and they have a lip on the back that's easy to attach to the wall.
I'm looking into one now and think I can get one at a re-cycle re-sale store for a good price. One good thing about DIY bench is you can build it at the right level depending on how tall you are. I'm 6'4" and I hate bending over to work on parts. Kind of funny you brought this up as I was cleaning my old bench off last week end and noticed it's wearing out after 15 yrs.

Anyway, that's my plan.
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Old 01-26-2011, 12:47 PM
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I have 3 work benches which are all built using 2x6 framing and top with 4x4 legs. One of them has 2 old wood kitchen base cabinets, one with 4 drawers, the other with a drawer and a cabinet as part of the structure. They are covered with 1" thick phenolic cut to length and width.
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Old 01-26-2011, 12:56 PM
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Home Depot sells a wooden workbench that you assemble, IIRC it comes in several sizes- if you're not into carpentry.

Popular Mechanics has plans for building good work benches if you can do some woodworking.

You can also check THIS out, as well as many other sites on the web.

One thing I will say- mount a good, sturdy vice. You will use the hell out of it. Keep the lighting over the bench good and bright. Have plenty of electrical receptacles in or near the bench.
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Old 01-26-2011, 01:42 PM
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I have a small workbench on the wall made with square tubing and a plywood top..for other things I have a couple of sets of horses with 3/4 ply cut to 32x48 inches..that is what I use for assembling tranny's and other projects..My vise is mounted on a heavy wheel with a post to the vise so I can roll it out of the way when i am not needing it..

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Old 01-26-2011, 09:02 PM
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if you got the money, the best way, is go buy 2 cheap craftsman bottom tool boxes and screw a piece of plywood or kitchen type counter top on them

this will work well because you are dealing with a smaller bench
this is how we build them in our race trailers
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Old 01-26-2011, 09:39 PM
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commercial surplus

I bought some surplused electronics factory work benches. a couple have steel tops, for the welding area, two have a formica top and a 12 inch wide upper shelf. all steel structure. a 4 x 6 steel plate top 1/4 thick, table on castors... auction prices were $ 20 each.
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Old 01-26-2011, 11:01 PM
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I used the electrical Struts that can be found at home depot, etc.. They also make angle brackets to join them together and if I didn't find some of the things, I welded the pieces together. I did make it bolt together as in case I wanted to change heights of the shelves.. Plywood tops and it is as strong as heck.

No movement, no shakes, I even put a large bolt bin on it and I would not be surprised if it held up a car..no you can't, but it's pretty darn strong.
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Old 01-27-2011, 09:38 PM
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Thanks for all the suggestions, guys. Lots of good ideas here.
Looks like you all build your own workbenches, so I'll probably
go that route.

I have plenty of experience with 2x6's since re-doing the
back deck.....
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Old 01-28-2011, 07:41 PM
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DIY Workbench

The best idea is build your own. The workbech then will fit in your space and work for your needs.
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Old 01-29-2011, 08:23 AM
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I built one for my girlfriends Dad, uses a countertop return fron Ikea-$19.00 and it is finished on top and bottom so it could be turned over
if he ever wears it out! Jim
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Old 01-29-2011, 07:31 PM
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I got a bunch of steel file cabinets. Some for free, some for $25 a set. Cut them up, and welded them together. They are great strong drawers for heavy tools etc.




Free throw-away solid core doors, with bad veneers


Painted the cabinets with some paint (most expensive part)


Varnished the tops with several coats, and added stainless scrap, I had laying around under the bolted on tools


I highly recommend this set up. Cheap, strong and looks great. Used file cabinets can be bought cheap anywhere. Screwed up doors are easy to find. Welders and metal workers can use steel doors instead of wood ones.
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