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Custom workbench with built-in tool storage

Junior Contributor
Junior Contributor

Offering a huge amount of work space for all manner of projects, this custom workbench also features loads of built-in tool storage.





The project


I haven't been the most active D.I.Y. person. I could do the basics but never really built anything serious until this year. We pulled down the old front fence and built a new one from scratch. This changed my mindset from 'everything is too hard' to 'I think I can do that', which led me to building this workbench.


Having a small workbench area was the real motivation for getting started. Removing tools from the top of the bench to do anything was beginning to be a pain, and not having enough room to store tools, offcuts and bit and pieces was slowing the flow.


I needed a bigger workbench with a spacious work area and maybe even tool storage. I started looking for inspiration – first things first, any ideas had to be achievable with my limited skill set.


Being a big guy, the starting point was figuring out the best height for the workbench, which worked out to be 920mm. I measured up the length of one wall in the garage and found it to be 4.6m long. The overall length of my bench is 3.7m long with enough space on either side to store long pieces of timber standing upright.




The size of the left and right sections are 1300mm from leg to leg, 780mm deep and starting height of 890mm before the bench top goes on. The middle is a plywood project panel sitting over my tool box and secured to the outside leg of each section.


Building the workbench frame


Using a drop saw, cut eight pieces of untreated Pine timber framing to 890mm, or whatever height you need.


Clamp two lengths together to form an L shape. Use a square to get the legs flush and tighten the clamps to prevent unplanned movement.


Use a 10mm spade bit to drill three holes 250mm apart down one side of the leg, then pre-drill with a small drill bit to make it easier for the 75mm screws to go in. Repeat this process four times to create the legs.


Measure your space to determine where your bottom shelf will begin. I wanted the bottom shelf to be at least 300mm off the ground so I could put things underneath the bench if need be. I measured 402mm from the bottom – 300mm space, 90mm for the thickness of the wood to make the shelf and 12mm for the thickness of the MDF panel that would go on top.


Cut two pieces of timber (I used offcuts) to 300mm and clamp them to the front legs in the middle section. Measure and cut two cross supports at 680mm to sit on top of the off cuts, check for level, then clamp the cross supports. Using the 10mm spade bit, pre-drill and then use 75mm screws to join together. Do the same for the cross supports that the benchtop will be placed on over the toolbox in the middle section.


built-in toolbox on workbench.jpeg


I was able to modify my basic plan to allow for my table saw to be included. I took a lot of time with this, measuring it up, drawing it all out in a scrapbook, and checking everything to make sure all the maths worked out correctly before starting.


table saw on workbench.jpeg


The time spent researching this project really pays off in the long run. From starting out without a clue on how and where to begin to getting an understanding of what was required and how to go about it, I gave myself an education in D.I.Y. in the process.


Other D.I.Y. workbench projects


Workshop member JoeAzza took apart his existing workbench to build a frame that would accommodate wheels and added a beautiful Ash timber benchtop from Bunnings.


mobile workbench.jpeg


Unable to find a portable workbench that ticked all the boxes, Bunnings Workshop member Tara created her own with lockable castor wheels, space for her drop saw and plenty of storage alongside vertical shelving.


workbench and shelving.jpeg


How to build a workbench


Learn how to build your own portable workbench with plenty of storage by following this step-by-step guide by experienced Workshop member Peggers. There’s also a guide for building a matching garage storage unit so you can keep everything you need for your next build close at hand.



New Contributor

Some serious thought has gone into these bench designs l think. Like Rodney's design with a built in toolbox & saw & 3 sections. Have to admire Tara's efforts too. What a beautiful looking bench & l think there is never anything as too many drawers. Preggers has it pegged too. 

Congrats to every person. I would like to adapt a bit from each of these designs to make my bench more workable for me.

Bunnings Team Member
Bunnings Team Member

Give us a shout when you are in the design stage @Ezzy. I'm sure @Rodney, @Tara86 and @Peggers would be more than happy to provide some tips and advice. I'd also be thrilled to assist with your project.

It would be fantastic if they'd like to share an update with us on how their workbenches are holding up. With the benefit of hindsight, it would be interesting to know whether they would have done anything differently or if they've made any modifications to the original design.


I'll be looking forward to seeing what you create.




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