With a single-car garage storage space is at a premium, and my old compact workbench didn't have enough room for the many tools and fixings I've accumulated. The benchtop wasn't suitable for mounting a vice, and I didn't have a work surface for larger pieces of wood.
I wanted a sturdy mobile bench I could wheel into the middle of the garage when I needed to cut or work on something longer. I wanted it to eventually have a vice mounted and to have shelf and drawer storage.
I used an online CAD tool to make the designs so I could get the Bunnings cut shop to cut all the pieces to the millimetre so construction would be a breeze.
I decided to use 90mm x 35mm MGP10 Pine as the main structure and 18mm Pine ply as the benchtop.
I was quite afraid of constructing the frame pieces without a work surface and bracing system to keep things square, but it worked out great with my hacky methods.
First I put together the benchtop frame using the benchtop as a base to help keep things square. I used an extra piece of the Pine and two F-clamps to keep the joint square and tight as I pre-drilled and drove in two bugel-head screws per joint.
With the top frame assembled I lay the bench perpendicular to the ground and screwed two of the legs on with a single bugel-head so I could square things up later.
I attached the side of the bottom shelf frame using a spare piece of the same timber as a spacer from the bottom of the legs for a small amount of ground clearance.
This step worried me but it worked perfectly: I stood the table up and held the other two legs on using the F-clamps so I could drill and screw bugel-head screws in to fix on the other two legs.
The safety inspector surveyed the work and gave the tick of approval.
Using spare pieces and off-cuts again to ensure the right ground clearance, I assembled the bottom frame using two bugel-heads per joint. I decided to construct the bottom frame from 70mm x 35mm MGP10 Pine just to save weight, but you could use 90mm x 35mm as well. I then checked square on everything and fixed the top frame to the top of the legs with an extra screw.
To make the top of the frame more seamless in the end, I added an extra piece of 90mm x 35mm Pine between the top legs and screwed it in with normal timber screws.
I prepped and painted the legs.
Then I ruled guidelines and screwed on the benchtop. I didn't know if the ply was prone to splitting so to be safe I pre-drilled it. After this I sanded and varnished the top.
The final stage was fitting lift-away castors and a drawer, and the whole thing was finished.