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How to build a workbench

Peggers
Experienced Contributor

Difficulty: Intermediate

A solid workbench can make it much easier to construct your other D.I.Y. projects.

 

This relatively simple workbench would be a great addition to your garage or shed. It’s on wheels for flexibility, has electrical plugs close at hand, some extra lighting, and plenty of storage.

 

Inspiration for this step-by-step guide comes from the D.I.Y. workbench by Bunnings Workshop community member @Baggs as well as the popular New work benches that @Rodney made for his garage.

Steps

Step 1

We start by making the workbench frame using the structural pine.

 

Measure two lengths 1.2m each, and two widths 53cm each. Use your plywood top to measure out the pieces if that helps you visualise what you’re trying to achieve. Cut the pine with a hand saw or jigsaw.

 

Once you have the top frame, repeat these measurements exactly for the bottom frame.

 

Construct the frames using the 65mm chipboard screws. Drill holes through the top piece of wood and into the piece below so the screws go in easily. Use a Phillips screwdriver head on your drill (if you have one) to make things easier.

 

1.1 Measure pine lengths.JPG  1.2 Cut pine lengths.JPG  1.3 Drill screwholes.JPG  1.4 Screw frame together.JPG

Step 2

Once you have the bottom and top frames, construct the side panels.

 

The height of the side panel will depend on how you like working on things - my side panels were 1.2m in height. When you add the height of the caster wheels at 10cm, and the thickness of the bench top and base, it means I’m working on things at a height of 1.35m, which is just above waist level.

 

Use three pieces of timber to hold the side panels together. The middle strut adds extra strength, but is also so that you can add a shelf underneath your bench.

 

Put the side panels together with 65mm screws in the same way as the top and bottom. You should now have the four basic frame parts to construct your bench.

 

2.1 Bottom and top frames.JPG  2.2 Construct side frames.JPG  2.3 First side frame complete.JPG  2.4 All 4 frame pieces.JPG

Step 3

Use 65mm screws to join the four frames together. The bottom of the side frame should be attached to the top of the base frame. Repeat this on the other side. Then turn the half-constructed frame upside down and attach the base frame. You end up with a solid structure that will form the basis of your workbench.

 

Next construct the back wall of the bench with more pine and a pegboard. The width of the backing board will be 1.2m again, the height is 1.8m.

 

The sheet of pegboard itself will need to be trimmed by 20mm as the smallest size available is 1220mm in length. Also add a piece of pine in the middle of your backing structure, so that the pegboard doesn’t bow in the middle when attached.

 

3.1 Screw frame pieces together.JPG  3.2 Bench frame complete.JPG  3.3 Pieces for backboard.JPG  3.4 Screwing backboard together.JPG  3.5 Backboard frame complete.JPG

Step 4

If you want to paint your workbench, do it at this stage before you add your bottom and top panels, the shelf and the pegboard. If you’ve got some paint leftover from an old project, then use that. If not, just get a 250ml sample pot. I went with Brunswick Green.

 

Once the paint is dry, you can add your worktop, shelf and the base. I’ve used 18mm ply for the top as it is strong and durable. I’ve added a thinner bit of ply for the middle shelf, and a thick piece of MDF for the base. These need to be screwed on with 40mm screws.

 

The pegboard can also be screwed to the backboard frame once the paint on that has dried. Again, screw the sides and middle of the pegboard to the timber with 40mm screws.

 

4.1 Paint your frame.JPG  4.2 Add top and shelf when paint dries.JPG  4.3 Add pegboard when paint dry.JPG  4.4 Screw down worktop.JPG  4.5 Screw on bench base.JPG

Step 5

The caster wheels can be added to the corners of the MDF base using 20mm button screws. Without a base board, fitting the wheels straight to the frame can be difficult and unsteady. Adding them to a bigger surface is much more stable.

 

If possible, use caster wheels with a brake on them, so that you can anchor the workbench when it’s in use, and it won’t slide around.

 

5.1 Attach wheels to bench base.JPG

Step 6

To attach the backboard to the rest of the bench, you can use 65mm screws to attach the back struts. I also used construction adhesive along the back edge of the worktop for extra strengthening.

 

Lay the backboard struts down the back of the bench and attach with screws.

 

6.1 Liquid nails along edge of worktop.JPG  6.2 Screw backboard to back of bench.JPG

Step 7

On top of the workbench I attached a basic power board so that there’s always an easy place to plug in power tools. I used construction adhesive to glue this to the back corner of the work top, and then used u-shaped nails to keep the cord safe and tidy.

 

With everything almost finished, I used some ultra gloss varnish to bring up the worktop. You only need a small 250ml pot.

 

Clean up the brush you used to paint the frame and use it to varnish the top.

 

7.1 Stick down powerboard.JPG  7.2 Tidy away powerboard cord.JPG  7.3 Varnish the worktop.JPG

Step 8

On top of the workbench I attached a basic power board so that there’s always an easy place to plug in power tools. I used construction adhesive to glue this to the back corner of the work top, and then used u-shaped nails to keep the cord safe and tidy.

 

With everything almost finished, I used some ultra gloss varnish to bring up the worktop. You only need a small 250ml pot.

 

Clean up the brush you used to paint the frame and use it to varnish the top.

 

8.1 Bolt vice to worktop.JPG8.2 Hang work light from peg.JPG8.3 Finished bench.JPG    

 

Materials

Tools

  • Hand saw

  • Jigsaw

  • Drill

  • Phillips screwdriver (drill attachment is easiest)

  • Tape measure

  • Ruler

  • Pencil

  • Glue gun

  • Caulking gun

  • Hammer

  • Paint brush

  • Adjustable spanner (if fitting a vice)

Images

1.1 Measure pine lengths.JPG

1.2 Cut pine lengths.JPG

1.3 Drill screwholes.JPG

1.4 Screw frame together.JPG

2.1 Bottom and top frames.JPG

2.2 Construct side frames.JPG

2.3 First side frame complete.JPG

2.4 All 4 frame pieces.JPG

3.1 Screw frame pieces together.JPG

3.2 Bench frame complete.JPG

3.3 Pieces for backboard.JPG

3.4 Screwing backboard together.JPG

3.5 Backboard frame complete.JPG

4.1 Paint your frame.JPG

4.2 Add top and shelf when paint dries.JPG

4.3 Add pegboard when paint dry.JPG

4.4 Screw down worktop.JPG

4.5 Screw on bench base.JPG

5.1 Attach wheels to bench base.JPG

6.1 Liquid nails along edge of worktop.JPG

6.2 Screw backboard to back of bench.JPG

7.1 Stick down powerboard.JPG

7.2 Tidy away powerboard cord.JPG

7.3 Varnish the worktop.JPG

8.1 Bolt vice to worktop.JPG

8.2 Hang work light from peg.JPG

8.3 Finished bench.JPG

2 Replies
Jason
Community Manager
Community Manager

Well done @Peggers, many thanks for sharing this project with the Bunnings Workshop community. And thanks again to @Baggs and @Rodney for the inspiration. 

 

Please let us know if you are planning on building your own workbench. We would be happy to help.

 

Jason

 

MitchellMc
Bunnings Team Member
Bunnings Team Member

That's a really practical looking workbench and a fantastic guide to follow @Peggers!

 

I wish I had something like this when I first started my foray into D.I.Y..

 

Many thanks for sharing as I trust this will inspire many of our members who have not had a workbench up until now.

 

Mitchell

 

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