Once I got the table saw put together, the blizzard (“Snowmageddon”) set in, and we spent a week in the deep freeze, as it were. As I write this, the outside temperature is once more in single digits, and will be for a few days, but yesterday afternoon it warmed up to slightly above freezing, and with a temperature in my shop of a little above 40 degrees, I decided to get to work on my workbench.
I think I’ve mentioned here before that while cleaning up my garage, I found some parts I saved from a big couch we once used–there were three pieces, one about 79″ by 23″, which had been the back of the couch, and two end pieces about 23″ by 35″. These slabs were made from inch-and-a-half thick particle board, covered on both sides and the edges with hardwood veneer. It’s heavy stuff. So I decided early on to use the bigger slab for a workbench top and build a wooden base for it. But then it hit me that the two end pieces would make good legs for the bench, so I came up with the design shown here in my little Sketchup model. The overhang on the left is about 10 inches, and a 9″ Shop Fox woodworking vise will be installed there.
So I headed over to the local Home Depot and bought some dimension lumber–although my design originally called for 2×8’s as the main supporting aprons for the top, I decided that 2×6’s would work just fine. I bought a couple of 2×6’s and a couple of 2×4’s (which form the stretchers at the bottom, and will hold a shelf, eventually). I also bought lag screws to attach the vise, and to attach the top to the base, and some carriage bolts to attach the apron and stretcher frames to the end leg slabs.
I trimmed the end leg slabs to 32.5″, so that the height of my bench will be 34″. I also trimmed a few inches off of each end of the top slab, to remove some holes and dowels that were part of the original couch assembly. This leaves my bench top at around 6 feet long.
I’ll update this post with a photo of my progress–I haven’t attached the top or the vise yet, but as soon as we get out of the deep freeze I’ll try to get that done. My initial impressions are that this will be a heavy, solid bench that should serve me well for a long time. Maybe when it is time to replace it, I’ll be able to invest in some hardwood for a “real” workbench, but for now, I’m tickled pink–my bench cost me about $30 (the vise was a gift)!
Here’s a photo that shows the bench in use: