Path To A New Workshop #1: The Intro/Situation

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Blog entry by Vactet posted 12-15-2014 12:09 AM 1078 reads 0 times favorited 2 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Path To A New Workshop series Part 2: Primary Cuts & Leg Mockup »

Hi folks.
Well first post here. Found out about this site from Pintrest pins leading to it and found it extremely helpful. Figured I’d chronicle my not-so-little project here via these blogs. So here we go. [WARNING: This entry is going to be highly text heavy]

Short history lesson first. Started my own business in June of this year (2014). Was currently living in a house that I was renting for various reasons but had every intent of buying a house shortly. Prior to that lived in a Condo for 11 Years; so no garage. All my tools lived elsewhere except a scarce few. Per the rental house, putting crazy time and money into a perfect workshop is just well..pointless. This is especially the case when you know you won’t be there but for a year. Mid November I found THE house. Closed on it in Mid December. One of the requirements was a garage. I don’t live alone so the all too common agreement was made. I get half of it to do with as I please, but a vehicle must be able to be parked in the other half. Over the last 3 months I have been researching and planning out this new workshop. At first it was mostly research as plans are hard to do without measurements.

Long story short, I have a plan now and I start on it soon. For an early xmas present I got a table saw and miter saw, my first of both. The lack of the precision had been a hindrance on earlier projects.

Speaking of the plan…here is a quick view of it in SketchUp. [Note: Red=2×4, Yellow=1/2” Plywood, Teal=3/4” Plywood, Brown=Pegboard.]

So here are the three realities that I face: I have limited time (at a straight stretch) to work on it. I work 8PM to 2AM every night except sundays. The workbench MUST be usable between ‘phases’ of construction.
  • This house was built in the 80’s. It has a ledge in the garage which seriously impedes my space.

I have designed the entire bench to be built in Phases. About a dozen of them actually. Let me describe the features of the bench and that should also help understand the Phases.

  1. The main bench is 8’ Long and 2’ Wide with a height to the top of the bench of 3’ 2 3/4” (Im 6’2” myself and that is comfortable for me).
  2. The main work area is a quad-layer sandwich. It goes (from bottom up) 1/2” Plywood- 2×4 – 2×10 – 3/4” Plywood. This will create a very strong work surface with little material cost (The 2×4’s go forward to back with spacing between them and the 2×10’s go side to side).
  3. Directly below the main work surface is a setup for 4 drawers. All of them are 1’9” Deep. Two of the drawers are roughly 1’ wide while the other two are 2’4” wide.
  4. Below that, on one side, is a simple 2×4 and 3/4” plywood shelf.
  5. To the right sits a cart deployment spot. 3 Carts on casters will be housed there. Each cart will be built to suit a purpose. For instance, one will be built to hold Paint Cans and such supplies. Another will be built as a rolling fold out work surface, also to work in conjunction with the table saw.
  6. Above the main work surface is a utility thing (I don’t know a better name for it). It will attach directly to the wall. It houses a tape dispenser, my big 10 slot power strip, and a bin for things like pencils and measuring tapes.
  7. To the left of the main section is a corner piece that will house a trash-can below it (hence the pass-through) and a utility tower that has, at its top, a holder for my larger quik-grips.
  8. That connects to a section built to house my Kobalt storage unit (shelf + 2 drawers).
  9. At the end of that is a fold-away extension to the work area.
  10. Above it all is a 8’x4’ section of pegboard.

Basically each of the numbers is a different “Phase”. Something I can put a few hours in here and there without ever making the other parts of the workbench unusable.

My space exists awkwardly. As I said I have a ledge that comes out some 3’ to contend with, also, our large garbage can is housed on my side. I decided to incorporate that fact into the design, hence the L shape.

Couple things you should take note of from those pictures.
  1. I have a workbench. Its a 12’ behemoth. It is being recycled into the new one actually.
  2. That large amount of wood in the far corner. I already have a ton of what I need. Mainly the entire 2×4 structure.

Speaking of the structure of the bench, here is another picture to show off something.

That is the 2×4 frame of the main section.
The 2×10’s go side to side ontop of those 2×4 supports, of which there are 4 across the 8’ span. Each leg is 3 2×4’s. Two going forward to back and one in front. The outer most have cutouts for other 2×4’s to join with them. The center one has no such cutout. This should make for an EXTREMELY sturdy leg that also supports the entire bench wonderfully. [NOTE: Center legs are planned, but don’t go in till the later drawer shelf goes in].

Well that’s it for now folks.
My plan is Sunday to start the new bench and at least get the 2×4 Frame out of the way. I then need to carefully tear apart my old bench to take those 2×10’s and get them fit for the new bench.


2 comments so far

View NormG's profile


5424 posts in 2424 days

#1 posted 12-15-2014 01:37 AM

Looks like is going to be a fun build. Have you thought of building on top of the inside wall? Might save some space

-- Norman

View Vactet's profile


9 posts in 680 days

#2 posted 12-15-2014 09:13 AM

I certainly hope it will be Norm. Also, little more clarification per the ‘building on top of the inside wall”. It might be that its late but not getting exactly what you mean.

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