Shop & Tool Growing Pains #2: Shop Bench & Storage

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Blog entry by pendledad posted 10-23-2012 04:48 PM 5475 reads 0 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: New House, No Tools Part 2 of Shop & Tool Growing Pains series Part 3: Lumberjocks, Sawhorses, and Power Tool Value Trap »

With a small arsenal of tools from my estate sale scavenging, I needed a place to work on projects and get the tools off the garage floor. I was originally going to build the “Getting Started in Woodworking” bench from FWW, but I decided that a more typical garage bench would be better suited.

I needed something easy to build, and solid as a rock. I wanted a 2’ deep surface and I wanted to take up 1/2 of the back wall. My wife has given me 1/2 of the garage because she still wants to park in there during the winter. So I found the plans from Art of Manliness . The build looked straight forward and I could build it in 1 day.

Here are some shots of the build:

I used Simpson strong ties to help with speed and strength.

My dad posing while he helped me erect the frame. Notice the back wall and shelving above. All of this was held together with nails. The heavy 4×8 plywood overhead shelves were nailed into the ceiling. Wicked dangerous, so I actually ripped it all down (see later on this post).

In this photo, you can see my finished bench, and all the tools that I need to find a home for.

With the bench built, I needed something to hang my tools for easy access. I bought some pegboard and whipped together a frame out of scrap 1×3 pine I had laying around. Few magnetic strips from HF and I had storage!

You’ll notice the light hanging in this picture too. Another estate sale find … $2.50 for this light with the bulbs. I bought both of the lights he had.

So with a shop bench with drill press and some tool storage, I was able to start some projects. At this time I still didn’t have any woodworking tools. No good saws (powered or hand), no chisels, all I had was some dull planes and rusty old dull hand saws. A quick stop into Rockler on my lunch break, and I came home with this:

Now with some proper tools I was able to start a real woodworking project.

8 comments so far

View DaddyZ's profile


2475 posts in 3034 days

#1 posted 10-23-2012 04:57 PM

Getting started = half the fun

-- Pat - Worker of Wood, Collector of Tools, Father of one

View Cosmicsniper's profile


2202 posts in 3152 days

#2 posted 10-23-2012 05:15 PM

Awesome! Good blog.

You’ll like that Rockler glue brush!

-- jay,

View BTimmons's profile


2303 posts in 2479 days

#3 posted 10-23-2012 07:31 PM

I really really need some good saws, you got the exact ones I’ve been looking at. Very jealous at the moment.

-- Brian Timmons -

View A10GAC's profile


191 posts in 3072 days

#4 posted 10-23-2012 07:31 PM

You might be from New England if the overhead shelves in your garage are “wicked” dangerous. I’m glad I’m not the only one who says this ( I catch so much grief at work) in daily conversation.

Welcome back…to New England & woodworking.

-- Men have become the tools of their tools. - Henry David Thoreau

View bobasaurus's profile


3434 posts in 3178 days

#5 posted 10-23-2012 10:15 PM

Those Japanese saws are fantastic. I have the same set of chisels and they are pretty good… nice balance and build, though the edge retention isn’t the best.

-- Allen, Colorado (Instagram @bobasaurus_woodworking)

View dbhost's profile


5708 posts in 3226 days

#6 posted 10-24-2012 02:58 AM

I just got rid of a strong tie workbench a couple of months ago. Be warned. You are going to get sick and tired of looking at that thing as the years tick by. You just can’t kill them…

-- Please like and subscribe to my YouTube Channel

View Gregn's profile


1642 posts in 2977 days

#7 posted 10-26-2012 12:13 AM

Looks like your on your way to having fun. Great start.

-- I don't make mistakes, I have great learning lessons, Greg

View Cameron Robertson's profile

Cameron Robertson

29 posts in 1756 days

#8 posted 07-29-2013 09:36 AM

Awesome results! I like the concept of the storage bench which has two levels on it. After seeing it, I think it can actually afford more levels, meaning more shelves to provide even more storage space. However, if so, then it would require even stronger legs and all-rounding fasteners. I think this storage bench can also be used as a table even in the dining room. All you need is a tablecloth to throw over the bench and cover the bare wood and you have a table.

-- Cameron Robertson, Manager of storage Dee Why -

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