Dual function Shop-made (shop-converted) Workbench

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Project by ChuckM posted 10-02-2010 04:38 AM 4079 views 4 times favorited 17 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I don’t have any space in my shop (it’s actually the garage for my cars) for a full-size proper workbench. By adding a 500-lb machine mobile base and a laminated top to the freezer, I’ve made a sturdy mobile dual-purpose workbench – bench, & freezer. The work surface measures 58” x 25” with a face vise. This freezer-turned workbench is full of “belts and whistles” as follows:

- Shop-made bench dogs – dowels with top half face cut flat.
- A side box for storage of chisels, measuring tape, etc.
- Shop-made pop-up dog for my bench vice (from WOOD’s shoptips Nov. 2003).
- Board jack.
- Retractable vinyl window shade for surface protection during gluing or staining work (WOOD Sept. 2010) that is slotted into the back edge when used.

- 1/2” plywood base (scrap), 3/4” plywood core (scrap) and a removable 1/4” Masonite (or MDF) top ($8 for about half sheet).
- Mobile base ($40)

Hours of labor:
- 15 hours or so.

-- The time I enjoy wasting is not time wasted

17 comments so far

View PurpLev's profile


8486 posts in 2618 days

#1 posted 10-02-2010 04:45 AM

gives a whole new meaning to ‘a cold one’ during work… ;)

cool construction!

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View swirt's profile


1984 posts in 1941 days

#2 posted 10-02-2010 04:57 AM

Creative, and I like the board jack.

-- Galootish log blog,

View Bricofleur's profile


1280 posts in 2162 days

#3 posted 10-02-2010 04:58 AM

Hey Chuck,

Nice job, and finally done. What a relief that might be having a ‘real’ workbench!

When I saw the wooden stick keeping the freezer open I already thought about… Red Green (except for the duct tape!).

For the lamination, did you think about moving your car on instead of using your A/C? Unless the cars are not allowed in the garage in summer time.

I believe you thought about everything. Nice job Chuck.

May I add a suggestion? From your local hardware store, get stick-on plastic hooks that you would stick on the front of the freezer so you can hang few tools and/or jigs on this perfect ‘free’ surface. No, no, not the toggle bolt type!!!



-- Learn from yesterday, work today and enjoy success tomorrow. --

View ChuckM's profile


538 posts in 2636 days

#4 posted 10-02-2010 05:14 AM

on the front of the freezer: Good suggestion! I’ve been planning to get some light-weight tools on there using rare earth magnets. I’ll test the use of magnets to see they stay attached when I move the bench around. I originally planned to use the workbench as an outfeed table for my tablesaw but it’s, unfortunately about 1/4” higher and I don’t want a thinner laminated top.

-- The time I enjoy wasting is not time wasted

View Robsshop's profile


890 posts in 1944 days

#5 posted 10-02-2010 07:03 AM

I have seen some out of the box thinking before but never freezer box thinking !!!! You Sir win My ingenuity award for this one, nice work and very COOL !!

-- Rob,Gaithersburg,MD,One mans trash is another mans wood shop treasure ! ;-)

View mafe's profile


10500 posts in 2059 days

#6 posted 10-02-2010 02:56 PM

I smile, this is wonderful, and so creative.
I especially love your hold up stick, this I think I’ll make for my little worshop.
Best thoughts,

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

View Eric in Florida.'s profile

Eric in Florida.

3736 posts in 2545 days

#7 posted 10-02-2010 05:58 PM

Now that is some real ingenuity.
Great idea for using the space you have.

-- Nothing is particularly hard if you divide it into small jobs ~ Henry Ford

View BTKS's profile


1983 posts in 2434 days

#8 posted 10-02-2010 06:06 PM

Great use of not so wasted space. That Sir is squeezing out every drop usefullness.

-- "Man's ingenuity has outrun his intelligence" (Joseph Wood Krutch)

View Hskrfan's profile


16 posts in 2306 days

#9 posted 10-02-2010 06:17 PM

You could shim up your table saw by 1/4 inch to use it for outfeed.

-- Hskrfan

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13347 posts in 2642 days

#10 posted 10-02-2010 06:29 PM

Thats a cool idea.

View Skylark53's profile


2593 posts in 2030 days

#11 posted 10-02-2010 07:20 PM

It looks like you are making good use of what’s available. Very smart and creative.

-- Rick, Tennessee, John 3:16

View Div's profile


1653 posts in 1910 days

#12 posted 10-02-2010 08:14 PM

Nice Bench slave(board jack)! Haven’t seen one of those in awhile.

-- Div @ the bottom end of Africa. "A woodworker's sharpest tool should be his mind."

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10850 posts in 2085 days

#13 posted 10-02-2010 09:07 PM

never seen a frezer as the storing room for lumber
witch temp. is the best working temp…....LOL

great idea thank´s for sharing


View ChuckM's profile


538 posts in 2636 days

#14 posted 10-03-2010 01:22 AM

Thank you all for all the encouraging remarks!!! All your comments made my day – especially after a long day of work.

-- The time I enjoy wasting is not time wasted

View jumbojack's profile


1413 posts in 1593 days

#15 posted 06-20-2011 01:12 AM


-- Made in America, with American made tools....Shopsmith

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