12-18-2011 07:56 AM
After working in my uninsulated shop for several years I decided this would be the year, when I'm off between Christmas & New Years, that I insulated & drywall/plywood the walls. (haven't decided which yet) The electrical has all been run, new service door installed and painted the exterior this past summer. The only major change I'm planningto make in the shop is 2 new 10' workbenches aling the west wall. 1 will also have my miter saw mounted to it. I'm planning on using either recycled kitchen cabinets or shop made cabinets for the benches but not sure what to use for the top. Anyone care to share what they use for their workbench & whatthey like/dislike about it?
12-18-2011 08:36 AM
Well, as somebody who works all day every day in a 2.5 car garage workshop I applaud the efforts!
First up, I'd use 3/4" ply on the walls instead of drywall. Besides being more resistant to bumps and bruises it also gives you the ability to hang just about anything you'd like on the walls, in whatever location you'd like. Wall-mount cabinets don't need to be hung with the studs in mind, you can attach French cleats however and wherever you'd like, and you can even do things like hanging stuff that's less than the distance between studs without a care or worry.
As for benches and layout, HERE is a video tour of my 21' by 24' shop which illustrates how and why I did the things that I did. I've utilized every possible squre inch in there and have found that it's a pretty ergonomic work experience. Small, yes, but ergonomic, nonethelesss.
Wood Online Moderator
12-18-2011 09:11 AM
One idea for the top of the bench is to go with say 3/4" plywood for the strength and then cover it with a piece of hardboard. That allows for a fairly hard and smooth worksurface and if it gets plumb nasty or too dinged up you can tear it off and replace it. Really depends on what work will take place on the bench though. I have a 2 x 8 foot bench like that and a smaller 2 x 4 foot bench covered with carpet. I think it is 1/4 inch closed loop stuff...used in offices with high traffic. I like working on stuff with small parts on this table as if something falls the carpet tends to catch it before it ricochetts off to the worm hole somewhere on the floor and gets transported to another dimension never to be seen again.
Friend of mine covers his with linoleum so oil and grease and such wipe up easy and for severe duty there is metal sheeting.
12-18-2011 02:38 PM
I like the idea of plywood on the walls for the reasons mentioned.
I've seen people use plywood with hardboard already, I like the idea but I'm also considering using countertop. I used it in our atthached garage on a worktable and it has held up remarkably well.
12-18-2011 04:57 PM
To add to Matt's and other great advice, use plywood for all the walls and paint them a satin white. This really improves the lighting.
Some time ago, I made a workbench that had replaceable tops. I used aprons around the perimeter that were proud of the tops surface by 1/4" so I could drop in a 1/4" tempered hardboard.
Then when it gets all boogered up, just flip it over or buy a new one. You will need to bore a couple holes in the plywood sub-base to start the flip.
I think I have a CAD drawing of this. I'll look and post it if I can find it.
12-18-2011 05:14 PM
I found the drawing.
It's part of a simple, but very effective bench design I made some years ago, so ya get two fer one..
Also, this removable top design was originally intended to cover a stationary workbench, but the same design principle can be used for a free-standing workbench. Have fun!
Here it is..
12-19-2011 07:07 AM
Work Bench Suggestion: I picked up a damaged, solid door from a local lumber yard a few years ago (36 x 84) that had been dropped and had a corner crushed it. I got it for $20, cut off the damaged part, and built a set of legs from a Wood Magazine workbench plan that recommended using 2X southern yellow pine framing material for the leg parts. I built it so that it could be knocked down, and it's been great.
01-06-2012 04:27 PM
Progress! On new years day & monday I started putting the plywood 1/2 of the ceiling, north wall & west wall. Finished that this morning & put a coat of primer on. Barely looks like I did anything as it soaked right in! Tomorrow morning I can put the first coat of paint on & hopefully finish it on Sunday morning. Then comes the task of putting everything back on the walls where it belongs so I can move to the other side of the shop! This is getting to be a bigger project than I thought it was going to be!