Thursday, October 16, 2014

Garage Workbench

As my project load has increased, I've been pining for a separate work space.  Fortunately, while our 1-car garage is too small to keep a car, it is the perfect size for a workshop.  Unfortunately, the garage was the dumping ground for stuff that didn't have a proper place in our home.

After an entire day of cleaning out (including a goodwill donation run that included 5 bookshelves...I have a bookshelf obsession, evidently), I was starting to see some potential.

I had previously been trying to use the changing table the Mr. and my dad built as my workbench.  While they built me a phenomenal changing table, it did not translate well from baby station to project center (that green thing covered in tools and mess in the back corner, is it...).

Super old picture, taken while still re-doing dining room chairs!

Clearing out the garage (including saying goodbye to the changing table/workbench) cleared out a long wall for work station goodness.  And let me double my pegboard size and wall storage.

The workbench top is made of 16 2 x 4s, which we glued together (and clamped with some really big clamps until it dried).  I considered a lot of other options (hardboard, hollow core, laminate, plywood, etc...), but ultimately making our own laminate out of lumber was the most cost-effective option for making a really strong workbench.

As leg supports, I used stock cabinets from Lowe's, giving the garage a LOT of small-tool storage.  With the heavy, heavy workbench top, combined with the heavy saw and future heavy tools, I knew the particleboard bodies of the cabinet cases wouldn't be strong enough.  So I added additional 2 x 4 brace supports on either side of each cabinet, and now it will easily stand up to all the abuse it's likely to see.

We still need to address the lighting and electrical issues (the only plug in the garage is over by where the old workbench was), and I'll be spending some time with a planer getting the workbench top smoothed out.  But for now, I've got a great place to work.  The Kiddo has big plans to build his first robot there.  For the first time in a while, I can't wait to get to work out there!

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