Building My Work Bench


First things first. In order to build the stuff I'd like, I first had to build the means by which I could build stuff. Since I plan on doing big things, I set my sights on a big work bench: a 14' long, 30" deep and 34" tall work bench to be precise.

The work bench was constructed of 2x4 pine boards built as two separate boxes: one 8' and one 6', each reinfored with right angle braces at each corner.

As can be seen on the wall in the photo below, I mounted two lengths of 2x4 pine to directly to the wall using 4" lag bolts to secure it to the studs within the wall. This helps make the bench installation easier since I won't have to worry about the bench components not lining up with the in-wall studs.

Work Bench

These boxes were mated together with two 5/16" 4" hex bolts. The right angle braces can be seen toward the back.

Work Bench

For additional reinforcement, I added a 1½" metal L-brace to where the boxes joined. This may have been overkill, but I think it will help keep the boxes mated and prevent separation from heavy use. Also incorporated are 45° diagonal supports to hold up the workbench frame. These diagonal supports are joined to the work bench frame with 5/16" 4" hex bolts.

These diagonal supports not only offer more storage space under the work bench, but are structurally stronger than using straight leg supports since they utilize the geometry of the triangle, which is the strongest architectural element since one side cannot be altered without altering all sides.

The length of the diagonal board is determined by using the Pythagorean Theorem. In this case, sides a & b are 24", so a² + b² results in the value of c² being 1152". The square root of 1152 is rounded to 33.94 or 33 & 15/16".

Work Bench

I opted to incorporate a sink into the bench for ease of clean-up of paint brushes and so on. I've sealed in the sink area with water-resistant bathtub/shower caulking and added a backsplash. I also put an exterior outlet plate on the wall outlet to prevent accidental water exposure to the electrical component. I will be coating the wood around the area with polyurethane sealer as well.

Work Bench

The 45° diagonal supports terminate into a joist support which is mounted to a 2x6 pine board. The connecting point is not fastened, however. I chose to have gravity alone hold the diagonal supports in place. An added benefit of this approach is that the bench will rise up, instead of buckling, if anyone overshoots parking in the garage and taps it with the nose of the car.

Work Bench

Here's the completed bench framing. Not bad for a day's work. Tomorrow I'll put the bench top on. Now it's time for some pizza!

Work Bench

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