Out with the old and in with the new! I upgraded my workbench and made it larger, sturdier, flatter, and with more storage!
When I first moved into our new home a couple years ago and started building out my new shop I wasn’t sure of the size of workbench I wanted or needed. After five years of being in the space, I know exactly what I want.
1. Workbench Frame
To start, I made the base out of 4×4 and 2×4 pieces of pine. The cuts are very simple and most of it was done at the miter saw. For the legs, I cut out a chunk on the top and bottom to create a shelf for the side pieces to sit on. Using a combination square I measured out where I needed to cut the chunk out evenly for all the legs. To do the cut outs, you could either use a circular saw to run across the section to be removed and then chisel out the material. For me, I’ll be using a band saw to make the cuts.
The frame of the table is super easy construction. The goal of the table is to be a very flat and level surface but the frame can be leveled out with shims before putting the table top on. Each corner of the frame was attached the same by laying the leg on the 2×4 with glue and then I drove in screws on each side to firmly hold them in place.
2. Torsion Box Tabletop
I want the tabletop to be as flat and level as possible and to do that, I am making a torsion box table top. This is essentially two plates with an offset grid in between and that interior structure pulls tension in all directions causing it to stay flat and sturdy. It doesn’t necessarily matter what material you use for the interior grid – the most important part is that the wood is straight and not curved so that they’re all tied together to make the box rigid.
For the grid frame, I glued and brad nailed it together but not to the MDF. I don’t want to connect the grid to the top or bottom plates until I have it completely put together. Once the interior grid is complete, then I glued and brad nailed the outer faces on. I cut the MDF outer faces down to size and later I took a router to the edge to make it even with the sides of the frame.Once the table top was completed, I added a hardwood maple around the outside to tie it all in together. Moving on to the base of the table, I added Wall Control panels to the side to hang some tools but mainly to hang a roll of craft paper to pull over the table top for projects.
3. Adding the Upgrades
With the tabletop completed, I tied it down to the base by adding pocket holes to the frame to add screws all around the perimeter of the table. After that, I added some casters to the legs that have a lift to allow the table to drop down to the floor. To move it again, you’ll step down on the lifts to lock them back up to roll. I really love these casters and have used them on several different projects in the shop.
On the long side, I added 5 drawers and a cabinet to store tools. I made the bottom to the drawers out of 1/2 inch MDF so that they will be able to hold the weight of the tools. In addition to that, the 36 inch drawer slides were made to hold up to 250 pounds a piece. These drawers were the perfect addition I needed that my old workbench didn’t have.
My upgraded workbench is larger, flatter, sturdier and has so much more storage. You can make this workbench too by using our digital plans. What’s awesome now is that you can use the QR code or go to the link, you’re going to get an AR view of the workbench in your space.
When you use the plans to upgrade your workbench, share it with us!
(purchasing via these affiliate links supports ILTMS)
- SawStop cabinet saw
- Skil circular saw
- Dewalt 20v drill driver combo
- Dewalt Miter Saw
- Countersink drill bits
- Pancake compressor/nail gun combo
- Grizzly 14″ Bandsaw
- Kreg R3 pocket hole jig kit
- Shop Fox Hanging Air Filter
- 2HP Dust Collector
- 1 Micron bag