Garage Workbench

With all the isolation ahead with Covid19, I wanted to pick up my long neglected hobby of building things.

Initial Design

I recently purchased the shapeoko 3 XXL CNC and needed a workbench in my garage to support it.

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Requirements:

  • Super strong and sturdy
  • Big enough for Shapeoko (45”W x 40-1/2”L x 16”H)
  • Fast to build
  • Enable easy cleanup and dust collection
  • Very level surface

I came up with this design while riding with my family to go hiking. While it would be easier to just use butt joints with pocket screws, I wanted a more integrated and stronger design.


In order to organize everything, I thought through the cuts I needed to make and divided each set of boards into colors.

I cut the pink boards first, followed by the green and finished with the blue (top) frame last. SketchUp's outliner feature was super nice for automating all the labeling.

The most complicated cuts were the top frame.

This was made a bit easier by setting up the right Dado blades, which made cutting these boards fun.

An essential part of building all of this was constantly adjusting the dimensions as the boards were not straight, the floor was not level and the wall was also not true. Critical to getting everything tight was understanding which dimensions were driving the design. For example, the orange pieces set the height and the pink pieces set the length.

Building

Since I'm still new to this, I had to think through the order of my cuts. It was super helpful to have printed plans to keep track of all the cuts.

annotated plan

First, I planed all my 2x4s to get nice flat edges.

planed boards

I used the dado blades on my table saw to notch out the board widths and assembled on the floor.

The most complicated pieces were the left and right framing pieces.

It was super cool when everything fit together, but I had to adjust the tabletop dimensions once I put the frame together. I turned my clamps into spreaders to make sure the top was level before cutting.

Second Project, Tool organizer

Second, we built a tool organizer.

The plans are below.

This came together pretty well.

Completed Project

completed project

One Reply to “Garage Workbench”

  1. Laurel Booher says:

    Looks like you are using your engineer brain, and enjoying it, too. You always have been analytical–noted it first when you were four years old and made 3D boxes with tabs. Mama is proud of you for many reasons, and this is definitely one of them.

    I have a creative brain. I have been working on making a 5′ x 3′ papíer maché animal to hopefully enter in the Ohio State Fair. Right now they aren’t accepting entries because they aren’t sure if they are having a fair!!! We’re talking July and August. This COVID-19 is just crazy! No 2020 Olympics in Japan either!

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