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Workbench, help decide what to buy

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rfjustin

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I relocated from IL to WI, and I'm finally at the point where I can concentrate on some "nice-have" house projects. Can lighting just got completed (29 cans worth with LED trim rings), and now I want to look into getting a new workbench.

I had a plywood 84" by 24" bench at my old house with some pegboard on the wall right behind it. I am looking to get something similar. I'm not trying to duplicate exactly what I had before, but I am looking for functional. Pic of old work area below.

I'm leaning towards a Deluxe Workstation 72" wide and 30" deep from Uline: https://www.uline.com/BL_1498/Deluxe-Workstations These are nice, but spendy once you account for all the custom bells and whistles. Before I go and drop 1200 bucks at Uline, do you have other workbench recommendations?
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Eric

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I would build it from scratch, over a u-line bench. Thats a lot of money. I bought one nice sheet of thick plywood. Home depot cut it length wise at 27". A couple 4x4's and 2x4's, box of screws and bolts.

With power strips and peg board I think I was under $200. Even put a nice urethane finish on it.

I could justify that expense for a nice workbench. My wife would have killed me if I spent $500.
 

jqavins

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I'll second DIY. If you're not sure what to build, I'm sure you can find more plans than you can shake a Mean Machine at to get those creative juices flowing. I'd suggest something with a shelf down below to keep the stuff you store there a little off the floor.
 

Cl(VII)

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I have quite a few of the seville classics Ultra-HD benches (https://www.sevilleclassics.com/ultrahd/workbenches-workcenters.html), and cabinets (you can see my setup here: https://www.rocketryforum.com/threads/my-rocket-palace-is-complete.133087/). All are very good quality except the tall cabinet...it doesn't hold square well with stuff on top of it.

My main workbench is described in that thread too, but you may not have room for that kind. If you do, I can't recommend it enough, having access from all sides is very helpful.
 

dr wogz

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Another for "build it yourself"

I designed & built my own. it came out to be 60 x 36" x 42" high. it has two shelves, and pegboard sides (on the legs, as 'shear webs'). I have an old door on top of the bench, to further extend the width, and i have a piece of sheet-rock / wallboard / gyp rock on top of that, as an added 'sacrificial surface' (in which you can stick pins; great for holding wing spar & ribs & such in place.. my other hobby, R/C airplanes!)
 

PatD

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DIY. I built two for my garage. 8 ft long by 24 wide. Doubled 2x6 legs, inset 2x6 top perimeter, 3/4 ply top with 3/4 melamine laminated particle board glued and screwed from the bottom to the ply for the working surface. 2x4 lower perimeter with 3/4 chip board for a shelf. Very flat and stable surface. As Ivan says "Strong like bull!" And a lot less expensive. :D
 

dr wogz

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If you lack design skills, I'm sure a few of us will be more than willing to offer a design.. or two.. or three.. and with multiple options & features..



maybe that should be a design contest idea!
 

jqavins

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Or, $200 can build the bench and the other $1000 can buy tools to put on the bench.
 

rfjustin

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I don't lack the design or mechanical skills to build my own, I lack the wood working tools unfortunately.

A hacksaw and a sawzall leaves a lot to be desired in terms of fit and finish!
 

jqavins

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If you'd rather buy one that's obviously your prerogative. And this will be my last comment on the subject of building your own (unless you prompt more).

A good circular saw and a good drill are pretty much all you need. If you'd like to get fancy, like putting dadoes in the sides of the legs for the spreader beams or rabbets to set the top then a table saw would help a lot, but you can still do it with the circ saw. That and a few marking tools, plus all the lumber, will still cost you less than many of the benches mentioned here, and when you're done you have the tools.

And now I've said my piece.
 

AfterBurners

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I went with the typical Craftsman 6' red work benches. At the time I didn't spend much and I bought them over time and tried to buy when Sears had some good sales. I think I got each one for around $125. My whole garage is Craftsman, but I bought my stuff years ago and didn't drop that much coin. I bought (2) workbenches, (2) metal cabinets, (2) 5 drawer tool boxes that roll underneath the workbenches and a nice big shop vacuum and a small air compressors. Total I think I spent around maybe $800-900? All I need now are some nice LEDs.
 

blackjack2564

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Ya don't need any tools! 2 kitchen cabinets about 4 ft apart. [ones with drawers, or not] and a sheet of plywood [or 2] cut for free at Lowes or HD. stack the cut sheets across the cab base and done.

You can get cab. cheap if looking for returns or damaged. Outlet stores, 2nd hand stores etc.
2 cuts per sheet free...1.00 per cut after that.
Hammer and nailed the 2x4 edge/support...ya can use your saw-all for cutting that...lol

Ain't pretty but it get's job done in the rocket building "soul shack"
Been in there 30 yrs and built moooocho rockets on it.
 
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3stoogesrocketry

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I look for restaurant supply areas around me . I just purchased a 30 inch wide by 72 inch long stainless steel prep table. It cost me 120 dollars . Then with the aid of 4 PT 4x4x6 I made a rock solid base . I used 2 8 inch long lag screws at each joint . I had a 400 pound small block on top of the bench with no signs of damage or even a bend .
 

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Worsaer

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I purchased a 30” solid core door from Lowes or Home Depot for about $80, and ordered a set of heavy duty Shop Fox legs from Amazon. It works great.
 

neil_w

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This thread came back to life at a good time for me; my Dad (85) just moved into a smaller house and needs a small, light-duty workbench. He was looking at the one at Harbor Freight: https://www.harborfreight.com/48-in-workbench-with-light-60723.html, which is ridiculously cheap and honestly it looks pretty serviceable. I wish he would have more pegboard space, though; it bugs me that there are several of inches of dead space all around the border of the pegboard.

The Seville Classics (https://www.amazon.com/Seville-Classics-UHD20247B-Workbench-Stainless/dp/B005NAVFEW/) looks to be nicer quality all the way around, solid wood top, and a proper peg board that goes out to the edge, but I'm not sure he'll be interested in spending more than double for it.
 

neil_w

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I used a set of Ikea base cabinets, and then built the bench top.


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John
The meticulousness of that bench arrangement is just about... well, just about as meticulous as your rocket builds. :) I especially appreciate that the tools on the pegboard are arranged to fit the skyline of the rocket kits on top. Are those kits you actually intend to build, or are those sort on permanent display there?
 

JPalmer621

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At Home Depot or Lowe’s you can buy sections of kitchen counters. Just add your frame and have a great top of your work bench
 

jqavins

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Kitchen cabinet boxes and counter tops are often made of particle board with laminate. If your shop remains pretty clean and (especially) dry then that's fine. For just rocket work it's probably fine. But if you intend to use this bench for other purposes where it's likely to see lots of water or even moderate amounts of oil then I'd be careful to avoid anything but solid wood.

And whatever the let or material, I'd put some alumin(i)um or copper flashing under the legs to avoid water and oil wicking up the end grain. Or at least a two or three coats of good outdoor primer/paint.
 

lakeroadster

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I don't lack the design or mechanical skills to build my own, I lack the wood working tools unfortunately.

A hacksaw and a sawzall leaves a lot to be desired in terms of fit and finish!
With all due respect, you are looking at this wrong.

I've acquired a barn full of tools. Since the early 1980's I started buying tools to build projects that I designed myself. When done with each project, I'd still have less money in the project than if I had just bought a finished version of the project.... but I now own the tools.

Eventually you end up using your previously purchased tools to build projects.. for pennies on the dollar.

In regard to tools.... all you really need is a couple of saw horses, a tape measure, a carpenters square, a circular saw and a drill to drive screws and drill holes.

The photo below is from the mid 1990's. See the workbench back along the wall. I built it from 2x4's and plywood, then built doors to fit between the uprights. It went all along the wall and then L-shaped onto the back wall.

Eventually I added wall cabinets that I got for free from my in-laws when they remodeled their kitchen.... see 2nd photo.


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Woody's Workshop

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I've been on the search for a workbench myself. I have a very short wall the wife allowed me to put a workbench.
I've done A LOT of online looking from Amazon, big box stores, and even specialty stores and woodworking suppliers.
I found THIS to be the best bang for the buck. Has power w/USB, limited adjustable height (but it's the height I'm looking for), hardwood top and just the right size. Read about the Rubber Hardwood, it's interesting and eco-friendly too.
It's easy to work around to add to as well, like a set of drawers under it, build a hutch for the top with peg board & light, etc.

If you looking for a wider bench, Husky makes a really sturdy 8' bench. See it HERE. Fully adjustable height, square tube legs, leveling feet, cross braces so you can add a shelf if you want, but no power outlets.

What ever you buy, I can tell you from experience don't by anything with just angle legs (L shape 2 sides). You'll get more strength from thinner 3 sided U shape legs. And what ever you do, don't buy anything that has no frame under the top between the legs! Where the legs sets on each side is fastened to the under side of the top. There is very little torque support sideways, it will rip the fasteners right out of the top and down it comes.
The GLADIATOR is a perfect example.
Open the .pdf instructions and you'll see what I mean. Just a piece of sheet metal high up on the back side is all that supports side torque on the bench. For the price, they are turning screws into you. That's my opinion, from experience.

EDIT:
I forgot to mention THIS. I kind of forgot about it because it only comes in a 6' length, longer than I have room for. After I started to draw up plans to make one 4' long, I thought this is going to transfer sounds through the wall and the people that live under me probably wouldn't like it. Since I planned on making it my Leather Crafting Bench.
The constant tapping and hammering involved with leather crafting would have been would have transfer through the walls and sound like an amplified speaker downstairs. These cheap a$$ walls in this building...
 
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timbucktoo

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I built this a few years ago. A few sheets of plywood, 2x4's, some scews & bolts and it's pretty indestructable. Only tools required were a skill saw, drill & square. And if I remember correctly, Home Depot cut the plywood to size for free so all I had to cut was the 2x4's.
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