Workshop Benches, Storage, advice wanted

don46June 13, 2006

I'm planning to add a general workshop area in my new garage for occasional home repair projects. I don't need an elaborate shop but I want something that is sturdy and practical. I see a lot of prefabricated work benches and storage units out there, some in metal, some in plastic and wood combinations. What has been your experience with this and what equipment do you recommend?

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Building your own workshop fixtures is a good way to improve your skills. 2x4's and plywood aren't very expensive and if the end result isn't perfect you've learned something and it isn't quite as critical as, say, your living room.


    Bookmark   June 15, 2006 at 6:23AM
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I can see building a nice sturdy wooden work bench, but what I'm seeing in prefab units involve much more than I can or want to build: drawers, some of them mobile, tall storage units, and other units all of which seem to present a nice neat efficient look. It seems like the Gladiator is considered the top of the line. I see wall systems, Storewall, and others. I was wondering what experience others had with this kind of garage furnishing.

Here is a link that might be useful: storewall

    Bookmark   June 16, 2006 at 7:23AM
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One mistake I made when building custom cabinets for my Garage last time was building them into the garage. We sold the house, had to leave all these nice solid wood creations.

New house... this time they're freestanding, and in smaller sections that can be moved.


    Bookmark   June 21, 2006 at 7:12PM
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We¡¦re building a new garage/workshop on the back of our lot and I can't wait for DH to move all of his old stuff out there so I can hang beautiful new Gladiator cabinets on our existing (attached) garage walls. Most importantly, I want everything up and off of the floor!

We actually park 3 vehicles and our 3-car garage, so it's imparitive we keep it neat and organized. Right now we mostly have big heavy military issue stuff (e.g. Lista bins, workbench, locker, etc.) built to "survive a direct hit" as they say, which we aquired during an overseas base closure. It's all very sturdy but also cumbersome to move around during frequent cleanings.

In addition to hanging up as much as possible on the walls, I also recommend putting casters on anything that must go on the floor for ease of movement.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2006 at 11:16AM
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Just my opinion, but if you've got the ability and tools, build your own bench. Most of the benches you'd buy from the big box stores and Sears are junk. I did notice recently that Menards is selling drawers that your can mount under a bench-top.

Also what I used for my bench top was an old discarded solid-core door that I cut to size and guled handi-board on the top surface and edged it with "one by."

Best of luck with the project, rredogg

    Bookmark   July 15, 2006 at 10:52PM
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I've made a bench out of a few used lower cabinets picked up from a rebuilding supply company (includes drawers, doors, etc.).

I've then picked up (get this) a used bowling lane for the top.

Can't vouch for you being able to find a bowling lane, but the lower cabs are a great start for the underpinnings.


    Bookmark   May 2, 2007 at 7:36PM
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I will try to post some pictures of my garage this weekend. While it certainly is not a workshop, it came out very nice and extremely functional for someone that does small stuff around the house. I put a ton of thought into the design and the one thing I did that I love was get the cabinets off the ground so I can hose out the garage now. I had custom cabinets built that are 5" off the ground, go all the way to the ceiling and are 25" deep (very important). I installed a workbench that has 12 drawers and is also off the ground. I have no open shelves since that just means more dusting. On any exposed wall that I had I installed slat wall (like storewall but made of fiber board instead of plastic) that you can get from home depot for about $38/board. I had the floor epoxied and sealed with 6 coats of 2 part urethane. Nothing sticks to this floor. The best thing is that the garage always has a clean feel to it.

It wasn't cheap but when people see the garage they are blown away by it.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2007 at 2:04PM
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Build your own stuff. As Mike_K mentioned, it's good for the skil(ls) :-)

Here's my hand-crafted bench setup:
Chip's Workshop

Not fancy, but darn functional. Portable bench (the one with the chop saw) took about 30-45 min to build, and the permanent "L"-shaped bench took about 4 hours.

The cabinets were salvaged from my in-laws' old kitchen; simply sanded, primed, painted, and new hardware.

- Chip

    Bookmark   May 14, 2007 at 10:46AM
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I did the same as spectre. I got some old, great-quality base cabinets made from 3/4in ply from Habitat Restore (torn out of someone's old kitchen), and made the top from an old solid core door. Bolted my Vise right through the top. My drawers are very useful. Then I got some old carpet remnants from the same store, cut them to size, and lined my drawers. Now my tools don't slide around.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2007 at 12:13PM
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