If you do a lot of home projects, you're bound to find it helpful to have a strong and solid workbench to help you handle the variety of building materials and tools you'll need over time for repair and construction tasks. You can make your own steel workbench from materials found at your local scrapyard or hardware store. Use a simple design plan that gives you sufficient work area for general tasks. Basic welding skill and a few tools are all you'll need to construct a sturdy steel workbench that will last for years.
Things You'll Need
- Tape measure
- Steel, 14 gauge
- Steel angle, 1½ inches, 1/8-inch thick
- MIG welder
- Welding wire
- Shielding gas
- Metal saw
- Carpenter's square
- Corner clamps
- Wire brush
- Angle grinder with abrasive pads
- Welding helmet
- Work gloves
Measure out the dimensions needed for your workbench surface and determine the correct height for your needs. A typical workbench surface measures 24 inches deep. This depth allows you to easily reach over it to get tools from a pegboard behind the bench top, according to writer Tim Carter of the Ask the Builder website. However, your routine tasks may require a deeper bench surface.
Cut a steel plate to the desired dimensions for the top of your workbench. Use an angle grinder to smooth the sharp edges.
Measure and cut four lengths of 1½-inch steel angle for the legs of your workbench.
Measure and cut four more lengths of steel angle, two for the top long sections and two for the bottom long sections.
Measure and cut four more lengths of steel angle, two for the top short sides of the top of the work bench and two for the bottom short sides.
Clamp one long piece of steel to a short piece, making sure the two pieces are square. Tack-weld the pieces together. The steel angle should face outward to allow a thin edge for clamping materials during tasks.
Clamp the other long pieces of steel to the short lengths, also ensuring the two are square, and tack-weld them together. You should now have four L-shaped pieces.
Clamp the legs onto the top and bottom frames, ensuring that the legs fit evenly and squarely onto the frames. Weld them into position.
Weld the steel-plate bench top onto the top frame.
Weld all frame and leg joints securely.
Tips & Warnings
- If you wish to paint your workbench, remove the dust and welding slag from the bench's surfaces and prime them with a metal primer. Then, paint the table the color you desire.
- Add a storage shelf at the bottom of the workbench by welding in additional crossbars.
- The cut metal edges are very sharp and can cause injuries. Grind down edges and corners with an angle grinder to a more rounded shape.
- Always wear protective equipment when welding, including a respiratory mask to avoid breathing harmful welding fumes.