Otherwise known around the house as my Manshed, or the one place I am truly free, the shed is about 15' wide by 8' deep. The left half is devoted to outdoor-gear storage — climbing ropes and hardware, couple dozen skis and snowboards, tents, camp chairs, stoves, fuel, backpacks, boots... The right side is for tools and materials.
But it lacked a work space, so I set out to construct a built-in work station with a large bench top, ample under-bench storage, hung shelving and a pegboard.
Initially, I decided to buy plans and instructions online. After studying several outlines, I determined I could layout and build my own design. So, I measured everything at least six times and sketched out a plan on grid paper, while recording important measurements and necessary tools and supplies in my notebook.
To my surprise, it actually looks pretty good and is reasonably level (thanks shims!). Scroll through the photo gallery below (click first photo to launch) to watch the build step-by-step.
All that's left is to sand and apply a few coats of stain, which I'll do when the temperature consistently stays above 50°F. My home's at over 9,000', so that could be another six weeks.
I scavenged wood by disassembling shipping pallets, but I did purchase two 2x4x8 studs, shims and a half-sheet (2'x4') of plywood from the local lumberyard. I installed one stud to reinforce the wall and cut up the other to make legs and supports for the bench.
My hodgepodge of fasteners included:
- 3" gold deck screws
- 2½" coated deck screws
- 1¾" coated deck screws
- 2¼" drywall screws
- 16d sinker nails
- variety of steel angle brackets
I picked up a couple new tools, including T-bevel and finish sander with attached bag. Otherwise, I used my 1970s-era circular and jig saws (hand-me-down from my deceased grandfather and flea market find, respectively), a totally underpowered Black & Decker 18v drill/driver and trusty 20 oz. hammer. And I couldn't have done it without my Swanson speed square and a variety of clamps.
Simple glue-and-screw joints (one of my reasons for building the bench is to have a proper space to learn more-advanced joinery). Glue was used sparingly so I can disassemble the bench should we ever build an attached garage. Major load-bearing joints are reinforced with steel angle brackets — this baby doesn't budge.
I hung one 4' fluorescent shop light. The light claims it'll fire up all the way down to 0°F. With no heating or insulation, I'll test that claim next winter.
Total time spent so far is about 15 hours. I'm extremely deliberate when it comes to carpentry. I can neither afford the material costs nor the time to redo things, so I do it right the first time. I'm confident better carpenters could throw this together in about half the time — call it a Saturday project — with twice the quality.
Check out the photo gallery below and stay tuned for all the great woodworking projects I'm sure to produce on this table.
Please pardon my fluorescently lit, shaky-hand iPhone photography.