Welcome to the first official post for Workshop Wednesdays! I’m kicking off this series with the piece that is the cornerstone of any workshop: the workbench! My “old door on sawhorses” setup just wasn’t up to par anymore. It’s time to turn it up a notch with a new Kreg workbench!
In case you missed it, you can find all my plans for the workshop here. I’m happy to say that in the past week I have transformed my old workbench from this…
I feel so much better already! There’s nothing like a clean slate to make you feel more productive.
Required Features for New Workbench
Even though this current setup isn’t working for me anymore, there were a few things I really liked about it.
The solid-core door will remain as my work surface, since it’s perfect for clamping and assembling projects. I found this door at my local architectural salvage store for less than $20! It’s less than two feet wide, which gives me plenty of space to work without having to reach over too far.
Clamping down pieces during assembly helps prevent them from shifting and getting a screw in the wrong spot. Some workbench plans have the base frame right up along the edges of the tabletop, leaving nothing to clamp on to! I need about 2 inches of overhang all the way around my new workbench.
UPDATE: I added a DIY workbench with storage and a t-track top to my shop to make assembling projects even easier!
I also love being able to work on a project from all sides, so my new workbench will remain free floating in the middle of the room. However, it would be nice to be able to push the whole thing off to one side if I need extra floor space, or move it behind the table saw to serve as an outfeed table.
Since I’m already planning to build my own custom miter saw stand, I thought I would save myself some time by using a kit for this project. The Kreg workbench has exactly the features I need!
Building the Kreg Workbench
I was lucky enough to have Kreg Tools provide me with the pieces I needed for this project. I decided to go with 20″ wide rails, 64″ long rails, and standard size legs, which will allow me to take full advantage of almost every inch of the old door.
Assembly was really easy. I started with the smaller 20″ rails, attaching them to the legs with the included carriage bolts to make the two ends. Use a speed square to make sure everything is lined up at a right angle.
Then I flipped the ends on their sides and added the longer 64″ rails.
The feet are a separate piece from the legs, which allows you to adjust the height to your preference. My Ryobi table saw is about 35 1/4″ high, and an outfeed table should be slightly lower than the saw. With the casters attached and the feet set to their lowest point, it’s the perfect height!
Before attaching the door to the worktable frame, I needed to shorten it a bit. I used the Kreg Rip Cut attached to my circular saw to cut about 8 inches from one end.
Then I centered the workbench frame upside down on top of the door, making sure I had about 2 inches on three sides, and 4 inches on one end (for a project I’m adding later on).
When everything was just the way I wanted it, I screwed it all into place with the 3/4″ screws that were included in the kit. The 6″ Kreg square head bit fits perfectly through the holes in the frame so you don’t have to screw them in at an awkward angle.
I had to wait for my husband to get home from work to help me flip the whole thing over. That sucker is heavy!
I was never a huge fan of the dark brown door color, but I didn’t want to paint it because it might transfer to my projects. This thin white panel board is perfect for brightening up the dark surface. I ran a bead of Liquid Nails for paneling along the edges and through the middle of the door.
Then I used every clamp in the shop to hold the paneling in place while it dried.
Finally, I inserted a piece of 3/4″ plywood onto the bottom rails to serve as a shelf. It fits snugly into the corners, so I probably won’t even go through the effort to screw it down.
Isn’t it a beauty? I can’t wait to start using this super sturdy Kreg workbench to create all my projects!
Edited to add: I’ve customized my workbench even further with a sander and sandpaper storage unit that fits perfectly on the bottom shelf!
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