I Need Somewhere to Work!

I can’t do it all on the floor

stuff everywhereOur new house has a nice big pole barn, which is great.  It’s a great big space I can use to build or fix things.  Problem is, it’s a great big empty space.  As we moved in our stuff, we logically put the “outdoor” belongings in there – at least all my tools and parts are in one place.  To try to protect my sanity a little bit, I separated the pile into “tools” on the left and “parts” on the right.  Everything is pretty much still in boxes, though, which is FRUSTRATING.  While I figure out what to do about tool storage, I need somewhere I can get stuff done.  That’s a workbench.

My new workbench had to meet a few needs:

  1. Had to double as an infeed or outfeed table for my radial arm saw
  2. Needed to be strong enough for anything I might throw on it
  3. Had to be pretty quick to build
  4. Couldn’t cost a whole lot

I went searching the web and found this article, which had a number of good ideas:


turns out the first one on the list looked like it met all my criteria.  The plans are on Curbly:


I followed the instructions almost to the letter.  I made a couple of minor modifications:

  • The legs are long enough to put the top even with the table on my radial arm saw.
    If I ever take the saw off its cart, I will shorten the legs on the bench to match so everything is at a more workable height.
  • I didn’t square off the ends of all of the “bed bolt” mortises.  It was taking a long time due to tools that need to be sharpened and I couldn’t search the boxes one more time to try to find what I needed to do that.  Might have been a mistake…I’ll let you know.
  • I couldn’t find the right length of bolts at my local hardware store, so I got bolts 1/2 inch longer.  I had to adjust the bed bolt mortises accordingly.

workbench doneIt took me just two partial days to build, and I’m happy with the results.  Just a few leftover lumber offcuts and extra nuts, bolts and washers from the packages.  I think I have 12 hours of work into it and about $75.  I need to put a woodworking vise on next.  After I play with it some, I might have to make another one to fit on the other side of the radial arm saw.  Feeding out onto the spare freezer just doesn’t work.