Ever since we built the deck in the summer of 2010 my tools have kinda just been strewn about Emily’s dining room or dumped in a wooden box we found at a garage sale. You may not know this about me, but I’m kind of obsessed with the care and organization of my tools. It makes me very uncomfortable when they’re lying around or dumped in a big wooden box. It makes my skin crawl. After the basement “bathroom” was demolished (we wrote about that here and here) we were left with a lot of extra lumber, and the plan was to reuse as much as possible to make a nice workbench as a place to store my tools. It was also going to be something I could stand at, drink a beer at, and take junk apart at.
My buddy Marty caught wind of this, and since he’s built a million of these things, he wrote an awesome comment and pretty much did all of my thinking for me; he even sent me some sketches like this one to the right. Marty’s comment can be read in full here ifyou’re interested, but here’s a slightly rearranged excerpt, which involves his recommendation of the actual work surface:
Top the bench with layers. Like girls do with clothes. Or how gossip magazines say celebrities cut their hair (not that I read them, unless left on the workbench). Or something more manly…a mexican dip you eat during halftime while watching the Bills play.
First layer: 3/4 ply. Good ol’ plywood.
Not OSB. Not even CDX. No need for exposure. Just “D” plywood. Or maybe “C”. Or if Pete finds something on the side of the road, then…okay…that.
Second layer: 3/4 MDF. Medium-density Fibreboard. Yes, that’s an “re” in Fibre since I think it came from across the pond prior to having it in the US. MDF is nice and flat and works (finishes) well. Plus it’s dense, so dogs under the bench will experience a -3dB reduction in hammer blow noise.
Third layer: Carpet. Tucked away in the corner, your big box home center has some bland gray/charcoal closed loop short pile carpet. Yeah, on that big rotating carpet holder thing that I desperately want to know the keycode to operate. It’s like the last type of carpet you would put inside your home, but if you put it on your porch it would be like “damn, this is nice carpet”. And on your bench even nicer.
The carpet isn’t too nice that you’d be afraid to drill into it, or wipe that extra silicone from your finger onto it…because it’s still crappier than your work pants. But it offers some cushion when you want to assemble that new nickel-plated bathroom light fixture without a scratch. And, it looks nice.
Surveying the wood from the basement demo, I decided against using the toilet-water-soaked, moldy 2x6s, so a trip to Home Depot was in order. Here’s the list of what I bought:
Construction was kept simple. I’ll detail what I did photo-by-photo, but if I’m too vague anywhere, please write for more insight:
Dimensions: 8′ w x 3′ d x 42″ h
All I have to do now is start organizing. Total spend for this project was $115, (but $40 was for screws, now there are a lot of extra screws for future projects).
P.S. Emily built her gardening table for the basement too. Except she used 100% recycled materials from the old bathroom (and some of the jillions of screws i bought); she’ll be posting some photos of that soon.