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We're going to make several work benches in the Baltimore Node on Thursday. We can use Sherwin's miter saw (12" dewalt).


  1. Build base table.
  2. Evaluate.
  3. Make modifications that better the structure, form, and/or function.

Shopping list

Base tables

  • 2 4x8 sheets of 1/2" OSB, MDF, or Plywood. ($14-20 each)
  • 2 4x8 sheets of 1/8" tempered hardboard ($7 each)
  • 21 2x4s ($2.50 each)
  • 2 pounds of 2.5" screws ($8/lb)

Modification supplies

  • 1 4x8 sheets of 1/2" OSB, MDF, or Plywood. ($14-20 each)
  • 1 4x8 sheets of 1/8" tempered hardboard ($7 each)
  • 10 2x4s (2.50 each)

Total Budget: $200

Base table

The base table is extremely simply. There are only three sizes of 2x4 (16@19", 16@30", 12@96"). The top is 1/2 inch board (plywood, MDF, or OSB) with a 1/8 inch veneer of tempered hardboard. It's standard table height. File:BaseTable.skp


Modifying the base table

This design was discussed on the Tuesday meeting, drafted by Aaron, and tweaked by Kelly. Revised Table.png


I was just looking at a workbench design on the Make blog.

I called Lowe's and it looks like we can make one workbench for about $35. Here's a price breakdown of the materials:

  • 1 sheet of 1/2" plywood, standard 4'x8'. $10.97
  • 6 2x4s 8' long $10.50 for standard pine. $16.62 for select pine (fewer knots)
  • 40 2 1/2" screws $5-ish. Wood screws. Buy a big box for $20 - 30 to build all of the tables.
  • 40 1" screws

We can put power boxes or plug strips on the bottom shelf. Or, we can move the 6" backing on the bottom shelf to the top and screw power to it. They will be easy to move around, so we can put them back to back for workshops, or put them against the wall when there we need space.

I will donate at least one workbench, and help build the rest. We can knock it out in an afternoon, or one night after work. $200 will definitely get us 4 or 5 of these.


  • I can donate one. I like the straight Make design. Abachman 22:52, 9 August 2009 (UTC)

I just built this in Google Sketchup after getting input from everyone. It will cost us around $35 for each table, and $25 for the center shelf. If we want to build 3 of these islands, it will set us back $285 dollars (estimate). Thanks for the picture adam! File:Tables.skp --Spaceribs 03:11, 12 August 2009 (UTC)

  • I would suggest moving the center cross beam on the bottom toward the back. It is going to be really annoying with chairs, feet other stuff if its in the middle. Also are we possibly add diagonal braces for stability? Here is a Revised design with these features. -Kellyegan 15:04, 12 August 2009 (UTC)
  • Ouch, I wish I'd seen that before adding all the wood together. The only reason I didn't put more support on the back (such as cross bracing) is the fact that it didn't look necessary on the MAKE workbench. I will add that 2 by 4 under the shelf though, and moving that cross support back should be a piece of cake (but all of this is going to add more to the total cost).--Spaceribs 17:47, 12 August 2009 (UTC)
  • Wasn't sure the intent of the center section so in the revised version I turned it into more of just a shelf instead of a freestanding element. It could be bolted to the two tables, for easy removal. That cuts down on the wood some. I figure you can fit all the cuts for the revised version on 14 2x4's. Kellyegan 21:49, 12 August 2009 (UTC)
  • I like the diagonal pieces, but the canyon in the middle is kind of weirding me out. Seems like it would lead to a lot of tool and parts droppage. Adam 12:30AM 13 Aug 2009 (EST)