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I am looking for some guidance here. I have a few challenges that I am trying to over come. Normally building a workbench wouldn't be a crisis, but I am drawing a blank right now. I have searched the internet for plans hoping to find something that fits what I am trying to do. Nothing has popped up thus far.

1. I have a shop with 1 access door which is basic 3 foot door.

2. I want to build a bench that is 4x8.

3. I have 4 standard 4 drawer base cabinets that I was given that I want to use. They are brand new and I figured..... why not.

4. I want to make the base of the bench in 2ft wide sections that can be taken apart. Each section will be on casters so that I can move them independently should i ever have to take the table out of the shop.

5. Since i only have 4 cabinets, there will be a lot of "dead" space that i can use for different things. I am looking for any suggestions or ideas that I might could incorporate into this project.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Pictures of what you have or are talking about would be of greater appreciation. I am not a pro, not a newbie, but I know just enough to be dangerous with my plans and ideas.

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Jayson,

I have a large workbench in my shop also. It is the single most used tool I own. I'll just share a few of my ideas for you to consider.

1- With a bench this big, I would have electrical power on all sides. I hate stumbling over extension cords. Since you want it to be movable (and mine is too), I'd wire the bench with outlets and supply them with one good extension cord. I have several tools plugged into mine all the time, but since I'm only talented enough to use one at a time, I don't worry about overloading the circuit.

2- Speaking of power tools: I keep a few of my most used ones, sander, jig saw, drill, etc. Plugged in and stored on a shelf under my bench. You will be surprised how much time you save if you don't have to go drag it out of storage and plug it every time you need to give something a quick touch-up sanding for example.

3- Shelves, I've mentioned this before on this site, I use plastic coated wire shelves you can buy at any home decor store. I really like them because saw dust doesn't accumulate like on a solid shelf. I've seen some of the nice clean shops posted here, but mine isn't one of them. I'd rather all my dust ended up on the floor than on shelves. These shelves aren't hard to adjust for length with a bolt cutter or hack saw.

I have lots of other little personal additions to my bench that I won't go into here. But I will say that I hope I never have to go back to a traditional narrow work bench.

Alan, any way for photos? Just need ideas, that I can wrap my head around.

Alan Shotts said:

Jayson,

I have a large workbench in my shop also. It is the single most used tool I own. I'll just share a few of my ideas for you to consider.

1- With a bench this big, I would have electrical power on all sides. I hate stumbling over extension cords. Since you want it to be movable (and mine is too), I'd wire the bench with outlets and supply them with one good extension cord. I have several tools plugged into mine all the time, but since I'm only talented enough to use one at a time, I don't worry about overloading the circuit.

2- Speaking of power tools: I keep a few of my most used ones, sander, jig saw, drill, etc. Plugged in and stored on a shelf under my bench. You will be surprised how much time you save if you don't have to go drag it out of storage and plug it every time you need to give something a quick touch-up sanding for example.

3- Shelves, I've mentioned this before on this site, I use plastic coated wire shelves you can buy at any home decor store. I really like them because saw dust doesn't accumulate like on a solid shelf. I've seen some of the nice clean shops posted here, but mine isn't one of them. I'd rather all my dust ended up on the floor than on shelves. These shelves aren't hard to adjust for length with a bolt cutter or hack saw.

I have lots of other little personal additions to my bench that I won't go into here. But I will say that I hope I never have to go back to a traditional narrow work bench.

This came from The Family handman magazine I modified the plans to my needs. Folded up it takes 2ft x 6 ft. It's 4ft x 6 ft unfolded. If you want to see build stages look at project section on this forum.

http://kregjig.ning.com/photo/albums/foldaway-portable-fold-out-tab...

Maybe Work Bench Design net might help.

Ditch the cabinets or use them elsewhere. Check out this:
http://www.finewoodworking.com/item/18985/still-dont-have-a-workben...
You can make it whatever size. Use 2x6's instead of 2x4's. And use two layers of plywood under one layer of MDF.

Lee Valley sells a more elaborate bench plan.

The key feature of both is the use of threaded rod to hold together the frame. Yeah, I know this is Kreg Land, but go with the rods. Your frame will be amazingly rigid!

Full Disclosure: I'm not finished with my bench. Only have the end frames done. Held one up at 45 degrees and dropped it onto concrete floor. The thing literally bounced. No distortion at all. Only other thing that does that is draw bored M&T.

Hope this helps.

To all of you, thanks for the input. After weeks and weeks of trying to decide what to do with the cabinets, I just decided to make another bench with just the cabinets all in a row. I will have to make the work bench a bit differently due to my door situation. Unfortunately, It will probably cost me more in the end, but i don't want to have to cut it or tear it apart should we ever decide to move from the house. I'll try to post pictures of the bench with the cabinets and the workbench when i am finished. 

Joe, I know i am in the minority on this statement, but I made two of the kreg benches using the MDF as they suggested. After using the stuff, i am not a really big fan of it. I may still use the 2 sheets of ply wood, but I'll probably go with hard board on the top of the bench versus the MDF. May be i'm not seeing the value in the mdf, but it just seems super soft to me. 

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