How To Make Child’s Workbench Step By Step

Step 1: Draw Plans

Before beginning this build, I spent¬†tons¬†of your time¬†scouring¬†the web¬†,¬†watching¬†other workbenches and plans before¬†choosing¬†the design¬†I wanted. 2×4’s seemed too bulky for¬†alittle¬†piece like this, and would really have made it far too heavy to be practical.¬†i made a decision¬†on 1×4’s for the legs and cosmetic pieces (hiding the frames¬†within the¬†front/back) and 1×2’s for the frame/supports. Ultimately,¬†i made a decision¬†that I wanted the¬†surface¬†to be 48″ x 18″, with a height of about 24″, with a framed pegboard (an additional 20″ above the work surface). I wanted¬†the highest¬†and shelf frames to nest¬†within the¬†legs, and decided to sandwich 1×4’s¬†rather than¬†trying¬†to chop¬†dadoes. I also decided¬†to feature¬†a strip of¬†ovolo¬†to the¬†surface¬†and peg board¬†to finish¬†the framed look (you could leave this out, or use 1×2¬†just like the¬†remainder of¬†the frame).

Step 2: Materials

Cut List:
Support/Shelf Frames:
1×2 @:
16 1/4″ – 4
46 1/2″ – 4
14 3/4″ – 4

1×4 @:
41″ – 4

1/2″ Plywood @
18″ x 48″ – 2
(One¬†of those¬†will¬†got to¬†be notched 3 1/2″ x 1 3/4″ at each corner to accommodate for the legs)

1×4 @:
24″ – 4
5″ – 4
16″ – 4

Pegboard/ Frame
Pegboard @: 24″ x 48″
20″ – 2
45″ – 1

Quarter Round @:
45″ – 1

Castors – 4

Tools used:
Compound Miter Saw (No mitered cuts were made, this is often just what I used)
Table Saw (A buzz saw could even be used)
Band Saw (for cutting notches. could also use a jigsaw)
Brad Nailer (Used for attaching shelves and pegboard.¬†you’ll¬†also hammer nails, or use screws)
Wood Glue
Clamps(You can never have too many clamps)
#6 2″ Drywall Screws
#6 1 1/4″ Drywall Screws
3/4″ Brads
1 1/2″ Brads
Minwax Golden Oak Stain
Minwax Polyurethane Clear Satin
3″ Foam Paintbrush (for the stain)
2″ Bristled Paintbrush (for the poly)
Sandpaper (multiple grits 100-400. I also used 1000 to lightly sand the dried poly coat)

Step 3: Building Frames

Tips: I won’t mention it¬†for each¬†step, but any time two pieces of wood are joined, assume that gluing¬†is additionally¬†required.¬†do not forget¬†to wash¬†any drips, as dried glue¬†won’t¬†take stain. Check for square/level often through each step. Drill pilot holes¬†for each¬†screw.

Use a¬†butt¬†to hitch¬†the 16 1/4″ 1×2’s to the 46 1/2″ 1×2’s (side pieces on the outside) with 2″ screws.
16″ from each end, attach the 14 3/4″ 1×2’s for added support.

Step 4: Attaching Legs

Sandwich the 5″ 1×4’s to¬†rock bottom¬†interior end of the 24″ 1×4’s with 1 1/4″ screws. Attach the 16″ 1×4’s 1 1/2 ” above the 5″ piece, leaving¬†a further¬†1 1/2″ space at¬†the highest¬†. These gaps are where the frames¬†you only¬†built will nest. I used scrap pieces of 1×2 as spacers¬†to make sure¬†a decent¬†fit. Attach the legs to the front and back of your frames at the corners with 2″ screws (into the side rail) and 1 1/4″ screws (into the front rail). Repeat¬†an equivalent¬†steps for¬†the highest¬†frame. After the legs are secured to the shelf frames, attach the 41″ 1×4’s to the front and back of the frame, flush at¬†the highest¬†. These pieces are cosmetic,¬†to stay¬†according to¬†the design¬†of the legs. These also fill¬†a niche¬†under the work surface/shelf on the front and back edges.

Step 5: Install Shelves

Attach the 20″ 1×2’s to the 45″ 1×2 (sides on the outside). These will frame the pegboard, once attached. Before installing the¬†surface¬†, attach¬†the three¬†sided frame you’ve just made by screwing it to the¬†surface¬†from the under side of the plywood at¬†the rear¬†corners with 2″ screws. Normally¬†you’d¬†use a¬†splice¬†here ( cross piece on top of vertical sides)¬†in order that¬†the load is on the piece, and not on the screws. Since¬†there’s¬†no load on top of this joint, I opted to use a¬†butt¬†to stay¬†the design¬†of the frame¬†according to¬†the legs/shelves. (The load on those joints is on the legs and 1×2 frame, not the 41″ 1×4’s that were attached to the front and back. Those are cosmetic.)

Notch¬†rock bottom¬†shelf (3 1/2″ x 1 3/4″) at the corners to accommodate for the legs. Attach the¬†surface¬†and shelf¬†in situ¬†with 1 1/2″ brads about every 6 inches.

Step 6: Final Steps

Sand everything until smooth and clear dust with a clean cloth and/or dry brush (a wet cloth will raise the grain¬†and you will¬†need to¬†sand again). Apply stain and polyurethane as manufacturer directions indicate. What¬†I even have¬†pictured is 2 coats of Minwax Golden Oak, and 1 coat of Clear Satin Poly. At¬†this point¬†, also stain your 45″ piece of¬†ovolo¬†. Once everything is dry, add the pegboard by gluing, clamping, and nailing with 3/4″ brads. There should be 4″ of pegboard attached to¬†the rear¬†of the workbench,¬†the remainder¬†should fit squarely on the frame. I had¬†to regulate¬†slightly to line up the holes¬†within the¬†pegboard, which had been cut slightly crooked. Next time¬†i will be able to¬†be checking pegboard more carefully at¬†the availability¬†store before selecting¬†a bit¬†.

Attach the¬†ovolo¬†to the¬†surface¬†and pegboard with wood glue, and 3/8″ brads (from the back)¬†to finish¬†frame. I also added castors to the legs¬†to form¬†easier¬†to maneuver¬†round the¬†garage. Since the legs are sandwiched and not a solid piece, I opted for castors that are screwed onto the legs.¬†confirm¬†to urge¬†ones with bases that are narrow enough¬†to suit¬†properly.

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