Reader Submission: Basement Workbench
Local resident Landall Proctor shares how he turn a cluttered corner of his basement into a functional, well-designed work area:
As a competitive cyclist and general bike lover my wife and I have a lot of bicycles. There are four in the basement that should be kept in the house for security and neurotic reasons and two in the shed. I do all my own maintenance work and was getting a little frustrated with the lack of workspace I had in our basement for bike repairs.
This past weekend I decided to better utilize the small space we have in our basement that I have taken over as my “bike room.” Here’s the before picture:
First, I wanted to do this project on the cheap and my first thought was to use some old lumber from other projects I have tackled. Unfortunately none of it would quite get the job done so my wife and I took a trip to Community Forklift to try and get some inexpensive, recycled materials to do that job. Luckily I was able to find 3 pieces of lumber:
1 – 6′ 2×4
1 – 5′ 1×3
1 – 4′ 1×2
Total material cost: $12.63
Once home I cut the Formica counter top to fit the space I needed (36″w x 24″d). I was able to utilize the small lip that was already built into our basement wall when the previous owner finished everything so I only needed to build one leg.
I cut the 1×3 and 1×2 to the correct height and screwed them together to make a sturdier post. I then cut the 2×4 into two pieces that would be used as “stretchers” to run from the post to the wall and help support the counter top. I screwed it all together using 2″ and 3″ coarse dry wall screws, making sure it was level and plumb.
This bench turned out far more sturdy than I need it to be for simple bike shop work, but I can jump and put all my weight on it and it doesn’t budge a bit.
To finish the job I bought a piece of 2’x4′ pegboard at home depot and a pegboard kit to put all of the tools I use the most within easy reach. The pegboard and kit pretty much doubled the total cost but they’re well worth it and still kept the cost well below what I was willing to spend.
Here’s the completed project:
I thought I would lose a bunch of storage when I removed and got rid of the old particle board cabinet that was there, but using the milk crates that we already had laying around I didn’t actually lose any space at all. In fact, one milk crate is still completely empty.
That was my weekend project. I’m really happy with the way it turned out and have already used it.
If you have a project to share, send to diydelray[at]yahoo.com.