My baby boy turned one on Sunday, and I’ve been wanting to make a play workbench for him for some time. I made a play kitchen for G-Money for Christmas this past year out of an old nightstand, but I wanted to build this from scratch. I used Google Sketchup to draw out (in 3D) a design first to give me some idea of what I was doing. It turned out to not be exactly what I used, but the program was an invaluable tool to put my ideas into images. I highly recommend giving it a shot. I’d never used it before, and it only took me an hour or so to get the gist of it. Here is a screenshot of one of the designs I made on there.
Obviously, it’s totally different that the finished product (especially the colors), but it really helped with dimensions and my cutting list. I nixed the shelf and the drawer because I’m a wimp. I will be updating this post with an exact drawing soon-ish.
This is the coolest part about the whole project. The only materials I bought were paint and pegboard! Here is the wood I gathered from “the mancave”…
Cut (4) 20″ 4×4′s, using a miter or circular saw.
Cut 2 side pieces (I used 2×8′s but 2×4′s would work, too) to 12 3/4″ and attach to the top of two leg pieces (making sure it is flush) with 3″ deck screws. I predrilled all my holes to prevent splitting the wood. 1/8″ drill bit should do it.
Repeat with the other two legs and side piece.
Now cut (2) front pieces of 2×8 (or whatever) to 27″.
Set the two sets of leg/side piece upside-down with the side pieces facing away from each other. Line up a 27″ piece where it is flush on both sides and attach it with screws. Repeat on the other side.
Cut (5) 27″ pieces of 2×4. You will see (7) in this next picture, because it was before I shortened the side pieces.
Starting at what you’ve determined as the back, line up a board flush with the back and sides of the frame. Add the next boards the same way, butting each up against the one behind it. When you get to the last board, it will overlap. This is how it is designed. Don’t freak out! Attach all but the front-most board with one screw on each end. The front board should have a screw on each end and one in the middle.
Now, lay the frame down on the front face. Cut (2) trim boards to 32 1/4″ for the pegboard frame. Line them up flush with the bottom and side of the 2×8′s. Predrill and attach with (3) screws. Repeat on the other side. Now, kick a field goal.
Tadah! Now, get your sand on. If you have a power sander, use it! Otherwise, put a little extra elbow grease into it. I used my sander to round off the corners and edges and smooth out the cut ends. Start with 60 or 80 grit, and move up to 120+ grit. When you are happy with your sanding, wipe the whole thing down with a damp cloth to remove any dust. I also blew it off with the air hose.
Next, cut pegboard to a 24″x24″ square. You can probably find a 24″x48″ piece of pegboard at your hardware store. Just cut that in half with a table saw or circular saw.
Now you’re ready to paint!
I wanted to do a two-toned blue on the top, so I bought some blue paint and mixed a little white with it for the lighter blue. Remove the top boards for painting.
I used an oak wood stain with polyurethane for the rest of the bench. It turned out great! I definitely recommend coating your finished product in some sort of polyurethane to protect the finish. It is food-safe, too!
After everything has dried, reattach your boards. Attach the pegboard with 3/4″ screws with small washers, making sure to predrill. After attaching everything, I did a coat of clear polyurethane over everything, just for kicks.
And that’s it! Let me tell you…It is STURDY. It will last forever. As for costs, here is the breakdown (keep in mind, I didn’t have to buy wood, screws, tools, or clear polyurethane:
$21.73 for paint (I barely used any and some that I bought was for another project)
$4.22 for pegboard
Under $26! BOOM!