Workbench from Santa’s Helper

Once I finished reverting the garage from a series of kennels into an open workshop, it was time to get back to some projects. I started with a quick and simple one that ended up being a nice Christmas present.

Some friends of mine have a cute little boy who is totally into tools and they wanted to get him a little workbench. With my abundance of leftover 2x4s, I offered to make one for him, based on a simple design I saw on Fix This, Build That.

It’s kind of a perfect kid’s bench — just the right height and pretty indestructible without being too much.

The frame of the bench was easily constructed out of the ripped-down 2x4s I had from tearing out the dog kennels. After cutting them to length, they quickly came together using pocket screws. I glued and nailed some cleats to hold the peg board and the bottom shelf. Within half a day, the bench frame was pretty much done.

I already had leftover pieces of MDF that were easily trimmed down to make the bench top and the shelf underneath. I cut four small notches into the shelf so that it would fit between the bench’s legs. For the top, I softened the edge with my router and a ¼” round-over bit. (Apologies for the lack of detail shots. I forgot to take them as I was working and now it’s too late, as the bench has already been delivered.)

About the only thing I had to buy was the pegboard. I also bought a set of pegs and then gathered together some extra child-friendly tools I had lying around — pliers, screwdrivers, c clamps, tape measurer, and a butane torch small hammer — to get him started.

Finished workbench

A couple of quick coats of spar urethane made the frame ready to go. I attached the MDF top (which I briefly considered sealing, but then decided against as I wasn’t sure I could do it in a way that would look good) with some pocket screws through the underside of the frame. The shelf sits tight on the cleats and wedged in the shelf frame, so I skipped the screws there. The pegboard, which I decided to have with the brown side facing out, is screwed into cleats in each corner. I probably should have added a couple to the middle, too. Maybe that’s something the boy can do himself. 🙂

It was a quick and fun project and the boy was thrilled with the gift from Santa.

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