09 January 2015

The Man Cave: 1 Hour DIY Workbench

Happy Friday ladies (& hopefully gents!)

I'll jump right into it. Before this storage was built, our garage was in need of some serious TLC. I wish I had an even better picture of the before for you, cause it was BAD. The before provided is after Jake spent an entire weekend cleaning the garage out, before that, it was full of moving boxes, trash, and miscellaneous crap that accumulated in the almost 2 years since we moved into our house.

I became obsessed with building some storage for our garage, and Jake has recently become obsessed with finding manly things on Pinterest (he'd kill you if he knew that I told you he has a Pinterest account) so with the help of my expert- builder of a Dad, he and Jake set out to make what i'm assuming is the easiest wood-working project of all time, that created a BIG impact in our space.

Lets start with the before picture. We were really lucky when we bought our house that it had this perfect little alcove just dying to be made into storage heaven. 

It had excellent bones, and for awhile the above looked pretty darn organized to me.

But Jake and I have recently started to completely clear out our 2nd spare bedroom which was previously "the man cave" full of tools, junk, manly stuff, and a giant American flag.

I knew that our current garage set up was not going to work to house all that manly stuff, and since we only have 3 bedrooms, we needed to turn this nook into a little man corner for Jake.

Giant American flag included. So in one hour, my Dad and Jake set out to create this masterpiece and I couldn't be happier about walking into the garage now. 

I have to apologize for the lack of building pictures, I was in charge of this little monster while they built, so I only made it out for a few "in progress" pictures (4 year olds are no joke, y'all) but hopefully they do enough talking to get the job done. 

Okay, enough chatting...lets get started already!

Tools Needed:

  • Chop Saw (or have your wood pre-cut at Lowes or Home Depot)
  • Power Drill
  • Drill Bit
  • Level
  • Stud Finder
  • Tape Measure
Your cuts will really depend on your space. Before heading out to your hardware store, make sure you measure, measure, measure.  The cuts below are measured for our space and work bench, feel free to modify as needed. (or leave me a comment with your question and I will hunt down an answer for you!

Supplies Needed:

  • 10; 2x3 wood pieces 
  • 4 pieces of plywood (the precut kind to fit your workbench)
  • 1 box of 2.5 inch screws
  • 1 box of 3.5 inch screws
  • optional: pegboard
  • optional: pegboard accessories 
1) Measure your workspace and decide on the type of bench you want to create. Ours has cubbies, because, well, I like it like that. But you could definetly save some money on wood by making it a standard table workbench

2) when you pick up your wood from the hardware store, you can definitely have them pre-cut it for you (usually for free!) but because we have a standard chop-saw we just did the cutting at home.

3) Build the frame for the top shelf. Take 2 custom cut 2x3's that fit the length of the wall and drill 4 (again custom cut) pieces of 2x3 vertically between the boards. This will be the base you lay plywood on once connected to the wall

4) Cut 3 pieces of 2x3 to the height you would like your bench and attach 2 of them to the outside of your frame to be the legs.

5) Now comes the fun part! Find the studs in the wall, and attach the frame by drilling through the wood into the studs. It is VERY important to make sure you use a level during this part to make sure its set correctly. If you're not building a second shelf, you can move on to step 10.

6) If you're building a second shelf, attach a 2x3 to the studs in the wall at the height you would like your next shelf. Make sure you leave enough room for whatever you're storing! We have some hefty paint buckets so I wanted it to be tall enough to accommodate those. 

7) To make a platform for your second shelf, cut 4 pieces of 2x3 that you will drill between the back wood piece and the legs to create a second frame. Toenail 2 of these pieces in at the ends by drilling at an angle through the 2x3 and into stud.

8) Now take your center "leg" (the extra piece from step 4) and attach it to the center of your bench. This helps to create the cubbies in the bench, but more importantly it adds stability. After you attach the leg, take the 2 extra pieces of 2x3 that you have from step 7 and sandwich them between the center leg, making sure its nice and secure!

9) Attach another wall-length 2x3 to the 3 legs at the height of the second frame, thus completing the 2nd shelf!

10) Custom cut your plywood to fit your shelves, lay it down and drill it into the frame. If it is a tight fit, use a hammer to wedge it in best as possible. You want it to be very tight in the frame and as flush as possible. If you live in a place with high humidity, drill a screw into the center of the plywood to keep the wood from bowing in the future. (I don't know what this means, Jake just told me to write it)

11) Optional- Measure out 2 pieces of 2x3 the size of your pegboard and drill them into the studs on the wall, then attach your pegboard to the 2x3 pieces. (This creates a space between the pegboard and the wall so your pegs actually go in!)

12) THE BEST PART! Get to organizing!

**Make sure you're measuring & using your level at every step. The last thing you want is the leaning tower of plywood on your hands.
**Predrill as many holes as possible with a drill bit (smaller than your screw size) to make all of that drilling go smoother!
**If someone is helping you build your work bench, buy them beer, and perhaps pizza. :)

I know that seems like a lot of steps, but really, once you just get to building you will be amazed how quick it goes. I expected it to be an all-day project, but by the time I had ordered and picked up 2 pizzas the boys were nearly done building.

More than anything I wanted to spray the pegboard white with gold stripes, but Jake put his foot down and claimed this as his one "not girly" space in the entire house. So it will be full of football, sports, tools, and America, folks.

There are a lot of ways we'd like to make our garage more functional in the coming year (I did say that 2015 was going to be the year of the house!)

I'd like to add more cubby storage to the left and right walls of the garage as well as lay down speckled apoxy flooring to clean it up a little bit, but these updates will have to wait until we make a little more progress inside. For now, i'm happy to have an empty 2nd bedroom and Jake is happy to have his man corner!

I hope this inspired you to get your hands a little dirty and get to building. I'm amazed at how not-intimidating wood working really can be, and now i'm convinced that we Jake & my Dad can build me everything from a dining table to an outdoor sectional. We'll see come Spring what I can convince them to do with Pizza. :)

Have a great weekend, friends!

Until Next Time,
xo Kylie

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  1. It looks lovely! They did a great job and can't believe it looks so good!!!
    Btw, you look beautiful in your picture!
    Hope you have a lovely day <3

    BerryBloomXO.com | Beauty & Lifestyle Blog 
    also on BLOGLOVIN 

    1. Thanks, girl! You're such a sweetie. I appreciate you stopping by!


  2. Awesome project! Nothing like having an organized work space!

  3. Great job! Everything has a place. That keeps things orderly!

    1. Thanks, Kim! I love having the organization. Now I have some space in the garage for a good workout. (HA! Like that ever happens;))


  4. Looks great! If Jake is anything like Adam, I bet he is loving having his own little spot in the house!

  5. nice job looks amazing now


    1. Thanks, Maria! I'm glad to have the added organization.


  6. Im totally using this DIY! Shawn has been wanting to complete this in the garage for some time now and you are making it so easy for us to do! Love it! Forwarding to him now :) XO


    1. It was so easy (like I can say anything, I took no part in the actual building, ha!) but he said it was! Hope you get some nice storage in the garage, gal!


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  12. How did you attach the legs to the top shelf?

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