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A website about how I set up my old, small, two-car garage for metal fabrication, carpentry and automotive work.

An Unusual Steel and Wood Bench


It’s kind of an eye-catching bench, but it’s actually a very basic design, with just one twist -- or bend, I guess.

I made it out of 2” square tubing and a piece of maple butcher block from a wrecked Lista sheet-metal-based bench I picked up second-hand. The one thing I did differently was to add the curved piece of steel on the face of it. Normally, that would just be a perpendicular crossmember. But I had an idea in my head, which turned into a quick sketch.


Then it got thrown together in a hurry. Bending, fitting and welding.




And boom, with a little paint and stain, it’s a bench.


It’s got adjustable feet, since the pad under my garage is so uneven. I have a reclaimed bar stool from our old kitchen underneath it, and the first of my three Wilton vises sits on top.


Up above, I wanted some task lighting. But of course, that’s not possible when you’ve got a garage door that has to go up and over the top of the bench. But I came up with another idea, and welded together a long arm that would come out from the wall to the side of the bench.

You can see what I’m talking about in this picture. I angled the arm up just enough so that the weight of the lights would bring it back down to level.


Now the door can go up and over without interfering with the lighting down below it.

And what about those lights? They’re made out of inexpensive aluminized steel cake pans. I cut holes in the center of each one for a light socket, and fitted in a circline fluorescent bulb. Cheap enough so that if I hit now too hard with a 2x4 it can easily be replaced.

The cabinet next to the bench is made of plywood. I used to simply lean my stepladder there along the wall. The problem was that if I wanted to box it in, I’d have to move the bench far enough away front he cabinet so the door could swing open. To get around that limitation, I cut the door in two pieces and hinged it, so it could open out without opening all the way. In the picture below, you can see the vertical cut just to the right of the road sign.

Now the door uses four hinges instead of two. But my stepladder and broom are out of sight -- and I’ve got a place to put my flashy ‘No Parking’ sign.

DoubleHingeL Ladder-Cabinet

Let’s go to work.


Next: The Sink Area