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Build a Hardworking Workstation

09/01/14, by Megan Steenson

Last week’s eNote gave you all the information and instructions for making over your garage with a simple storage systems. But if you’re going to build projects in your garage, you need a work surface to do it on.

The work surface you see here couldn’t be much simpler to put together. That’s because all you have to do is assemble a simple store-bought metal rack and make a few modifications. You’re going to start by actually only making “half” of the rack to create a shorter structure (photo above). Then, slip in three of the shelves.

The only part of this work-station that you actually have to build is the work surface. Since the shelves that come with the metal racks already fit in place perfectly, we just cut a slightly larger piece of medium-density fiberboard (MDF) to size with a circular saw and screwed it to the top shelf to create a sturdy, durable surface. To do it, we pre-drilled holes and drove screws in from underneath.

At the back of the work surface, we also created a backboard of poplar that we secured with glue and screws. Then we finished the whole work surface with two coats of polyurethane.

Details Make a Difference

Finally, we added a few amenities to the station to truly make it a great place to work on projects.

Worksurface Details

Lighting & Pegboard. Every work area needs good lighting, and we picked up a large “reflector” shop light at the home center to serve our purposes here. If you buy a similar light, you’ll want to have an electrician wire it for you. Or you can choose an inexpensive track light and just plug it into the power strip below (photo a).

A pegboard storage rack offers a great area for stashing tools and supplies right above the workstation. To mount it, put nylon bushings around the screws to create a gap between the pegboard and the wall (photo a).

Customizable Rails. A rail that’s made from painted 1x6 boards adds a touch of custom style to our garage station, but it serves a functional purpose, too. The rail makes a convenient place to mount the storage units without having to worry about hitting wall studs. You can mount other hangers to it, too (photo b).

10-Outlet Power Strip. To fuel the tools you’ll need for your projects, this four-foot power strip has ten outlets that fill the bill. It mounts right behind the work surface, so you’ll never again have to bend over to plug in or unplug a tool (photo c).

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