If there is one item in my shed that I would not want to be without, it's my workbench. Having one transforms the usefulness of the shed beyond anything else. I don't have an all-singing, all-dancing pro setup. It is just a simple 5ft by 2ft worktop built into my wooden shed, but it is invaluable.
If you have room in your shed, it is relatively easy to add a work area. It can improve the functionality of any storage shed, and will enable you to do tasks that you might not otherwise consider.
Why Have a Work Bench in Your Shed?
Convenience. It is the range of jobs you can do with a workbench that makes it desirable to have one in your shed.
You don't need to be a woodworker or use your shed as a workshop to find a workbench essential. Many DIY tasks are a lot easier when you can clamp to a work table or use a vice to hold something in place or spread items out to sort.
What Could You Use a Workbench For?
There are many routine DIY tasks that the average homeowner will face that can be helped by having access to a workbench. Such as:
And there are many others.
The essential thing to consider about a workbench is that it is the functionality that is important - not how it looks. You can waste a lot of time trying to 'pretty up' what is a practical aid.
You want a worktop that is big enough for the most extensive task you'll be likely to attempt. The available space in your shed will determine the actual size that will fit.
Give some thought to these factors:
Your workbench should be the right height for working comfortably and safely, usually around 36 inches.
The depth should ideally be not much more than 24 inches so you can easily reach over the work for tools or other items stored on a wall.
The worktop needs to be flat, rigid, and strong.
Where will you locate your workbench? Up against a wall (which one?) or with 360 degrees access?
Will your workbench remain in a static position, or will it be movable with the use of castors?
Will you be putting heavy objects on the worktop? What equipment will you be using?
Will you require special storage in or around the workbench? Is shelf or drawer space needed?
Are any tools to be permanently fixed to the workbench?
Workbenches for Sheds - Your Choices
If building a workbench entirely from scratch is not your thing, there are several ways to compromise. We show some workbench design ideas below that could help you create a work area quickly. You don't want to spend a long time building a workbench. Ideally, you'll want something you can assemble in a day.
Framing Kits - Lumber not included
Framing kits provide you with angle brackets to screw or bolt lumber together. You will need to buy the lumber, but you can build the workbench without needing expertise or special tools to make woodworking cuts or joints.
FLEXIMOUNTS Universal Steel Work Bench Leg Kit
These workbench legs are made of steel and claim to be more robust than the resin leg versions. Workbench only or workbench plus shelf unit versions are available.
You only need to buy the lumber and cut it to shape. No miter or angle cuts are necessary. You can build any size bench up to a maximum length of eight feet and a width of four feet. You can make the bench with a center and bottom shelf, providing functional extra storage space.
2x4 Basics Workbench and Shelving Framing Kit
This kit consists of four workbench legs and six shelf links that you can make into a workbench up to a maximum of eight feet by four feet, plus a shelving unit to go atop the work surface.
The heavy-duty structural resin components let you build a workbench that is plumb square, true, and stable without the need for intricate woodcuts. Just ninety-degree crosscuts are needed, no miters.
Rockler Workbench Leg Kit
Rockler provides a similar kit that supplies resin parts for the workbench only, not the shelving.
You can assemble a unit up to a maximum of 8 feet x 4 feet. Each shelf can carry up to 1000lbs in weight.
You will only need to saw 90 degrees crosscuts for the lumber, so no special tools are required, just a saw and drill.
Vikofan Steel Workbench Brackets Kit
The eight brackets in this framing kit are made of 3/16 thick structural steel, with a green powder coating.
The kit also includes all the carriage bolts, nuts, and washers needed for the job. You can use the angle brackets with either lumber or metal components to construct your workbench.
Metal Frame Workbench
Little Giant Steel Work Bench - 5 Footer
Little Giant has a range of all steel workbenches, which is worth looking over. You can see them HERE!
This bench, the WST2-3060-36, has a total load capacity of 4,500 pounds and is made with 12 gauge steel with a reinforced top.
It has a gray powder coat finish and a lower half shelf.
It has a fixed working height of 36 inches, is 60 inches wide, and 30 inches deep.
Shop Fox Metal Frame for Work Table
You could reduce the amount of workbench construction time by going for a metal version. You'll need to bolt this frame together and provide a wooden worktop, but that's it.
The square column steel legs have cross braces that have recessed edging for a shelf. You can make one easily from 3/4 plywood.
Workbench measures Height 32 inches x Width 56 inches x Depth 28 inches.
Kit includes legs, cross braces, wide, rubberized, adjustable leveling feet, and hardware.
Complete Work Bench Kits
Seville Classics Workbench
If you'd prefer a complete workbench kit with nothing else to buy or make, the Seville Classics workbench may be of interest. It has some useful features:
If you want a quick solution for a workbench or a workstation, this is worth thinking about, and could fit in your shed, garage or 'special' utility room.
Fedmax Work Bench
This Fedmax is a solid, no-frills stainless steel construction workbench with a hammer-paint finish. It has a robust, albeit not thick, acacia wood top that should last you for years.
You can adjust the leg height for 14 different settings between 28 and 44 inches, and you have the choice of using leg levelers or locking casters.
It is available in two sizes, both of which have the same height adjustment:
Width 48 inches x Depth 20 inches
Width 61 inches x Depth 20 inches
It is easy to assemble and comes with a bonus wrench.
Ultrawall 24 inch Folding Shelf Brackets (pair)
These folding brackets would help build a lightweight work surface that you could fold down out of the way when it isn't needed. They would need to be firmly screwed or (preferably) bolted to a rigid support, and you would need to buy a suitable board for the worktop. They are made of powder-coated steel and can hold up to 550 pounds.
Shop Fox Work Bench Leg
You could use this steel workbench leg (sold singly) to either fabricate a workbench that you run off a wall or buy a pair and make up a full bench. It would provide a 28-inch wide worktop, and you can adjust the height between 30 and 36 inches. You will need to buy bolts yourself if you want to attach the feet to the legs.
The legs are made from 2 x 2 x 1/8 inch iron and plate steel and can carry 2000 pounds per leg.
An interesting item for you to consider.
Shelf Unit Used as a Worktop
Some six-foot-high shelf units can be re-configured as a couple of three-foot-high shelves, thereby creating a helpful starting point as a workbench.
You could reinforce the metal frame by bolting plywood panels to the uprights at the rear and sides to improve rigidity, and perhaps fix a full-length sheet of plywood or Medium Density Fiberboard (MDF) to the top as a robust work surface. You won’t have difficult sawing to do, just cross cuts, and a workbench would be pretty quick to put together.
Muscle Rack 5 Adjustable Shelves
Build as a six-foot-unit or as a couple of three footers and use them as a workbench.
Workbenches for sheds come in many styles. Whatever your DIY experience, it should be possible for you to create a workbench, even a hybrid type, using any of these items shown above.
An alternative form would be to use a folding workbench. While these are very useful, they don't provide as large a static work area as the benches we've looked at here and do not necessarily provide an ideal height for comfortable working.
They are, however, a great option if you don't have room inside your shed for a full size workbench, and they are easy to store.