Design for a Simple Workbench


Tam and I needed a workbench for our new workspace. The design challenges for the piece were the typical limits of affordable furniture. Quick and simple fabrication and assembly and using few resources were both guiding principles of the design and entire process.

Work Bench Materials

The work bench is designed for both of us to use daily. It includes two workstations for computing, a central share work space for tutorials, individual small filing cabinets flanking the sides, and multi-purpose cable drops to accommodate media versatility. The top and supports are cut out of a single sheet of plywood, and a 2×2 and a 2×6 are employed as a structural runner and backing board. The 4′x8′ sheet of plywood is designed and cut to create less than 5% waste.

Cut Sheet

Although digital fabrication was not a main desire for the design, it was used to create simple notching connections, minimize waste, and shop time. The table top and supports were cut out of a single sheet of plywood on a 3-axis CNC router. The dimensional pieces were cut with a table and chop saw. The 2″x6″ backing board is dadoed out to be friction-fit on the back.

CNC Router

We used the tools available to create the best product possible. Using the computer as a design tool necessitated thoughtful craft in both digital and physical technique. Measurements were taken and designed for to the sixteen of an inch in some cases.

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