Today I’m sharing how to make a DIY Kids Workbench that would be a perfect present for your future woodworkers and DIYers. This workstation can be a fully functional work bench you put in the shop with you and let the little tikes build along with you. It could also be used inside as a play area with plastic tools if the thought of your kid with a real hammer is a bit scary.
The kids workbench stands 24″ high at the work surface, fitting for a broad range of ages. The shelf under the kids workbench will hold all the loose odds and ends and the integrated lip will keep everything contained. A grid of pegboard on the back will let your little builder store all their tools in easy to reach spots and help keep everything tidy when it’s time to clean up. Hidden pocket hole joinery makes this build quick and attractive. You can easily knock this project out in a short weekend!
I built the kids workbench with support from BuildSomething.com and have posted the project there as well. BuildSomething.com is a new community for people to explore, build and share project plans. They have some really good projects on there and you can even submit your own builds. Check it out and see what you think.
Here is what you’ll need for the project:
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Making the Kids Workbench Back
You’ll make the kids workbench in two sub assemblies and then connect them and add the table top and shelf for the full workbench. Cut the back legs and pegboard stretchers from 2×2’s and the back stretcher from a 1×4.
Drill pocket holes in the pegboard stretchers on the backside of the pieces. I use a Kreg K4 to drill my pocket holes. If this jig is out of your price range, Kreg has the cheaper R3 and Mini which give you the same holes but just take a little longer.
To make the back assembly, connect the pegboard stretchers to the back legs using 2″ pocket hole screws. Attach the top pegboard stretcher first. Then cut a piece of pegboard to 27″x15″. Use this piece of pegboard to position the bottom pegboard stretcher right where you need it.
The back shelf stretcher should be attached 5-1/4″ up from the bottom. The piece should be centered on the 2×2 back leg with a 3/8″ inset from the front and back. Layout lines for reference and attach the back shelf stretcher with 1-1/4″ pocket hole screws. A right angle clamp will help immensely here.
Making the Kids Workbench Front
Next is the front assembly of the kids workbench. Cut the front legs from 2×2’s and the stretchers from 1×4’s. Attach the stretchers with 1-1/4″ pocket hole screws. The stretchers should be 3/8″ inset and centered on the width of the legs. Drill vertical pocket holes in the top front stretcher for attaching the top. Secure the front bottom stretcher 5-1/4″ up from the bottom.
Now use four 13-1/2″side rails to connect the front assembly and back assembly. Line the side rails up with the stretchers on assemblies. The top rails should have vertical pocket holes for attaching the top.
Cut the back top stretcher to fit between the side rails flush with the back legs. Attach it into the side rails with 1-1/4″ pocket hole screws.
Preparing for the Workbench Shelf
Using pieces of 3/4″ x 3/4″ stock cut shelf cleats to support the shelf. Secure the shelf cleats with glue and brad nails flush with bottom rails and stretchers.
Use wood pocket hole plugs to fill the exposed pocket holes in the side rails. Apply glue and seat them in the pocket hole.
After the glue is dry, come back and cut them flush with a flush trim saw or sand them flush.
Installing the Kids Workbench Top and Shelf
From 1/2″ MDF, cut a shelf to 27″ x 15″. Cut 3/8″ square notches in each corner to account for the legs.
From 3/4″ MDF, cut a top to 32″ x 16″. Round the corners then roundover the top and bottom edges that will be exposed.
Roundover all sharp edges and sand everything to 150 or 220 grit and then finish with waterbased polyurethane. Install the pegboard with 3/4″ pocket screws through the holes and into the cleats. Install the top with 1-1/4″ pocket screws. Drop the shelf into place, no need to secure with screws.
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