Let’s get right to it. Here are the final dimensions:
Length: 7’ Depth: 22 1/8” (which includes a 3/4” split) Height: 33 1/4”
It fits me quite well, but I got lucky. I knew I needed to design the workbench around the primary user (me), but I had no idea how to do that. I hoped to find someone who was roughly my height (6’2”) and copy what they had done. After all, imitation is how we being the learning process.
What follows is how I settled on each of the key dimensions (length, depth, and height).
In my research about workbenches, I came across this article. Among the many things I gleaned was this:
I’ve made tops that are 8′ long. My next bench will be a 10-footer, the maximum that will fit in my shop. It is difficult to make or imagine a workbench that is too long.
I didn’t want to be caught with a measly 6’ foot bench and an 8’ project. So I measured my garage width, and estimated the available floor space along the garage’s length. I figured I could only fit a 7 foot bench. Oh well, it’s longer than 6. Looking back on it, I’m glad I only went with 7’. If I went with something much longer it might negate the benefits of the knockdown feature. I added the extra length to the middle of the bench, between the legs. That was an easy decision, because this random internet commenter asked a question I didn’t even know to ask!
The depth was a little trickier because I decided to do a split top. Any change I made the to the top would cascade through the rest of the bench. I was also limited by the final width of the 2x12s. Because of this, I decided to make the leg stretchers after milling the 2 top boards. All I knew was that I wanted it around 22 inches.
I read somewhere that Chris Schwarz is about 6’3”, so it was easy to just leave the bench the same height as it was in the plans. I figured that if I needed it to be taller, I could add plinths. If it were too tall, I could shorten the legs.
If I knew then what I know now…
I would’ve sized it based on the information in this video.