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How to build a hobby workbench: step-by-step

build a hobby workbench

A well-organised workbench makes any hobby more productive and more fun. Out step-by-step guide shows how to build a hobby workbench.

This table combines three elements and is therefore ideal for any hobby that needs a well-organized workplace: a height-adjustable substructure, a robust work surface and a practical magnetic wall with order elements.

Acacia wood is hard and robust, but can be easily machined with normal tools. The ideal material for a hobby and work table,which is regularly worked on. Whether for model builders, stamp collectors or electric craftsmen: this easy DIY design to build a hobby workbench provides the necessary basic equipment.

The table is always well illuminated with two integrated light elements.The magnetic wall can be attached to what otherwise takes up space on the work surface, but still always keeps an eye on it. If necessary, a power connection can be shut down and there are flexibly placeable order helpers such as pin boxes or a tablet PC holder.

We also attached great importance to the design: the fronts of the drawers close flush with the table body. There are no disturbing supersedes or handles, only finger holes for the drawers. Wood tine connections round off the noble look. These are technically demanding, but look beautiful.

Special highlight: A glass plate embedded in the worktop simultaneously makes the desk a showcase. You can effectively stage pieces of your hobby in the drawer or you can always keep an eye on what else is stored in it.

Find more great project guides and designs

Build a hobby workbench: what you need


  • Glued wood panels Acacia solid 2200 x 600 x 18 / 2200 x 500 x 18 / 800 x 400 x 18 / 800 x 200 x 18 mm
  • MDF plate raw 1200 x 1000 x 19 mm
  • Frame wood 45 x 26 mm, 3 lfm
  • Spruce smooth edge board planed 1200 x 118 x 18 mm
  • Rectangular strip pine 1200 x 40 x 13 mm
  • Glass/plexiglass plate 8 mm thick
  • 3 x perforated sheet steel galvanized 1000 x 400 mm
  • Rotary console / turntable 95 x 70 mm
  • Wooden screws 3 x 35 / 3.5 x 16, 50 / 4.5 x 40 / 4 x 70 mm
  • Screw hook 3 x 30 / 3 x 20 mm
  • Screws half-round head 4 x 20 mm
  • Flat dowel size 0
  • Sanding paper 120
  • Wood oil (Osmo Topoil)
  • Acrylic lacquer black 2in1 (Alpina)
  • 2 x wooden folding buck
  • LED Sticks 4 x 40 cm (set of 4 by Ritos)
  • Downlight Alu-LED (Paulmann Micro Line)
  • Wooden stain (Clou “Aqua”)
  • Wood glue
  • Drawers partial extension 50 cm (stabilit)
  • Cable outlet 60 mm (Stabilit)
  • Pop-Up Socket (Kopp)
  • Cable duct 15 x 15 mm
  • Styrofoam plate

Tool: measuring tape, angular iron, steel ruler, match size, HW folding cutter 31.7 mm, cut-off 16 mm, hammer, wood hammer, wood file, fine saw / Japan saw, hole saw 60 / 100 mm, Forstner drill 35 mm, wood drill 2 / 3.5 / 4 / 8, grinding block, forcing, screwdriver, combi pliers, lacquer brush, lacquer roll, lacquer

Machine tools: crosscut saw, jigsaw, cordless drill/ top cutter, eccentric grinder, immersive saw (here from Festool), flat dowel cutter (here by Dewalt)

Total cost:approx. 430 Euro

Difficulty level: Experts

Effort:12 hours

Building a hobby work table: construction in detail

The work surface of 160 x 70 centimetres offers enough space to spread with his hobby or during office work. The right drawer can also be slightly lower than 50 centimetres, the left one still has to leave room for the retractable socket at the back.

The slots are fitted with screw-in hooks at the back and can be hung anywhere on the hole wall.

The slots are fitted with screw-in hooks at the back and can be hung anywhere on the hole wall.

Build a hobby workbench : Preparing the parts

A hand-held circular saw with guide rail is ideal for precisely cutting the components made of acacia wood. The large parts can also be prepared with millimetre precision in the DIY store.

Professional Tip: To give you enough space to work the table top, you can use a work bench – on which the table body will also stand later – as an additional support surface. Laying timbers provide free space when working with the stitch or hand-held circular saw.

To ensure that nothing slips, you should fix the workpieces with one or two clamps. Thin bases prevent pressure points in the wood.Hobby desk construction: body parts

Step 1/7: Measure and saw the wood

Measure, mark and saw the worktop, bottom and side parts first. Tip: Use the styrofoam as the underlay.

Step 2/7: Saw side and middle parts

Cut the body sides and middle parts. You can use the hand-held circular saw or a crosscut saw.

Step 3/7: Sanding edges and sealing edges

Step 4/7: Cutout for glass plate

Measure and mark the cutout for the glass plate above the drawer – here 26 cm wide and 40 cm long.

Step 5/7: Saw out the visible box cutout

Saw out the visible box cutout with the hand-held circular saw. Don’t quite go into the corners, otherwise there will be an over-cut.

Step 6/7: Saw out corners

The corners, which have been omitted with the hand-held circular saw, can then be sawed out exactly with the jigsaw.

Step 7/7: Enough space to saw

A backing on the work table provides free space when sawing or they always let one side protrude beyond the edge of the table.Next

2. Build a hobby workbench: table top with a view

One of the highlights is the built-in viewing window in the worktop. In order for the glass plate to be inserted flush, a fold must be milled into the edge of the cut-out.

We have provided the top cutter with a folding cutter with a diameter of 31.7 mm. The folding depth is variable by replacing the ball bearing.Hobby desk construction: viewing window

Step 1/6: Sanding edges

The cutting edges of the visible box cut – especially at the transition points from circle to jigsaw – are sanded smooth .

Step 2/6: Milling out the rebate

In order for the glass plate to be inserted flush, a rebate must be milled out. The edges of the rebate result in the exact dimension of the glass plate at the end. The width of the rebate milling must therefore be taken into account in the previous cut-out in the plate.

Step 3/6: Measuring corners

You have to measure and mark the square corners for the glass insert afterwards, as only round cutting is possible with the milling machine.

Step 4/6: Chisel out corners

Use a sharp chisel to cut the corners. Always cut out small pieces, then the result becomes precise.

Step 5/6: Sanding edges

Sand the sharp edges a little with a sanding block and fine sanding paper with 180 grain.

Step 6/6: Wood finish

At the end, treat the milled and ground area with dark finish.

3. Enlarge the worktop

The panels we bought in the hardware store are only 60 centimetres wide and therefore need to be widened a bit so that you have a nicely large work surface at the end.

Step 1/3: Mark position for dowels

In order to reach the depth of 70 centimeters, it is necessary to piece in. Mark the positions for the dowels on both parts.

Step 2/3: Milling dowel slots

With flat dowels and glue, the connection holds together tightly without screws. The slots are made with the flat dowel cutter.

Step 3/3: clamp and let dry

Clamp the two parts firmly and let the glue dry overnight. The fitting is not noticeable with a glued wood plate.

4. Dovetail connection with tines

The connection of the body parts by means of dovetail tines looks very beautiful visually, but is also somewhat demanding in terms of craftsmanship. It is necessary to measure and work precisely. If you do this for the first time, you might want to practice on two boards beforehand.

After the preliminary work, measuring and sawing, emotional work is once again required when cutting out the tines. A very sharp chisel is a must here.

Step 1/9: Marking the length of the tines

At our table, only the visible body sides are provided with finger tines. First, mark the length of the tines in material thickness parallel to the edge.

Step 2/9: Calculate grid

You must calculate the grid for the tines beforehand. The easiest way to do this is to show the board width on a checkered paper. The marking of one side serves as a template for the counterpart.

Step 3/9: Sawing longitudinal sections

The longitudinal sections for the finger tines are sawn first. For this purpose, it is best to use a fine saw or Japan saw, so that a very fine cut with little material removal is achieved.

Step 4/9: Working out tines

With a sharpened chisel, preferably in the width of the tines, and a wooden hammer, the tines are pierced.

Step 5/9: Clamp the workpiece

Be sure to clamp the workpiece on the worktable between two softwood boards so that nothing slips.

Step 6/9: Work out gradually

Take out the first little piece from the side after giving a few blows to the chisel from above.

Step 7/9: removing for tines

This is how you proceed step by step and gradually cut a few millimeters out of the wood. An underlay board is very important so that the last piece can be sharply pierced.

Step 8/9: Rework tines

With a fine file, you can rework the individual tines a little bit if it is necessary.

Step 9/9: Glue

Put glue between the zinc compounds, then clamp right angles.

5. Build a hobby workbench: assembling body

The body is assembled without screws, only with wooden dowels and glue. This looks very classy in the end and also holds together bomb-proof.Hobby desk construction: table body

Step 1/6: Draw position for dowels

Measure and indicate the positions for the plugs on all components. Auxiliary boards make alignment easier.

Step 2/6: Cutting notches for dowels

Mill the notches with the flat dowel cutter. You can also force a board on the surface as a stop for the cutter.

Step 3/6: Glue and clamp

Apply glue to the connecting points and clamp the worktop with the outer and back sides.

Step 4/6: Insert middle parts

In the middle sides also press the flat dowels with glue, apply wood glue to the entire length and insert the parts.

Step 5/6: Clamp

In addition to the vertical clamps, you should set a clamp horizontally on the center elements.

Step 6/6: Mount the body floor

The body floor is set up at the end. Here you proceed in the same way as with the worktop – glue in and clamp.

6. Cable holes

Two holes in the worktop are sawn for a cable passage and a retractable socket. You can insert the hole saw directly into the drill. With a diameter of 10 cm, it costs about 10 euros.Building a hobby desk: sawing holes

Step 1/2: Mark holes and saw out

Select the position for the two holes on the worktop. Behind the drawer, space is needed for 15 to 20 centimetres. Then saw out with two hole saws of 60 and 100 mm.

Step 2/2: Sand edges

The edges of the hole cut-outs are sanded at the top and bottom with sanding paper of the grit 120. The preparations for cable passage and socket are finished.

7. Build a hobby workbench: drawer construction

The left drawer must not be lower than 50 centimeters, so that the pop-up socket and, if necessary, cable and power supply can be accommodated for a laptop.Hobby desk construction: drawer

Step 1/6: Measure

Determine the drawer size. For the front, measure against the outer edges, for the body at the inner edges.

Step 2/6: Handle hole and dowel notches

Provide the drawer front with a handle hole (35 mm) and mill the dowel notches on the remaining parts.

Step 3/6: Screw the floor

The bottom of the drawer is additionally screwed. For the 3.5 x 50 mm screws, you should pre-drill with a 2 mm drill.

Step 4/6: Sanding, staining and gluing fronts

The fronts are glued with flat dowels after the edges are sanded and the cutting surfaces are stained.

Step 5/6: Clamp

Like the body, the drawers are fixed tightly with clamps until the glue is completely cured.

Step 6/6: Assemble drawer rails

Install rails (3.5 x 16 mm screws). Leave a few millimetres apart from the ground in the body (underlay woods).

8. Build a hobby workbench: power supply

The cable passage is for devices such as a note book. The pop-up socket can be used if required. This way, power tools can be connected directly to the table.Hobby desk construction: power supply

Step 1/3: Use pop-up socket

The pop-up socket and the cable outlet are simply plugged into the holes. At the bottom of the body, of course, a hole for the cables has to be set.

Step 2/3: Cable passage

The cable passage with 60 mm permeser costs about five euros in the simple version in black plastic. Made of stainless steel of the same size, the part costs about 10 euros.

Step 3/3: Retractable socket

Kopp’s retractable socket costs about 45 euros. It is equipped with a Schuko connector with the maximum connection power of 3,500 watts and two USB ports.Next

9. Organisation helpers

To keep the table free for work or crafting, small shelves, containers and boxes create additional space for tools, pens, tablet PCs and much more.Hobby desk construction: order helper

Step 1/2: Storage shelf

The right-angled shelf is very easy to make: Simply glue two board residues, for example from the cutout of the worktop, at right angles.

Step 2/2: Pen box

The parts for the pen box are also glued together bluntly. With metal hooks on the back, the police assistants are later hooked into the perforated sheet wall.Next

10. Perforated sheet metal wall with light

The perforated sheet metal wall makes the table perfect for any kind of manual work: it holds magnets, in addition a light is integrated and you can place odrnung elements anywhere.

The LED sticks cost about $35 in a set of 4. They are mounted behind the aperture and consume only 5 watts

Step 1/10: Mount cantilevered woods on the back panel

The MDF rear wall is provided with cantilevered timbers on which the perforated sheet is mounted. Pre-drill the MDF for the woods.

Step 2/10: Screw the glare strip

Screw the glare strip, which is later mounted on the top of the rear panel, with 3 x 35 mm screws.

Step 3/10: Paint back panel parts

Paint the back wall parts. Use a primer and varnish or, as here, resort to a 2-in-1 acrylic lacquer.

Step 4/10: Lamp swivel arm

Round the edges of the lamp swivel arm and bite darkly. Then assemble the luminaire and cable duct.

Step 5/10: Rotary console

Now the rotary console is used.

Step 6/10: Mount the rotary console

Draw the position of the rotary console on the aperture, pre-drill and attach with 4 x 20 mm semicircular head screws.

Step 7/10: Cable passage

Drill a cable outlet right next to the rotary console with an 8 mm drill. The cable later runs behind the perforated plate.

Step 8/10: Install the back panel

Mount the back panel to the wall and attach the rear-wall lid with 4 x 70 mm screws at the top.

Step 9/10: Screw on perforated sheet

Attach the perforated plate to the frame woods with semi-circular head screws of the size 4 x 20 mm.

Step 10/10: Attach LED sticks

The LED sticks are clipped into small plastic holders that are screwed behind the aperture. The cable is hidden behind the sheet metal.

Gerhardt Richter is a writer and a trainer at trade technical colleges, specializing in carpentry, plumbing and construction.

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