When I first viewed the house the upstairs back room was just screaming out to be made in to a workshop for my electronics hobby ... although in the end I had to settle for workshop/guest room being as the house isn't solely mine. Anyway, with that back room now fully decorated I was keen to get a workbench of some kind in there. The space I had to work with was as follows:
I spent quite a bit of time drawing up various designs for a bench although all of them based around the concept of a work top that sweeps from deep to, erm, not-deep. I wanted the bench top to be similar height to a kitchen worktop, somewhere around 90cm high, so that I can either stand or sit at the bench depending what I'm doing. I also wanted plenty of room for storage of boxes and the like. In the end I was veering towards a design that would have a kitchen worktop fixed to the wall with supporting legs along the front and then probably a couple of shelves mounted to the wall. That said though I wasn't particularly keen to drill in to the freshly plastered and painted walls I'd had to shell out for a month beforehand. Possibly some kind of free standing bench then?
As it happened I had a moment of inspiration at IKEA (while shopping for some house tat). I was wandering through the maze of furniture (the first bit in IKEA before the restaurant and emporium of crockery) and happened upon the IVAR range of shelving. It's a fairly plain and simple pine shelving system ... quite reasonably priced ... but most importantly comes in two depths ... 30cm and 50cm. In the time it took me to negotiate my way through the IKEA marketplace and in to the warehouse I had the finished design in my head and picked up a trolly and went hunting in the isles for the bits of IVAR that I needed.
The following day I put the IVAR shelves up (as IKEA intended) to see if my design will still be plausible. This is what it looked like:
With the basic frame in place it was time to get hacking ... and I can only apologise to Ingvar Kamprad for what I did to his IVAR shelves ...
The final task was then to add the shelf (which ties the two units together) and add a 'bridging' piece of shelf in the middle to create one long work top. This bridging piece was just an IVAR shelf that I chopped down and sculpted a curve in to. With that all done and with a few accessories thrown in the bench ends up looking like this:
So in the end I'm quite happy with the resulting workbench. It's fairly sturdy, I didn't have to trash the walls to put it in and I've got enough room to work and store things. Here's a final picture of the workbench 'in use':