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I am in the process of building a combination workbench / assembly table for my shop. The basic construction of the bench is 2x6 & 2x4 framing with a double layer of 3/4" plywood for a top and a tempered hardboard work surface.

My plan is to install two drawers that will hold a variety of items including screws and fastening hardware, handtools and a variety of other items. Given the size of the drawers and how quickly the weight can add up, I would like for the drawers to be strong and heavy duty enough to support the load without sagging or failure - though at the same time economical to construct (thus no fancy drawer slides or hardware).

Each drawer will be 30-3/4" wide by 42" deep and 5-1/2" tall. The drawers will be accessible from each side of the workbench and will pull out about 20 inches with the remainder of the unextended drawer supporting the extended section (thus allowing half of the items to be accessible from one side and the other half of the items from the other side of the workbench).

The drawers will rest on a full depth support ("A" in the photo) and my plan is to install 1/32" thick "Slick Tape" on the top of each support and/or on the bottom of the sides of the drawer. There is a full depth 2x6 along the top of each side of the drawers to prevent the drawer from tipping and dropping when extended (with enough clearance to remove any swelling & expansion concerns).

I would appreciate recommendations on the drawer construction and supports.

What would be the best material for the fronts of the drawers, the sides, the drawer bottom, and for the drawer supports ("A" in the photo)? Also what type of construction / joinery would be best, and what type of additional supports would you recommend.

I have searched around online but due to the drawer size and the weight of the contents, as well as the use (nothing fancy is needed, just adequate long-term functioning) I wanted to get the insight of anyone here.

Thank you in advance.
 

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Theo
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Once those drawers are full they will likely be quite heavy. If it was me I'd make more drawers, maybe about 12" wide, be a lot easier to slide than the large drawer. Or, I'd make them a bit narrower even, so they would be light enough to pull completely out, to be able to go thru them while on the top. Me, I'd make them out of plywood, and since I don't like metal in my projects I'd glue them, perhaps with glue blocks inside. Be interesting to learn what you finally come up with.
 

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I am in the process of building a combination workbench / assembly table for my shop. The basic construction of the bench is 2x6 & 2x4 framing with a double layer of 3/4" plywood for a top and a tempered hardboard work surface.

My plan is to install two drawers that will hold a variety of items including screws and fastening hardware, handtools and a variety of other items. Given the size of the drawers and how quickly the weight can add up, I would like for the drawers to be strong and heavy duty enough to support the load without sagging or failure - though at the same time economical to construct (thus no fancy drawer slides or hardware).

Each drawer will be 30-3/4" wide by 42" deep and 5-1/2" tall. The drawers will be accessible from each side of the workbench and will pull out about 20 inches with the remainder of the unextended drawer supporting the extended section (thus allowing half of the items to be accessible from one side and the other half of the items from the other side of the workbench).

The drawers will rest on a full depth support ("A" in the photo) and my plan is to install 1/32" thick "Slick Tape" on the top of each support and/or on the bottom of the sides of the drawer. There is a full depth 2x6 along the top of each side of the drawers to prevent the drawer from tipping and dropping when extended (with enough clearance to remove any swelling & expansion concerns).

I would appreciate recommendations on the drawer construction and supports.

What would be the best material for the fronts of the drawers, the sides, the drawer bottom, and for the drawer supports ("A" in the photo)? Also what type of construction / joinery would be best, and what type of additional supports would you recommend.

I have searched around online but due to the drawer size and the weight of the contents, as well as the use (nothing fancy is needed, just adequate long-term functioning) I wanted to get the insight of anyone here.

Thank you in advance.
Art I agree with Theo on the drawers. It looks like you have got the makings of a nice workbench. Like Theo, I would like to see more of this bench as you progress.
 

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Add one more recommendation to make the drawers smaller, and more of 'em. Make a drawer that big, and you won't be able to find anything in there anyway.
 
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Art, I would recommend making 4 drawers (2 for each side) using 1/2" plywood through out, with ball bearing (100 lb) full extension slides. You will never regret it. Also use High Point Slide Screws from Woodcraft.
 

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Our local Woodcraft store had a "couldn't pass up" sale on hard maple tops so I wound up with a top and no workbench. For expediency, I bought one of the Kreg bench frames and am now in the process of building storage underneath. With 40" between the inside faces of the angle iron legs, I was going to make (2) full depth drawers, accessible from either side of the bench - and I believe that @MT Stringer built his latest bench like that. After sketching it up, I felt that 18" wide (+/-, depending on how I built the supports) by 28" deep might give me too heavy of a drawer once it was loaded up, so current thinking is (3) drawers at 12"+ wide, the thought being that I could always have a loose "leg" that could be propped under the outer end of the drawer if I was using two hands to sort the contents. As I plan to put a half-depth drawer unit on top, the plan is to make up T-section runners running on top of the angle stringers of the bench - these would both separate the drawers and act as support for the bottom of the cabinet above - current thought is to make them out of lengths of 2x6 with a plywood strip attached underneath to act as the runner for the drawer. The drawer boxes will be made of 3/4" plywood, probably with tongue & rabbet joints in the corners, and I was thinking that just gluing and screwing a piece of 1/2" plywood on the bottom would be good. I like the idea of "Slick Strip" on the runners, although I would probably just rip some thin maple strips, attach them to the bottom of the box and wax them, and put the plastic only on the runners. Will be interested on how yours turns out, maybe I can get some more ideas from what you do.
 

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Mike
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If you are dead set on the large drawers that run all the way thru the table then I would suggest making support runners with rollers, could be shop made from hard wood, so the drawers move easily. You also need an upper rail to hold the drawer to hold the drawer when extended, it won't need as many rollers as the bottom support. I would also use 3/4" plywood for the drawer construction.
 

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Hey, Art; coming along nicely!
Speaking for myself (and I'm guessing a few more of us geezers) bending over and lifting stuff isn't getting any easier. Too many guys/gals in the 'Golden Years' suffer from chronic back problems...you don't want to go there (so I'm told). My spine is/are about the only joints on my frame that don't hurt...yet.
 

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I think your depth is okay but you may find that too wide. The pull through design is fine too except remember to put runners both above and below the drawer sides. That way the top runner will hold them up when extended half way and probably even a bit more. I use a strip of counter top laminate on my runners and sometimes also on the bottoms of the drawer sides. The HPL is fairly slippery and wears very well and waxing them will make them more slippery.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I appreciate the wealth of information and it has helped immensely. I have been involved in a few other projects so haven't had the opportunity to go any further on the workbench, but my plan is to utilize my greatly enhanced knowledge (of which the forum played a key part) and further evaluate my specific needs, then build a combination of smaller and larger drawers (with slides of some sort). My quick and simple, one-size-fits-all idea just isn't up to the standards I would like to live with and I plan on the unit being around for a long time. Thank you for the many ideas and I am looking forward to putting it to use.
 

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You can keep heaps of stuff in a deep drawer. That's the problem, keeping stuff heaped up in a deep drawer. Soon you have tangles of cables you have to dig through. So I'm for shallower drawers. Instead of a 24 inch deep drawer, make one 15 inches deep, the other 9. Or at least put a couple of rails in and put a sliding box across them. You have part of the drawer that's deep, the sliding box for smaller items. If you need the full depth, it's there.
 
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