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I'm building a workbench for my garage that folds up against the wall. The workbench will be 13 feet wide and 3 feet deep. Both ends of the workbench will be supported directly. The back of the workbench will be supported by the hinges that connect it to the wall. I plan on using a support header to bear the weight of the front across the full 13 feet. I was thinking of using a double 2x6 header for this, but I'd like some validation that this will support the weight. I don't plan on having the workbench hold anything extremely heavy but it should easily be able to hold a 12" miter saw and a full project's worth of wood simultaneously. Any thoughts on how verify that my header will support this?

Update: Per the suggestions from @Jack, here is what I've come up with: enter image description here

It has the dual 2x6 header to support the 13 foot span. It uses a cleat beneath the hinge edge so that the loaded weight is supported by the wall instead of the hinges. The hinges (shown in blue) are placed underneath the 3/4" MDF bench top. This way the top is all smooth and the MDF can be replaced without dismantling the full bench. Please let me know if you see problems with this design. I'm thinking I'll use this hinge.

  • That's a folding shelf, not a workbench. A 3' workbench needs about 20 2x4's laminated with threaded rod. That's a workbench ;) – Mazura Jul 6 '16 at 4:34
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    The double 2x6 would be ok out on the edge but what is the top made of? if it was 1/2" plywood with no supports other than the front anything heavy would cause the top to sag or even break. – Ed Beal Jul 6 '16 at 13:07
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As long as it is not a V8 engine block it should do fine. If you hammer anything on the surface, stay near the legs, toward the center you will feel the slight springiness. It will not let anything you are driving with the hammer, like wood chisels for example, will not perform like they should. That particular task may even be a bit unsafe over the span.

Use a cleat on the back edge at the wall so the hinges do no supporting when the top is down as a work surface

Workbench

I added a sketch to help understand the cleat I wrote about.

  • Thank you @Jack. Can you point me to such a "cleat"? – nic Jul 6 '16 at 4:01
  • It is just a 2X4 or 2X6 secured to the wall after the bench is done and hinges are holding the edge of the work surface to the wall. place the 2X under the top so the 2X that is added holds the edge that the hinges now hold. Secure it to the wall. – Jack Jul 6 '16 at 4:06
  • thank you. Any ideas about putting the hinge beneath the MDF work bench surface? I can notch the 2x4s accordingly, but then the MDF will be on the inside of the hinge. – nic Jul 6 '16 at 21:11
  • It would take a custom hinge to do that unless the top is configured differently and the MDF top is no thicker than 1/4" – Jack Jul 6 '16 at 21:32

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