outdoor workbench with tools

Outdoor Workbench

For various reason, I needed a lathe. OK, I wanted a lathe, but let’s not split hairs.

The problem was that I had nowhere to put lathe. Or for that matter, half the tools I already own. I live in a very dense suburb close to the city (Manchester) with very little outdoor space and no garage. I couldn’t build a traditional shed. So I had to do something a bit custom.

I took out some rather sorry flower beds and an old tree from the back yard, and demolished the kids’ wendy house that they had grown out of (which went to a new home on an allotment where it is now much loved by another child, I’m pleased to say). Then I set about installing an outdoor workbench.

This started with a 2.4m by 60cm heavy duty bench from Arbor Garden Solutions. Apart from a bit of a mix-up over leg length, this was a very easy way to fast-forward the build process and didn’t cost much more than the raw materials.

Around this I built a shelter of OSB out of 2.4×1.2m boards, including an angled roof that is clad in felt. The whole project came in at about £300 including screws and some additional pressure treated timber for bits of frame. Oh, and a few bits to secure the doors and roof to at least limit the risk of thefts.

So far it is pretty dry in there and though I am seeing a little bit of surface rust from the moisture, this is being kept at bay with the liberal application of light oils. There’s still work to do on it, to add shelves and hooks and make the roof struts a bit less agricultural. But it has given me a good space for metal work on the DIY EV projects. A proper flat welding station (instead of my old rickety Workmate) makes a huge difference.

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