How To Build a 2-in-1 Workbench and Bar Top

Add LEDs set in epoxy for a custom, high-tech work surface.

Next Project
Time

Multiple Days

Complexity

Advanced

Cost

More than $1000

Introduction

Butcher block countertops are tough as nails and the perfect choice for a garage workbench. But that doesn’t mean they have to be ordinary. I made this design by routing out a hexagon pattern, laying LED strips in between and covering them with epoxy. Flip­ping that light switch at the end of the day signals that it’s time to put away the tools, sip — and relax.

Tools Required

  • 18-gauge brad nailer
  • Belt sander
  • Caulk gun
  • Chisel
  • Drill
  • Hot Glue Gun
  • Orbital sander
  • Router
  • Table saw

Materials Required

  • 1-qt. measuring container
  • 1/2 x 2' x 2' plywood (melamine)
  • 18-gauge brad nails
  • 22-gauge five-lead cable
  • 3/4” plywood
  • Acrylic plexiglass
  • hot glue
  • LED strip connectors
  • LED strip lights
  • Metallic powder highlight
  • Mixol concentrated tint
  • Oak butcher block countertop
  • Shellac
  • Silicone
  • toggle clamps
  • Two-part deep-pour epoxy

Materials listFamily Handyman

Project step-by-step (16)

Step 1

Materials listFamily Handyman

Start the Hexagon Tiles

To cut the 15 hexagon tiles, you’ll need a jig. I started with a 2-ft. x 2-ft. melamine sled.

I set my table saw fence to 12 inches and made a partial cut into the sled. I attached a fence at a 120 degree angle with a few screws then fastened a pair of toggle clamps to the fence. Then, I cut 8-1/4-in.-wide strips of 3/4-in. plywood into 10-inch pieces until I had 16 parallelograms.

Start the Hexagon TilesFamily Handyman

Step 2

Finish the Hexagon Tiles

For the rest of the cuts, clamp a stop block with a 30 degree angle at one end against the fence 4-5/8-in. away from the saw kerf. Clamp the plywood parallelograms into the jig, cut one side, then rotate and repeat until you’ve got a pile of hexagon tiles.

Finish the Hexagon TilesFamily Handyman