Best material for workbench back.?

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Old 10-14-16, 06:05 PM
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Best material for workbench back.?

I have a workbench whose top is 2 ft x 4ft x 1.5 inch plywood. We are rearranging our basement and moving it from against a masonry wall to against drywall. The drywall is attached to metal studs. There is drywall on both sides of the studs so they are not directly accessible.

I want to hang tools above the bench. I had a rack that was mounted on the masonry but now with the drywall I'm thinking a better solution is to add a solid back to the workbench and mount a pegboard/rack it. To my novice mind the simple thing to do is to use a 4x4 sheet of plywood and attach it to the workbench. Are there any other materials I should consider?

I'm thinking that it would be difficult to anchor anything that will support tools onto the drywall, since I've read that metal studs they do not bear weight was well as wood, and I don't think the drywall by itself will provide enough support. It seems simpler just to add a back to the workbench. But I'm welcome to suggestions since I am far from an expert in this area - any advice? Thanks in advance!
 
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Old 10-14-16, 08:09 PM
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Attaching a 4x4 piece of plywood to the back of the workbench will work fine. It needs to be attached to your bench framing, not just to the top. Then attach it to the wall into the studs. Most of your weight will be vertical anyway and the metal studs will do fine.
 
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Old 10-14-16, 08:10 PM
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If you want pegboard, there is really no need to start with plywood. Just build a frame, cover it with pegboard, and mount it to the bench. I suggest the vertical parts of the frame go all the way to the floor to transfer the weight of the tools to solid footing. Screw them into the back of the bench and add two or three horizontal pieces between the two uprights, and then cover with pegboard.
 
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Old 10-14-16, 08:15 PM
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Here's a link to some very strong drywall anchors I use for heavy items:
WingIts World's Strongest Fastener Standard (6-Anchors)-RC-MAW35-6 - The Home Depot

You should purchase the special bit to install them. They are rated at 300 pounds in all directions.
I would attach the rack to the top or back of the bench, then secure it to the wall with the anchors.
 
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Old 10-14-16, 08:19 PM
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Consider using slat wall instead of pegboard. Screw it right over the drywall to the studs.
 
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Old 10-15-16, 04:57 AM
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I like having peg board behind the bench, I also like having it raised up about 6" both so the tools don't rest on the bench and there is a place for the electrical receptacles.
 
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Old 10-15-16, 05:38 AM
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I have peg board in my shop and hate it. I would go for a slat wall like you see in some stores. I have the 1/4 inch peg board to hold heaver tools and the pegs still pull out and board warps. Board set on 16 inch centers.
 
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Old 10-15-16, 06:00 AM
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Other than an occasional hook coming out I've not had any issues with my 1/4" peg board. I did spray a coat of varnish on both sides before I nailed it up 20+ yrs ago.
 
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Old 10-17-16, 10:05 AM
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Thanks everyone for the replies. A lot of great info and guidance! From this input I've decided to modify my approach and glean ideas from several of you.

I am going to create a frame from a couple of 2x4s connected to the workbench legs, with a couple of cross sections added. The top will be about 7' off the ground.

For more stability, I will anchor the top to the drywall, since the frame should be bearing the tool weight and not the wall.

I like the idea of leaving a gap between the pegboard and workbench top, and will give that a try. I'll also look into the slatboard idea of the pegboard proves problematic.

The nice thing about starting out like this - if it doesn't work, I'm not out much, and I can always find another use for the wood.

Thanks much!
 
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Old 10-22-16, 07:29 PM
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The finished project

I should have taken pics before I started loading on the tools, but I was too excited to think about taking pics until now . After more research I added furring strips to the 2x4s (top, bottom, sides, and one in middle) and attached the pegboard to them to have additional usable pegboard space. I also mounted the pegboard higher to leave more space between it and the benchtop, for more flexibility.

Also, the single rack that was formerly mounted to masonry I decided to mount on the bottom 2/x4, under the pegboard, to provide more tool hanging space.

Thanks again for all of the advice!
 
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