I made my work bench from components I got at Home Depot: two kitchen cabinet sections and a Formica countertop piece. It's about 6' long, and 3 feet wide (whatever a countertop is). There are drawers for things on one side, and a large storage compartment on the other side. Whichever cabinet components suit your needs best.
For small parts, I have some stackable racks that hold plastic multi-compartment containers.
Hi Kelly - I use a combination of recycled furniture and new purchases.
My work table is the old wooden kitchen table 3 by 5 feet my parents bought in 1951, with a masonite top on it that is replaced as it gets damaged. It's butted at right angle with an old table with masonite top and foldout legs. Amazingly, built over 30 years apart, the two are exactly the same height. And I just replaced my old office chair when the stuffing started to fall out (it was sawdust stuffing!) with a new wheeled pneumatic chair with arms! Great for rolling round on the basement floor between my airbrush work centre and the workbench. The wood table has a drawer where I keep my steel rulers, gauges, mini screwdrivers, and other small tools. At the left end of the table, I have a recycled heat vent fan to draw away fumes when I'm gluing.
I have installed a one foot shelf about 16 inches above the table, in front of me, upon which I have several storage chests with 24 plastic trays each. In the trays are detail parts, chalks, weathering brushes, electrical toggles and supplies, qtips, I have my mini clamps on or clampled to the edge of this shelf, in varying forms of attachment. My jigs are hanging on nails above this shelf. I have boxes with adhesives, etc. on this shelf as well. There is an old adjustable lamp with a 2-2ft flourescent tubes that I have over the table to work with.
Everything else is stored on several recycled bookcases which have about 5 shelves each - kits, boxes of sprues, boxes of paints, spray paint, spare power supplies, wiring, etc. . My screws and such are stored in little watchmaker cases (purchased from Lee Valley Tools) on one of these shelves.
My sheets of styrene and such are stored in a paper bag under one of the larger building kits. Spare balsa, plastic detail, heat shrink tubing, etc are stored loosely together with the kits. Some of the balsa comes in its own plastic bags, which is great cause it also has the measurements on the label.
I use a steel workbench from Sears. It has one large compartment, three shallow drawers and one deep one. Small parts go into parts cabinets with many small drawers about 1 by 3 inches. I too save leftovers from projects but am not too organized about it. Most end up in the large drawer in the workbench.
I got lucky one day at the dump. Somebody had dropped off some sort of over-the-desk rack made up of steel shelves with insert that served as bookends. On the right were two additional small shelves. I use on compartment for styrene scraps/pieces, one for brass, the other for drawings and books/mags I want to keep handy. On the top shelf I keep soldering supplies in one section, small tools such as my NWSL Chopper, bending brake, etc. The others hold projects in progress. Under it, on the back of the bench, I keep my paints on a small plastic lazy susan. Files are stored in a cleaned out food can.
For detail parts I have one of those 24-drawer chests (about a foot square) that you can get through mail order filled with nuts and bolts. A drawer for passenger car details, a drawer for diesel details, a drawer for window castings, etc.
Somehow the bench still gets messy. I haven't figured out how.
My workbench is a cheap computer table I got at Walmart - I think about $30. I put a piece of pegboard on the back for tools. I actually use the pull out keyboard shelf for my work area. It has a shelf at the top for my paints. It rolls out of the way when not on use. For storage I got three rolling cabinets at Staples. They have 4 drawers an are also on rollers.
Kelly, I use an 'L' shaped office desk for building models on. The side board was designed for a computer, but it comes in handy for all my electrical gadgets like resistance soldering station, Dremel etc. For storage of tools and scratch building supplies, I use the bottom roll cabinet made for mechanics. They have a bunch of drawers and a nice top that can be used to hold models being worked on. For paint, I got a micro wave turn table and layered it with 2" blue foam insulation board cut into 4 different sized circles with a hot wire tool and stacked up like a wedding cake. I use it to store all my paint and glue on. Doug