My 2002 Honda Odyssey gains a shelf and workbench

Posted By on July 21, 2015

The weekend project is coming together in the back of the “new to me” low-mile 2002 Honda Odyssey minivan I bought for $3700 from my dad. I wanted a shelf/workbench that can serve a couple of purposes. It doubles the storage use of the area behind the rear seat and enables me to fold all the rear seats down and still haul 4 x 8 foot sheets without removing the seats.

The initial excuse was that I wanted to practice my TIG welding, but the project grew and became a little more creative (still thinking about adding a couple drawers). The width of the bench top is 49-1/2″ with a little edge lip in the banding to protect the sides of the 1/2″ plywood shelf. It disassembles by sliding the shelf/bench top out and lifting the lightweight aluminum self supporting square tubed frame … and doubles as a workbench outside the vehicle. It is my “handyman” vehicle where I can keep tools in the rear well under the shelf and use the top as a workbench under the rear hatch … staying dry and shaded when away from home. I’m sort of thinkig about the occasional projects … maybe when visiting family or perhaps just keep the vehicle in Florida as a work on the boat or condo vehicle?

EDIT – 7/22/2015: Added the non-skid mat from my Honda Pilot … cut to size.



  • can it fold down flat to shove a bunch of things in with the rear bench down?

    • Two options … well three, really:
      1) Flip the second and third row seatbacks down and the height of the new “bench” makes it easy to load 4 x 8 sheets flat on top (without removing seats).
      2) Lift/hinge up (no mechanical hinge tho) the “bench” top and it will add height to the rear seat well all the way to the roof and ….
      3) The “bench top” slides out and 10 pound aluminum support lifts out making a “bench” outside the van in 10 seconds AND then enables the normal Honda Odyssey 3rd row seat fold into the floor well making for a large flat rear space.
      Unfortunately if more “van” space is needed, the rear bucket seats need to be unlatch, removed and stored in the garage. Still … for my day to day use, I like keeping my traveling bags, sleeping bag and tools under the new “bench” and still having a flat 22″ by 48″ cargo area held in place by the 3rd row seatback.

Desultory - des-uhl-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee

  1. lacking in consistency, constancy, or visible order, disconnected; fitful: desultory conversation.
  2. digressing from or unconnected with the main subject; random: a desultory remark.