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DIY Workbench

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Happy 2014 readers! This year has gone by so quickly I can’t believe it. I graduated last December and didn’t even know how to use a circular saw…and now guess what?! My husband is in his last semester of school so he is starting to organize his garage and asked if I could build him a workbench. : D hahaha I think that is way too cool. So while he organized his mess of a space I went to my shop and built him what he asked for. Check it out.

It’s 2′ deep, 6′ long, and a little over 3′ tall. There is also 1 1/2″ overhang on the top on all sides so he can utilize clamps.
Here is a photo of the back….

In case you want to build your own, it took me 7 2x4s and 1 sheet of 3/4″ plywood to build it. 

I wish y’all knew Cody so y’all would understand just how much of a compliment it is that he asked me to build him something. I swear the boy was born with a tool in his hand and came out yelling “Horsepower!” There isn’t anything I’ve done that he couldn’t if he wanted to. It just so happens that Cody likes to work on/build things with a motor instead of woodworking and now it seems, I have proven myself capable to start taking on things he needs/wants in the wood department. : D Yay me!

Alrighty, so lets get to those steps.

Cody wanted a workbench that was tall enough that he could stand and work on it if he wanted to, or sit down and work on it. Then he wanted the bottom shelf only a 1′ deep so it wouldn’t be in his way when he was sitting and working.

1) The first thing I did was cut the legs. Since he wanted the bench to be 39″ tall, and I knew I would be putting a 3/4″ top on, I grabbed some 2x4s and cut four lengths of 38 1/4″

2) Then I cut the boards that would connect the legs. I made these 21″ long so the bench would be a total of 24″ deep. Once they were all cut, I then made two pockets on each board using my Kreg Pocket Jig.

3) Next I screwed them in place. I made the top boards flush with the legs, then the bottom 1′ from the ground.

Note: If you do not have the Kreg system then just go in from the side but be careful not to split the wood. I would advise drilling a pilot hole first.

4) Now that those were done, I cut four lengths of 69″. Again, I got that number since I wanted it 72″ total, I subtracted the width of the 2x4s on each end (which is 1 1/2″ each). Then put pocket holes in each end.

WilkerDon’t: Since these 2x4s line up with the side 2x4s, the Kreg pockets line up with each other as well, which means if I were to screw into these pockets, it would run straight into the other screws. (Pictured below) Eh. I wish I would’ve remembered this and I could have offset the pockets. Oh well, learn from my lesson.

5) Since I couldn’t use my pockets, I just drill straight in with 2 1/2″ nails.

Note: Only three of the long 2x4s go up against the legs. Remember that the fourth needs to be set back so it will create that 1′ shelf. For some reason I didn’t get a photo with all four boards on, so look at the next photo for a visual.

6) To add support, I cut three lengths of 18″ and used my Kreg to attach them. I spaced them out 17 1/4″.

Note: When building things, don’t be afraid to put the unit on it’s back or side to allow you to get in a position to use your drill better.

7) Next I used my circular saw to cut out two pieces of 3/4 plywood for the top and that bottom shelf. To make an 1 1/2″ hang over on all sides for the top I cut it to 24″ x 75″.

8) Since I wanted to use my Kreg to attach the top I went through and drilled my pockets.

Note: My workbench in the above photo is resting on it’s top…what will be the work surface. So after I drilled my pocket holes (I put one in each section), I moved my 3/4″ plywood under it, then drilled downward into it.

9) To make life easy I measured out 1 1/2″ on each side and drew a few lines, then I just lined up each 2×4 to those lines then started putting screws in my pockets.

10) While the unit was still on it’s top, I went ahead and drilled the pockets for the shelf. I drilled about 8 total on this shelf.

11) Then I just used clamps to hold the plywood in place while I went around and put screws in these pockets.

Flip her over and see what you got!

Well I’ll be….: )

So the workbench is great as is, but with the legs only being made from 2x4s you can still shake it kinda easily. Cody suggested adding braces to the back to sturdy it up some more and eliminate almost all of this so I added two boards to brace up the back.

12) I actually grabbed some scrap 2×4 boards from my scrap pile (so I wouldn’t have to cut up a new one) and held the board up where I wanted it to go then made a mark on each side (the left and right edge of the board). I did this on both the top and bottom, then used a straight edge to connect them. This gave me the angle that I needed to cut for the board to be flush.
I’m sure there is some handy trick on how to figure out the angle needed, but I don’t know it so this is the way I went about it.

13) Once I had one board cut, I traced the two ends on another scrap 2×4 and cut it. Then I used two 2″ screws to put them in place.

Moved it into his garage and called it a day.

This project was very simple. If you need a workbench then I definitely recommend trying to build your own. Home Depot does sale a pre-made fold out workbench for $70 but for about $35 and a little bit of your time, you can make your own that will be more sturdy and the size you want.

I used 3/4″ redoak plywood for the tops on this one only because I found sheets for $15 each, but you could use something less expensive like MDF.

I have plans for lots of other garage space saving/organization builds to help Cody’s space along so be sure to subscribe if you are interested in seeing them!

Total Time: 4 hrs
Total Cost: $34

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