Experienced amateur craftsmen and do-it-yourself carpenters know that a functional shop or work space includes a good work surface on which to complete projects. Just about any project in which you fix, build or design demands a steady work bench. A good solid workbench can help you stay organised throughout the project. It can also make your project a safer, more enjoyable and worthwhile experience. Fortunately, you can build a wooden work bench quickly and with very little expense.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- 7 studs, 2"x4"x8'
- 2 posts, 4"x4"x8'
- Plywood sheet, 3/4"x2'x 8'
- 3-inch drywall screws
- Power screwdriver
Measure four studs and cut them to 8-foot lengths to form the sides. Most 8-foot studs are accurately cut, so you may not have to cut yours at all. Measure to make sure and trim to 8-feet only if needed. These pieces will be the top and bottom of your work bench frame.Measure and cut four studs to 22 inches for the short ends of the bench, two for the top and two for the bottom.
Cut the 4-inch by 4-inch posts to the height you want the workbench (typically 36 inches). To ensure overall stability of your workbench, make sure to cut the ends square. The ends of the posts will help form the top of the bench on which the plywood will sit.
For the top of the workbench, have a local lumberyard cut the 3/4-inch plywood to specification. A typical size is 2-feet by 8-feet. You can also cut the plywood yourself, using a circular saw.
Assemble your bench. Place two of the 4-inch by 4-inch posts on the floor about 8 feet apart and position one of the 8-foot studs on top of them, about 4 inches from one end. Screw the stud to the post legs with both ends of the stud flush with the sides of the post legs. Repeat this with the other two post legs and the remaining 8-foot stud.
Stand the two sides of the bench you just assembled and hold them, parallel and about two feet apart (you may need a friend to help hold). Next, take one of the 22-inch studs and screw it to the tops of the two post legs to form the shorter side of the bench. Again, you'll want these pieces to be flush with the tops of the post legs for a nice snug fit when it comes time to fasten the plywood top. Repeat this procedure on the other side.
Take the remaining 22-inch studs and screw them securely to the bottom of the bench, overlapping the ends of the 8-foot studs already in place. Once this is done you should be looking at a table without a top.
Carefully position the 3/4-inch plywood on the top of your frame and secure it by driving screws through the top surface, directly into the tops of the bench legs as well as into the studs that form the top of your frame. For added stability, you can cut a piece of wood to place between the long sides of the top of your frame, in the middle of the 8-foot span. Fasten this by driving screws through the sides of the studs into the bracing piece.
Tips and warnings
- If using power tools exercise extreme caution. Use proper eye and ear protection at all times.