How to build a woodworking workbench

Updated February 21, 2017

If you are an avid do-it-yourself homeowner, one piece of equipment you will need is a workbench. Building a solid, sturdy woodworking workbench is a good confidence-building project. Special tools and expensive equipment are not necessary, and only basic carpentry skills are required. Building a basic workbench is a project that can be completed in less than one day with a minimal cost for materials.

Measure and cut the legs, side rails and end rails from 2-by-4 lumber. The four legs measure 32 inches, the four side rails measure 45 inches and the four end rails measure 26 inches.

Measure and cut two 26-by-48 inch pieces from the oriented strand board, or OSB.

Assemble the side frames. Lay two legs, flat and parallel to each other, on a flat surface 48 inches apart. Take one 45-inch side rail, and lay it across one end of the legs so that it is flush with the top and outer edges of the legs. Check to see that the pieces are squared up, and then attach this top rail to each leg with four screws. Lay the bottom rail across the other end of the legs so that it is six inches from the end of the legs. Make sure that the ends of the rail are flush with the outer edges of the legs, and then attach the rail to each leg with four screws. Repeat this process for the other side frame.

Attach the end rails to the side frames. Turn one of the side frames on end with the top rail laying flush on the flat surface and the feet pointing up. Take a 26-inch end rail, turn it on its edge and lay it flush on the flat surface. Hold it against the outside edge of the leg, and align it with the 45-inch side rail. Make sure that the end is flush with the leg's outer edge. Attach it to the leg and side rail with four screws. Take another 26-inch end rail; hold it on its edge against the outer edge of the same leg. Align it with the side rail that is six inches from the leg's end, make it flush with the outer edge of the side rail and attach it with four screws. You now have half of the bench's frame consisting of one side with two end rails attached to it. Repeat this process for the other half of the frame.

Slide the two frame halves together. Make sure that the side and end rails are aligned, clamp them and then attach them together with screws.

Flip the frame over onto its feet. Lay one piece of OSB on the top of the frame. Position it so that it is flush with the outer edges of the frame. Attach it to each corner using four 1 5/8-inch screws.

Measure and cut out a 3-by-5-inch rectangular notch at each corner of the other piece of OSB board. This is the bottom shelf, and the notches allow the shelf to fit flat around the legs. Orient the notch so that the 5-inch side is measured and cut from the long side of the board.

Turn the shelf on an angle, and slide it into place from one end to the other. Position it so that it is flush with the outer edges of the frame. Attach it to the frame, using four 1 5/8-inch screws at each corner.

Things You'll Need

  • Tape measure
  • Pencil
  • 2-by-4 lumber
  • Oriented strand board
  • Circular saw
  • Framing square
  • Drill
  • Deck screws (3-inch and 1 5/8-inch)
  • Clamps
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