Picture of 4hr $70 Workbench
IMG_6438 (1).jpg
My friend was given an old workbench in pieces. We had to figure out how to put it back together and in doing so I became intrigued by the simple, strong and easy to construct design. I have determined that I need to remove and invert the engine from my Ninja motorcycle, so I decided I needed a bench of my own. The original had a 6ft wide surface and short backsplash, but I decided I wanted something more compact. This design is extremely sturdy and with some simple checks I was able to keep it square very easily.

My first time I built this very simple design in 4 hours. I think I could get it done in 3 to do it again. I also like that it was entirely cross-cuts and the only tricky bits are the notches, but a $15 Harbor Freight tool made quick work of that.
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Step 1: Materials

Picture of Materials
(6) 2" x 6" x 8'
(1) 2" x 6" x 10'
(4) 1" x 4" x 8'
2 1/2" deck screws
1 5/8" drywall screws

Step 2: Tools

Picture of Tools
Power Tools
- power mitre saw (the lack of sheet lumber means this is your best friend)
- saw capable of plunge cuts (I figured this out later and would have saved me lots of time. this one was $15 from Harbor Freight)
- opt. table saw (this can be used to make the notches, but it is more dangerous, time consuming and will also require chisels)
- drill, and drill/driver (I prefer and impact driver)

Hand Tools
- Square
- Tape measure
- bits for drilling and screws.
- countersink bit (optional, but recommended)
- clamps
- brush
bmohr made it!1 year ago

Thanks for the instructable. I made a modified version -- this is instructables after all! Slightly smaller 22" x 48" and no back. My cost for lumber and screws was about $35.

ssagaji2 months ago
Hi and thank you for this awesome instructable. I'm new to DIY and I have a question about the type of wood used here.. my local hardware store have regular pine and it looks bent and have rounded edges.. i wonder if these characteristics will affect the finished product because I can see from your pictures that your wood looks more "flat" and consistent quality.
jploomis7 months ago

Very nice bench! I am just getting into DIY and am green. I want this bench to be my first project. Can you explain the top reinforcement boards better as I am not understanding them - are those boards notched slightly into the front and back cross pieces, or are they just drilled up into the tabletop?

shoe007 (author)  jploomis7 months ago

Thank you for the comment. I am glad you like it. This is a great project for a first timer. Especially if you can get access to a mitre saw (or power mitre like I have pictured).

I just drilled and screwed those reinforcements into the top. They are in no way structural. It is overkill, but since I was going to coating the top I wanted to limit the flexing movement between the individual 2x6's that form the work surface.

Please let me know if there any other questions I can answer to help you get started.

dbitondo7 months ago
Great project and very clear instructions. I re-adapted the dimensions and it took me 2 days to complete because I had to cut all the wood by hand. I spent £80 of wood. Rock 'n roll!!!
shoe007 (author)  dbitondo7 months ago
Looks great! I especially like the backsplash. Thank you for the kind words.
shoe007 (author) 10 months ago
Very cool rangertough, the one I originally copied was used for smithing/reloading.

Thanks for the 'ible. I'm not very good at building (my adult life was mostly professionally breaking stuff for Uncle Sam) but I can follow simple directions. This was a well designed and more importantly well explained project.

rangertough10 months ago

Needed a multipurpose bench. Mostly for gunsmithing. Modified the the bottom to accomodate my footlockers.

shoe007 (author) 1 year ago
Thank you very much for your comment. I think one could even do a little better than that if one were so inclined. It is much sturdier than the ones at the home store for $300.

I used the longest screws I could for each part. 2 1/2" deck screws for the main support and 1 1/2 - 1 3/4" drywall screws for the bottom shelf. Keep in mind to run them a little short if you are going to countersink them like I did.

Beautiful work!

Very nice..I already have a bench that I built for $100 about 10 years ago but the sweet colors and smaller size make this one I may build for a 2nd bench :) Nice job.

tritus111 year ago

Thanks for the instructable. Nice progression of steps. As a side note if you have the time and can wait a bit. Almost all the lumber you could ever need can be found in contractors dumpsters on the street, right in front of a renovation or new home build. If your really luck they'll have some demolition waste like solid wood doors to use as a table top.

imthegrt11 year ago
Very good bench
I bet u could get 100 for it on cl
Make a little profit
What length screws u use?
fceniceros1 year ago

Great job! I like the simplicity of the design.

shoe007 (author) 1 year ago
Thank you for commenting. The notches are the trickiest and most important, but not that bad. On the front legs the notches are either at the extreme top or on 2x6 off of the bottom. I second the speed square, I use mine a lot, but the other square was closer to hand :).
pfred21 year ago
Those notches look tricky to get in the exact right places. You did a good job. If you ever run across one you might like to have something called a speed square which makes framing cuts a lot easier to do. Don't get one of the cheap little plastic ones though. I have a little speed square, and a big one, and the little one just sits around collecting dust. My Swanson Big 12 gets all the play!