[These plans were developed before my discovery of the Kreg Jig, these plans don't require the purchase of any specialty equipment]
One can easily construct a work bench for $25 with the following:
7/16" OSB (4'x8')
2 1/2" Coarse Thread Drywall Screws
Wood Glue (Optional)
Note: How much wood do you need? See the next step to design your own.
Countersinking drill bit
Miter saw (Optional)
Nail gun (Optional)
Step 1: Size
1: My regular workbench. This is a tall, sturdy workbench that I use on the regular. Although I just have my miter saw below, its great for stacking boxes or storage totes. I've used this bench as a step stool to work on the ceiling and it felt very stable the whole time.
2: Light-weight cart. It's only light-weight because of the cheap wheels. I use this piece to do some light moving and also set recently painted or stained items on it so I can wheel them outside to dry. The design is some-what reversed than the other two. This is not finished on the bottom; I didn't put the bottom shelf because this thing is always moving. Note: The width and depth are 20", but because of the design the cart is actually a rectangle. Think about this when designing your own bench if you have specific needs.
3. Our finished product. The bottom shelf is dropped to the bottom of the legs (unlike the bench in #1) because it will have wheels. The bottom shelf is short because I used a scrap piece of wood that was just that length (I'm trying to make good use of my wood).
Step 2: Cut Materials
Here are my dimensions for the cart:
We're only cutting the 2x4s right now. We'll measure and cut the OSB after the frame is assembled.
Step 3: Assemble Frame
Assemble the side-rails and legs. The air-compressed nail gun makes this much easier. Put a single nail in each corner so the frame can still be adjusted for square.
Measure diagonally and adjust until both measurements equal.
Drill pilot holes and countersink holes to prevent wood splitting. When the wood splits it will eventually cause the bench to weaken and fail.
Step 4: Assemble Frame (pt 2)
If you want a reinforced bench-top and/or shelf, extra support can be easily added.
Step 5: Secure OSB
Be sure to counter-sink the screws so nothings gets snagged while you're working.
Step 6: Get to Work
I attached some wheels from Harbor Freight and now my ShopVac and air compressor have a portable home. These workbenches are easy to make without expensive specialty equipment and are strong enough to hold an elephant!