Introduction: Hand Tools-only Workbench Out of Reclaimed Wood
Hello, and welcome to yet another workbench instructable. I made this workbench to suit my particular needs-a very sturdy workbench with enough room to store all I need to finish a scroll saw project, with storage space. For this project, I made use of a lot of reclaimed 2by4s for the frame. As such, I do not have a full list of what I used to make this. Below are my estimates for materials:
5 64" 2by4s
8 32" 2by4s
4 25" 2by4s
2 23" 1/2 2by4s (Roughly, it'd be wise to cut them at a larger measurement then do fine tuning later on)
A lotta screws
16 3" lag bolts
A sheet of 3/4th inch construction grade plywood from Home Depot.
Step 1: Prepare the 2by4s
Now, assuming you have a bunch of really old 2by4s that have around three to four layers of paint on them, you are going to have to sand those down, after removing the nails and staples first, of course!
Step 2: Prepare the Legs
Now, for this, I really recommend using a miter box and a good cross cut saw. You can either measure the cuts, or set up a fence to make each cut the same as the last. Or be paranoid like me and measure the cuts, while using the fence, and at the same time checking each leg for flatness. You are going to have to cut eight 32" 2by4s. Then, glue up two 2by4s for each one of the legs.
Step 3: Making the Leg Assemblies
Cut four 25" long 2by4s. Put the top support at the top, and the other one, say, four inches above from the bottom. Screw together. These will make it easier to assemble the workbench, while at the same time, providing supports for the bottom shelf and the top.
Step 4: Connect the Sides
Now, cut four 64" (or however long you want your workbench) 2by4s. Screw two along each sides, into the leg supports.
Step 5: Top Trench
Now, for this workbench, I installed a trough to store pencils, drill bits, rulers, hand planes, etc during projects. To make this, measure the inside width of the top frame. Cut your fifth 64" 2by4 to fit inside this-In an ideal world, this should be 61". However, each 2by4 is different, and as such, I strongly recommend doing your own measuring. Place this fifth support right behind the front legs, as shown. Screw it in from the sides. Now, for my trench bottom, I couldn't find a piece that would suit my purpose. As such, I cut a piece of leftover siding to fit in between the two supports. To support this, I put screws in (3 in the front stretcher, two in the back-like this: _ - _ - _) the two front stretchers.
Step 6: Bottom Shelves
Measure whatever plywood you have left. Place it on the bottom two stretchers, and mark where your legs are. Cut out the material for the legs, and slide the leftover plywood into place. Then, make a mark where the plywood shelves end, and cut a 2by4 to fit inside the bottom frame to support your bottom shelves. I didn't have material to make one big shelf, but rather two small shelves on either side. They still come in very handy.
Step 7: Cut the Plywood!
Cut the plywood to whatever measurements you made your bench- in my case, 64" by 25". Screw the top in. If your like me, and had a bit of the top overhanging the trench, take out a jig saw and cut it flush to the shelf sides. Or use a router, if that is available to you.
Step 8: Put the Workbench in Its New Home!
Now, your workbench is done, and all that's left is adding tools, or bench dogs if your do a lot of hand tool work. I recommend getting a vise, or making one. I made my workbench into a dedicated scroll saw station. The inside picture of the workbench is the same day it was built; the cross is the first finished project built on it (I would put these in notes on the picture, but for some reason it isn't working)