Introduction: Make a Cheap Fold-down Workbench

Picture of Make a Cheap Fold-down Workbench

If you don't have much room in your work space and don't need a bench all the time then this is the perfect solution. The bench is designed to fold down and only sticks out about 100mm on the wall when stowed. Of course all dimensions are customisable to your needs!

You don't need much in the way of woodworking skills for this either - you just need know how to nail and screw things together.

NOTE: if you going to make this type of bench make sure your floor and walls are reasonably level, straight and square to each other or you won't be able to swing the legs out evenly.

Step 1: Select Your Wall

Picture of Select Your Wall

This is the wall on which I placed my bench. Fortunately for me the wall was plywood over a timber stud frame, though it shouldn't really matter what type of wall you have as long as you have the right fixings for it.

Step 2: Build the Legs

Picture of Build the Legs

Firstly, build your 'legs'. I just used some cheap 2x4 from the hardware store as well as some offcuts I had lying around. The nail plates are probably optional in hindsight, as you can just skew nail the timber together and the join will be just as strong. I only used the plates on one side here and skew nailed the rear.

Things to watch out for:
1) Make sure the gap at the top of each 'leg' is big enough to accommodate your wall fixing (in my case it was a length of 2x6 timber upon which I hung the bench). The area I mean is shown by the green arrows.
2) Make sure the legs are less than half the width of the bench you have so that they will fold in without obstruction. It's important they're about 4" shorter than half the width of the bench so they've got space to fold out and still be under the bench (not beside it).
3) Also make sure that the width of each 'leg' is of course not more then the depth of your bench or they will stick out the front.

Step 3: Attach the Bench

Picture of Attach the Bench

I used a spare piece of bench from our recent kitchen renovation. You can usually pick up some offcuts cheap or free if you ask a kitchen installer or keep an eye out around the neighbourhood for someone throwing one out. Alternatively some decent chipboard from the hardware is not expensive.

You can see below how it all went together. I used a large piece of 2x6 to hold the bench to the wall. This needs to be strong as it will bear the weight of the bench when folded down. Also a good idea to attach it firmly. This one is attached to studs in the wall behind the plywood.

Same goes for the legs - make sure they're firmly attached. These are also screwed into a stud inside the wall.

You can see where I skew nailed the rear of the legs in this picture. 

I used gate hinges as this will spend most of it's life hanging down and I want it to be well supported. Perhaps this was overkill...

Step 4:

Picture of

This is the completed product. In my case the width apart  that I positioned the legs was determined by the location of the wall studs.

I might add some 'tabs' to the side of the bench at the front in the future just to make sure the legs don't splay out and allow the bench to drop, but they're pretty solid for now and don't move.

All in all this project cost me about £15 as I already had the benchtop. Even if you purchased this I can't see it costing you more than £50 for the entire thing.


jpmarth (author)2017-11-20

Nice! I like how you planned the legs to fold between the wall mounted blocks. Gives me some ideas for my folding workbench.

Twobits (author)2012-01-17

I was changing my shop around and I had a 8 ft counter top that I was not using any more. I had a place I could use it but it would be in the way of my fold down ladder to my loft, so I had the same ideal. I purchased a pre made 4 shelf wood bracket from Menards and cut it in two and ran a brace from the lower support to the upper bracket

shaunelse (author)Twobits2017-04-12

I aimed for your design!! Awesome

shaunelse made it! (author)2017-04-12

Thanks for the inspration!!

lookitsash made it! (author)2016-07-27

I made a very similar design for my garage. I adjusted mine though so the legs were floating and served as supports for the table, instead of touching the ground. You can read more about it on my blog post I also beveled my table top edges for a real nice finish

THolz (author)2016-01-07

My daughter was looking for just this sort of bench for her small garage. Thanks for the info.

edel (author)2014-10-06

awesome, this is exactly what I was looking for. I need a sewing bench in my tiny tiny living room, I might go to the secondhand furniture shop today and see if I can find a top.

robrider made it! (author)2014-07-25

Thanks for this. Great design, simple and sturdy. I also added stops on the bottom of table top to prevent the legs from going out past the table. The table top was taken from a friend who had redone their kitchen and was about to throw it out.

subashchandran (author)2014-06-28

great idea.. made one for my slider miter saw..

emerson42 (author)2013-06-23

Had to make modifications to fit my needs, so the legs overlap, requiring a spacer on one side to push it out. I added stops to keep the legs from going out on the side as well as door stops to pad the top onto the legs and keep them from sliding.

Reigncloud (author)emerson422013-09-11

Amazing work! I love the extra touches like the door stops. You did a great job.

manishrkp (author)2012-11-28

Outstanding, I have seen many folding tables but this is one of the best, thanks for sharing...

tonysg (author)2012-11-21

This is great! I wanted to do something like that for my work area. Went to the Web and found one. It costs around $300! Then, I look for something here that worked like the one I saw and here we go. I will be constructing one.

katekat (author)2012-07-01

like that, space is rare :)

Mar HK (author)2012-01-03

This is great! I was thinking the other day of how to fit a work bench in my garage and still have room for the bicycles when it wasn't in use. This will do nicely.

blinkizod (author)2010-10-19

Great idea. greetings from Guatemala!!

profpat (author)2010-10-08

nice! very easy one to build!

i did one a long time ago using and old tool shed door with the legs on the sides of the door/table.

darknet7 (author)2010-10-04


rimar2000 (author)2010-10-04


kathmonkey (author)2010-10-04

Brilliant idea. I'll definitely be doing this in my new (and small) place.

Also, yay for english money, I'm always having to convert the currencies on this site :D

Spokehedz (author)2010-10-04

Reminds me of the kitchen tables in the older homes that would fold up onto the wall. very fancy. My issue is that I keep all kind of stuff on the bench, and i woulden't be able to ever put it back down! HAHA!

woodNfish (author)2010-10-04

You can buy a used or damaged solid core door to use as a bench top. They are heavy and work very well and are relatively inexpensive. Often the damage is only on one side, or on an edge. Home supply centers and lumber yards will carry them.

Buzzinski (author)2010-10-03

Excellent idea. I have been trying to do something like this for a while to instal an outdoor BBQ table that folds away. I will use marine ply (waterproof) for the top beacuse it will be exposed to tropical rainfall (Townsville north Queensland Australia). Thinking of setting it at the same height as my gas BBQ so it will be a serving table. Nice idea, clean and simple. Well done. I might have to make this my first Ible Project.

eastriver (author)2010-10-03

Very Good Design , Space saver, good job

bob202 (author)2010-10-03

so simple it is SCARY! GOOD DESIGN!

rikkiesix (author)2010-10-03

I love this bench.
Great idea !!!!
Greetings from Belgium

psyoper22 (author)2010-10-01

awesome design, i've been browsing for a good idea. this one seems to be the least amount of labor, materials, and time needed to complete the project...

great job!

vonKaos (author)2010-09-30

The benchtop I has was very short in width and half of it wasn't sufficient to firmly maintain the bench in placewhen at work. So I put a holder doble sized and folder the legs one over the other. It worked very well to me!

blkhawk (author)2010-09-30

Great idea!

InvaderDig (author)2010-09-29

Great design. I've been tinkering with a similar design, but with two sets of legs; one set to do what you have here, a work bench, and a second fold away set of legs to turn the work bench into a drafting table.

rimar2000 (author)2010-09-29

Very good design!

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