Your shop needs a good workbench. It needs to be rigid so you can trust it to hold any project you are doing. It needs to be big so you have room to work. It needs to be inexpensive so you have more money for tools.
I built this bench for under $45 using all new materials in the spring of 2011. The top is eight feet long and two and a half feet deep. The shelf is full length and one and a half feet deep. The tool ledge is three and a half inches deep.
Note, this Instructable will use the US standards: inches are marked as ", feet are marked as '.
2"x4"x8' (nominal size) 7
4'x8'x3/4" particle board 1
Box 2" exterior wood screws 1
Bottle of wood glue. 1
Saw (hand or power)
Good to have
Countersinking drill bit
Workmate style clamping table
Larger pieces of cardboard
Step 1: Step 1 at the Lumber Yard
The 4'x8' panel can be particle board, MDF, or chip board. I chose particle board as a good compromise of cost and durability. Buy from a lumberyard or big box store that will do free cuts with a panel saw. Have the store cut the panel lengthwise at 30". Panel saws do nice straight cuts if the operator is even minimally competent. Not only will this result in a better cut than you can make with a portable saw, but it will also make the parts lighter to cary and easier to maneuver.