When we recently moved into our new house, something in the garage was missing. Our old home had a work bench built in the early 50's in the garage and it was wonderful. The perfect size, location and had a sincere level of rustic charm mixed with heavy duty work on it. It didn't hurt that I spilled significant quantities of brake fluid all over doing a bleed either. It gave it an authentic look.

But the new house didn't have one. Which put me in the situation of a.) I needed a place to put tools. Having to traipse all over the garage to find something was getting old in a rush. And b.) I didn't want to spend a whole lot of money. I noticed store bought benches for about $100, I needed to be way less than that. Plus, DIY is so much better than just slapping some kit together. My goal was to build something that was sturdy, size-able and somewhat flexible in terms of where things go. Here is what I came up with.

I've been looking for plans for work benches for a while. This is a culmination of the things that I liked mapped to my size. For a project, it is probably the most simple thing that you can do. Total time, while watching 2 kids and having the battery die on my drill half way through the project was about 4 hours. Aside from splinters, no injuries occurred.

Speaking of injuries, measure twice, cut once, keep your hands out of saw blades, wear eye and ear protection, don't eat after 8pm if you want to lose weight. I'm not liable if any bad things happen as a result of following these plans.

Step 1: Get Your Lumber

Like I mentioned, I wanted to do this on the cheap. While I don't recommend stealing lumber from anywhere, if you're that kind of person, karma will get to you at some point and I'm not worried about it.

If you are a little more honest, wait for a hot day and take a cold case of Gatorade (or beer) over to your local residential construction site and see if you can barter your way into the scrap pile. This is what I did and the guys were more than willing to lend me a hand. I calculated what I would need before I went to the site as I didn't want to appear greedy. Just taking what I need to build my bench.

I got a sheet of plywood, a couple of scrap 4x4's and a few 2x4's. I would have preferred 2x6's, but beggars can't be choosers. My bench is 6' wide by 2 1/2' deep and 38" high. You might be saying that 38" sounds like a fairly unusual number but it is the length of the shortest 4x4 that I was able to get, so 38" worked out well. I think that I originally wanted 39 or 40 inches, but to save a bunch of money, I gave up 2 inches.

As for tools, be sure that you have a couple of good saws (mitre & circular) and a good drill. A carpenters pencil and a t-square are sure handy too. Now that I write this, it is probably safe to say that if you have those tools, you probably don't need an instructable, but hey, I've already started.
Love the bench, But you can eat after 8 if you want and still loose weight. Not eating causes the body to react to scarcity and it will store calories as fat, but eating smaller meals of whole foods through out the day from waking till sleep will keep the metabolism stoked and burn more calories allowing for weight loss. ;)
<p>wow. it's like i knew this before, but i always forget. thanks for reminding me and being completely random.</p>
Hey guys, just finished mine with my dad today. Followed our own plans, but yours was the inspiration to do the project. Its pretty sturdy, the most expensive part was screws and peg board. Very pleased with the results. <br> <br>What do you guys think? <br>
LOL epic title!
May sound like a dumb question but how do you attach the top of the work bench surface? I see some have holes drilled from the top but I am using a butcher block type top and don't want to see holes on the top side that I am going to be working from... Would drilling and using screws from the bottom work and if so how does it screw in since it's not going to have supports in the middle?? <br> <br>IE: when drilling from the top down you can go into the side pieces of the frame.. from the bottom up you would have to drill a hole in the side all the way UP to the bottom of the work top surface, no? <br> <br>Thanks, <br>-Nigel
Inspired by your posting, I built my own work bench and I just thought I would take a moment to share it with you and anyone who might be interested in seeing it. Thanks a lot for setting me on the path!
Love it. Great work and that amp with the pedals and the chair make for a great side track during long term projects.
This only works if you have a level floor (which my garage certainly does not). Be sure to check first!
Hopefully you would have already done that before cutting your legs =p<br/>
Instead of drawers, I would buy a couple of plastic bins with a fitting drawer size. Then you build a little shelving unit by adding 2 2x4 legs and as many cross beams and shelve as you want drawers. Now stick your stuff in the bins and place the bins on the shelves. <br><br>I like having it that way for 2 reason:<br><br>1) cleaning purposes: it is easy to take a bin out and wash it. I like my stuff clean and spider free. <br><br>2) It is practical to be able to pull the bin and bring it with you say, in the garden cause you have a project and will need hardware or in the living room, ect.
Thanks so much! My roommate and I just busted one out in two hours and it's super sturdy!
Ronny, glad you guys liked the plan and were able to build a bench. It is great to hear that 3-years later people are still using this plan.<br><br>Thanks for the comment.
Actually, scientists have worked out that it doesn't matter what time you eat, its just that people who eat late at night tend to also each a lot throughout the day as well, which is the real reason for them being fat.
pretty cool. thanks for making the 'ible :D<br />
Thanks for the plan Schnaars. I built pretty much to your plan. I just moved into a house and found some 6x6's. Used those as legs and 2x4's as braces. Very quick to build, even with both my batteries dying for my cordless tools. Gonna lag it to the wall and add some braces under the top surface. Thanks again.
Awesome Instructible. I moved out of my parent's house, a month ago, and I'm definitely missing my dad's work bench. I might try this on the week-end, wish me luck! <br/><br/>Btw, if you're looking for a good source for Rare earth magnets try DX... They're slow (3 weeks for delivery,) but they're very cheap <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.dealextreme.com/products.dx/category.1105">http://www.dealextreme.com/products.dx/category.1105</a><br/>
Also, I love those plastic resin shelving units, I've already got 3 sets, and will probably get more. They're really useful!
Thanks Schnaars, I built my bench more or less from your plan and it works perfect and its strong. I used 90/90cm legs and the rest 45/100cm 7mm screws cause that was the best available size at the store. I also added extra 3 beams (pic shows 1) up top to support the bench top and strengthen the bench. sorry don,t have a finished pic... but you get the picture thanks again.
After hunting around the 'net for workbench construction ideas, I came across your instructable. I used it as a jumping off point for my own. Thanks!
Thank you schnaars, thanks to your instructable I have biult my own work bench today. I changed the joining order a bit and also size. I picked up about one ton of this second hand hardwood for $50 from a garage sale. Used 4x2s for the legs and 4x1 for the rest. built it to my sheet of ply so its 2400mm long and 850mm deep leaving 350mm deep for the lower shelf. Im panning a backing board now and also a second one of these on caster wheels. Thanks for the instructable :)
the 4x4's and that design should be very sturdy,a couple of 2x4 supports underneath, lag bolt it to the wall, and you could hammer on it.
I didn't think about bolting it to the wall. I may put casters on it so that I can move it around, though with all that stuff already on it, it is pretty stationary at this point.
Great tip on making friends with they guys at local construction sites.
Thanks, Eric. And thank you and your team for building such a great site allowing people like me to get the word out.
"step 4 Check Your Shelf, Before You Wreck Your Shelf" hee hee hee. nice tutorial
I enjoyed your instructable. I have a similar set up I made back in '90. I think I found the plans for it out of some DIY book. It still serves me well today. That workbench is rock solid! You bought the pegboard at OSH? As in Orchard Supply Hardware? That's a great hardware company. I'm on the east coast now and miss the terribly. You can get everything at OSH - or they'll tell you where to get it!
Thanks, Phil. That is the exact OSH. It is a great little store, but only being a mile from my house can get kind of dangerous.

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