One Hour Workbench

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Introduction: One Hour Workbench

About: I am a self taught woodworker, and I learned everything I know from watching YouTube videos. I enjoy it so much I started my own channel. Go check out Jonny Builds and please subscribe! I make a wide range of …

Build a simple workbench in just 1 hour!

Supplies:

Tools Needed:

Circular Saw

Drill

Speed Square

Clamps

Materials Needed:

(Qty. 5) 2”x4”x8’ boards

(Qty. 2) 2’x4’ 3/4 inch MDF Project Panels(1 Box) 2 1/2” screws

(1 Box) 1 1/4 inch screws

(Optional) 4 inch casters

Cut List:

1. Legs = (8) 2x4’s cut 28 1/4 inch long (Legs for a 34 inch tall bench) note if you skip using casters add 5 inches to the leg height 33 1/4”

2. Frame long sides = (4) 2x4’s cut 42 inches long

3. Cross members = (6) 2x4’s cut 15 inches long

4. Workbench top = 2’x4’ MDF project panel uncut

5. Lower shelf = MDF project panel cut to 42” x 18”

Step 1: Cut the Legs

Using a circular saw cut the 8 boards needed to make the legs by cutting the 2x4’s to 28 1/4 inch long. Cut to 33 1/4 inches if you are not adding casters. (Note - 4 inches casters add about 5 inches total height)

Step 2: Build the Frames

Cut 2x4’s into (4) boards at 42 inches long for the sides of the upper and lower frames.

Cut 2x4’s into (6) boards at 15 inches long for the cross members of the upper and lower frames.


Using a speed square to ensure the pieces stay 90 degrees to one another attach the 15 inch cross member to the end of the 42 inch side driving in two 2 1/2 inch screws through the 42 inch side into the cross member.

Attach another 15 inch cross member to the opposite end of the 42 inch side board again ensuring it stays square as you drive in the screws.

Attach another 42 inch side board to the opposite ends of the cross members. You should not have a box shape where the long sides cover the ends of the short sides.

Measure in 21 inches and attach another 15 inch cross member to the middle of the frame driving in 2 1/2 inch screws on each side.

Repeat these steps for the second frame that is identical to the first.

Step 3: Build Legs

Line up the 28 1/4 inch boards parallel to one another so the face of one board is attached to the side of the other in an L shape.

Drive in (3) 2 1/2 inch screws spaced evenly along this length.

Step 4: Assemble

Lay a MDF project panel on the ground to use as a flat reference surface.

Lay one of the frames you just constructed on top of the MDF panel. With the long sides of the legs on the short ends stand up the legs and brace them around each corner of the workbench.

Attach the legs to the first frame and attach with (2) 2/12 inch screws on each side of each leg drilling into the frame.

Remove the frame and (4) leg assembly you just made and lay out the second frame on top of the MDF panel.

Flip the leg and frame assembly over so the legs slot in around the edges of the second frame. Attach with 2 1/2 inch screws of each side of each leg.

Step 5: Attach MDF Panels

Attach the full size 2’x4’ 3/4 inch MDF project panel to the top of the workbench frame with a 1 1/2 inch overhang on all sides with 1 1/4 inch screws drilling down into the frame. (Option to pre-drill these holes for a cleaner finish)

Using a circular saw cut the 2nd 3/4 inch MDF panel down to 42 inches by 18 inches to fit on the lower shelf. (Its a good idea to measure before you cut in case you lower shelf is a bit off)

Attach to the frame with 1 1/4 inch screws.

Step 6: Attach Casters & Finish

I used 4 inch double locking casters for my workbench and attached them with 1 inch lag screws.

I sealed the MDF with Total Boat Halcyon Varnish (optional)

You’re all done, and it should have taken you about an hour or less! If you have questions or comments please reach out to: jonnybuildsstuff@gmail.com

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    20 Comments

    0
    Karmudjun
    Karmudjun

    10 hours ago

    NIce build, and I've read the comments so I'll chime in and agree:
    - Seal all mdf you plan on using for a while - faces and edges - prior to assembly.
    - Glue all joints as you screw them together, the rolling table will be subjected to torquing and jarring loads. It just makes the build more secure depending upon the glue.
    - I'd go with two fixed wheels and two locking casters - I find that gives me more stability.
    - A Caveat: Deck Screws or more solid wood screws are definitely required, not sheet rock screws which are readily available but don't have the strength for such a build.

    Marvelous Instructable. It would be a little low for my comfort, but would be better than my current rubbermaid cart I sometimes use for assembly with a piece of plywood across it. Mine is 32" and while it makes assembly easier, it is a pain on the back. I really should build something in the 38" range - and I'll remember your build when I do!

    Great job.

    0
    veritas3
    veritas3

    10 hours ago on Step 3

    It makes so much sense to form the legs around the frame so they automatically fit! Thanks for this tip. I love this design, and as soon as I have room for another workbench, this is what I'll build. I have a heavy, metal, mid-century A/V cart on casters, and this design reminds me of that minimal mid-century design. So, when I build mine, I will probably paint the legs and lower frame one of those mid-century shades of green or teal. You know, IKEA may just steal this design from you...

    0
    qoqhj9943
    qoqhj9943

    11 hours ago

    All the screws in the upper and lower frame are fixing into end-grain, a no-no in joinery. If the If the legs are then fitted with the wide side to the long side of the bench all the
    fixing scews will be into end-grain and the joints will work loose.. By having the
    wide side of the legs to the end of the bench at least some screws will
    be biting into cross-grain, a much preferable solution.

    0
    Mschreib13
    Mschreib13

    12 hours ago

    Great Ible for a great workbench. How about counter-sinking the screws on the work surface to avoid damage to future projects using the workbench?
    The use of glue in addition to the screws might add a bit more strength. Of course, this would add time to the build.

    0
    miketrif
    miketrif

    1 day ago

    I really like how simple and straightforward this one is. I’ll definitely give it a try!
    BUT... anyone else notice that in the instructions it says “ With the long sides of the legs on the short ends stand up the legs and brace them around each corner of the workbench”. The animated picture shows it this way, but in the photo he has the legs going the opposite way.
    I wonder if one way is gives more support than the other??

    0
    MartyJ1
    MartyJ1

    Reply 1 day ago

    Yes! The plans are wrong, as they illustrate only screws into endgrain of the cross-pieces to hold it plumb. Ignore the drawing in the plans, and do it as he does it in the video, screwing through the leg into the cross-pieces.

    0
    riseupnow
    riseupnow

    1 day ago on Step 6

    This is a great easy to build design!

    My recommendation would be to use a plywood working surface.

    2 reasons

    MDF absorbed any liquids and swells

    MDF heats up with friction. If you’re doing something like fast sanding and you drag your knuckles you’ll burn them.

    Take care

    0
    mystic.one.1953
    mystic.one.1953

    1 day ago

    I would add the varnish to both sides of the shelf parts before assembly. It will give you a lot better stability and less likelihood of warping.

    1
    cstogner
    cstogner

    Question 1 day ago

    Nice looking mobile workbench!
    Would it be better to use plywood for the top because it will be damaged (sacrificial) over time and need to be replaced? Also, MDF fends to dull saw blades much faster than plywood. Perhaps you did not plan to ever cut into the top.

    0
    mystic.one.1953
    mystic.one.1953

    Answer 1 day ago

    I agree on the plywood shelf parts but I would not use them sacraficially.

    2
    MartyJ1
    MartyJ1

    Tip 1 day ago

    Nice build, and a robust design and construction. But you cannot cut 484 inches of pieces from 5 two-by-fours. Start with at least six boards and allow for knot-waste. Also, without the shelf and top, as illustrated the front and back sides are held to the yellow cross-pieces only by screws into endgrain. This would be vulnerable to skewing collapse. I suggest twisting the legs so the longer edge can screw through to yellow. I notice you actually built it this way, but the plans are different.

    1
    MoeK
    MoeK

    1 day ago

    I have something similar, using old Ikea tabletops. I made 2 which allows for an 8 foot long table when coupled or a 4" by 4' table when necessary. A plywood top would be more durable. cutting the pieces for the tops is best done by the cutting services at home depot and such. The cut pieces fit in the car more readily.

    3
    alanizd1
    alanizd1

    1 day ago

    This is very clear and helpful. Just one question on step 3 the first sentence. Shouldn't it say perpendicular and not parallel when lining up the two pieces of the legs? Thanks!

    1
    ziqfriq.
    ziqfriq.

    1 day ago

    I need a workbench, and this looks like it will fit the bill. I think it's going to take me longer than an hour, though. Also, I'd like it to be the right height to use as an outfeed table for my table saw, making the height calculations a little more complicated. Ideally, with some height adjustment, since my attic floor isn't perfectly level. Maybe leveling feet to lift it off the castors? That may be a good idea for general use, though castor brakes should work fine too.

    0
    ToolboxGuy
    ToolboxGuy

    1 day ago

    Nice work! I may have done one step differently. I think I would have cut (and mounted) the bottom shelf before adding the legs. Guarantees a fit, and no fighting to trim it afterwards.

    2
    jim_henry
    jim_henry

    1 day ago

    Very slick. Nice video. I have a makeshift workbench that has needed updating, and your Instructable gave me the nudge to do it. Thank you.

    0
    elgordo42
    elgordo42

    Question 1 day ago

    Looks great!
    But I'm not seeing links for the casters or the varnish. Help?

    1
    sailorstout
    sailorstout

    1 day ago on Step 6

    This is just what I need to set up my garage on a budget. Thank you!

    0
    MB873USA
    MB873USA

    3 days ago on Step 6

    Awesome Bench. Looking to Create One for MYSELF!