Easy, Cheap Folding Workbench!




First post!

I was shopping around Home Depot when I came across a workbench they sell. It had a folding design and was basically 2x4's, one 2x6, and an MDF top. It was $79. I looked at it and thought, "I can make that".

So instead of buying it, I went to the lumber and hardware sections and got some supplies.

I also got a tape measure and took some measurements for reference later.

-4x 2"x4"x48"
-pallet wood (thin)
-4 nuts
-4 bolts
-8 washers

-some kind of saw preferably electric for speedy work!
-tape measure
-wood glue (optional)

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Step 1: Table Top Frame

I built cut two 2x4s at 72" to get two pieces that were 72" and two that were 24". These together make the frame.

Step 2: The Legs

For the legs, I sawed 4 2"x4"s at 34". Then I cut the corners into rough triangles, to ease the next part.

Then I clamped all four legs together and sanded the triangle ends round. This will allow them to move later.

Next I cut four pieces to 20" 7/8, glued and screwed them to the legs for support. One near the bottom and one near the middle for each pair of legs.

Step 3: Put the Legs on the Frame

Using some long, thick bolts, washers, and nuts, attach the legs to the workbench.

I put them where I wanted them, clamped them drilled through both with the thickness of the bolts then put on the bolts with the washers and nuts and tightened them and moved to the next one!

Step 4: Table Top

Next I got some pallet wood I had lying around and cut them to 27" and screwed them on top!

Step 5: You're Done!

Now you're done! Either fold it up and put it away or start working on your next project using the workbench!

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    17 Discussions


    6 years ago on Introduction

    I'm confused, how does it not fall over? Surely it needs some cross bracing? The bolts when tightened will give it some rigidity, but it'll be much stronger with either a wood piece/metal bar that attaches the legs to the table @ 45'

    3 replies

    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    You know, I had thought about that too. But with the weight of the table itself and with the bolts pretty tight, the legs hold out quite well! Its actually quite sturdy. If I had a cross bracing it would probably be even more stable, but it seems to be working just fine for me so far. If in the future it feels rickety I will certainly employ some cross bracing of some sort.

    I thought the same thing as tim_n. If you don't want to do cross bracing you could move the bolt holes just a few inches further in so that the legs splay out a bit and make more of a trapezoid rather than a rectangle. I can personally guarantee that you will experience a Yosemite Sam out of body experience when this table folds on you in the middle of a project and a bucket of house paint splashes up on your expensive car because of it.

    Vizors DownCementTruck

    Reply 3 years ago

    I actually pictured this happening and could not stop laughing!!

    Vizors Down

    3 years ago

    I love the way this looks but don't need the fold up legs so I am going to tackle it and just build non folding legs! Great idea that inspired some inspiration for me!! Thanks so much!


    5 years ago

    the way I would brace the legs would be to have the bolt mounted lower. I would then chain a pin at each leg which fits through a separate hole 50mm above the bolt. I've done it on a project a couple of years ago in my old job and it works perfectly, plus you can never lose the pins

    1 reply

    Was wondering the same right at first and then thought of the pins. As I went down the comments and saw yours I thought . . . 'well, ok, somebody else likes that idea too!' Will have to get busy building on of these since I have hurricane panels to 'cut' and line the inside of my open air garage with. Will make the panels a lot easier to work with on the table saw!! Thanks

    The only part of the folding table not done in the picture is the shelf; which acts like a brace. The 2x4 that the shelf sits on is 'notched' so that it BRACES the whole thing. Thanks for posting, we're getting ready to make one too. :) Here is the HD link: http://www.homedepot.com/p/Unbranded-Fold-Out-Wood-Workbench-Common-72-in-Actual-20-0-in-x-72-0-in-WKBNCH72X22/203083493?keyword=wood+workbench+fold Good luck! :)


    5 years ago on Introduction

    This is a great and simple idea, I need a few tables at work and this is a great solution. Thanks for the idea!


    5 years ago on Introduction

    I have been trying to figure how to set up the legs on the bench im working on and while this exact setup would not work as yours is 3 ft longer it provided the inspiration i needed for a successful project thanks!


    5 years ago

    One thing I have found with a fold up work bench like this is that I never have a messy workbench! After every project or use I would be forced to clean up and put it away, due to limited space. Helps keep a shop neat!


    5 years ago

    The legs don't lock in place with any mechanism. I used some locking nuts and tightened them very tight. It can be a bit wobbly for heavier work such as sawing or planing, but as a generic, cheap, and portable workbench it still holds its own.

    As for the casters, I have thought about putting some on but decided against it since I am still young and didn't want to bother with them. Lol I do think it would be more portable if it had casters on it, and you could very well do that. I just don't want them.


    5 years ago on Step 5

    How do you lock the legs in place. I think that fact is missing.


    5 years ago on Introduction

    A couple of casters on one end would make it easier to move around. (As you get older, you look for ways of not working so hard.) Hahaha.


    6 years ago

    After some use of the table I think some cross bracing would be the best for this design. When I have some more time and money I'll probably put some on the table so it's more stable. I really wanted to keep the design as simple and sleek as possible to have it be easy for transport and/or storage. If I find some steel brackets that fold out and keep the streamline shape I will definitely put them on! Thanks for the suggestion tim n.

    As far as the legs being splayed out: I drilled the holes it the legs with a shim between the legs and the frame to ensure there would be room for the movement the legs would require. What this gave me was slightly splayed out legs. This could have been more stable, if I had cut the feet with slight angles. Since they are straight, though, it's more stable currently when I tighten all the bolts and keep the legs straight.

    Thanks for all the tips and suggestions! I really appreciate it. :)


    6 years ago

    I agree with cement truck. But also take in consideration with splayed out legs the outer aprons will carry some of the load. So it wouldn't hurt to reinforce them with some out side brackets or something. Looks nice though.