How to Build a Workbench

Posted by John on April 16th, 2012

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[ois skin=”In Post Form Plans”]

Happy Monday!  Finally some meat instead of potatoes.  This weekend I started and finished a work bench I had planned earlier.  This table will be the perfect work center for other upcoming projects like our dining room wainscoting and will be a good start to getting our basement organized.  I incorporated a Kreg Klamp Trak for easier pocket holes as well.  Makes joinery much more convenient.  I’m going to try to learn Google SketchUp so I can start posting plans for some project, this work bench being one of them.  I also tried to incorporate some of Ethan’s suggestions from his earlier workbench post.


Here’s how to build a workbench.

1.  I planned to make the overall width 36″ and the height 33.”  I chose a 3″ caster wheel (4″ overall), a 3/4″ melamine top and a 1/2″ plywood sub-top.  That leaves 27 3/4″ for the legs.  I made my legs out of 2x4s and cut all four to length.  To each leg, I added a 12″ long smaller piece of 2×4.  I glued and nailed them together.

2.  The legs were braced together with 2x4s that were glued and joined with pocket screws.  The width of the pieces were determined by subtracting the width of the legs from the overall width of the table and the top overhang (the top melamine piece will overhang the table by 1″ on each side.

3.  The longer side pieces were done the same way.  The overall length of the table is 60″ with the framing length of 58″ (subtract 2″ from 60).  Once the 2×4 legs are subtracted, that leaves 51″ for the side piece lengths.  The bottom shelf length is recessed in by 1 2×4 and I used a 2×4 beneath it to support it while I screwed it in.

4.  The dimensions for ribs for the top and the bottom shelf were measured right off of the frame.  I nailed them into place with a dab of glue for good measure.

5.  With the framing completed, it’s time for the plywood.  The top will get covered with a melamine, but under that I added a 1/2″ thick sheet of plywood.  Since it’s going to be almost completely hidden once the final top is on, I used a lower grade BC plywood, which is cheaper.  Since the bottom shelf is going to be seen, I added AC plywood there.  Both pieces were glued and screwed into place.

6.  Screwed on some caster wheels!!

7.  Time for the top.  The Kreg Klamp is around 34″ long which fits perfectly in on my 36″ wide table top.  Funny thing about this Klamp… I needed special T type bolts to hold it down and I couldn’t find anything that would work.  I ended up using toilet bolts!! They were in a pack I never used and they fit perfectly!!  To attach the melamine top, I just put down a lot of Liquid Nail (which is the only glue I used on this entire project, btw) and then added screws in from below.

8.  Add some corner brackets.  These brackets were fairly inexpensive and will hopefully add some durability.  That’s about it.  Not too hard.

Just to be on the safe side, I’ve added some clamps to really keep the melamine top squeezed down until the glue cures.  I’ll pop those off after 24 hours.

Can’t wait to start piling crap onto that bottom shelf and using this table for some projects!  How was your weekend?  Get anything done?

Posted in Carpentry,DIY Projects,Garage and Tools. Tagged in ,, ,

  • It looks great! We had a lot of dinners/lunches this weekend, but no projects…

    • John_OHFScratch

      I love dinners/lunches!

  • Kristen

    It looks wonderful and it seems like it didn't take you too long to build! I'm always so impressed with these projects!

    • John_OHFScratch

      Thanks Kristen!

  • Ohhhh mannnn… Dallas is going to be jealous…

  • racwalt1

    bookmarked! We need one of these.

  • I'd suggest this to the husband…but I'm sure it would take priority over things like the bed frame I want or the outdoor table I want. It looks really handy and pretty straight forward.

    I keep meaning to tell Nate to read your blog. Because he's actually a big part of our blog (when he's not an accounting zombie) but I think he thinks blogland is all girls. I'll fill him in this week-end.

    • John_OHFScratch

      Excellent. I won't tell him about this post if you don't want me to. Don't want to mess up your priorities.

  • John, what a great tutorial. I just stumbled across your site from MerryPad. Nice to find another DIY addict 😉

    • John_OHFScratch

      Thanks Brittany! It's only an addiction if you goto meetings.

  • Greg

    What Kreg Jig is that?

  • sjburdick

    Great looking very simple work bench, just what I’ve been looking for. My question is do you have deminsional plans for this work bench?

    • John @ OHFS

      Thanks. Yes. The plans include dimensions. You need to provide your email in the box above to gain access to the plans.