If you’re going to build stuff, you need a good workbench.
After completing my DIY greenhouse from old windows this summer, I decided it was time to finally build a proper workbench. I’ve collected a good array of power and hand tools over the years and (obvious statement coming up…) it’s far easier to work on projects when everything has a place, and the tools are ready to go.
Make Your Own Workbench
This DIY workbench was made using free plans from Shanty2Chic (I love that site!).
- I modified the workbench by adding an upper shelf for tool storage.
- The workbench measures 24″ wide x 33″ tall x 8 feet long.
- The plans worked perfectly so I highly recommend them.
I’ll walk you through how I made the bench and what I’d change if I was making it again.
If you want the materials list, cut, and assembly information, please visit Shanty2Chic. It’s all there.
A Makeshift Work Station/Mess
This is no way to work! As you can see in the BEFORE photo (above), I’ve been using my compound miter saw on a portable workbench, and some of my other tools are stacked on an old stool. I’d rig up various supports when cutting long or wide pieces of wood.
Step One was to build a solid, rolling workbench on locking casters to provide a nice, big work space. Step Two (coming up) will be a rolling miter saw station.
I think everyone who builds their first workbench says, I wish I had a workbench to use while building this workbench! They are so useful.
Cut Wood and Casters For Workbench
The workbench plans require common building lumber: 2x4x8 and 2x6x8 sticks. The top of the workbench as well as the lower shelf can be made from MDF or plywood.
Following the plans, I cut all of the wood first, and then made all the pocket holes (for attaching the pieces together) using my beloved Kreg jig:
The bench legs are formed by attaching 2x4s to 2x6s. The pocket holes make it simple. Self-tapping screws make pilot holes unnecessary. Wood glue ensures a snug fit.
The workbench is formed by creating a frame for the workbench top, a frame for the lower shelf, and then attaching each of them to the legs.
I used 1/2″ plywood instead of MDF board or 3/4″ plywood because it was much less expensive.
The locking casters (wheels) are mounted on wood blocks on the leg bottoms.
I was actually planning to add the tool shelf to the wall above the workbench, but my old plaster walls are terrible for hanging brackets, so I went to Plan B and attached the tool shelf to the workbench instead.
I used a 1x12x8 barn board for the tool shelf, and made legs from scrap 2x4s. An off cut from the 1/2″ plywood was used across the back for hanging tools such as hammers.
I am really pleased with the workbench. If I could change one thing, I would have made it a few inches taller (perhaps 4-5″). I am fairly tall and like a higher work height, though this workbench at 33″ tall does work very well for drilling and other actions where you press down.
I also debated adding the wheels as locking, swivel casters are rather pricey where I live (they’re much less online), but the wheels are now a favorite feature. This workbench is quite heavy but it’s so easy to move it around as needed: it just glides on those wheels.
I’ve got my miter saw on the workbench for now but plan to build a separate rolling miter saw station, customizing the height to work in conjunction with the workbench. Stay tuned for more exciting projects from the workshop!
~Melissa the Empress of Dirt ♛