My First Workbench

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Project by christherookie posted 01-23-2010 04:40 PM 5154 views 0 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is my first workbench. My budget was um, how would you say…minimal, therefore my wood of choice was 2×4’s and plywood. I used a few different designs I saw here and elsewhere on the internet for my inspiration. As you can see in the two close-ups, it’s double 2×4’s for the legs with sections cut out for the cross framing of the shelf and the support for the countertop. In retrospect, I should have turned the 2×4 in the second photo (the one directly under the countertop so it was tall instead of flat. I’m not worried about it for now as the is a weekender’s bench (mine) and I’m not mounting an anvil on it or anything.

I used pre-cut plywood for the shelf and the top. In pre-cut, they only had 2’ by 4’ so I had to use another 2’ by 2’ on the top as well. Yeah, I could have bought a full sheet and cut it down but for my first workbench, I was going for simplicity.

The last photo is my workspace in the garage. That little bookholder on the far right (dark brown) is one I designed and made in Highschool – oh so many years ago. We’ve used it in the house until just last month.
For what it’s worth, the workbench was create with a circular saw, a drill, and a jig saw (don’t you just hate it when your measurement is off by a fraction and brute force won’t fix the problem.) Hardware is decking screws. I pre-drilled the holes and then screwed buzzed in.

I added an el cheapo bench vise and re-purposed a particle-board desk for the keyboard tray. I added a small strip of pine across the front of the tray for a nicer look.

It’s not a beautiful hardwood top with a $200 bench vise but it’s cheap and it gets me what I need.

9 comments so far

View David Craig's profile

David Craig

2137 posts in 3104 days

#1 posted 01-23-2010 04:55 PM

Most importantly, it is your bench and you built it to suit your needs. I built one last year for small projects that I made out of the scrap 2×4s laying around here from previous owners and just bought the plywood for the top. It looks solid and is a good wood surface. It will serve you well.

Thanks for sharing,


-- There is little that is simple when it comes to making a simple box.

View firecaster's profile


572 posts in 3414 days

#2 posted 01-23-2010 05:56 PM

And now, the work begins.

It seems you have tight quarters. Organization is going to be key.

-- Father of two sons. Both Eagle Scouts.

View a1Jim's profile


117090 posts in 3572 days

#3 posted 01-23-2010 06:28 PM

Good basic bench it should serve you well.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View charlie48's profile


248 posts in 3165 days

#4 posted 01-23-2010 06:40 PM

Nice bench.budget shouldn’t have much to do with it. You built it yourself and hopefully had fun doing it.Well done !!

-- Charlie............Only time will tell if it was time well spent.

View Dusty56's profile


11819 posts in 3683 days

#5 posted 01-23-2010 09:09 PM

Nice bench …the best part is that you built it for your present needs inexpensively and as you use it , you will know exactly what you want and need to have in your next bench : )

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View PurpLev's profile


8535 posts in 3644 days

#6 posted 01-23-2010 09:55 PM

looks sturdy and like a great start. you did good by simplifying it, and getting a workbench as quickly as possible. now with a decent workspace you can actually work on, your options are more diverse. you can always make another workbench later if you find this one limiting you in any way, and more on that – you’ll know exactly what to modify to make it more suitable for your type of work.

Welcome to Lumberjocks!

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View BTKS's profile


1986 posts in 3459 days

#7 posted 01-23-2010 10:22 PM

Good job, simple is best. I worked for years with make shift assembly tables, nothing very sturdy. You made a wise start by going with a solid bench. Now go put it to use, and welcome to LJ’s. BTKS

-- "Man's ingenuity has outrun his intelligence" (Joseph Wood Krutch)

View christherookie's profile


70 posts in 3042 days

#8 posted 01-24-2010 12:31 AM

Thanks everyone. Just made a mortise/tenon form (looks like a T) so I could use the vise for clamping things horizontally as well as vertically. I’ve GOT to buy some chisels. I used a flat edge exacto knife blade and a small hammer to do the groove. LOL – what WAS I thinking?

Once I had the form done, I build my first mallet. I’ll get photo’s up when it’s finished. I glued it up about 30 minutes ago. Definitely nothing fancy. More like border-line decent. Gluing up stuff and clamping with C-clamp vises is not easy. Ah, work with what I got – that’s what makes it fun!

View Scottwpaul02's profile


39 posts in 3060 days

#9 posted 01-27-2010 02:01 AM

Chris, everything looks great, and post a pic of that T-form if you have it! My bench is also 2×4’s but is extremely rough (did not have wood working i mind when I made it). Great job, thanks for the pics and some inspiration to make another!

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