Garage Workbench plans

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Forum topic by aak posted 05-06-2011 11:19 PM 15591 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View aak's profile


8 posts in 2571 days

05-06-2011 11:19 PM

Topic tags/keywords: workbench wood work bench

I have recently developed great interest in wood working and would like to start my 1st project – which would be a workbench. I’ve been trying to find plans for a novice wood worker and also I need a strong and sturdy workbench. Any plans/suggestions are definitely welcome. Your immediate responses will help me start and “hopefully” finish the project this weekend :) (if i’m not overly optimistic)

Comments/suggestions/ideas welcome.

11 replies so far

View crank49's profile


4030 posts in 2965 days

#1 posted 05-07-2011 02:41 AM

Please don’t try to built a workbench this weekend.

A workbench requires study and planning. It is possibilly the most important thing you will build for your shop.

You may not be overly optimistic, there are plans out there for one weekend workbench projects, but you have to evaluate what type of work you need to do on the bench, select the bench that best meets your needs, then select and aquire materials and components. Then, when plans are made and preperation are made, then you build a bench in a weekend.

I have been building my bench for a year. Not continuously, but it’s a long carefully executed project for me. You may not take a year, everyone is different, but I can promise you that a little extra time in planning will more than justify a short delay.

Just Google “weekend workbench plans” or “free workbench plans” or “classic workbench plans” and you will have enough reading to keep you busy for at least one weekend.

I strongly recommend “The Workbench Design Book” by Chris Schwarz. I wish I had read it before I started my project.

View mrg's profile


823 posts in 2993 days

#2 posted 05-07-2011 05:07 AM

I built my bench from a plan on finewoodworkings website. The plan can also be found on startwoodworking or of all places

A few jocks have built this bench, its strong and a easy build. You can see it under my projects.

-- mrg

View Chelios's profile


568 posts in 3060 days

#3 posted 05-07-2011 05:17 AM

Try this

for a first time weekend project. It will get you started. This is just a garage work bench that is cheap and it will get you going with a working surface. Later on you may want to consider buiilding a wood workers bench which is what crank and mrg are making reference to.


View ocwoodworker's profile


209 posts in 2998 days

#4 posted 05-07-2011 05:25 AM

DO NOT let it be your first build. Jointing, Planing, squaring, wood movements, glue-up are just to name a few that it takes to make a reliable bench. Please, Please don’t let it be your first build. Try making a cutting board first. There are lots of different post showing how. You will be amazed at what can go wrong on such a simple thing as gluing sticks together! Small project but great learning curve. I’ve been doing it for 4 years now and I’ve still haven’t built one. For one simple reason….
There are so many types of benches (width, length, highth, vices, sliding dead men). Find out what you like to do first then build one. An author who wrote a book on benches once said, ” use two saw horses and a butchers block from Ikea until you find the right kind for you.”

Hope that helps… and welcome to LJ!!!

-- I'd like to believe Murphy's Law haunts my woodshop, because if it's Karma it would mean I had something to do with it. - K.R.

View Greedo's profile


473 posts in 2954 days

#5 posted 05-07-2011 12:11 PM

if it’s your first worbench/project, then chances are you will like the rest of us use it for some time and rapidly or not make a new one.
i made myself 3 workbenches in 3 years, the third one seems to finally suit me and i think im gonna use it for a very long time.
it’s only after you made your fist one and use it, that you will know what you like about it and what you don’t. you can then either fix the problems or make a new one!

so my advice is to keep it cheap, don’t go using expensive hardwood or such, but don’t slap it together either. you will be looking at it and working on it all the time, a nice workbench makes for good workshop time

View Gregn's profile


1642 posts in 2977 days

#6 posted 05-07-2011 08:44 PM

Welcome to LumberJocks.

Since you’ve just began your woodworking journey my advice would be to build a simple 4 post bench with a top made from 2 pieces of 3/4 plywood to start. This way as you use it you will learn what type of features that you will want or need. You’ll find that if you become a hand tool user your needs will be different than that of a power tool user. You may even find that you will incorporate hand tools and power tools and need features to accommodate the use of both types of tools.

I’m considering a new work bench myself to accommodate my style of woodworking. I’ve chosen to try the New Fangled Workbench
for my next bench as it will allow me to use both hand and power tools.
Another thing to consider choosing a bench is to be able to upgrade future features you may want add later without building a new bench. Such as a tool till or drawers, bench dog holes etc.

You should be able to construct a basic work bench in a weekend with materials from your local home center relatively cheaply. Such as this one like Chelios has shown.

-- I don't make mistakes, I have great learning lessons, Greg

View grantlairdjr's profile


31 posts in 2584 days

#7 posted 05-08-2011 04:33 AM

I build this workbench as my very 1st project couple months ago. If you have kreg tools, you can build it in two hours easily. Try this link and scroll down… I am still learning…

-- Grant Laird Jr - Garland, Texas

View Cosmicsniper's profile


2202 posts in 3152 days

#8 posted 05-08-2011 05:10 AM

Get a full sheet of MDF for your bench top. Rip it right down the middle length-wise and stack them. Put a skirt around it to increase the worktop depth and to add more ability to use clamps or vises. Build a couple of trusses for the ends, connected with thick beams front and back, bolted to the trusses. Leave the bench top to overhang the trusses if the bench is long. Mount the top to the trusses. For greater support and storage, fill in the interior spaces with a cabinet box or shelves.

Your first bench doesn’t have to be perfect, just functional. Heck, for my current shop I just have plywood on some sawhorses. I know what I want in my dream bench, but i have to finish some other projects before I do…and i couldn’t finish those projects without my make-shift workbench.

If you want to experiment a little with types of joinery, particularly mortise and tenons for the beams, then do so. But most workbenches are some variety of the truss/connecting beam/bench top formula.

-- jay,

View Luke's profile


290 posts in 2681 days

#9 posted 05-08-2011 08:54 PM

Like the advice some others gave you, I wouldn’t recommend trying to build a full out workbench (cabinet maker or the like style) but by all means, don’t let the advice scare you.

My first workbench was two saw horses with a sheet of plywood, then I made a frame out of some 2x material, that lasted me 3 years, it got too rickety, so now I’ve been building another workbench, this time a traditional style. Alot can go wrong, and probably will, but that’s part of woodworking.

One poster suggested cutting boards as a first, bottom line is, build what you WANT to build, be safe, sometimes frustration and failure are the only ways to learn. I built my sliding tailvice 3 times!!!, each time making a stupid error that caused me to scrap it, but each time, I got better at it, and each time I learned something.

If you want a surface to work on, build a bench, its a fun project, a cheap 2×4 bench with plywood will last for years, and you can do it in a weekend no problem, then add to it, and take from it what you really want and then after you know what you like, build a legit bench, its a blast! Bottom line, make what you want to make, and HAVE FUN doing it.

View Pimzedd's profile


602 posts in 4136 days

#10 posted 05-08-2011 11:21 PM

Here are a couple of fairly basic site suggestions.

You may want to go to and take a look at the questions to consider when building a work surface/workbench.

An article from Popular Woodworking titled Rules for Workbenches would be good to check out as well.

Hope this helps and welcome to LJ’s.

-- Bill - Mesquite, TX --- "Everything with a power cord eventually winds up in the trash.” John Sarge , timber framer and blacksmith instructor at Tillers International school

View aak's profile


8 posts in 2571 days

#11 posted 05-09-2011 01:06 AM

Thank you all for your great suggestions and replies. A friend of mine and I did actually build one in 6 hours. It is mostly built with 2×4 and 2×6. I decided to go with a plywood and top it off with MDF. At the bottom I have a storage rack, to which I intend to add drawers and doors (to hide the mess). It is extremely sturdy and solid and also very heavy. We also added a power strip at the front for easy connections for power tools. I intend to add a bench vise later on and also steel scale on the top. Overall it was a great learning experience for me. Shortly, I’ll be posting pictures of the bench as it stands right now.

Thanks all.

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