DIY Work Bench

After doing our first few small projects we decided we needed an official work station for our future  projects.  We found a simple work bench tutorial at the Family Handyman.

First, we wrote out our detailed plan of attack…  The Family Handyman plans made this project pretty idiot proof.  Very little wood is wasted which is awesome!

We headed off to the hardware store with our plan and purchased all necessary supplies.  The tutorial estimated that the cost would run anywhere from $20-$100 (not sure how you’d get away with spending $20); we spent about $76 on supplies.

Tools Used:

    • Miter saw(You could also use a circular saw)
    • Cordless drill
    • Tape measure
    • Circular saw
    • Straight edge
    • Putty knife

Cut List Key:
Key     Quantity            Length

Required Supplies:

    • (15) 2x4s  (Cost: $2.92 x 15=$43.00)
    • (1) 4 x 8 x 1/2-in. plywood (Cost=$24.07)
    • (Approximately 100 screws or 2LB) 3″ Wood screws  (Tutorial calls for drywall screws)  (Cost: 100 x $0.11per screw=$11.00)
    • (Approximately 50 screws or about 1/4LB) 1-5/8″ Wood screws (Tutorial calls for drywall screws)  (Cost: $1.10)
    • Wood filler (We already had this, the amount used is miniscule)

Optional Supplies (Just extra things we added; these aren’t included in the cost):

    • Shop light
    • Peg board
    • Surge protector


$43.00 + $24.07 + $11.00 + $1.10 = $79.17 + 5.54(7%TAX) = 84.71 – 8.47(10%Military Discount) = $76.24

The above picture shows all the lumber we needed to complete this project.  Just fifteen 8-ft. long 2x4s and one sheet of 1/2″ plywood.  Super simple!  We took careful measurements to ensure we were able to fit it all into our Volvo wagon.  The Volvo never disappoints 🙂

After grabbing all the supplies move onto making your cuts! Go to The Handyman and check out Figure C: 2×4 Usage Diagram, and Figure B Plywood Diagram.  They show you how to use every last piece of your 2×4’s and plywood, If you don’t follow their diagram you’ll probably end up needing an extra 2×4. There is almost zero waste if you follow these diagrams!

After making all the cuts we started putting together the frame.

The tutorial says you can either screw the framing together with 3″ screws OR nail it together with 3″ nails.  We used 3″ screws with our cordless drill.

TIP: To keep the bottom frame up while drilling it in, we used paint cans to keep it evenly propped up.

Next, screw the plywood down with 1-5/8″ screws.  Instead of using a counter sink bit, we drilled a pilot hole and then used a larger diameter bit to make the counter sink.  To fill in the counter sink we used wood putty.  However, if we could do this over we would use wood filler.  It dries better, stains better, and in our opinion is easier to use.

Things we found out while putting this together: when picking out 2x4s do your best to pick STRAIGHT boards (Ours were not straight). We were able to make it work, but it made things difficult.

Starting in on the top frame.  In order to negate the crooked 2x4s we used a lot of clamps.

Attaching the legs

And there you have it!

We sanded and stained the main level top and also added a work light, peg board, and drilled a surge protector on the right side. We cut a small hole in the corner of the peg board to allow for the power cords to pass through.  Below is the fully functioning workbench.

Messy, but it’s definitely getting used 🙂