How to Build a Workbench: Super Simple $50 Bench


Got two hours to kill? Do we have a workbench for you!



cost$20 - $100

  1. Buy the wood and start cutting

    1. Photo 1: Frames

      Assemble the frames for the work surface and lower shelf.
    2. Photo 2: Legs

      Screw the legs to the work surface frame.
    3. Photo 3: Lower frame

      Flip over the bench and attach the lower shelf frame. Use gallon paint cans to support the lower shelf frame when you're attaching it to the main workbench legs.
    4. Photo 4: Plywood work surfaces

      Screw the plywood to the frames.
    5. Photo 5: Top shelf frame

      Assemble the top shelf frame.
    6. Photo 6: Top shelf

      Add the plywood.
    7. Photo 7: Top shelf legs

      Attach the top shelf legs upside down.
    8. Photo 8: Put it all together

      Screw the legs to the bench and add the backer boards

    This sturdy 30-in. x 6-ft.-long workbench is the ultimate in simplicity. It’s made from only fifteen 8-ft.-long 2x4s and one sheet of 1/2-in. plywood. Follow the cutting diagrams to cut the parts: Figure B to cut the plywood tops, then Figure C to cut all the framing. Use the lengths provided in the Cutting List (see Additional Information below). You can either screw the framing together with 3-in. screws or hand- or power-nail it together with 3-in. nails. Screw the plywood down with 1-5/8-in. screws.

    To make these project plans even easier to follow, we tinted the parts that get added at each step.

    1. Construction and Cutting Details

      All the dimensions and pieces are shown in Figures A, B and C, and keyed to the Cutting List in Additional Information (below). All together you'll need fifteen 2 x 4 x 8s and one sheet of 1/2-in. plywood.
      Figure A: Main Workbench Parts

      Figure A: Main Workbench Parts

      Figure B: Plywood Cutting Diagram

      Figure B: Plywood Cutting Diagram

      Figure C: 2 x 4 Usage Diagram

      Figure C: 2 x 4 Usage Diagram

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  2. Accessorize it!

    1. Lighting

      Good light is mandatory for any workbench. Buy an inexpensive 4-ft. shop light and screw it right to the underside of the top shelf.
    2. Power strip

      Forget extension cords. Mount a power strip to one of the legs and you'll have all the power you need for tools and chargers. Use its switch to control the light.
    3. Pegboard

      Whether you cover the whole back or just the lower half, keep down the bench clutter by stowing all of those tools you use every day within easy reach.
    4. Bench vise

      Yes, it'll cost as much as or more than the bench, but what workbench would be complete without one?
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Additional Information

  1. Cutting List

Tools & Materials

Have the necessary tools for this DIY project lined up before you start — you'll save time and frustration

  1. Miter saw
  2. Cordless drill
  3. Tape measure
  4. Circular saw
  5. Straightedge
  6. Safety glasses
  7. 2x4s
  8. 4 x 8 x 1/2-in. plywood
  9. 3-in. drywall screws
  10. 1-5/8-in. drywall screws
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