Build a simple, strong workbench made entirely from 2x4s. It's inexpensive (less than $100) and takes only about four hours to build.
By the DIY experts of The Family Handyman Magazine:September 2004
Here's a worktable that
takes only an afternoon to build
and can absorb a real pounding.
It's as rugged as a spendy European-style
woodworker's bench, but it's made
entirely from 2x4s. To build it, you'll need:
Build the base first
Clamp together the stretchers and legs,
then predrill and bolt the base together.
Keep the width of the legs from outer
edge to outer edge at exactly 16-1/2 in.
Use this base as a large sawhorse to
assemble the top.
Use the parts list in Step 1 and this photo to organize and assemble the workbench parts.
Glue and screw each board using 3-in. deck screws. Leave gaps to insert the legs.
Cut 15 top boards 5 ft. long and rip them
to 3 in. wide with a table saw so the top
will glue up flat without the typical
rounded edges of 2x4s. For the leg slot,
cut two of the top boards into three
pieces: a 39-in. middle piece and two
7-in. end pieces. Glue and screw the top
together, one board at a time, with
3-in. deck screws, keeping the ripped
edge facing up and level with the adjoining
boards. Use a corded drill so there's
plenty of oomph to drive each screw
below the surface. Note that the third
glue-up from each end is where each leg
notch is inserted. You can also create a
nifty tool tray in the top by notching the
three top pieces with a jigsaw. Clamp
every 8 in. or so before driving in the
3-in.deck screws. Predrill the screw holes
near the ends to prevent splitting. When
you're screwing on the 7-in. long 2x4s to
create the leg slots, use a scrap piece of
2x4 as a spacer.
Before joining the top to the base, loosen
the bolts and screws on the lower
stretchers to create a little play in the leg
posts. Align the top notches with the leg
posts and tap the top into place with a
hammer and piece of scrap wood, working
evenly around the table until all leg
posts are level with the tabletop. Tighten
the lower stretchers and you're done.
A hefty thanks to Doug Merrill for this
Have the necessary tools for this DIY project lined up before you start—you’ll save time and frustration.
Avoid last-minute shopping trips by having all your materials ready ahead of time. Here's a list.
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