Saturday Morning Workshop: How To Build a Fold Down Workbench

Every good workshop (even if it's just a sliver of your garage) needs a quality workbench with ample storage. Begin this space-saving starter workbench in the morning, and you'll be using it to work on projects by the evening!

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Introduction

The best part about this simple workbench is that you can fold it up and out of the way when you're not using it. Check out the plans, tech art and video tutorial below to build one for your home shop.

Tools Required

  1. Circular saw
  2. Clamps
  3. Drill

Need a workbench, but don’t have a lot of space? Then this quick-build, fold-up workbench may meet your needs. Construction is straightforward and simple–anyone can build this workbench, even if you’ve never built anything before. The only tools necessary are a saw and a drill. All of the lumber is inexpensive and in standard sizes, and you should be able to buy both the pegboard and the plywood worktop already cut to the correct size. All hardware listed is also readily available and inexpensive.

In the case of lumber, the total length needed is listed below and includes an allowance for some waste when cutting. In order to fit the lumber in your car, you could have it cut to a more manageable length at the lumberyard. Better yet, they may even cut each piece to the length shown in the illustration. Simply ask them. The total estimated cost, if you don’t already have some of the wood pieces laying around your shop, will be about $100. The workbench will take about three to four hours to build.

Materials List

  • Wall Frame
    • 12’ of 1×2
    • 2’ x 4’ piece of 1/8” pegboard
  • Box Frame
    • 12’ of 1×10
  • Benchtop Frame & Worktop
    • 16’ of 1×4 for the benchtop frame and hinge bracing
    • 2’ x 4’ piece of 1/2″ plywood or particleboard for the worktop
  • Folding Legs
    • 8’ of 2×4
  • Inside Shelving
    • 6’ of 1×8 board
  • Hardware Needed
    • 1-1/4” drywall screws
    • 3” drywall screws (four to attach frame to wall studs)
    • Four 6” T-hinges
    • 1/4” x 1” lag bolts with 1/4” washers
    • Swiveling safety hasp to secure/lock workbench in closed position
    • Right- and left-hand support hinges for the folding legs

Click here for more workbench projects.

Cutting List

Fold Up Workbench Cutting ListFamily Handyman

Tech Art

Fold Up Workbench Exploded Tech ArtFamily Handyman

Project step-by-step (6)

Step 1

Build the Wall Frame & Mount the Pegboard

Fold Up Workbench Pegboard

Build the wall frame from the 1x2s and the sheet of pegboard as shown. In order for the worktop to be 36 in. off the ground (normal counter height), mount the top of the wall frame 58-3/4 in. off the ground. Use 3-in. drywall screws to fasten the frame to the wall studs at each corner.

Step 2

Build the Box Frame

Fold Up Workbench Build Box Frame

Build the box frame from 1x10s as shown using screws. Fit the box frame around the pegboard wall frame that you installed earlier. Secure the box frame to the wall frame with drywall screws.

Step 3

Assemble the Workbench Frame

Fold Up Workbench Make Workbench

Assemble the workbench frame from three 1x4s using 1-1/4-in. drywall screws. Then attach the plywood worktop.

Step 4

Cut & Fasten the Legs

Fold Up Workbench Cut and attach Legs

Cut two legs to 34-3/4 in. Then, attach the two hinge brace pieces to the workbench.

Step 5

Attach the Workbench to the Box Frame

Fold Up Workbench Attach Workbench

You’re almost done. Now position the workbench against the box unit, square things up and attach the long portion of the T-hinge to the box frame. Check to see that everything works freely without binding.

Step 6

Add the Inside Shelves

Fold Up Workbench Add Shelves

Shelves for the workbench are optional. As shown here, there are two shelf areas as well as open pegboard for hooks. The shelves can be built and added at any time. Make sure to square up the shelves before securing them in place.