Tuesday, May 24, 2016

A Simple & Practical Workbench that Looks Good too

I recently built this bench for a friend.  It was quick and easy, and didn't cost a ton either.  I used a sheet of 3/4" plywood, which ran me $25, then 4 2x4's (10' long) which were $5 each.  I also used 16 5" Timber-Lok lag bolts (more on those in a minute) which were under a buck apiece.  So, the grand total was about $60, and I definitely have less than 2 hours in it.  I didn't manage to get a ton of detail shots during construction, so feel free to ask if you have any questions.

The finished bench was 60" long x 24"x deep x 34" high.  Vary the dimensions as you wish!

I began by cutting the 2x4's to length on my mitersaw.  I cut 4 uprights @ 27" long, and 4 crossbars at 24".  These were for the sub-assemblies that went at the end of the bench.  I joined the parts with Dominos, but 1/2" dowels would be a good choice too. I cut the ends of the crossbars at a 10 degree angle because I like the look but you could skip this step.

Once the glue dried on the ends, I remove them from the clamps and cut 4 stretchers to 54" long.  One pair went in at the top of the bench, and the other pair went in lower down, about 12" from the floor.  I used 5" long Timber-Lok lag bolts to secure the stretchers.  They have big, beefy threads that really make for a strong connection.

Bench heights are an enormously subjective thing- 33"-38" is generally considered the usual range.  I'm 5'8 and like a bench that is around 34-35" if that helps at all.  When in doubt, measure some of the work surfaces you already have and see what changes you might make.


  1. Hi, just wondering how you secured the top of the bench to the frame. Did you just screw it down from the top??

    1. Yep, that's how I did it. Same with the lower shelf. You could also use pocket holes from below or Miller Dowels.