Workbench for Mere Mortals

Workbench for Mere Mortals

Most of you know that I’ve had a huge 4′ x 8′ workbench in the middle of my shop for years. When I built it, I reasoned that its size would be handy for cutting full sheets of plywood and for assembling large projects. It took me over ten years to figure out that I rarely need that much work surface and I prefer to break down sheet goods in the driveway. It also took me that long to realize that my shop was feeling needlessly cramped, especially for shooting video.

Downsized workbench

The new workbench is similar in design to my old one, and I was able to recycle much its lumber. For the kind of building I do, I don’t require a traditional “woodworking” bench, such as a hand-tool user needs for holding down work pieces for chiseling and hand planing. When I require hold-downs, a clamp hrabbing the edge of the bench works fine.

WWMM workbench

What I do require in a bench is strength and stability. Something I can pound on and abuse! The structure of this workbench is all made with 2x4s. For the top, I glued together two pieces of 3/4″ (19mm) plywood, making it beefy and perfectly flat. I like to tack a sheet of 1/4″ (6mm) hardboard (AKA: Masonite) to the top. This gives it a smooth surface that can easily be replaced if needed.

Another thing I wanted was a bit more height than the old bench. I made the old one to match the height of my old table saw so I could use it as an outfeed table, which I rarely did. This new bench stands 36″ (914mm) tall, which is much more comfortable for me to work on without leaning over too much.

IMG_1628

Finally, I included plenty of storage space in this workbench. I left one half open, for storing wood, and I utilized the space between the 2x4s on the ends for shallow shelves. Don’t know what I’ll use them for yet, but it’s nice to have.

Free workbench plans

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31 COMMENTS

  1. really nice workbench im gong to biuld one for mysely ill send a picture of my new work bench when i biuld itthanks alot for the video i really enyoyied it thanks a lot

    from a really consitant viewer MARK

    • I am Sharing my personal experience about one of the wood working plan i am using for my project. it contains all woodworking plans include workbench plans, shed plans, chair … blueprints and detailed instructions for building all kinds of wooden,
      check out here to download the wood working plans ( http://tinyurl.com/best1wood )
      All the best have a great day

  2. I’m in Minnesota and am spending time in my shop..huh..I think you’ve motivated me into downsizing my bench.. more room would be nice..

  3. Wow, glad to see you have finally made something that someone might really want to make for their shop again. Nice job

  4. Loved your enthusiasm and like the plans but could you do us a favor and include a material cutting list on one page so we don’t have to make notes of the dimensions of all those pretty pictures. Keep the great videos coming.

  5. Any chance we could see what size/type of nails and screws you used for this? Nice-looking project. Eager to build one of these. Thanks.

    • I just used a variety of whatever I could find in my shop. I’m not sure what the lengths were. Just make sure they are long enough to hold two pieces together without coming out the opposite side.

  6. Love the workshop you do, but would like to know where you bought the blue thing you drilled the holes with in the beginning

    Hope you Can help me with that

  7. nice job! I built my bench that I use for building on so it fits under my bench along the wall and put locking wheels on it so when not in use I can just tuck it away.

    • You’ll find the dimensions of these pieces on the pages following the initial cutting layouts of A-H. So on page 5, you’ll find the dimensions of A, B, D, and G. Hope this helps! 🙂

    • Mike your de Man,

      Great photo’s, Great bench !

      Tell me where you got all the bits of lumber in first pict. ?

      If I send you a tape will you give us some stats?

      How long ,wide and what breath ?…..also size of end product

      Would love to see that Bad Boy Bench Before Breakfast Brother

      Any other little bits of craft (Art) ?

  8. You are a legend! Great bench and fantastic plans. Really appreciate it. Love your other videos too. Thanks a lot, from Jersey, Channel Islands.

  9. Nice workbench but I could not help but to spot all those cans of finish stacked up behind you, have they came from the old workbench and if so you will need to make some more cabinets to store it all, I wonder how much room you will have after the new cabinets are put in?

    • Those are cans of paint. I made sure they will fit on the floor under the workbench! I may keep them out in the garden shed though since they only get occasional use.

  10. i really enjoy this video super & Simply make work bench..
    thanks to lot………………………..
    ……^……

  11. Love your videos Mr Ramsey, nice and simple projects leading to solid useable items and delivered with such infectious enthusiasm. This bench in particular requires little skill, you only have to be able to use a measure, use a saw, drill a few holes, use a drill driver bit, glue 2 sheets of ply and hammer a few nails into the top cover of hardboard. Not one joint to be cut in the whole bench., great stuff for us mere mortals; good on ya!

  12. Love the project – I would have suggested one thing, that when laminating the legs and stretchers, I would have added a glue. Over time the glue will help keep the bench more rigid and not rack when you push sideways on it.

    But I definitely need to build something similar, for the storage… since I use the table saw for assembly now – – LOL

  13. I really love this workbench…. but…. I love more…. the fact that there are free METRIC plans! jejejje!

    Really like you work and videos Steve! I’ve a group of friends that really enjoy your projects! I hope that this never end!

    Maxi, from Argentina!

  14. I made this last weekend. Used a few measurements from the “metric” plans but cut other pieces to fit as they’re dependent on the exact dimensions of the timber. I just used 90 x 35mm non-structural pine from our local Bunnings (think Home Depot but Australian)

    For the top I ended up layering two sheets of 19mm yellow-tongue. (Chipboard designed for flooring. It’s comes sealed). Ply here is ridiculously expensive. One sheet of 15mm construction-grade is $65. And that’s nasty stuff full of knots. The good stuff is over $100. On the other hand my yellow tongue was $24. Topped with Masonite it’s just as sturdy as the original.

    I’ll get a photo up as soon as I finish attaching the top and make the final ‘D’ pieces.

    Thanks Steve!

  15. Love the workbench! I took on the project this past weekend. I customized mine just a little to use the workbench for building R/C airplanes. I’ve added wheels so I can roll it outside and work on sunny days.

    I tried to add a fence, sort of, to the sides of the bench using cabinet magnets to keep my glues and other small assortment of supplies in place when moving the workbench.. That was a failed experiment! lol

    In the end, I was able to eliminate a tall metal shelf and, everything has a neat little home now. Here’s the pic: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=1261583297192394&set=a.638177379532992.1073741825.100000222080262&type=3&theater

    Thanks for the videos and the plans! You do help a lot of, “Woodworker Wannabes”, like me, build some gret looking projects.

  16. Love this workbench! I started it last night and am done with everything that requires 2x4s. However, I don’t have the cool toys to be able to cut the plywood very accurately 🙁 But I’m working on that.

    I just have one question. I’m mainly using this for the outside. Is this waterproof or would you make any additions to make it that way?

  17. I did lot of review about wood working plan and I found One of the best website, I am using for my wood working, it contains all woodworking plans include workbench plans, shed plans, chair … blueprints and detailed instructions for building all kinds of wooden, check out here to download the wood working plans
    ( tinyurl.com/bfwood )
    Have a great day

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