Cheap and Simple Workbench – Every House Needs One! Part 1

Making a Workbench Part 1 Part Two is here, Part 3 here, completed (almost) picture here tools lists here and final finishing here.

This post will detail how I build one of my sturdy and cheap 2×4” workbenches. My design was inspired by the hammerzone workbench plans: Link

I wanted easy construction, cheap materials and strength. I amended the plans in the following manner:

1) I moved the bottom stretcher to the inside of the front legs so not to obstruct work when standing at the bench.

2) This then meant the the shelf could be a little smaller which then allowed a little more sheet for the top meaning I achieved a 650mm x 1220mm rather than a 610mm x 1220mm top (Full sheet size is 2440mm x 1220mm).

3) Fitting the bottom shelf was made much easier as only 2 notches needed to be cut and less wasted MDF.

4) I added two strengthing ribs to the top and one to the bottom to ensure strength.

5) I used 18mm MDF rather than OSB as its heavy and nice and flat to work on. It does however soak up water which would then make it warp so it needs sealing (post to follow).

6) I made mine 10cm taller, I find just over 90cm a better working height

It makes assembly slightly more tricky when building it this manner but I think its worth it to achieve the above.

Bill of Materials:

One sheet of 18mm MDF cut to 570mm x 1220mm x2 and 650mm x 1220 x2

From one sheet of MDF there is enough for 2 benches.

CLS 2×4” timber @ 2.4m x 6

Wood Glue

Screws – 5x80mm x 36 and 5x60mm x 32 (+18 to secure the top) total 50

– 4x42mm drywall screws to fix shelf x 12

Tools I used here – Complete tools list here

I got the MDF cut at a DIY store as there saws will ensure a clean and accurate cut.


Wood Cutting List

6 lengths of 2.4m 2×4” CLS

Legs x4 @ 900mm

Sides x4 @ 1144mm (1220-38mm-38mm)

Top Ribs x2 @ 574mm

Bottom Rib x1 @ 498mm

Edges x4 @ 650mm

Wood cut to size and ready to start constructing

Wood Cost

one full sheet 18mm MDF £17.48

CLS 2×4” (actual 89mm x 38mm) £3.98 x6 £23.88

Total: £41.36

NB: For 2 benches (enough MDF for 2 bench tops and shelves from one sheet) x12 2.4m CLS total £65.24

Sketchup Drawing: