DIY Woodshop Workbench

Two projects to get you started - a workbench on wheels and a belt sander.

| February/March 2001

Step 1: The Frame

Begin by cutting all of the 2x4 and 2x3 frame pieces to length. Cut the 3/4" plywood panel for the top and bottom to size (ideally, both panels should be exactly the same size). Set the top panel aside until after the interior is completely installed.

Tools Lists: 24" carpenter's square, jigsaw or skill saw (or handsaw), drill motor with a basic set of bits (or hand drill), screwdriver, four 6" C-clamps, hammer

Refer to the "Frame" illustration and lay the plywood bottom panel down flat. Position the two bottom, 21" cross braces 12" apart and ensure that they are 90° or perpendicular to the plywood edges. (Later, the side drawer enclosures will attach to the cross braces; see parts B in the illustrations ). If they're out of alignment, the drawer won't be able to slide in and out.) Next, temporarily screw a pair of 20" cleats to the bottom plywood panel on either side of both cross braces. Remove both cross braces and scribe a centerline in the now-visible cleat slots (to learn more about cleats see " A Note on Cleats " below). Drill 1/8" holes on the centerline, 4" in from the left and right sides. These four holes will allow you to locate the centerline of the cross braces when you are screwing them in place from the underside up. The temporary cleats will hold the cross braces in position.

Next, glue the rim pieces and the cross braces to the plywood. Lay out the 2x4 rim pieces and cross braces in position on a flat surface, apply glue and place the plywood bottom on top of the rim assembly, engaging the cross braces in their temporary cleat slots. Using nails, secure the plywood to the 2x4s. (Note: the plywood can act as a "guide" for squareness. Before nailing, run some self-tapping drywall screws through the plywood into the 2x4s.)

Now you can flip the assembly over, put it on sawhorses and, using lag bolts, secure the rim sides to the four corners of the bottom rim with drywall screws (don't forget the glue). Next, secure the cross braces to the rim sides (make sure they are not crooked) and remove the temporary cleats. Make it a habit to always wipe up excess glue as soon as possible; bumps of dried glue will inhibit proper fits later.

Next, refer to the cutting list and cut the necessary wood for the four 2x3, 30" leg assemblies. Using the four corners and the side rim structure as a positioning guide and brace, glue and screw the legs in place. This is where your C-clamps will pay for themselves. You may have to use some temporary bracing to ensure squareness.

Brian Spratley
1/12/2012 11:52:06 AM

Thank you Robin, found it.

Robin Mather
1/11/2012 8:26:38 PM

Look in the image gallery, Brian. It's there.

Brian Spratley
1/11/2012 7:57:22 PM

I don't find the "cutting List' for the Woodshop Workbench

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