Inexpensive and Simple Wood Projects

Get a straight edge, measuring tape, pinewood boards, a saw, and drywall screws — you're ready to take on these simple wood projects!

| August/September 1994

  • 145 simple wood project - portable workbench
    Even if  you're only a fair to middling carpenter, a portable workbench like this one is a simple wood project you can build yourself.
  • 145 simple wood project - diagram 2
    One corner of each 1" x 6" x 18" end board of your portable workbench must be cut off at a diagonal to create the bench legs.
  • 145 simple wood project - wood shelves
    Though it will be more than sturdy enough, your wood shelves will be top heavy when filled with canning jars and need to be fastened to the wall.

  • 145 simple wood project - portable workbench
  • 145 simple wood project - diagram 2
  • 145 simple wood project - wood shelves

Here are two quick-to build, simple  wood projects that will come in especially handy this time of year. The portable workbench is great to use as a toot holder and seat for easy, no-kneel, low-level gardening such as weeding or harvesting bush beans. And the canning shelves will hold sparkling jars of your garden's bounty.

A Portable Workbench

Whether you are a contractor who builds everyday or a banker who fixes around the house on weekends, the portable, easy-to-build tool bench will allow you to tote everything you need for a task, while providing a perfect seat.


A light, durable wood like pine or poplar should be used for constructing the bench. You may already have scrap from another project suitable for this one, but if you don't, you will have to purchase only two boards—one 1" x 6" x 14' board and one 1" x 4" x 6' board; 1 1/4" drywall screws are ideal for holding the bench together; a half-pound will be adequate for the job. Any building supply will be able to furnish you these materials.

If you are not familiar with buying lumber there is a fact you need to know. Planed (dressed) lumber will be slightly smaller than the measurements it is listed as and unplaned (rough) lumber will run slightly larger. For instance, a 1" x 6" dressed board will actually measure about 3/4" x 5 1/4". For this project, that slight difference will not matter. Simply follow the directions provided here and the tool bench will turn out correctly.


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