How To Build A Simple 2×4 Workbench

Thinking about using 2×4 wood to build a simple 2×4 workbench? Check out this easy DIY project where I built a workbench using mostly 2×4’s!

This week I am going to be building a simple workshop workbench that is made up of 2x4s and plywood. It’s a very simple build that any beginner should be able to tackle. This workbench was built for my dad, he just retired and moved to the county and needed a good workbench for his new garage. He told me what he wanted and this is what we came up with. : ) Needless to say, it was a cool change in pace having my dad to hang out with while working.

Now, I have build your own easy workbench plans available if you’re interested in building your own. The plans are 13 pages and come with a cut list, material list, and all the dimensions I used.

The first thing I did was go to the store and purchase all the material I’ll need for the project. While at the big box store, the employees will cut down a sheet of plywood for you for free, so I went ahead and cut my plywood to size to make hauling it around easier.

Now I started working on cutting all of the 2x4s. The easiest tool to use for this would be a miter saw with a stop block, but since I am not in my own shop this week and my Dad does not have a miter saw, I used a circular saw. I would set my 2×4 in my Triton SuperJaws, make my mark, and then use my circular saw to cut it to length.

DIY Workbench 1

For most of this build I will be using just glue and a butt joint; however, there are a few joints that I decided to use pocket holes on to prevent having to use extra long screws, so I went ahead and grabbed these four pieces and drilled in my pocket holes.

I grabbed the pieces that make up the ends and joined them all together. Just a side note: these SuperJaws are very handy.

DIY Workbench 2

For the legs, instead of using 4x4s (because they’re more expensive), I decided to use two identical lengths of 2x4s glued and screwed together. This will create a leg that is 3 1/2″ by 3″ which will give it a much sturdier footing than just a single 2×4. However, to get away from using extra long screws to go through two 2x4s, I put the bench together in sections, then I combined sections together.

Next, I started assembling the front and back sections of the workbench. I am using glue on all of these joints and the butt joint. Note: I am connecting these horizontal 2x4s so that they are flush with the back of the vertical 2x4s so that whenever the workbench is complete I will have a 1 3/4″ of overhang on the workbench top. You can use this area for clamps.

DIY Workbench 3
DIY Workbench 4

Once I had two sections built, I went ahead and glued and screwed them together.

DIY Workbench 5

I repeated the steps to make a second assembly and this will become the front and back of the workbench.

Once that has been built, I attached the side assemblies, that I created a few steps back, also using glue and screws. Tip: I am pilot drilling these holes just to make screwing down easier. Also, I’m using an impact for the same reason.

DIY Workbench 6

Now I went on to attach the bottom shelf. I did this by first attaching the two long joints of 2x4s.

DIY Workbench 7

Then I moved back up to the top work surface and added in a few cross braces to add support. I would first use my tape measure to measure over on both the front and back 2x4s and make a mark with a pencil. Then position the 2×4 in place and attach it with glue and screws. Once the top cross braces are in, repeat the steps for the bottom shelf.

DIY Workbench 8

Next was to start adding the plywood for the top and bottom. I had the big box store employee cut the plywood to width for me but I needed to cut the corners out or they will go around the end post. To do this easily, grab a scrap 2×4 and set it in the corner then used a pencil to trace around it. I used a jigsaw to cut them out.

DIY Workbench 9

I set the plywood bench top in place, then went around the perimeter with screws to attach it. Note: I did not use glue here in case my dad ever wants to replace the top. Also, another option, if you want a thicker workbench top, is to add two pieces of plywood right on top of one another.

DIY Workbench 10

I repeated the steps by putting on the bottom self and attaching it using screws.

Making the rolling storage bins.

I decided to make two large storage bins that will tuck under the workbench, just to utilize some wasted space…these are essentially a drawer on wheels.

I first cut all of my pieces to make up the two drawers. Next, I made a 1/2″ dado near the bottom on the side and front pieces. Then cut a bottom and started putting the bin together. I used glue and screws for all of these joints. Once I had the sides together with the front and back, I simply slipped in the bottom and had a drawer.

DIY Workbench 11
DIY Workbench 12

To make it mobile, I flipped the drawer over and added four 1 1/2″ casters to each bin. Because I didn’t have short enough screws to only go into 1/2″ material, I cut some scrap from 3/4″ material and attached those underneath each caster just to give the screw more meat to screw into.

DIY Workbench 13
DIY Workbench 14
DIY Workbench 15

Now I added the pegboard. My dad wanted a space so that he could reach the workbench from either side so the pegboard on his does not go all the way down; however, an alternative design would be for the pegboard to go all the way down the workbench.

The pegboard is flimsy so to give it some support, I first ran two lengths of 2x4s between the end posts and attached them with glue and screws. To add the pegboard, I used screws to attach it to the end post.

DIY Workbench 16

That’s it! I think my dad is going to be able to get a lot of use out of this and of course it was a lot of fun being able to work with him. My dad was an aircraft mechanic his entire career so this was his first time involved in a wood working project. He still has a ways to go on getting his garage organized, but having a workbench will certainly help him get going.

DIY Workbench 20Total cost for the project was $133.

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