One of my favorite things in my shop is my folding workbench. I love having the ability to fold it down when it’s needed, but then tuck it back up into the wall when it isn’t. If you would like to build your own I do have a set of plans available! The plans include a material list, a cut list, and all the dimensions.
Pretty neat huh? Now of course everything on this can be customized to fit your space, but below is a step by step on how I built this one. With a little bit of paint, this could easily be fit for inside the house as well as a craft table.
1) The first thing I did was look around my shop for a 3/4″ sheet of plywood. Then I measured in on three sides….the left, right, and top….then drew a straight line using a framing square. Note: I’m creating this overhang so that there is space for clamps to clamp onto in the future.
2) Next I grabbed some 2x4s and first cut them to size, then used my Kreg pocket jig to drill pocket holes. Note: Be sure you buy/use straight 2x4s or this simple build will give you a ton of trouble.
3) I went through and started using the pocket holes to attach everything. I started with joining the corners of the back and he sides. Then screwed in the first pocket hole on the right side, then the first on the left….making sure the 2×4 was lined up with my pencil line I made earlier.
4) Then I cut another 2×4 to be the brace on the wall. While I was at it, I also cut to size my piano hinge. Note: to cut the hinge, mark it with a sharpie then fold it in the collapsed position and use a handsaw. I stuck mine in my vise but if you don’t have one then use a clamp to clamp it down to a workbench.
5) To mount it to the wall I first drew a straight line (using a level). Then located and marked my studs. (I recommend a Franklin Pro Sensor stud finder) I figured out where on the wall I wanted my brace to be mounted then transferred the stud location to my board. Note: I predrilled my holes just to make things easier.
6) I was able to set the bench top in place then start attaching the hinge.
7) Next I started making the legs. I first cut two lengths of 2x4s then I came down 1 1/2″ and made a mark. I grabbed a small paint can that was the same width of the 2x4s and traced around it to create a half circle. You could use a compass or anything else that is round and the same size. I used my jigsaw to cut off the corners.
8) Then took them over to my drill press and drilled a hole at the center of the line I drew in the last step. Note: If you don’t have a drill press then just use a regular drill.
9) Also, before moving forward, I drilled in two pocket holes that will later be used to attach a stop block.
10) I took the legs over and first clamped them in place then drilled a hole in the frame piece. Then I used a hex bolt with a washer, then a washer and a nylon lock nut. Tighten it down and repeat on the other side. Note: before attaching the legs, make sure the pocket holes are facing the correct direction!
11) If you were to stop here, you would have to manually fold out the legs every time. With adding a stop block you just have to pull it down from the wall and the legs stop in the same position every time. To add the stop block, I first cut a 2×4 then pulled out the workbench and made sure the legs were plumb (using a level). Then I clamped and screwed in the 2×4 using those pocket holes I drilled in the legs.
12) Only thing left to do is attach a latch. I didn’t have one handy so I cut two scraps up and drilled them to the wall.
And there we are. : ) A very simple but very functional fold down workbench. It’s also cheap! a few 2x4s, and a 3/4″ piece, and a hinge. You should be able to make this for around $20….even cheaper if you have scraps already laying around.
I hope this helps somebody. Don’t forget that I do have a set of folding workbench plans available! If you build one, I would love to see photos and hear about your experience.
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