Woodworking Workshop
Building Your Own Workbench
After 11 hours of work (including the trip to Home Depot to buy the lumber), this is what I've upgraded to. No more using the kids' toys in the garage as temporary sawhorses! I can use the table saw, planer, and router in place, and I'll be mounting a drill press on top too. The jointer will be stored underneath, since I don't use it that often and it's not that heavy.
After 11 hours of work (including the trip to Home Depot to buy the lumber), this is what I’ve upgraded to. No more using the kids’ toys in the garage as temporary sawhorses! I can use the table saw, planer, and router in place, and I’ll be mounting a drill press on top too. The jointer will be stored underneath, since I don’t use it that often and it’s not that heavy.

Building a nice workbench is a very important task. Many people have come up with many approaches. DiResta showed us earlier this week how a simple design with solid welded frame could both look nice and possibly last forever. What if you aren’t set up to weld though?

Chris Finke built this workbench to be assembled using fairly basic tools. It is all wood and both elegant and simple. The recessed sections at the end for his router and table saw take this from just another ordinary simple table to a desirable work surface. Costing under $200, this simple design is worth checking out. Chris says you can find the plans he based his off of at backyardworkshop for free.

The one from Backyard Workshop were built by Jamie Cunningham. He was nice enough to share a sketchup file with us. He states that the plans aren’t extremely detailed (there is no cut list or dimensions), but you should be able to get it done from there.

The images and captions below are from Chris Finke, sharing his experience of building it.

30 thoughts on “Building Your Own Workbench

  1. I totally want to make this. It’s the exact plan I was looking for. Only problem is that the link to the plans has some issues. Looks like server issues. Pictures are probably good enough to work with though so thanks for the inspriation.

  2. I’d suggest making a plywood top, with a easily replaceable surface – Lauan or 1/4 masonite. At my work we build our benches with the frame about 3″ smaller than the top (1 1/2″ overhang each side – gives a nice area to use small clamps on, but wouldn’t recommend this for a MDF top.)

    And keep in-mind that MDF is a toxic product, and should be cut or sanded while wearing a -real- respirator: contains formaldehyde; generates fine particulate, including smaller than you see.

    1. I think all mdf is now California compliant (no formaldehyde). It’s still nasty stuff though.

  3. This is exactly what I’m looking to build, but cannot find the plans in a usable format.
    Can you assist?

  4. Here is a materials list I derived from the SketchUp file using the tape measure tool:

    http://www.backyardworkshop.com/free-downloads.html?download=2:ultimate-tool-stand-sketchup

    Main Bench framing:

    14 pcs. 2×4 x 32″for bottom cross braces

    9 pcs. 2×4 x 37″ for top cross braces

    3 pcs. 2×4 x 96″ for longitudinal spans

    1 pc. 2×4 x 36-1/2″ top left cross span (left side of chop saw well)

    1 pc. 2×4 x 35″ top right cross span (right side of chop saw well)

    Chop Saw Well framing:

    2 pcs. 2×4 x 38-1/2″

    1 pc. 2×4 x 20″

    Table Saw Well framing:

    2 pcs. 2×4 x 18-39/64″

    1 pc. 2×4 x 20″

    Work Surface (4×8′ x 3/4″)

    40 x 94-1/2″ main surface

    20 x 20-25/32″ chop saw surface

    27 x 20-5/8″ table saw surface

  5. If you go to sketchup.com, you can download the viewer to read the plans for the ultimate tool bench from the Backyard Workshop website.

  6. If your any good at woodworking (even as an amateur) then you don’t necessarily need the plans with the dimensions as you can look at the picture and build your own to your own dimensions as the old adage goes Quote “A Good Picture Worth A Thousand Words” Unquote. If you have any doubts, then try it. I even built my grand daughter a full sized antique looking Colonial Style Rocking Baby Cradle right after she was born by just using a 2″ X 2″ colored picture of the one I wanted that I tore out of a Magazine one time, and I still have that picture and the baby cradle to prove it.

  7. In Fact I like this design myself and might just build it’s style for my own garage workshop but design it to include other built-in bench top power tools as well. I already built a rotating Carasel bench top power tool bench Which is listed in Shopnotes Magazine as a project – The only thing is – is that I’m lazy, and I didn’t want to have to unplug and replug in each power tool as I needed it – So I designed and built into it a complete rotating 120 volt power system with built in outlets for the power tool cords that provides continuous 120 volts power to all four tools even when the carasel is rotating. and with theirs you had to unplug and replug in each power tool each time you rotated it to the next tool you needed. Plus it didn’t cost me an arm and a leg and my first born child to build the rotating electrical system – Total Cost of rotating electrical system approximately $ 30.00 from Ace hardware, Home Depot, and a local Semi truck & trailer parts supply

  8. I created my own build sheet and design off this model. I cleaned up the vertical studs cutting and extending them to the outside. Made it 32″ high with the bottom base 92 1/2″ longx44″ wide. The bottom is covered with half inch birch plywood and slots cut for the studs then placed in before the top supports were added. The top hosts a full 4x8x3/4 sheet of poplar plywood. This gives room for front facing, drawer mounting, and doors as well as a nice clamping edge.

  9. A useful improvement could be adding a ‘workbench caster kit’
    that would elevate the casters when not in use so it’s less likely to move around when cutting, hammering or moving heavy objects on. I know the wheels probably lock but that’s usually not very effective.
    I also like to use 4×4 posts on the corners and notch in the framing pieces so you can’t get any failure – the frame rests on the posts which sit on the ground; very stable and beefy that way.

  10. Put a small shop vac in the middle to speed cleanup chores. In the cabinet shop each machine had it’s own vac, but I think one could serve several tools in a home environment.

  11. Of all that tables.. I liked this one the most. I made mine 72″ x 42″.. Thanks for sharing your photos.

  12. That’s an awesome work “station” (at least, that’s what I would call it :) My space is very limited (half the garage) and it would be great to have something like that to use and store my power tools on so I don’t have to keep pulling them out and putting them away every time I want to make something.

  13. Thank you for the inspiration! Here’s a pic of the one my son and I built this weekend. We have plans to inlay the router table and maybe even add a couple shelves and drawers.

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I am a software developer that dabbles in the workshop. I have built my own CNC machine and 3D printers and get interested in anything involving electronics, metalworking, woodworking, and computers.

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