Hands On

Volume 46/Issue 4

Project Articles
Knock-Down & Store-Away Table
Home Shop Workbench
Rolling Pin & Dried Flower Vase

Ask Smitty
Owner’s Gallery
Letters from Owners
Academy Notes
Clean Cuts - Pt. 1
Service Pointers
Bandsaw Service Pointers
Safety Tips
Horizontal Boring Safety

What's New
Shopsmith and Lowe's Team Up

Find A Shopsmith Woodworking Academy Near You

National Woodworking Academy in Dayton, OH

Online Accessory Catalog
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Online Replacement Parts Catalog

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MARK V Demo Near You

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Copyright 2003.
Shopsmith, Inc.
All Rights Reserved

The Simple Home Shop Workbench

Six 2 x 4's, a sheet of particleborad orMDF, a sheet of tempered hardboard, some hardware and a few hours is all you'll need to make this rugged, affordable workbench!

Crafting any type of woodworking project in a shop without a good, solid workbench is a lot like trying to create a memorable meal in a kitchen with no countertop space. However, if you're like most woodworkers, you're probably much more interested in getting to work on your projects than you are in building your bench. If this describes your situation, this workbench is just what you've been looking for...because it's both simple to build and cheap!

We built this example in a single afternoon...for around $50! It features nearly 14 square feet of workspace, plus a storage shelf below for portable tools, materials, etc. Its dimensions were arrived at for the sake of working comfort and convenience, while allowing us to put it together quickly and affordably. Let's get started.

1: Preparation - buy your materials. For this bench, you'll need the stock mentioned above plus the hardware described in the List of Materials. We recommend that you sort through the 2 x 4 stack at your lumberyard to get straight, true stock that's as knot-free as possible. Also, avoid using Southern yellow pine, since it's hard, brittle and splits easily. Instead, use fir or hemlock.

If you're planning to do a lot of really heavy work...or are seeking a “classier” look, you could use oak, ash or hard maple instead of construction-grade 2 x 4's...although this approach will increase your costs substantially. We made our Sub-Top from particleboard, although MDF would be more durable - though more expensive.

Be sure to use TEMPERED hardboard for the Top Covering, as it's considerably more durable than non-tempered hardboard and can be easily replaced after a few years of hard use.

2: Cut the 2 x 4's to length. The cutout diagram included here shows you how to get the most out of your 2 x 4 stock. Begin by crosscutting all your pieces to length, according to the diagram. Start with the Legs (A), then cut the Rails (B). Next, cut out parts C, D & E. Don't cut the Sub-Top to size yet.

3: Assemble the Top Frame by nailing the Main Frame Members (C) to the Rails (B) with 16d common nails. Use yellow woodworker's glue at each joint before you nail it for maximum strength. Also, don't forget to use a square or triangle to be sure everything is straight and true as you put your components together. TIP: To prevent splitting, it's a good idea to drill 1/16" pilot holes for your 16d nails.


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