Easy and cheap (yet solid) workbench
Having never built so much as a bookshelf in my life, I just completed a 10x10 workshop/storage room. That hasn’t fallen down yet, so I decided “what the heck? – I’ll try building my own workbench too!”
I’ve always liked the way butcher block looks, so I wanted something similar. To that end I decided to use 2x4 untreated studs laid flat within a 2x6 perimeter. Using the untreated studs had several advantages: First, they’re cheap! Second, they are easy to screw into if I want to add something like a temporary vice or stops for a particular project. Also, if a stud is ever damaged, I can easily replace the single damaged board rather than having to replace the entire top. Finally, did I mention they are cheap?
I wasn’t sure how tall to make it. I didn’t want it so high that I couldn’t get good leverage if I had to press down on a project, but I didn’t want it so low that I would always be bending over at an uncomfortable angle. I finally got the idea to measure my kitchen counters because they are a comfortable height (3’). I went with that and it’s perfect!
After some sketching and re-sketching, and some calculating and re-calculating, I found I could get all the lumber I needed for a 6’x2’ workbench from 8’ sticks with minimal waste. The breakdown was this:
6 2x4x8s each yielded a board and a brace for the top
2 2x6x8s each yielded a perimeter board for the long and short side
2 2x4x8s each yielded 2 legs and a side brace for the bottom shelf
2 2x4x8s each yielded the a long brace and a short brace for the bottom shelf.
A leftover piece of hardiplank siding served for the bottom shelf.
8 untreated 2x4x8 studs, 2 untreated 2x6x8s, 8 bolts, a boatload of wood screws, 1 leftover piece of hardiplank siding