This bench is solid and heavy (so it won't move as you work) and is small enough to suit most workshops or garages.
We bought rough-sawn oregon and planed about 2mm off each face for a smoother surface. Adjust the sizes for available timber. A longer bit will be required for drilling the bolt holes.You'll need: Part Item Dimensions Material
A Top 198 x 48 x 1800mm oregon 5
B Corner brackets 90 x 35 x 240mm pine
C Side top rails 148 x 48 x 800mm oregon 2
D Front and back top rails 90 x 35 x 1400mm oregon 2
E Coach bolts, nuts and washers 5/16 x 4 1/2 galvanised steel 12 5/16 x 6 1/2 galvanised steel 8
F Side bottom rails 90 x 35 x 800mm pine 2
G Legs 98 x 98 x 900mm oregon 4
H Front and back bottom rails 90 x 35 x 1400mm pine 2
I Shelf 800 x 1470 x 19mm plywood
J Bench stop 90 x 35 x 300mm pineTools
Claw hammer (570g)
Smoothing plane (no. 4)
Steel tape (3 metres)
Three bevelled-edge firmer chisels (10mm, 18mm, 32mm)
Cross-cut saw (650mm long)
Tenon saw (300mm long)
Nail punch (3mm)
Set of twist drills
Set of screwdrivers (slotted, pozi, Phillips)
Variable-speed power drill
- Cut to length the four legs (G) and mark in housings for top and bottom rails (D and H). The top housing is 148mm x 48mm deep; the lower one 90mm x 35mm deep. Set your circular saw to the right depth and cut on the waste side of the lines you marked. Cut a series of parallel lines about 12mm apart between the housing marks and knock out waste. Smooth each housing with a chisel or rasp.
- Cut to length front and back top and bottom rails (D and H), align them in their housing and pin in place with nails. Drill through both legs and rails as shown and bolt rails to legs. Check frame is square by measuring the diagonals.
- Cut and clamp side rails (C and F) to the front and back frame, then drill and insert the longer bolts. Tighten all nuts securely and check the table doesn't rock.
- Cut out four corner brackets (B) with 45-degree angles. A mitre saw will be useful for this or set a circular saw to cut at 45 degrees. Screw brackets in place flush with top of rails. At this stage the bench frame should be completely rigid.
- Cut the bottom shelf (I) to suit the dimensions of the bench. Notch out 35mm x 133mm in each corner to clear the legs. The shelf can be screwed in place or left loose.
- Cut the five oregon pieces for the top (A). Move them around to get a good fit for the edges and hold them in place with a nail. When you're happy to screw them to bench frame with 100mm screws, two in each end, sunk slightly below the surface. Plane smooth any major irregularities.
- Prepare a bench stop (J) as shown in the detail. Find the centre and measure 60mm and 200mm from one end of a length of 90mm x 35mm pine. Drill an 8mm diameter hole at these points. Draw two lines joining the holes and cut along lines with a jigsaw to form a slot. Smooth the cut with a file or sharp chisel. Bevel the end at 45 degrees. Cut bench to a length of 300mm.
- Locate the bench stop where you want it. Right-handed people generally prefer the stop at the left-hand end of the bench and left-handed people vice-versa. Make sure you avoid the braces. Hold the bench stop against the front rails and mark around it on the underside of the benchtop. Transfer this shape to the top of the bench. Drill two holes in opposite corners and cut out the rectangular hole. Insert the bench stop and make sure it slides smoothly. Adjust with a file or chisel as necessary. Hold the bench stop so it is flush with the benchtop and drill a hole through the front rail at the top of the slot. Insert a carriage bolt with a washer and wing nut to allow the bench stop to be raised and lowered easily.
- Workbenches are usually not finished with paint or a clear finish as it could mark other items which are built on the bench.