Having a workbench is really great as it can serve so many purposes. If you are a DIY lover you certainly appreciate the practicality of a workbench.

From the much-needed storage space that if offers for your tools or extra pieces of wood, to having a solid area where to see to small jobs, a workbench is a welcome addition to your workshop. However, you may not have one yet. Chances are you had made up your mind to buy one, only to find that the prices charged for readymade workbenches are quite high. So why don’t you just build one yourself? It is really not that complicated, and you could surely use one. Here is how to do it:

Materials Required

Acquire the materials you need. Basically a full sheet of plywood or MDF cut to size measuring 8” by 4” and between 18mm and 24mm deep should do the trick. If you have the possibility of choosing between plywood and MDF, it is recommended to opt for plywood as it is a a lot stronger when compared to MDF. Plywood is more moisture resistant than MDF and it will hold together better. You will also need six stainless steel corner brackets, and a box of self-tapping wood screws.

A Circular Saw is Perfect for Cutting Plywood or MDF. Image credit: Highland Woodworking

Tools Make Light Work

Get the tools, namely an electric circular or handsaw, an electric jigsaw and an electric drill with a 2mm wood drill bit.

Getting Started

Now that you have all that you need, let’s start cutting. You need to have all the parts that will make up your workbench cut out in the right dimensions. Start with the sides of the bench, which should be about 80cm long and 37cm wide. Then cut the back panel of the workbench, at 112cm by 81cm, and the horizontal middle shelf, which should be of the exact same length. Next, cut the top of the workbench, and finally the centre vertical shelf support, which although being the smallest piece, it will be holding every other part in its proper place more robustly.

Now that all the parts are cut out, you can start assembling your workbench. To make things easier, it is best to attach the brackets to the side panels and to the centre shelf support. So, lay each panel flat, mark with a pencil where each bracket will be attached (about 5cm from the edges), and drill the pilot holes. Then, attach the brackets to the panels. You will find this very helpful when you reach the final step of the assembly process as they will be already in their rightful place and you will not face any problems trying to attach them while the frame is already done and restricting your view and accessibility.

Next, mark halfway along the length of the centre shelf. Drill two pilot holes where it will be attached to the support panel. Then, attach them to each other.

Now you need to attach the side panels of the workbench. Carefully mark where the pilot holes will be and then drill and attach neatly. Repeat with the other side. At this point you should have an H-frame. It is best to have someone helping you especially to hold the parts in place while you drill and attach.

It is now time to attach the back panel of the workbench. Place the frame onto its front, and lay the back panel in place. Make sure it fits snugly to the frame. Drill carefully and attach with wood screws. For more sturdiness screw the back panel to the centre support too. You can also drill screws through the back panel into the shelf panel as well for an even sturdier result.

And at last we come to the top of your workbench. Lay the constructed frame onto the back, place the top panel in place, and attach it by screwing it through the L-brackets that had been attached previously.

A Simple Plywood Workbench Project. Image credit: This Is Carpentry

Final Finishing

And your workbench is now complete. You might notice some rough edges here and there where you cut. Use some coarse sandpaper to sand them and gain a smoother finish. To make your workbench look even nice, you can also stain it or colour it with appropriate wood paint. In case you will be placing it outdoors, make sure to use a good quality exterior wood paint. Allow it to dry, and give it another coating for a neater look. Once it has dried up well, you may then fill it up with tools, materials and any other items that were lying around in your workshop until now. Your compact workbench is a practical addition to your workshop, and it did not take long or cost much to build didn’t it?! You can also have the pride of having managed to build it on your own, apart from having saved money too.