DIY Classic Workbench

  • DIY Classic Workbench

No DIY space is complete without a sturdy and stable workbench, and if this one looks familiar, it’s probably because it’s a classic design.

It’s has been around for decades, and for good reason. The bench is durable, practical, spacious and also super easy to build.

This 1500 x 600mm workbench includes pegboard side panels for hanging tools, storage space on upper and lower shelves, and enough room below the worktop to add drawers if you want to customise it further.

Construct the framework from 90 x 35mm non-structural pine and brace the table and upper shelf using 12mm CD plywood. 

Cut the pine to length using a mitresaw, and the plywood and pegboard using a circular saw and straightedge clamped in position.

Assemble the bench

Set up a level work surface on a pair of sawhorses and start by building the top and shelf frames, adding only the lower shelf boards at this stage. 

Build and attach the leg assemblies to the top frame and then secure the lower shelf in between. 

To finish, add the top boards, then construct and fit the upper shelf unit to the back of the benchtop, adding plywood braces to the back of the workbench and upper shelf. 

The top boards overhang the frame by 50mm on the sides and front to make clamping easier, and the back brace helps prevent things falling off.

The pegboard is useful for hanging tools, but its real function is to help stabilise the leg assembly as a brace. 

Remember, you should keep the leg assemblies 2mm narrower than the inside of the top so you can install the legs without binding, which would cause the pegboard to bow. 

We added construction adhesive to keep the assemblies strong and rigid. And to make frame assembly easier, drill 2mm countersunk pilot holes for all the screws.

TIP If you plan to stain or paint the bench, do this before assembly.   

Step 1. Build the frames

Construct both the top and shelf frames, positioning the side rails and centre rails in between the front
and back rails. Drill pairs of 2mm pilot holes through the front and
back rails, securing with screws, then position the shelf boards and secure with screws to the rails.

Step 2. Assemble legs

Cut the pegboard squarely to size and position on a pair of legs, aligning the legs flush with the sides of the board. Apply a bead of construction adhesive to the legs for extra stability, then secure the pegboard to the
legs with five screws along each leg, keeping the framework square.

Step 3. Secure legs

Slide the leg assemblies inside the top frame one at a time with the pegboards facing in. The pegboards then act as braces for the legs. Drill pilot holes through the side rails into the legs, securing with pairs of offset chipboard screws and construction adhesive.

Step 4. Add the shelf

Stand the workbench on one end and slide the shelf between the legs, aligning it flush with the base of the pegboard leg brace. Drill pilot holes through the shelf, securing it to the legs with pairs of offset screws and construction adhesive. Repeat on the other side.

Step 5. Mount top boards

Start at the back of the top frame, aligning the first board flush with the back, then measure at each side, setting a 50mm overhang. Drill pairs of pilot holes and secure the board using adhesive and screws. Repeat with each board, leaving an overhang of about 60mm for the front board.

Step 6. Attach upper shelf

Assemble the upper shelf unit, then position it at the back of the bench, sitting the supports on the top boards. Secure with screws through the back of the upper shelf brace into the top board edge. Attach the bench back brace to the back legs and shelf back rail, securing with screws.

Click on the diagram

Click on the diagram to see the each component of this workbench.

Click on the cutting list

Click on the cutting list to see what items and in what measurements you will need for this project.

Click on the fastener list

Click on the fastener list to see what fasteners and in what sizes you will need for this project.

Click on the materials list

Click on the materials list to see what materials you will need for this project.

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