Easy 2×4 Workbench Plans for Beginners

Learn how to build an easy 2×4 workbench using simple tools and lumber with detailed plans for beginner woodworkers.

2x4 workbench in a workshop with text overlay

When I first got a taste of woodworking and built my first few projects, I decided, I needed a miter saw. My husband refused to let me get a miter saw until I had a workbench to place it on.

I found a simple set of plans on the Kreg website and modified it slightly to make it work for me. I bought the 2×4 boards and plywood. I had the store cut them down for me to size and built the workbench using pocket holes. There were some cuts I had to make myself, and I used a hand saw for it, which was very frustrating and made me appreciate the miter saw that I bought even more!

Looking back, I am very thankful to him for making sure I built a workbench to have a place to use the miter saw.

That workbench has been the center of my workshop for these last 11 years! And it is still going strong!

This excellent starter woodworking workbench can be built with very simple tools (just like I did).

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Not only that, over the years, it has had a bunch of functions –

  • As an assembly table (also being used currently as this)
  • As a miter saw stand – the original reason I built it. I made holes in the top and added bolts to attach the miter saw. Now I use this.
  • As a table saw outfeed table – I used it as an outfeed table before I added the folding outfeed table on my table saw stand.

2×4 Workbench Plans

You can download the plans for the DIY workbench here. The plans include the lumber needed, the cut list, and the step-by-step schematics.

DOWNLOAD THE PLANS

How to Build the DIY Workbench

Since I built this project long before I had any intentions of starting a website, I do not have the step-by-step images. I am sharing select schematic diagrams instead. The plans go into lots more detail.

Step 1: Prep the Boards

  • Make the cuts per the cut list in the plans. Only the 2×4 boards need to be cut down to sizes.
  • The sheets of plywood can be bought in 24″ x 48″ sizes. The bottom shelf for the workbench needs to have the notches cut out, which can be cut using a jig saw or a handsaw.

Sanding the 2×4 boards is optional. It is going to stay in the workshop. I did not sand it. However, if you want to sand it, use a random orbital sander and sandpaper from 80 Grit to 220 Grit.

See more about sanding wood here.

Step 2: Pocket Holes

  • Make pocket holes in all the boards as illustrated in the plans.

All the pocket holes are made with the jig and the depth collar set to 2 1/2″.

Step 3: Build the Bottom Frame

schematic showing how to build the leg side of the workbench
  • Then attach the long aprons to complete the leg frame.
Schematic showing how to build the entire leg frame of the workbench using 2x4 boards

Step 4: Build the Top

  • Build the top by gluing two pieces of 3/4” plywood together to make a thick top. Let dry overnight.  If you have clamps, you can clamp them together. 
  • Place the leg frame over the plywood top and attach using 2-1/2” pocket hole screws and wood glue.
Schematic drawing showing attaching the top to the leg frame

Step 5: Attach the Bottom Shelf

  • Turn the bench on its side, place the shelf on the bottom aprons, and attach the shelf to the frame using pocket hole screws from the bottom.
Schematic showing attaching the bottom shelf to the workbench

Step 6: Finishing Touches

The workbench is ready to use now, but the next few steps are highly recommended.

close up of the drop down casters on a workbench

I like these casters because when the workbench is in use, the legs of the bench sit on the floor, ensuring the workbench is completely stable. But when you want to move the workbench around, it is as easy as pressing down the lever with your foot, and the workbench goes onto the casters, making it very easy to maneuver.

I did not do this, but I wish I had. Adding polyurethane to the top creates an easy-to-clean surface – especially with wood glue. You can easily wipe off wet wood glue and keep the surface looking great. It will not stand the test of spilling solvents, but keeping it clean in the long run will be easy.

2x4 workbench in the workshop

The top of my workbench is quite beaten up… every time I got fed up with how the top looked, I sanded it down. When the plywood got too thin and worn, I added another 1/4″ sheet. My workbench top is currently over 2″ thick. I never took the time to add a few coats of polyurethane because I was always in a hurry for the next project. I wish I had!

There it is!

Super easy to build – perfect for beginners, and extremely useful. Don’t forget to download the plans and build your own workbench!

Learn how to build an easy 2x4 workbench using simple tools and lumber with detailed plans for beginner woodworkers.

Easy 2X4 Workbench for Beginners

Yield: 1 workbench

Build an easy 2x4 workbench using simple tools and lumber with detailed plans for beginner woodworkers.

Instructions

  1. Make the cuts per the plans. Only the 2X4s have to be cut to size, the plywood can be bought in 24" X 48" sizes. Cut the notches for the bottom shelf using a jigsaw or handsaw.
  2. Make pocket holes with the jig and depth collar set to 2 1/2".
  3. Build the bottom frame by attaching the short stretchers to the legs using wood glue and pocket hole screws to build the sides. Then attach the long aprons to complete the leg frames.
  4. Build the top by gluing 2 pieces of 3/4" plywood together. Clamp and allow to dry overnight.
  5. Place the leg frame over the plywood top and attach using 2-1/2” pocket hole screws and wood glue.
  6. Attach the bottom shelf by turning the bench on its side, placing the shelf on the bottom aprons, and attaching the shelf to the frame using pocket hole screws from the bottom.
  7. Add drop-down casters and add a few coats of polyurethane to the top and it's ready to use!

More workshop ideas:

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Anika's goal is to inspire and empower beginners with woodworking, DIY, home improvement, and home decor ideas.
She wants everyone to unlock their creative potential and experience the feeling that comes with making something. Nothing feels better better than seeing something and saying "I can make that!"

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