Once you have determined the best height, as discussed in part one, for your workbench it is time to start building the workbench. The best and strongest wall attached workbench is attached directly to the wall studs. If you are building a workbench in the garage and it is not sheet rocked yet, you are in luck. If not you can build this without cutting out the sheet rock, but it will be stronger if you do.
The following construction technique will hold just about any project you set on your workbench short of an engine block.
You have your length, height, and width of the workbench you intend to build so lets get started building a workbench.
For an example we will figure on building a 30 inch wide workbench, eight feet long. You are going to need two 2×4’s the full length of your project. (If the workbench is really long and will take more than one board), end the boards in the center of a stud so both ends can be attached to the stud.
Next you will need a cross piece every sixteen inches. We are going to say our workbench is eight feet long so you will need one 2×4 every sixteen inches which brings us to seven pieces. (One for each end) For those using a calculator and seeing only six. 96 divided by 16= 6 +1 =7. Also our workbench will need four legs roughly six feet long as they will be set on an angle.
Two 2×4’s eight feet long.
Seven 2×4’s 27 inches long (subtract for the width of the two long boards.)
A box of 16d common nails.
A box of #10x 3 inch deck screws
A box of #8×1 ½ inch screws
One sheet of OSB wafer board 7/16 inch thick. 4′x8′
Four 2×4’s six feet long
Buying seven, eight foot studs will cover all of it, and leave some blocking as well.
Drill with chuck for the type of screws you are using.
24 inch carpenter’s level
18 inch bar clamp
Lay two eight foot studs side by side on a flat surface and mark every 16 inches along their length… Check your measurement against where you will put the workbench on the wall and adjust your marks so that the cross pieces are not covering a stud to ease screwing the top to the studs when ready to begin building a workbench. Take a speed square and mark both boards at the same time
Cut the seven cross pieces to 27 inches long. Once the two long boards are added the bench top will measure 30 inches wide.
Set one end of the eight foot long 2×4 on top of a cross piece and the other on a bucket or have someone hold it up level with the other end and nail the cross piece flush with the end of the eight footer.
Nail the remaining cross pieces on, centered on your marks, and the final piece will once again be nailed flush with the end of the eight footer. Flip the workbench over and repeat with the other eight foot board to complete the workbench’s top framework.
Measure up the wall and mark your bench height at each end of where the workbench will be. Stretch a caulk line across the marks and mark all of the studs.
Screw the top you just built to the studs of the wall, using three deck screws per stud, and attach a 2×4 to the outside edge for a temporary support. This “leg” will be removed after the permanent legs are installed, but when building a workbench the top needs to be level to enable measuring the angled legs correctly.
Take one of the leg pieces and insert it into the wall and against the end of your bench top, keeping the piece flush with the top of the bench and clamp it to the end cross piece.
Lay a level on the bottom plate and slide it up the leg until the level mark you are making meets the end of the 2×4 so that once it is cut the whole end of the 2×4 sits on the floor.
Once you have cut that end on the angle, measure from the inside point (flush with the bench top) out to 3 ½ inches along the new cut and using a square mark that, and cut it. The leg should now set inside the wall and angle up to the workbench top.
Level the top and re-clamp the leg. Mark the leg even with the face of the workbench’s top. Remove the leg and cut on the mark.
Test fit this leg where each of the legs will be installed and check the workbench for level. If all the legs will be the same use this leg to mark out the other three and cut them.
Screw the legs in place, using four deck screws on each end, or you can bolt them if you need the workbench to carry more weight.
Set the sheet of OSB (Wafer board) on top of your workbench and mark it from underneath. Cut the top to size and screw it down with #8x 1 ½ inch screws. Set the screws about every foot all the way around. It usually works out best to put the factory cut edge on the outside of the workbench. If you do sheet rock the walls it will hide any defects from the cutting.
Now you have finished building a work bench with no legs to get in the way on the floor, and it will be strong enough for almost anything you can set on it.