How to Build a Garage Workbench

12 Materials
20 Hours
I am very excited to share this Garage Workbench project with you!

This has been a long awaited, much needed piece in my garage. I have been working on a small collapsable table for the last couple years and with all my other projects to work on this Garage Workbench kept falling to the bottom of the list. I am happy to say it is done and my lower back is happy as well.

I made this workbench to solve many garage problems and be multifunctional. It is awesome for:
  • A space/area to complete projects
  • Organizing and storing power tools and other household/garage items on the lower shelves
  • Functioning as an extension of a table saw for larger/longer pieces of wood

This BEAST measures in at 73 1/2 by 37 1/2 inches and 34 1/4 inches tall. It is mobile so I can move it around as I need too on the the four 5 inch locking casters that can handle 220 lb each. Here is the before space in our messy garage...being transparent here.
*Always double check your measurements.  Due to minor errors in cuts, wood and being off square your cuts may be different then what I have here.  Measure twice cut once.  

Top Frame
  • 2 - 2 x 4 at 72 inches
  • 3 - 2 x 4 at 33 inches

Bottom Frame
  • 2 - 2 x 4 at 66 inches
  • 3 - 2 x 4 at 27 inches

Middle Frame
  • 3 - 2 x 4 at 11 inches - vertical shelf braces
  • 2 - 2 x 4 at 32 1/4 inches - sides supporting shelf
  • 2 - 2 x 4 at 23 inches - sides supporting shelf
  • 1 - 2 x 4 at 25 1/4 inches - middle support
  • 2 - 2 x 4 at 2 inches long by 3 1/2 inches (width of 2 x 4) - shelf brackets attached to inside of legs 
  • 2 - 2 x 4 at 2 inches long by 2 2/2 inches (cut one inch off of a 2 x 4) - shelf brackets attached to inside of legs
  • 4 - 2 x 4 at 25 3/4 inches
  • 4 - 2 x 6 at 25 3/4 inches
  • 4 - 2 x 6 at 5 inches - bottom of legs and for casters to attach

Table Top
  • MDF at 72 x 36 inches 
  • 2 - 1 x 2 at app. 72 inches 45 degree miter cuts both ends - trim
  • 2 - 1 x 2 at app. 36 inches 45 degree miter cuts both ends - trim

Bottom Shelf
  • MDF at 66 x 30 inches 
  • 2 - 1 x 2 at 58 inches cross cut - trim
  • 2 - 1 x 2 at 23 inches cross cut - trim

Middle Shelf
  • 2 - MDF at 16 1/8 X 15 inches (I used scrap leftover from the bottom and top MDF cuts)
  • 1 - 1 x 2 at 23 inches cross cut - trim
  • 2 - 1 x 2 at app. 28 1/2 inches one end 45 degree miter cut and one end cross cut - trim
  • 1 - 1 x 2 at app. 30 inches 45 degree miter cuts at both ends - trim

Step 1) I started out by making my top and bottom frames.  I made two pocket holes in all the cross supports of the frames and attached them to the side supports using the recommended 2 1/2 inch pocket hole screws.  
I also applied wood glue to the all the joints. 
Step 2) To assemble the legs I placed three pocket holes in all the 2 x 4 legs.
I created one pocket hole at each end and one off set from the middle about two inches.  The reason I didn't place a pocket hole in the middle is because the shelf brackets for the middle shelf will need to be nailed in the middle of the legs.  For the legs I attached the 2 x 4s to 2 x 6s using 2 1/2 inch pocket hole screws. 
Then I attached the legs to the inside of the bottom frame and to the outside of the top frame making pilot holes and using 2 1/2 inch wood screws. When attaching the legs I thought it was easier to lay the workbench on its side. I used scrap wood pieces to help prop it up when I attached the top frame. 
Step 3) Before attaching the bottom pieces I outlined the casters so this would help get a better idea of screw placement. Then I attached the four 2 x 6 pieces to the bottom of each leg first drilling pilot holes then using the 2 1/2 inch wood screws. 
Then I attached the casters first drilling pilot holes and using 1/4 inch lock washers and 1/4 inch lag screws.
Put your brakes on the casters and get some assistance with flipping the workbench right side up.  

Step 4) I added the bottom MDF board and attached it using 1 1/2 inch 18G brad nails all around the perimeter of the board.
At this point you can either assemble the middle frame and shelf or you can skip this part and move on to step 6. 

For the middle frame make two pocket holes on the ends of the 33 3/4 inch 2 x 4s and the shortest 26 3/4 inch 2 x 4 and attach with 2 1/2 inch pocket hole screws and wood glue. Once the frame is together then attach the 11 inch vertical supports using 2 1/2 inch wood screws.  
Step 5) I attached the shelf brackets 12 1/2 inches down from the top to the inside of the legs using wood glue and 1 1/2 inch 18G brad nails. 
To attach the middle frame I set it on the shelf brackets, and clamped the vertical supports to the middle of the cross support of the top frame.  Then I drilled pilot holes into the vertical supports and attached to the middle support of the top frame with 2 1/2 inch wood screws. 
I dry fitted the two shelf pieces, measured and cut out the pieces of the MDF shelf where the vertical supports would be using my Rockwell Bladerunner, which is basically an upside down jig saw. Then I attached the MDF pieces using 1 1/2 inch 18G brad nails. 
Step 6) I set the table top MDF board on the top frame and attached with 1 1/2 inch 18G brad nails. 
Step 7) Adding trim pieces is optional and the workbench will function fine without it, however the trim pieces help the integrity of the MDF, especially at the corners and I thought it helped with the esthetics making it look not like a beast but a SEXY BEAST. In fact I had originally only added trim to the top frame, but I loved it so much I added it to the middle and bottom as well. To add the trim you will need to miter cut all of the top frame pieces, and three of the middle frame pieces. The bottom frame trim will all be cross cuts.  I attached all the trim pieces with 1 1/2 inch 18G brad nails.  

Step 8) Almost done here.  I touched up a few spots with wood fillers and sanded any areas that needing sanding. Finally I added four coats of Spar Urethane.  I didn't quite know what sealer to use at first...although oil based coats are going to give it the best protection, I am not a fan of the clean up and smell.  I opted for a Spar Urethane, although it won't be outside it will be subject to some temperature changes being in the garage in Colorado. 
After all of this was done I celebrated with a glass a wine and made the workbench a home for several items in the my garage. Now it is time to primp it out with some accessories. 

I hope you love this Garage Workbench as much as I do. This is a large and time consuming project, but you could finish it over a weekend.

Please let me know if you have any questions.  I do my best to be as detailed with my instructions as possible. 

Some other projects you would LOVE is the Shiplap Welcome Sign and these Scrap Wood Lanterns.

Happy Building,
Suggested materials:
  • Miter saw   (hardware store)
  • Table saw   (hardware store)
  • Kreg Jig   (hardware store)
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Tiffany from Dream Design DIY
Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!
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