Building a Cheap Hand Tool Workbench

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The workbench that I have now is great for abuse and power tools, but I didn’t design it with hand tools in mind. Now that I’ve been using hand tools more, particularly planes and saws, having a good hand tool workbench is pretty vital. A lot of traditional benches are made out of hardwoods like maple, but I opted to keep this workbench inexpensive by going with 2×4 studs that I already had in my garage. My theory is that I’d rather have my workbench get dented than whatever project I’m working on.

So… how much did it cost? I don’t know, haha. All of the wood was already in my shop (since I don’t have truck, when I am able to get 2x4s and full sheets of plywood, I get extra and it all sits for a while). I would guess I used something like 16 2x4s, which go for about $3 (USD) here, and a scrap of plywood (maybe around 1/4 sheet). I’d guess that’s roughly $60-$75, so not bad for something that I expect to last many years. I wasn’t worried much about the appearance, so I even left some of the “stud” stamps in place. For some reason, it’s amusing to me to think of making nice things on a bench made of cheap scraps.

I made a few mistakes during this build, mostly because I was getting ahead of myself. Fortunately, everything turned out okay anyway, and it even has a bit of …. character.


DukeStarbuckle says:

You're a courageous person for posting this with all of the good, bad and ugly. I've certainly learned from this and I appreciate the honesty.

RADCOMJ1 says:

man you chose your name well. I love how you left in all your mistakes and breaks, it cracked me up 🙂 that table looks solid even when it nearly fell off the saw bench. Subscribed looking forward to your other videos

Darren Roberts says:

The reason your top tennon didnt fit was that your spacer block when making the legs was the un-squared lumber. Meaning that you measured for square stock but used rounded stock, made them a combination of 1/2 inch too long or so. Nice work otherwise dude. 👍

Robert Mielke says:

"A" for effort!

Barry Manilowa says:

You need a number 6, 7 or 8 when you try to flatten larges surfaces

Anthony Lau says:

I like the vid and the chat. Thx for sharing.

Aruga says:

Amazing how forgiving wood is as a material. Nice work—turned out great!

Janine Lew says:

This was the most entertaining workbench build I've seen. I'm in the process of building my first too. I'm worried that it may be too heavy. I didn’t realize how heavy 2×4’s were. I'm a female, so I hope I can pick it up. Awesome job!

Bob Abooey says:

It's about 6 inches low…it should be around the level of your JUNK

Fearsome Warrior says:

Use plastic wrap on the caps for Danish Oil and the like. Alternatively you can wipe both parts of the cap with damp towel or something. Great looking bench. Very encouraging for those of us who see stuff like GuysWoodshop small bench that is far more intimidating.

Warren James says:

Hey mate! A big g'day from Australia! Just found your channel and thoroughly enjoyed this build. As an absolute beginner just starting out myself I'm hungry for easy to follow, informative blokes like yerself! I now have a better idea of what I want for my first workbench! Now if ya doing anything on tool totes/chests…..:-)

ab driver55 says:

Nice job , a real life build , warts and all . Thanks

Mario Muranaka says:

Very Strong workbench , congratulations !

TheBeerbelly007 says:

You make me laugh, good stuff—

somethingelseishere says:

Seeing you struggle with this bench is the story of my life! Haha.

Thomas Holt says:

Love your channel. This is me. Non finewoodworking. Love it.

Alfred Neumann says:

You made my evening! But this 'thing' look good and stable.
Cheerio from Germany.

PacoWang says:

Brother I'll tell you I really enjoy your videos. Your sense of humor has me rolling. You are doing great. Table looks good and solid. Thanks for taking the time to put these videos out.

Joe Basement Woodworking & DIY says:

I think it turned out pretty solid man! couple mistakes but that's trial for We've all and there bro. It has a nice moxon vise I'm sure you'll get some good use out of that.. I've been told that whatever your vises max capacity is thats how u space ur dog holes so if you have a 9 inch Vise you would space your dog holes 9" apart from ur vises farthest jaw. hope that makes sense if it doesn't check out James Wright Channel he has a couple of videos about that. that's actually who told me LOL .have a good one bro

Timber Anew says:

I hope its ok that I laughed when you broke the mallet! I love seeing end grain coming up through a table top, great job and it looks solid.

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