How to Build a Garage Workbench

Instructions for Building a Garage Workbench

By Mark J. Donovan

If you have a garage, then you need a garage workbench. You can either buy an off the shelf workbench from a home improvement store, or you can build your own garage workbench.

In my experience you can build a garage workbench in about an hour that will hold up longer than anything you can buy from a store. Not to mention you can save a few bucks in the process.

Material Required for Building a Garage Workbench

To build your own garage workbench you will need six 2x4s, eight feet in length, and a 4’x 8’ sheet of ½ inch plywood. You will also need 2.5”, 1.25” and 1.0” drywall/decking screws.

Tools Required for Building a Garage Workbench

Plans for Building a Garage Workbench

To begin with you need a basic plan for building a garage workbench. Typically I like to build garage workbenches that are 6 feet in length and 2 feet in depth.

Due to the fact that I am tall, I typically like to have the legs 38” in length. Based on your personal height you may want to limit the leg height to 36”.

Note: If you require detailed, step-by-step instructions, with accompanying pictures, for building a garage workbench see’s “Build a Garage Workbench Ebook“.

How to Build a Garage Workbench eBook

Cut the Top Frame Pieces of the Garage Workbench

To begin building a garage workbench, start by making the equivalent of a 6’x2’ band constructed out of two 2x4s. This band represents the top framework of your garage workbench.

Cut two of the 8’x2”x4”s to 6 feet in length. Then trim the two remaining 2”x4”s stubs portions to 21” in length.

Now lay the 4 pieces on the garage floor, standing on their narrow end, with the two 21” length pieces sitting in-between the two 6 foot pieces. After positioning the pieces in place, such that you create a perfect rectangular band, draw a line with a pencil on the inside seams of the two longer boards. You are defining where you will make cuts to create lap joints for the legs.

Next, measure 3.5” inward, from the lines that you previously drew, and make another series of straight lines. Put an X between each pair of lines. You should have two X’s on each 6 foot 2”x4” piece. The spacing between each pair of marks should be 3.5”.

Now set your table saw or circular saw to 0.75” in depth, and make many cuts between each pair of lines. You should make cuts every 1/8th of an inch between the 3.5” inch marks.

 Finished Garage Workbench

Next, using a hammer, knock out the cut strips. Then use a chisel to smooth out the lap joints.

Building the Garage Workbench Legs

Now create 4 garage workbench legs by cutting two 8 foot 2”x4”s to your desired height. For example, if you want the finished height of the garage workbench to be 36” cut the workbench legs to 35.5 inches in length.

Again, at the top of each leg, measure down 3.5” and make a mark across the wide side of the 2×4 legs. Again, using your table saw, make many 0.75” deep cuts between the end of the leg and the 3.5” line you drew. Do this for each leg of the garage workbench.

Assemble the Garage Workbench Frame

Using 2.5 inch drywall/deck screws, attach the four top frame pieces together. The two 21” length pieces should sit in-between the two 6 foot pieces.

Next, attach the legs to the top frame piece. The top of each leg should sit flush with the top of the frame-top and should sit snuggly into the lap joints. Use 1.25” drywall or decking screws to attach the legs to the top workbench frame. 

Put 3 screws into each lap joint. You may also want to apply some carpenters glue in each lap joint before attaching the legs. The lap joints should assure that the garage workbench will not rack.

Build the Garage Workbench Mid-Frame

With the legs attached to the top frame assembly, stand the garage workbench up.

Now build another band of 2x4s that will reside on the inside edge of the legs. Attach the Mid-Frame assembly to the legs with 2.5” drywall/decking screws.

Install the Garage Workbench Top

With the garage workbench frame complete, it is now time to install the garage workbench top. Rip a 25” wide strip of the 4’x8’ plywood. Then cut it to 6’1” in length. This will create a garage workbench top that will have a ½ inch overlap over the top garage workbench frame.

Attach the garage workbench top to the top workbench frame using 1” drywall/decking screws. Apply the screws every 8” or so.

Install the Mid-Frame Plywood Section

Now measure the depth and length of the mid-frame section, and cut the remaining piece of plywood to these measurements. The mid-frame plywood section should be 21” x 72” if you followed all of the previous instructions correctly.

Finally, secure the mid-frame plywood section to the mid-frame section using 1” drywall/decking screws, and you have yourself a garage workbench.

For more information on building a garage workbench see the Build a Garage Workbench Ebook from The “Build a Garage Workbench Ebook” will show you how to build your own rugged Garage Workbench. It provides detailed, yet easy to understand, instructions and mechanical drawings for building a garage workbench, and pictures are included in every step of the build process.  Order and Immediately Download today!

How to Build a Workbench Ebook Video

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