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Garage with timber workbench in the middle, with a lot of tools on top of it.

Overview

A good solid workbench is a great place to start any D.I.Y. project. This guide shows you how to build your own portable workbench that's strong and has plenty of storage space. To make the job even easier, you can get your timber cut to size at your local Bunnings.

Steps

1Cut the timber

You can make this project easier and get all of the timber pre-cut at your local Bunnings. Here's our cut list:

 Cut the 70mm x 45mm treated pine to the following lengths:

  • 600mm x 8 (side supports)
  • 510mm x 8 (ends and table support)
  • 1800mm x 4 (front and back of the table)
  • 780mm x 4 (left and right legs)

 Cut the 17mm plywood to:

  • 600mm x 1700mm x 1
  • 600mm x 600mm x 2

 Cut the 25mm plywood to:

  • 2250mm x 1080mm x 1
Person using pencil and steel ruler to mark piece of timber.

2Measure and attach the cross braces and ends

Lay the two pieces of timber on the floor for the frame of the top of your workbench. Use a pencil and square to mark on both pieces where you will attach the cross braces. Make sure the marks for the braces are evenly spaced. Next, pre-drill the holes for the cross brace, this will stop the timber from splitting. Line up the timber for the cross braces and ends where they will be attached to the frames. Use the cordless drill and outdoor screws to put the frame together. Repeat this process to build the bottom frame.

Person drilling two bits of timber frame together.

3Make the ends sit flush on your workbench legs

There's a simple way to make sure the plywood at the end of your workbench is flush. Before you build the legs use the combination square to measure the thickness of the plywood that will go on the ends. Mark this distance on the edge of both pieces of timber. Use the cordless drill to fix the cross braces for your legs on this line. Repeat this process for the other end of the workbench.

Person placing timber panel on top of timber frame.

4Putting the workbench together

Once your two sides and ends for the workbench are made, it's time to put it all together. Insert the side frame into an end and screw the two together. Repeat this process until the ends and sides are securely joined and your workbench frame is solid.

Person laying out frame of DIY portable workbench.

5Attach the wheels

Attaching wheels means you can take your workbench wherever you want. Use the cordless drill and screws to attach the wheels to each corner of your workbench. You might want to consider using lockable wheels so the bench doesn't move when you're using it.

Person drilling castor wheels to timber frame.

6Attach the bottom shelf

A shelf is a handy place to store your tools and equipment. To attach it, turn the workbench over so that it's on its wheels. Place the plywood shelf onto the bottom frame, you may need someone to help you with this. Use the cordless drill to secure it to the frame. 

Person putting DIY portable workbench frame on its side.

7Attach the ends to your workbench

Adding timber ends to your workbench will give it a really professional look. To attach them, put them into the recesses at the end of the bench and use the cordless drill and screws to secure them in each corner.

Person putting side of DIY portable workbench in place.

8Attach the top of your workbench

Have someone help you to lift the plywood top onto your workbench. Line it up so that it's square and has an even overhang on all sides. Use the cordless drill and screws to secure the top to the frame. Now you've finished your workbench, you can now decide whether you want to paint or stain it. 
Two people laying timber table top down.

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More D.I.Y. Advice

Health & Safety

Asbestos, lead-based paints and copper chromium arsenic (CCA) treated timber are health hazards you need to look out for when renovating older homes. These substances can easily be disturbed when renovating and exposure to them can cause a range of life-threatening diseases and conditions including cancer. For information on the dangers of asbestos, lead-based paint and CCA treated timber and tips for dealing with these materials contact your local council's Environmental Health Officer or visit our Health & Safety page.

When following our advice in our D.I.Y. videos, make sure you use all equipment, including PPE, safely by following the manufacturer’s instructions. Check that the equipment is suitable for the task and that PPE fits properly. If you are unsure, hire an expert to do the job or talk to a Bunnings Team Member.