Once you've picked out the plans, you'll know exactly how much lumber and hardware (such as nuts, bolts, screws and connectors) you'll need to build your workbench. The plans will most likely tell you what tools you're going to need as well, but just in case they don't, consider the following.
While power tools make most things easier, they aren't absolutely necessary. After all, people were building things long before electricity was available. With that being said, unless you want to spend days building your workbench, power tools are the way to go. First and foremost, you're going to need a circular saw to cut your lumber to the correct specifications [source: Lowe's]. There will be a cut list included with your plans and it's generally easiest to make all your cuts before you get started. Once you have all the right pieces, it's just like putting together a big puzzle, except you'll be using directions and power tools.
The next tool you're going to need is a drill [source: Hazelton]. While you could probably assemble a workbench with screws and a screwdriver, it would take a very long time and unless you're incredibly strong, your wrists and forearms would quickly become fatigued. Along with a drill you'll need drill bits. The size of the drill bits will depend on the size of bolts you'll be using. This information should be included in your plans, but if it isn't, you can pick out a drill bit at the same time you pick out your bolts. Just make sure they're the same size.
Aside from a circular saw and a drill, there are a number of smaller handheld tools you'll want to have around as well. These include a hammer, a screwdriver, a corner square, a measuring tape, a few clamps and a framing pencil. You'll also need bolts, nuts, screws, nails and wood glue. The quantity of each will be specified in your plans. For the sake of safety, it's always a good idea to have eye protection as well [source: DIY].
The only other thing you'll need to finish your workbench is sand paper or a belt sander. Once you've assembled the whole thing, you can sand it down and make it smooth. Again this can be done by hand, but a belt sander will speed up the process considerably. The last thing you want while working at your new bench is a splinter.
For additional information about workbenches and related topics, be sure to check out the links below.
Related HowStuffWorks Articles
- Anark. "Crescent wrench." Everything2. Jan. 16, 2002. (Accessed 02/26/2009)http://everything2.com/title/Crescent%20wrench
- DIY. "Build a Workbench." DIY Network. (Accessed 02/26/2009)http://www.diynetwork.com/diy/sg_custom/article/0,,diy_14250_2268585,00.html
- Gegner, Lance E. "Organic Alternatives to Treated Lumber." Attra. (Accessed 02/26/2009)http://attra.ncat.org/attra-pub/lumber.html#intro
- HGTV. "How to Build a Workbench with Standard 2x4s." (Accessed 02/26/2009).
- Lowe's. "Building a Workbench." (Accessed 02/26/2009)http://www.lowes.com/lowes/lkn?action=howTo&p=Build/Workbench.html#2
- Plans Now. "Build a Workbench." (Accessed 02/26/2009)http://www.plansnow.com/workbenchplans.html
- Ron Hazelton's HouseCalls. "How to Build a Custom Workbench - Tools." (Accessed 02/26/2009)http://www.ronhazelton.com/howto/Workbench_Construction_Tools.htm