Make your first DIY a Workbench!

If you are reading this, you have made it to my first DIY post. YAY! Kudos to you, and thank you so much for joining me.

I'm the type of girl that loves to do things on her own, especially if that means saving me some money. After buying my house, I basically got rid of the little furniture I had (well my 6 month old puppy at the time had a hand in that, because he destroyed close to EVERYTHING! bless his little annoying heart). On the bright side, I get to start fresh and build a ton of new furniture. Thanks again Benz. 

I thought long and hard about what my first project should be, no seriously, it took a whopping 3 weeks for me to decide. Building a workbench for my first DIY just made sense, because I needed a place to store my tools and supplies. More importantly, I needed a platform to work off of for all the future projects to come. I spent an additional 3 days surfing the web, in search of a perfect, straight to the point, detailed building plan. Then something amazing happened, I stumbled across Ana White's page, and instantly felt at home. She's a wife, mother, and DIY extraordinaire residing in Alaska. Ana inspires female readers, such as myself, who need that extra boost of confidence when it comes to picking up a power tool, and getting the job done without male influence.

So, after skimming through all the workbench build plans she had, man were there many, I finally decided on one. It was a simple build using 2x4s and plywood. I printed out the well detailed plans, and headed to my neighborhood Home Depot to shop for the material. My boyfriend accompanied me on this trip, mainly because I needed him to carry the wood and fit it in the car. What else is he good for? I kid, I kid. We picked up 10 2x4s at 8 feet long, her plans say you only need 8, but I had a feeling I was going to mess up. We were also lucky in finding a sheet of plywood that was slightly damaged, and got it for about 60% off the original price. I love a great discount. As we were putting the plywood in the cart, a friendly employee asked if we would like the wood cut so we can fit it into the car. (Abso-freakin-lutely! I didn't even think about that.) I then asked him if he could cut to my specific measurements, he reluctantly agreed, but I'm pretty sure they typically charge for that. I then tried to tip him but he would not take my money, he was just very thankful that I even offered (earned major cool points in my book). I then had to pick up some self tapping wood screws. Home Depot carried a box of 300 FOR $20, but I thought that was too much. After leaving Lowe's, we stopped at an Ace Hardware store, and I bought a box of 100 for $10. I'm aware that I could have gotten way more for just double the price, but what can I say I'm very cheap (Ha). 

Returning home with all my goodies, my boyfriend unloaded all the wood into my carport, and left me to it (I love his confidence in me). Weeks prior to starting this project, I purchased the new loves of my life, a DeWalt DWS780 12'' 15 Amp Double Bevel Sliding Compound Miter Saw and a DeWalt DWE575SB 7-1/4-Inch Lightweight Circular Saw. Those saws are beasts! I also purchased a Irwin quick-grip clamp set, very useful when used properly, which I will further explain shortly.

I stared off by making all my cuts for the leg assembly, with my compound miter saw. Using a tape measure was a little difficult for me when it came to getting accurate measurements on wood. I should have used a framing square, but I did not purchase one until after the project was complete (Oops). So the measurements for the legs may have been slightly off, but I still made it work. Another minor error I made was when putting the legs together. Well honestly it was pretty major. So remember how I mentioned that I purchased a clamp set? Funny thing is I did not think to use the clamps until I was on the 4th and last leg. Instead of clamping the wood together after putting the glue down, I just started screwing in the nails. Doing this did not allow the screws to go in all the way to the next block of wood. It caused the nails to draw back,  strip, and get stuck in place. Which resulted in me hammering the screw to the side, because at that point you cannot get the screw out. I was failing miserably, and it was all because I did not put my clamps to use. I have definitely learned my lesson from that one.

Sidebar: At the time of the project, I contemplated creating a blog, so I do apologize for not having more photos of my process. Every post from here on out will be more picture detailed.

I will say though, during this whole process I did not have a table or sawhorse to work off of, hence the reason why I wanted to build a workbench. So I am proud of myself for building this amazing bench on the concrete floor in my carport. (Go me!)

Product and Cost Breakdown

  • Wood glue - $5.97

  • Speed square - $7.90

  • 2-3/4" self tapping wood screws - $10.31

  • 8 2x4 @ 8 feet long - $27.76

  • 1 sheet of 3/4" thick plywood - $14.38 (discounted from $35)

  • 4 Steel swivel plate caster wheels w/ brake lock - $35 (optional)

  • 16 flat head lag screws - $12.83 (optional)

= $66.32 (not including the wheels and lag screws)

(Insert picture here)

A few days later I went on Amazon and found these really nice steel swivel wheel casters to put on the legs of my workbench. I then went back to Ace Hardware to buy some lag screws for the wheels. I did have to drill pilot holes before drilling in the screws. I must say the turn out was amazing, and the wheels work great!