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Budget Workbench Downloadable Plan

Item #
80% of 100

There are a number of woodworking fixtures you can get by without for a long while, but a sturdy workbench isn't one of them. The trouble is, those solid-hardwood benches we all lust after can completely blow a modest woodworking budget. Here's a bench that splits the difference. You'll get a top that can stand up to significant abuse, a sturdy, heavy base that keeps the bench planted where you put it, and an end vise and T-track system for holding workpieces as well as a variety of unique jigs. It may not look quite like a European bench, but it works just as hard as one for a lot less money.

(1) Downloadable Budget Workbench Plan
More Information
Brand Woodworker's Journal
4.0 / 5.0
7 Reviews
5 Stars
4 Stars
3 Stars
2 Stars
1 Star
Be smart
This is a great project if you carefully consider your needs first. I left out the vise and tracks, but had no problem hand picking good 2x4 stock at the big box stores. I did use maple on the top sides in case I ever decided to add tracks, but it was not a budget buster by any means. The cabinet and drawers were a first for me and a great learning experience. I also added retractable casters so I can easily move the workbench around my shop. Love the workbench!
January 11, 2019
over 3 years ago
Woodworking Experience:
Nicely Done
While I have received the plans and have reviewed them I have not yet started the project. From the plans, it looks like the project might be a tad challenging but doable with a minimum of issues. Looking forward to getting this done.
February 1, 2017
over 3 years ago
Woodworking Experience:
Good project
This is a project for the winter months to redo my new wood working area.
January 11, 2017
over 3 years ago
Woodworking Experience:
Very nice almost finished
February 24, 2016
over 4 years ago
Looks Good
I just got the plans. I'm a novice wood worker and this is my biggest project to date. Plans are easy to read and follow. My only complaint is there is not a list of the wood I need to purchase, such as how many 2 x 4's I need to buy.
December 15, 2014
Budget is the key word
If all you're counting is dollars, then yes this is a bench on a budget. But, if you care about the finished work and you count your time, then this is not a budget project. A good bench starts with a solid, square base. Not bells and whistles like a fancy vise and T-tracks.
A solid base is square, which means using straight and square lumber. Not "standard 2x4 stock". That stuff isn't straight and seldom square enough.
So, if you buy "standard 2x4 stock" you will need to square and straighten it on a jointer and/or planer. If you have one, or both. That's time spent. Budget is shot now.
Or you could buy higher quality lumber, probably hardwood. Another hit to the budget.
If you're willing, and able, to deal with this situation then this bench is worth considering.
August 2, 2017
over 3 years ago
Woodworking Experience:
Not detailed. Not useful
Not detailed enougn. I really dont find it useful
December 18, 2019
6 months ago
Woodworking Experience:
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Browse 11 questions Browse 11 questions and 60 answers
Why did you choose this?
Rockler Store
Need a work bench
Doug M on Apr 17, 2020
It is exactly what I was looking for.
Clark R on Aug 7, 2019
Need a work bench
Doug M on Apr 17, 2020
I need to build a workbench
Lee E on Mar 22, 2020
It is exactly what I was looking for.
Clark R on Aug 7, 2019
Amanda L on May 24, 2019
New shop
Armando E on Apr 16, 2019
Looking for an improvement on the Harbor Freight bench I have now and want to make a shop project out of it.
Robert K on Mar 24, 2019
I have searched the internet and have found that this plan best fits my needs.
DREW G on Mar 23, 2019
Just starting out with woodworking and looking for workbench ideas and plans.
L T on Mar 15, 2019
its quicker
James D on Feb 26, 2019
I am just starting out woodworking and need a bench.
Edmond C on Feb 11, 2019
Franz v on Feb 9, 2019
Planning a new project and wanted a plan to begin with, and one I think I can modify slightly to meet my needs
Trevor W on Feb 4, 2019
Need a affordable and functional workbench for my shop!
Greg K on Jan 23, 2019
Need to make a bench for an Excelsior lathe
RichK on Jan 23, 2019
I really need a work bench.
Thomas K on Jan 16, 2019
I would like to build this project.
Cle on Dec 23, 2018
need to mount new knife sharpening equipment
John Sigsbury R on Nov 29, 2018
My old workbench has about had it.
Randolph D on Oct 2, 2018
The other plans that I have purchased from Rockler have been easy to follow and exactly what I wanted
Robert H on May 28, 2018
Need a general purpose workbench and an assembly table. This looks like a good start.
Ramon A on Feb 15, 2018
thinking of adding inexpensive work bench to shed area.
George Z on Dec 30, 2017
Allen C on Dec 15, 2017
I want to build my own work bench and this one looks like it will fit my needs.
Kenneth S on Oct 3, 2017
I am in need of another work bench and i saw this one and it seemed like a very well designed bench for the cost of all the material i will need and i believe it will blend in perfectly with my wood shop
Bill M on Aug 21, 2017
seems it would be beneficial for my shop
Doug M on Jul 24, 2017
I have been using saw horses and other things as workbenchs. I am retired now and need to organize my work shop area. This will give me a head start on organizing and will enhance my ability complete the many projects I have put off.
William W on Apr 17, 2017
I am in the midst of building my workshop and the timing of this was perfect
Doug H on Feb 1, 2017
I need a new work bench for my new work space.
Pat R on Dec 20, 2016
seemed like a reasonable priced woodshop bench for beginner who can't afford Europen bench.
JEFF W on Dec 14, 2016
I need it
Hyung-Yul C on Dec 14, 2016
I'm a beginner woodworker, and I need a bench to start.
Frederick B on Dec 9, 2016
Really need one
Mark B on Oct 23, 2016
Looked doable
Tom A on Sep 19, 2016
Needed to build one
BEN D on Sep 12, 2016
Would like a new work bench with storage.
Steve W on Mar 28, 2016
A new shop.
RICHARD P on Jan 27, 2016
Looks like something i can make and use
Derek R on Jan 15, 2016
I like what Rockler offers, the price was right and I liked the design/cost of this work bench.
joe s on Nov 10, 2015
I've been a woodworkers Ezine receiver since the beggining and their plans are well put together. Tho this is the first time I have bought one the free plans have been great accurate and easy to use.
Gregory D on Oct 26, 2015
Needed rugged economical workbench.
RALPH A on Oct 19, 2015
comparing plans
Jerry F on Sep 30, 2015
paul v on Sep 28, 2015
Hoping it's an affordable build.
Donnie S on Sep 14, 2015
looked doable for a new user
Joseph D on Sep 13, 2015
looked like what I wanted
Loretta G on Jul 22, 2015
I want making workbench.
ZAFER A on Jul 4, 2015
It meets all of my needs for a wood working bench.
Robert B on May 24, 2015
Source of good ideas
Courtney I on May 6, 2015
needed more detail to make table
Peggy B on Apr 22, 2015
I need to build a workbench
Lee E on Mar 22, 2020
Amanda L on May 24, 2019
Roughly what is the complete cost for materials to build according to the plans?
A shopper on Apr 21, 2015
BEST ANSWER: If you buy everything the plans call for you will have around 500 dollars in this
Which major tools are "must-haves" to be able to build this bench? Which ones can I work around with other tools or combination of tools?
John P on Dec 11, 2015
BEST ANSWER: Enter an answer to thitable saw, clamp, glue, sandpaper, polishing, routers, meters, chisel, drills question.
Do the plans include a materials list?
JohnM on Jan 14, 2016
BEST ANSWER: Yes they do as with all of thier other plans.
I wonder if this $7.95 plan has any more information than the article and sketches on this bench in the book, "The Best of Woodworker's Journal Workshop Projects"?
DENNIS B. on Aug 11, 2015
it has more because it gives you extra tips on the Plans.
What are the overall dimensions?
Bob P on Sep 15, 2015
BEST ANSWER: 32 1/4"(h)x24"(w)x80"(l) sans tail vice.
Do you have printed copy?
A shopper on May 5, 2015
BEST ANSWER: No, this is a downloadable version.
I have this plan in a printed format the I bought years go and m now retired and went to build the workbench. I am have a little difficulty with the plans and am wondering if the downloadable version has more detail, and if not where nd how can i get help with some of y questions??
Vince C on Dec 29, 2015
BEST ANSWER: Hi, I probably can't help, depending on where you are in the process. If the bench in the photo looks like it's just what you need, you should download the plan. I think Rockler has several ready to assemble benches that look quite good. Example: Large Workbench (N2000) Item #: 31719... I. too, am retired and trying to decide whether to buy or build. I have a bench that looks good and works good, but just is too light for hand work. It all depends on what you expect to be using the bench for. There are some good books out there to help us decide. "The Workbench" by Lon Schleining" is excellent. Also, Christopher Schwarz has written several good books on the subject. Vince, good luck and have fun working wood.
Where can the vises be purchased?
Joe on Jan 18, 2019
BEST ANSWER: Rockler has them. Check their website. They also have theirs as well as a couple of other brands on Amazon.
What is the finished size of this bench?
Stephen on May 9, 2019