Building a Collapsible Work Bench

What You'll Need
Circular Saw
Tape Measure
1 Assistant (for 2 minutes)

There are times when you need a work bench, and times when it would only be in the way. To accommodate both situations, build a collapsible workbench along one wall of your workshop or garage. In the folded position, it will only take up a few inches of wall space.

Step 1: Prepare the Materials

Cut planks of plywood. You will need:

  • 2x4, 41½ inches long (2)
  • 2x4, 48 inches long (2)
  • 2x4, 34½ inches long (3)
  • 2x4, 24¾ inches long (1)
  • 36x48 inches, ½-inch thick (1)

Step 2: Assemble the Bench

Assemble the table for the work bench by placing 2 of the 34½-inch boards between the two 48-inch boards, one at each end. Nail the pieces in place. At the end that will be farthest from the wall, measure in 2½ inches and place the final 34½-inch board flat and flush with the bottom edge of the side panels.

Center the 24¾-inch board against the inside of the same end, and attach it directly to the end piece. Turn the frame over, and attach the piece of plywood by starting at one corner and mailing with short nails every 4 inches clockwise around the edge.

Step 3: Attaching the Hinges

Turn the table upside down again. On the wall side of the table, measure 10 inches in from each side, and attach one side of a hinge. Make sure that the hinges are placed so that when they are folded closed, they lie directly over the edge of the of the 2x4 they are attached to.

Place the 2 remaining board in the other end. They should fit loosely in gaps formed by the braces that were attached in step 2. On each leg, center a hinge so that it—like the others—will lie flat against the piece of 2x4 that is flat against the plywood. When these hinges are in attached to the legs, each leg should fold neatly into the table.

Step 4: Attaching the Workbench

Find a stud in the wall, and mark a small dot at 40 inches above the floor. Open the legs, and turn the table over so that it is standing on them, with your assistant is supporting the other. Crawl under the table, and center one of the hinges on the stud you selected. Your mark should be an approximate guide for the location, but it is a good idea to use a carpenter's level on the top for better accuracy. Insert the final screws in the hinges.

Step 5: Storing the Workbench

Lift up on the outside edge of the bench gently, and fold the legs under the table as it it lowered down against the wall. To make the legs more stable and prevent accidental collapse, install hook-and-eyebolt clips (like the ones used for simple door locks). Click them into place when the table is being used.