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Tom's Torsion Box Workbench Clackamas OR

The materials are nothing special, just 2x4s, 2x6s and two sheets of ordinary underlayment plywood (the kind with 1/8-in.-thick face veneer). Be picky when choosing your solid lumber. Look for boards that are straight, free of large knots and have full-width edges. Reserve your straightest boards for the top frame.

The Home Depot
(503)723-3181
2002 Washington Street
Oregon City, OR
Hours
Mon-Sat: 6:00am-10:00pm
Sun: 7:00am-8:00pm

The Home Depot
(503)252-0188
11633 NE Glen Widing Dr
Portland, OR
Hours
Mon-Sat: 6:00am-10:00pm
Sun: 7:00am-8:00pm

Woodcrafters
(800) 777-3709
212 NE 6th Ave
Portland, OR

Data Provided by:
The Home Depot
(360)254-6289
330 SE 192nd Ave
Vancouver, WA
Hours
Mon-Sat: 6:00am-10:00pm
Sun: 7:00am-8:00pm

Gilmer Wood Company
(503) 274-1271
2211 NW Saint Helens Road
Portland, OR

Data Provided by:
The Home Depot
(503)261-8543
10120 SE Washington St
Portland, OR
Hours
Mon-Sat: 6:00am-10:00pm
Sun: 7:00am-8:00pm

The Home Depot
(503)674-3944
25101 SE Stark Street
Troutdale, OR
Hours
Mon-Sat: 6:00am-10:00pm
Sun: 7:00am-8:00pm

Goby Walnut Products
(503) 477-6744
5315 NW St. Helens Rd.
Portland, OR

Data Provided by:
Woodcraft - Portland, OR
(503) 684-1428
12020 SW Main Street
Tigard, OR

Data Provided by:
The Home Depot
(503)639-3500
14800 SW Sequoia Parkway
Tigard, OR
Hours
Mon-Sat: 6:00am-10:00pm
Sun: 7:00am-8:00pm

Data Provided by:

Tom's Torsion Box Workbench

Tom's Torsion Box Workbench

Build a master's bench from plain old 2X4's and plywood.

by Tom Caspar

This rock-solid workhorse is simply four easy-to-build 2x4-and-plywood boxes.

Quick, cheap, solid. You can’t ask much more from a workbench, and this one delivers it all. Made of out nothing more than ordinary construction lumber, this durable, 250-lb.  heavyweight has all the features of a master cabinetmaker’s bench: a gigantic face vise, a slick tail vise and a rock-solid base. 

You’ll spend a measly $150 at a home center on lumber and hardware. Add $70 to $150 for a face vise (see Sources, below). We used a cool-looking, top-notch model, but any big vise will do.

The Best $250 Workbench

Thrifty Construction

Rugged boxes made of nothing but 2x4s and plywood add up to a high-performance bench that costs peanuts to build.


Ingenious Tall Vise

Hold any project with no awkward clamps to get in the way. 


You Don't Have to Be an Expert

Got a hammer, drill and circular saw? That’s virtually all it takes to build this awesome workbench.


Tools and Materials

If you have limited tools, don’t worry. It’s perfectly possible to build this bench using nothing but a pair of sawhorses, a circular saw, hammer, drill, combination drill bit, router and flush-trim bit, hacksaw and socket set. That’s it. A few more power tools (a miter saw, drill press, tablesaw and belt sander) make the job a lot easier, though. 

The materials are nothing special, just 2x4s, 2x6s and two sheets of ordinary underlayment plywood (the kind with 1/8-in.-thick face veneer). Be picky when choosing your solid lumber. Look for boards that are straight, free of large knots and have full-width edges. Reserve your straightest boards for the top frame. 

Preparing the Plywood

Start by cutting out the plywood panels. Factory edges are good enough, so you don’t have many cuts to make. The few corners that have to be absolutely square are already done!

1. Draw the outlines of all the plywood panels (A1, B1, C1 and C2) on two sheets of plywood (see Fig. C, page 41 and the   Cutting List, below).

2. Build a temporary cutting guide to fit your circular saw (Photo 1). It’s easy to make by nailing together two overlapping 1x6s cut just over 6 ft. long (you’ll use these boards later as parts of the bench). The edge of the bottom board shows you exactly where the saw will cut, so you don’t have to do any complicated measuring. The top board guides the saw. Nail some extra pieces of 1x6 under the overhang of the top board for balance.

3. Place the cutting guide directly on the lines and cut all the panels.

4. Mark the screw holes (see Fig. D, page 41) on one side of an end panel (A1) and a center-section panel (B1). 

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