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Tom's Torsion Box Workbench Salem NH

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.

Rockler Woodworking and Hardware #34
(603) 898-5941
373 S. Broadway
Salem, NH

Data Provided by:
Jim Rogers Sawmill
(800) 422-6250
117-R Jewett St.
Georgetown, MA

Data Provided by:
The Mall At Rockingham Pk
(603) 894-7700
77 Rockingham Park Blvd
Salem, NH
Store Hours
Sears Stores
Store Type
Sears Stores
Hours
Mon:10-21
Tue:10-21
Wed:10-21
Thu:10-21
Fri:10-21
Sat:8-21
Sun:10-18.5
Store Features
Mon:10-21
Tue:10-21
Wed:10-21
Thu:10-21
Fri:10-21
Sat:8-21
Sun:10-18.5

Bridge Street True Value
(603) 635-1521
122 Bridge St
Pelham, NH
 
Bruckmanns True Value Hdw.
(978) 686-4105
179 S Broadway
Lawrence, MA
 
Northland Forest Products, Inc.
(603) 642-3665
16 Church StreetPO Box 369
Kingston, NH

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All Righteous Woods - Fruit of the Earth -
(978) 948-7329
288 Newburyport Turnpike Rte 1
Rowley, MA

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Lowe's
(978) 241-1861
25 Computer Drive
Haverhill, MA
Hours
M-SA 6 am - 10 pm
SU 8 am - 8 pm

Abbott-treat Industrial
(978) 685-5115
20 Winter St
Lawrence, MA
 
Arthur Sharp Farm Supply Inc.
(978) 374-4044
21 Middlesex St
Haverhill, MA
 
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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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