This is 6 Smart Reasons to Start a With a 2×4 Workbench as a Beginner. In this post, you’ll learn why starting with a simple 2 x 4 workbench is the best way to go as a new woodworker.
2×4 Workbenches For Beginners
As a beginner, you should be really happy to start out with any type of bench in the world, no matter what type it may be. The workbench doesn’t necessarily make the woodworker, but it is nice to have a good bench to start off with.
One of the big problems with a nice workbench for a beginner is that it’s a very expensive item, and you probably should be spending your money on tools at this point, not benches.
In this post, I’ll make the case for why you should be using a 2 x 4 workbench instead of any other type of fancy work bench as a beginner. I’ll show you everything you need to know, and by the end of the post I hope you agree with me.
Easy to Make for Beginners
First of all, it’s considered a right of passage to make your first woodworking bench as a beginner. When you start looking at the different designs that are available, you can immediately be overwhelmed by this first project.
If that happens, you might determine that woodworking is just not for you. That’s definitely not the case, you’re just looking at the Cadillac of workbenches. If you dial back your expectations little bit, you’ll find that you can do pretty well with a basic bench.
A 2 x 4 woodworking bench is a really easy project for a beginner, and the wood is super common to find. This is a double win, because you’ll be able to make a great bench and it will be an easy win for you in the beginning.
Sometimes getting a win right away is just the kind of jump start you need to build some momentum and have a successful time with your new hobby. Trust me, get this win and you’ll love the 2 x 4 workbench.
Inexpensive First Project
If you think about it, the best two buy fours you can buy are typically only about four dollars each. You’re probably going to need about 20 or 30 of them, but even at that price it’s still a very inexpensive project.
You’re also going to get an entire woodworking bench out of it, so when you compare it to what you could spend on a professionally made bench from a high-end company, you are literally getting a savings of more than 10 to 1 in many cases.
Besides, you’re going to be spending money on tools in the beginning, just to get yourself built up to where you can work. It’s much better to spend your money there than it is to spend it all on a bench and then have no money for tools and wood.
2×4 Benches Can be Made With Hand Tools
A 2 x 4 bench can also be made with hand tools, and that’s fantastic. In the beginning, you may only have a few hundred dollars to spend on the entire start up. If you do, then you’re more than likely going to start with hand tools.
Don’t worry about starting out this way, because you can actually do pretty well and for not a lot of money going this route. You’re going to sweat a lot more, but at least you’ll be able to start your woodworking journey right away.
You’ll also have a much better appreciation of power tools once you get them. Power tools are a wonder compared to hand tools, but without the experience of sweating over your hand tools, the amazingness of the power tools is sometimes not fully understood.
Gets You Into Making Projects Faster
Typically a bench is just a means to an end. You need a bench to be able to hold up your tools and all the other projects that you’re working on. You don’t actually need the bench itself for anything other than being your assistant.
In this case, unless you want to become a professional bench maker, or making benches is going to be your project, you want to get away from making the bench into making your projects as quickly as possible.
A bench that you make from common hardware store lumber will do that for you. You won’t have to spend a ton of time making it, and you’ll be able to get to your project that much faster.
Less of a Burden Than a Large Bench
A bench that is easy to make is also much less of a burden than a large bench. Large and elaborate benches take a lot of time to create, and the high end versions can represent months or years of construction.
Again, if your gig is going to be making high-end benches, then feel free to dive right in. However, most folks are not interested in that specifically, and if that’s you, you need to be able to transition into your other project without a huge burden in your way as a beginner.
Don’t saddle yourself with a mountain of a project on day one. Make it easy, get your win, and you’ll be off to the races as a woodworker.
See Also: How to Find a Good Woodworking Bench
You Can Still Install Vises and Accessories
Don’t think that because you’re making this bench out of construction lumber that you still can’t make it an amazing bench. You absolutely can, and you can still add many of the same accessories that you would do a traditional carpenters bench.
For example, if you still want some vises, all you need to do is buy the hardware in and add them. It’s actually pretty easy, and it will be one more little project that you can win right away.
If you want drawers, you can have those two. The only thing that I recommend is not making the bench so elaborate that it takes six months to make it. I also don’t recommend this because you may not even finish it, and your bench will always look crappy.
The Bench is Not That Important
Finally, in the end your bench is really not that important. Most woodworkers benches are more of a vanity thing then anything else, and a good woodworker that desires to produce good work will do just fine working on the floor if they had to.
It really comes down to the woodworker far more than the bench. The bench is super helpful, and it’s really nice, but it’s the will of the woodworker that makes the difference. If you really want to be an amazing woodworker, the bench is not going to stop you.
For that reason alone, get yourself something stable, strong, and that you can be confident working upon. Don’t be bashful about making it out of two by fours, because it will be a quick start, and a nice bench for many years.
See Also: Restoring a Workbench
Your Action Assignment
If you’ve been looking for someone to tell you it’s OK to build a bench out of two by fours, I’m telling you it’s OK to build a carpenters bench from 2x4s. Don’t believe what anybody else tells you about what a bench needs to be.
Build your bench, it will make you happy, and it really doesn’t matter what anybody else thinks. Enjoy this bench for a long time, and if you ever outgrow it, by then you’ll have all the skills you need to build a gigantic mega bench with all the bells and whistles.
If you have any questions about making a work bench out of two by fours, please post a question I’ll be happy to answer them. Happy building.
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