Portable Workbench “Woodshop in a Box”

Submitted by Ana White on Sat, 11/23/2019 - 10:11
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This portable workbench stores the tools with it!  It can be stored under the bed, and easily pops up to become a sturdy workbench.  We love it for builders in apartments, small spaces, or on the go.  

You can build this portable workbench for about $40 with basic tools.  This is a quick and easy project with free step by step diagrams, shopping and cut list and video tutorial.  

portable workbench

Portable Workbench Features

  • Sturdy workbench sized to accommodate small to medium sized projects.  Can be paired with a second portable workbench to tackle almost any sized project.
  • Easily folds down to a compact size
  • Flips over for storage
  • Portable - can be easily transported - and it carries all the tools!
  • Fits on most standard 24" garage shelving
  • Fits under most standard height beds (less than 7" tall)
  • Just enough storage for all essential DIY project tools
  • Quick and easy to build
  • About $40 in materials

I've been wanting to build a "loaner" workbench with all the tools for a bit, and just hadn't come up with the right design. We were putting the bean bag toss games away this fall and it hit me.  Why not build a workbench like the bean bag toss game, with fold out legs?  And what if we could use the space to hold and store the tools?

Folded flat, it is just big enough to hold all the essential tools for most DIY projects.  It can be carried (although most likely a two person task) outside on a balcony, put in the car, or up or down stairs.

portable workbench folded flat

Its compact enough to fit under most beds -

portable workbench storage

Pull the tools out and flip it over, and it becomes a great workbench.

portable workbench folded out

It is VERY sturdy and with the 2x legs, will hold up for a long time.

There are not hinges - the legs simply rotate on a bolt and hold in place at an angle.

Video Tutorial

This project is very quick and easy to build.  We filmed the process so you can watch and see!

What Tools do I Need?

For this project, you only need a drill and a saw (and some hand tools like tape measure and safety glasses).  You can build alot of projects with just these tools.  But I wanted to give you the essential list, the basics that you can use to build almost any project out there.

  • Cordless Drill
  • Circular Saw (recommend the 5-1/2" diameter blade size)
  • 18 Gauge Brad Nailer
  • Random Orbital Sander
  • Tape Measure
  • Speed Square
  • Safety Glasses
  • Speed Square
  • Pencil

portable workbench dimensions
Portable workbench dimensions shown in diagram


Shopping List
  • 2 - 1x6 @ 6 feet long
  • 2 - 2x3 @ 8 feet long or stud length
  • 1 - 1/2" or 3/4" thick plywood panel, 24" x 48"
  • 4 - 3" bolts
  • 4 - matching locking nuts
  • 12 - matching washers (three per bolt, one on each end and one in between wood)
  • 16 - 2" self tapping wood screws
  • 16 - 1-1/4" self tapping wood screws
  • wood glue
  • 2 - handles (optional)
Cut List
  • 2 - 1x6 @ 48" or length of plywood
  • 2 - 1x6 @ 22-1/2" or width of plywood minus 1-1/2"
  • 1 - 1/2" or  3/4" thick plywood project panel measuring 24" by 48"
  • 2 - 2x3 @ 28-1/4" - longest point measurement, one end cut at 15 degrees off square
  • 2 - 2x3 @ 31" - longest point measurement, one end cut at 15 degrees off square
  • 2 - 2x3 @ 19-1/4"
Tape Measure
Speed Square
Safety Glasses
Hearing Protection
Circular Saw


Step 1

Measure the length and width of your plywood.  Adjust measurements in cut list if your plywood does NOT measure 24" x 48"

Attach sides to ends with three 2" self tapping screws and glue.

Optional handles can be cut on ends.

Step 2

Apply glue to bottom edge of 1x6 box.

Attach plywood to bottom with 1-1/4" screws, the screw heads should be slightly below the surface of the plywood. 

Screw at least every 12" and on all ends/corners.

Step 3

Cut 2x3 legs with bottoms at 15 degree angle off square.

Mark out square cut end 1-1/4" down and 1-1/4" in and drill holes sized for your bolts.

Nip off corners as done in video to allow the leg to rotate and not catch on the corners.

Drill holes in side 1x6 as shown, the same on both sides, with a drill bit sized for your bolt.

Insert the bolt with a washer at the front, in between the 1x6 side and the leg, and then just before the nut.  Tighten nut to secure.

Step 4

Position the leg supports on top of each other, centered on the storage compartment, as shown in diagram.  Mark with pencil.

Attach legs to center divider with 2" or longer screws.

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Tue, 06/16/2020 - 17:58

I just finished making this work table. I really enjoyed making it. The plans are are very easy to follow and very clear. I added a handle on the side of the table to carry around like a suitcase. My work table stays in the garage and is tucked away ready to be used at the drop of a hat. It's sturdy but very lightweight. Thank you so much for sharing your plans


Thu, 06/25/2020 - 14:26

Just finished this myself. I slightly changed the height of the table to about 3-4in taller just by cutting the legs those extra inches. Had to move the holes for the legs too but other than that no problem building this. Thank you for the plans :)


Thu, 08/20/2020 - 14:20

I'm making this workbench for my sons (10 & 6) and I'm having a problem measuring the 15° cut for the legs. I don't have a miter saw and this is what's holding me back. Do you have a video or instructions on how to do it correctly?