Design & DIY

This DIY fold-down workbench is great for small outdoor projects

outdoor-hammer-and-nails Photo by STILLFX/Shutterstock

When I’m at the cottage I like to be outside as much as possible and this hinged workbench creates valuable outdoor workspace for all my small DIY projects. When it’s not in use, lift it up out of the way and the weather.

I made my workbench from 5/4-inch cedar deck boards (“five-quarter” is a weird name for boards that are 1-¼” thick and if that’s not confusing enough, the actual thickness is 1”, so go figure).

This thickness is ideal for a beefy work surface, but you will need to rip the boards down the middle to make the support brackets and wall cleats. A tablesaw is the ideal tool for this. The resulting material should be 2-⅝” wide (half the width of the deck boards minus the thickness of the blade—in my case, ⅛”).

Cut the wall cleats and bracket pieces to length and attach the wall cleats using structural screws. I positioned the vertical wall cleats to match up with the 16”-on-centre wall studs underneath the sheathing. This is important for the bench to be strong. If your wall has different stud spacing, adjust the location of the vertical cleats to suit.

Next, assemble the support brackets with glue and two pocket screws at each connection. Fasten the support brackets to the wall cleats with two hinges per bracket. Next, assembly the top of the workbench by lining up the boards and attaching the top cleats with glue and screws. Attach the top to the horizontal wall cleat with two more hinges. Finally, make the small wooden latch to hold the workbench top in place it’s folded up.

Download a PDF of the illustration for this project here

What you’ll need:

Horizontal Wall Cleat 1 1” x 2-5/8” x 40”

Vertical Wall Cleat 2 1” x 2-5/8” x 14”

Vertical Bracket piece 2 1” x 2-5/8” x 17”

Horizontal Bracket Piece 2 1” x 2-5/8” x 11”

Diagonal Bracket Piece 2 1” x 2-5/8” x 14”*

Top Boards 3 1” x 5-3/8” x 40”

Top Cleats 3 1” x 2-5/8” x 16”

Latch Base 1 1” x 2-5/8” x 5”

Latch 1 1” x 1-1/2” x 5”

Pocket Screws 12 1-1/2”

Coated Deck Screws 18 1-1/2”

Structural Screws 7 2-1/2”

Hinges (and screws) 6 3”

Outdoor-rated Glue


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