How to Build an Easy Work Table

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For several years, I used an old hollow-core door on sawhorses as my work table. The door finally decided to call it quits one day in the middle of a project. I don’t blame it for quitting – I certainly put that poor door through the wringer! It was used and abused, hammered on, drilled on, painted on, and helped complete many projects! I had to have another one pronto so I’ll share how to build an easy work table.

How to Build an Easy Work Table

I’d really like to build the table of my dreams but that will have to wait until Spring. I needed a quick table in a pinch. I had a scrap piece of sheathing and created a 2×4 frame for it. I now have a very sturdy work table that was already spray painted purple within its first couple days of use!

how to build an easy work table completed

This particular table top can be set on sawhorses like I did or 4×4 posts can be used as legs if so desired. A base frame can also built using sawhorse brackets.  The best part is that it is an ultra cheap project that can be completed in about an hour!!



  • 4 – 2×4 at 8′
  • Plywood for top

Cut List:

  • Two long aprons approximately 3″ shorter than the final length of your table
  • Five pieces (two short aprons plus three supports) 6″ shorter than the final width of your table
  • Plywood cut at desired size

Click on the drawings to enlarge them!

Step One

Cut the pieces for the frame. The longer pieces will be 3″ shorter than the finished length of the table, and the shorter pieces will be 6″ shorter than the overall width of the table. Drill pocket holes in each end of the shorter pieces. Assemble the frame as shown using the 2-1/2″ pocket hole screws. Glue is optional!

how to build an easy work table_ Frame

Step Two

Cut the piece for the top. The top will overlap the frame by approximately 1-1/2″ on all sides. Secure the top to the frame using 2″ countersunk screws. Glue is optional – I did not use it because I may want to replace the top somewhere down the line!

Set the top on a pair of sawhorses and start building!

how to build an easy work table

If you’d like to use 4×4 posts for legs, cut the legs to the desired height minus 3/4″ (for the plywood top). Position inside the frame and use 3″ screws through the frame into the legs. Cut 2x4s to act as stretchers to keep the legs from splaying.

how to build an easy work table_ Legs
how to build an easy work table_ Stretchers

This table is sturdy and definitely serves my needs! I’ve had it outside in the elements for over a year and have had no problems with the construction or the materials – I hope it lasts for several years to come! Have any questions on how to build an easy work table? Let me know at cher {at} designsbystudioc {dot} com!


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