How to construct a simple bench out of reclaimed 2x4 lumber
If you're looking for really easy 2x4 stools, check out this tutorial for 2x4 benches and stools
The little scrap piece at the end is a guide. I made the simple bench so that it would have an overhang the width of a 2x4 thickness. While I had my box laid out, I put a 2x4 on each of the 4 sides to measure to see if everything was going to fit correctly.
Dry fit 2x4 slats
The seat slats are 11 inches long. You can see here that it is resting on the scrap piece, allowing the overhang I wanted.
Don't be discouraged if you don't have lots of workbench space. It's more difficult to work on the ground, but in a pinch it works!
The box was constructed with screws and wood glue. I also used glue and screws on the inside brace pieces. A countersink bit was not needed because typically 2x4’s are soft enough to sink the screws. However I did make pilot holes for EVERY screw. The wood was brittle and I didn’t want to take any chances of splitting it. That is why you see 2 drills. One was manned with a drill bit, the other with a screw bit. That makes things go so much faster. If you only have one drill, I suggest investing in a second one. Pawn shops are great places to shop for small power tools.
Add 2x4 slats using a nail gun and screws
All the slats were attached first. I screwed the end one on, then used glue and my nail gun to attach the rest of the slats. When I got to the last one (the other end) I used screws again. Nail guns are great for a temporary hold until you can secure the wood permanently with screws.
How to join two boards with a 45° angle
After attaching all the slats, I worked on the side pieces to box in the slats of the simple 2x4 bench.
Add legs to simple 2x4 bench
Make a matching table for your simple benches
I am not a math whiz! I came up with the simplest way to make this table! Jamie wanted it to be a square, the same size as the bench. I cut enough boards to make it that size. Then imagine laying all of those boards down on a table (upside down), laying those small scraps on each of the four sides. That is what I did, then I measured the inside dimensions to figure out what size box I needed to make. Remember, I needed the overhang to allow the legs to fit perfectly on each side.