How to construct a simple bench out of reclaimed 2×4 lumber
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 2×4 thickness. While I had my box laid out, I put a 2×4 on each of the 4 sides to measure to see if everything was going to fit correctly.
Dry fit 2×4 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 2×4’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 2×4 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 2×4 bench.
Add legs to simple 2×4 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.