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When I built my similar workbench, I let the 2 x 4 around the outside stand 1/4" above the surface of the bench, and then cut a piece of masonite as a replaceable bench top. Masonite with a coat of clear varnish makes a nice surface and I have replaced it 2 or 3 times.


I'll try to take your questions one-by-one. You have two easy options for leveling the chalk line. The first would be to use a carpenter's level; you'd measure 34" from the floor at one end of the bench-to-be, then hold a long 2x4 to the studs with one end right at the mark. Lay your level on the top of the 2x4 and tip the 2x4's other (not at a mark) end ...

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