Whether you’ve been woodworking for years or just starting out, the most important tool in your workshop is your workbench. No other item will be used more, and yet many people undervalue it. At your bench you’ll create one-of-a-kind masterpieces that will last for years. It’s important that you show this bench as much love as it will to you.
Here are a few things you should consider when mapping out your woodworking bench plans.
* Size matters.
Consider the space in which you’ll be woodworking. Are you planning on doing woodworking projects for kids? How tall are you? Companies like Joinery Plans have vast resources for woodworking plans. It’s good practice to get an idea of the scale of your projects before choosing a bench.
You should be able to walk all the way around your bench, and not have to bend over too much to access it. This will ensure you can reach all angles of your project, and save your back some pain.
* Style doesn’t mean frilly.
From woodworking projects for beginners to the most advanced carpentry, you need to consider your style. This doesn’t mean matching colors and having something feng shui in your woodworking workbench plans.
It’s about how you approach your projects. Are you the type who likes to have everything in one place? Do you need storage beneath the bench? What about power sources? A thin piece of MDF will have a different impact on your projects than a thick slab of maple.
* On the move or staying in one place?
Is your workspace dedicated to only woodworking, or do you need to be able to move your bench and store it somewhere? The best laid woodworking bench plans are those that consider ease of storage.
If you need to move your bench often, consider one that is mounted on wheels. Another thing to keep in mind is having an adjustable height. This will help with the woodworking projects for kids as you’ll be able to lower it for them and then return it to normal height for yourself.
* Installed vises can change your life.
Even woodworking projects for beginners can benefit from the presence of an installed vise. Without one, all your projects are held together on top of the bench with hand clamps. This can get crowded and often doesn’t have the leverage needed to securely fasten pieces.
An installed vise will hold your pieces together much tighter than a hand clamp. Many woodworking workbench plans come with this option.
* Keep your budget in mind.
It’s all well and good to dream of your perfect workbench. But there is no sense in pining after something you can’t afford. Keep a reasonable budget in mind when searching for your bench.
If you can’t afford a bench that comes with all the bells and whistles, remember that you can always add after-market accessories at a later time. When it comes right down to it, all you really need is a raised, flat and stable area to execute your plans. Everything else is just extra convenience.