Woodworking Workbench

How To Build a Workbench: Simple Woodworking Plans

How To Build A Workbench?

Most workbenches are made of solid wood. Benches can also be made from plywood and masonite or hardboard, and bases of treated pine and even steel. There are trade-offs with the choice of construction material. Solid wood has many advantages including strength, workability, appearance. A plywood or chipboard countertop has the advantage of being stable, relatively inexpensive, and somehow easier to work with - particularly for a carpenter who does not yet have hand tools. The practical drawbacks of a plywood or composite bench are that they don't hold corners and edges well, and they can't be redone with a floor, something that is needed from time to time. Workbenches are quite forgiving in choosing the wood. Maple, cherry, mahogany, or pine rarely cause problems. Beech, oak, walnut and fir make good benches. Benches are sometimes made with more exotic woods such as purpleheart and teak, although the cost is high. The choice of wood is not as important as the integrity of the design-cross grain construction and inadequate carpentry generally have a more destructive effect than the use of a less than ideal wood.

Workbench Base

A workbench base must support the top so it doesn't move while at the same time keeping clear of the work. There are two main types: open bases and bases with built-in storage. Open bases are easier to build and there's less chance of the base getting in the way of work - plus, it's sometimes necessary to compromise the strength and stiffness of a base to accommodate storage. Probably the most popular style is the sled-foot kickstand base. With this design, each pair of legs is put together in the shape of an 'I' with two vertical bars. The pairs of legs are connected by a pair of stretchers. These stretchers can be permanently attached to the leg pairs, or they can be made removable with tusk tenons or a bolt bed arrangement. One of the advantages of this style is that there is no grain end resting on the ground so that the legs are not as prone to wick moisture and rot.

Wooden Sawhorses

Every workshop needs at least one pair of wooden sawhorses. They can be used as support for holding lumber or painting a door, or, with the help of some plywood, become an instant table. This pair of sawhorses requires nothing but 2 x 4s, and the design allows you to stack them conveniently out of the way when not in use. If you don't have enough 2 x 4s in your scrap pile to build this, it will cost less than $20 in wood and screws to buy everything you need. This style of sawhorse is popular on construction sites everywhere and can be built using nails or screws.

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