The Woodworking Bench – Essentials To Know
Buying or building a woodworking bench can be a tall task. It’s a work station for woodworkers, and you have to make sure that it fits your style, comfort level, and budget.
Woodworkers might idealize the popular continental bench by Frank Klausz or the British version of Ian Kirby.
Usually, woodworkers who are in need of a woodworking bench are novices in the field. They might not have an accurate vision of what they require, so they choose one that looks nice.
It is difficult for a beginner to understand the differences between benches or their specifications; for example, do they need a backshell in a bench or is it completely irrelevant for carrying out their tasks? The size, shape, and proportion of the bench is entirely up to the user.
Woodworking benches are used mainly for holding workpieces while they are worked on by other tools. There are a number of woodwork benches available on the market. However, it is recommended by experts that the woodworking bench you use is heavy enough to hold the weight of the product you are working on, and it should have the capacity to hold all the tools and workpieces together so that they don’t go awry in the middle of the job.
Factors To Consider In Woodworking Benches
So, if you are a struggling novice woodworker caught in the middle of choosing a great woodworking bench, then don’t worry! We’re here to guide you through the essentials you should know when doing your research:
1. Wood Material
When you are trying to choose the correct material of wood, try to look at the stiffness instead of the species.
Although you might inclined to buy a bench that looks precious and has a vintage style, traditional European cabinet makers choose beech because of its dense and stiff build. Beech is also inexpensive in Europe.
On the contrary, if you want to buy beech in the United States, then you will be surprised at its higher prices. You will end up emptying your pockets by just buying a basic material.
Woodworkers try to reduce their costs by using maple as material for their benches. It is a sensible choice with respect to price and availability.
2. Size & Shape
The size and shape of a woodworking bench depend on its functions. It is recommended to have a flat surface, but the ideal shape is always closely related to the type of projects you work on.
If you have a spacious workshop with plenty of customers, it’s a good idea to look for a workbench larger in size to cater to your needs. On the other hand, woodworking benches which are five to seven feet long and two to three feet in width are enough for new woodworkers.
The ideal height of a woodwork bench depends on the height of the woodworker.
In the early days of woodworking, the benches used were at a lower height as it applied pressure to the muscles of a person, and hence the woodworker was easily able to work with it. However, the new criteria are slightly different from the old criteria.
You can opt for a bench which is equivalent to the height of your hips. Another consideration for choosing a bench is the different types of jigs and bench top essentials that can be used to increase the efficiency of the bench.
The portability and compactness of a woodworking bench will impact how it performs.
If you are a contractor with larger projects, you might select a relatively heavy and robust bench which can tolerate the workload. On the other hand, if you perform tasks in different locations (such as at a client’s place), then a portable bench will come in handy.
Portable benches will make things easier due to their mobility. Similarly, foldable woodworking benches will be ideal for someone taking on the go jobs.
Conventional workbenches have a vise installed at the left corner of the bench. It is known as a face vise.
This is because right-handed woodworkers start with tools and plane from right to left. In this way, your work can be braced against the screws of the vise.
So, the rule of thumb is that the vise should be installed on the opposite side of your working hand. It makes it easier and more efficient to perform many tasks.
If you combine the above factors with your personal preference, you will be able to find an ideal match to cater to your woodworking projects. For project ideas, why don’t you check out these 6 kid-friendly woodworking projects?
A woodworking bench is an essential tool in your shop that will be used for many years, so you have to make sure that you are making a good choice when buying or making one. Good luck!