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A Simple Guide to Building a Great Workbench


For Your Garage
man standing with his finished workbench

If you do a lot of DIY work, you may need to have a good workbench.  These can get expensive, though, especially if you want a durable, sturdy steel workbench.  Fortunately, you can actually build one of these for yourself if you have a little bit of skill and knowledge.  While there are a number of different construction techniques you can use to build your workbench, there are a few major things you need to consider before you begin.

How Tall Will the Workbench be?man standing with his finished workbench

Did you know that most workbenches are actually too short?  This can cause back pain while working plus makes it more difficult to perform some tasks.  If you’re going to put a vice on the workbench, this is even more important because you have more control while filing items held in the vice if the vice is at about elbow height.  The same is true for sawing something with a hacksaw.  This means you’ll want to be sure the workbench is fairly tall.

How Much Will it Weigh?

A workbench needs to be heavy.  Building it with steel will help, but it may take more than that.  You don’t want the workbench to move at all, especially if you’re using something like a grinder on it.  If your bench isn’t heavy enough, you may end up using Dyna-bolts to hold it to the floor.  However, that’s not quite the same as having a heavy workbench, although it will work.vices for a workbench

How Strong Will it Be?

If you’re going to be hammering away at something on the top of your workbench, you certainly don’t want the bench itself to crumple or even come crashing down.  The steel you use on the legs has to be strong enough to survive a huge amount of impact.  This is especially true if you’ve got a small anvil or your heavy vice on it and are then pounding metal on top of that.

What Size and Shape do you Need?

finished workbench project
This is the final important decision to make before you begin building your workbench.  Do you need it to be an island you can walk completely around?  Will you mount it to the wall for extra stability, or do you want to be able to move it?  These are all questions that you’ll want to answer before you draw up your plans.  Remember, even if you are planning to put your workbench against the wall, you still want to make sure it’s very strong.  Even with the extra support, you’re going to be putting this workbench through a lot!

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