Tagged: workbench bench size
5 November 2018 at 6:10 pm #553064
I was reviewing Paul Sellers’ workbench measurements plan. It shows the workbench being 66″. Is there are reason he chose 66″? If I wanted to make a 5ft, or 8ft (to use entire boards), are there considerations? I know I’d need to make considerations for bench vices, drawers, et al.5 November 2018 at 10:09 pm #553065
I made mine 5 foot long, and it’s only just over 2 foot wide, not very big and it does everything I will ever need, I wouldn’t want a longer or wider one personally, I’ve added two drawers on one end, the shelves on the other end and the apron drawer which all add weight to it, the apron drawer is the most useful addition I have found, you won’t be able to live without it once you have one.6 November 2018 at 5:07 pm #553077
I think it largely depends on what you want to make and how you are going to do it. If you are going to work with rough sawn wood and will need to do a lot of heavy planing, you will want to make your bench sufficiently heavy and rigid that it doesn’t move across the floor when you plane. If you want to make larger items of furniture, you will probably find it easier with a larger workbench. I started off with a 4ft bench (as that was all I had room for when I lived in Hong Kong). It was fine for sawing boards up, cutting dovetails, etc., but was far from suited to heavy planing, even when loaded up with spare wood to increase its weight. I made stools, boxes, small benches, a toolbox and a bunch of other smaller items on it. I would have struggled to make, say, a chest of drawers on it. On moving back to the UK and a larger garage, I made a 6ft bench. It is so much more pleasant to use, and I’m currently making a desk for my son. I think Paul mentioned that he chose 66″ as being big, rigid and heavy enough to do most work on and still fit in a single garage. I think he’s right.6 November 2018 at 6:43 pm #553078
I’m still very amateur in my woodworking, mostly doing small shelves, and building up my tool set. I have more grandeur plans down the road to build larger furniture.
I have a single-car garage, which is shared storage/woodworking. My current workbench is a stoutly built 3ftx8ft 2×4 frame with a 3/4in plywood top, and big carriage bolts to hold it together. No bounce and no rocking for any of the work I’ve done so far. About 50% of it is taken up by my metal vice, drill press and scroll saw. The other 50% is reserved for my hand woodworking, but is shared with hand tool storage.
I’m thinking about building a 6ft and a 4ft Sellers bench from 10ft lumber, move the metal vice, drill press and scroll saw to the 4ft bench and have the entire 6ft bench for my fun stuff.7 November 2018 at 9:28 am #553079
thought I’d add that I’ve made an enormous bookcase with my small bench, it measures 5 foot wide, 5 foot tall and about 1 1/2 foot deep, the main limit is the ceiling height and size of your room not the actual bench itself.12 November 2018 at 10:49 pm #553169
I just rebuilt my workbench top. I had built the original to fit in the toy hauler space of my fifth wheel (the only furniture maker in camp!). It was around 50″ and found it too small for several projects I undertook. I overbuilt it at 84″ and I’m glad I did. I have found the extra length is not too much for my garage and it is long enough to work even my largest projects now…personally, I’m finding I like it more and more and I haven’t found any downsides to it at all. I wrapped the bench with dovetailed aprons because I use a wood faced front vise…the bench itself is 3-½” thick and the aprons are 7-¼” wide. It works well to mount the vise through and provide a sturdy purchase for work holding. I’m a bench-dog and hold down user so the thickness also serves well for holding work to the surface.10 December 2018 at 2:23 am #553809
Mine’s 5’6″ and I am happy with that. Especially with the sharpening shelf in place.
I occasionally wish it was longer, usually when I accumulate mess on a project and wish to plough on rather than stowing tools and parts. After tidying for a couple of minutes I realise it’s big enough again 🙂 So a big part of the benefit of extra size – in my limited experience – is storing tools.
I reckon I could manage with 5′ happily but wouldn’t go shorter if I could help it. Having said that mine is in the centre of the room (one end of a double length garage).
My dad manages with a (non-Sellers & plywood) 3’6″ bench, by having it close to a wall covered in shelves and racks where he stows virtually every tool not in his hands. He doesn’t make anything bigger than coffee tables. He does do a lot of hardwood sculpture, and has two 20kg sandbags on a low shelf, it doesn’t move when whacking (sorry PS!) chisels using a heavy lignum vitae mallet.
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