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Building Your First Workbench – Mistakes To Avoid Part 1of 2

Screwdriver Lying On A Work Bench In A Diy ConceptIf you are planning to build your first workbench/table, this may be for you. You may have designed and planned for some time this great work station. But before executing that dream, read on.

There are many mistakes that woodworkers will make when taking on this challenge. Here are some of them.

1. They have too many woodworking vises on the bench

A new bench would be great with a vise on each corner right? Actually, that isn’t a good idea. You may think that it would be good because you don’t have to constantly move to the one side with the vise. But while it is your choice to have as many vises on the worktable as you choose, especially if you are going to spend time building the vises, one on each end – or just one period is plenty. The time you spend on building the other vises can be spent on other things.

If you have a face vise and a tail vise, that is sufficent. Or again, just a face vise will be enough as well.

2. Adding too many dogs or hold fast holes in the bench

When you do have a second vise or a tail vise, you definitely do better to have a row of dogs or hold fast holes close to the front of the bench top. Eight hold fast holes will work great. Sometimes you will see someone new build a work bench and it looks like someone took a machine gun to the top because they have so many holes in it.

It doesn’t make the bench weak to have the holes, but it isn’t necessary to have a pegboard table top. Start out with just the few, and add them if you need more later. You can’t take the holes out if there are too many, but you can add them if you have to.

3. Worrying too much about the type of wood to build the bench out of

You can build the work bench/table out of about any wood. Whatever lumber is used, it needs to be dry, heavy, easy to attain and cheap. If you build a workbench the same quality as a cabinet that goes in a mansion, it won’t look like that after a few uses. And years down the road you will realize that all that doesn’t matter because a workbench gets so much abuse.

4. Worrying too much about standard height of your workbench

The height of the workbench doesn’t need to be a certain height that others have it. The height needs to be set for you and your comfort level. If you are extremely uncertain as to the height best for you, make it tall enough and cut the legs if it is too tall. Over time you will also adapt to the height, so keep that in mind.

5. Turning the work bench into a technological prodigy

If you put too much time and thought into how you will wow others with crazy tricks your bench can perform, you will never get it finished. If you add all types of extensions, adjustable knobs and hinged shelves, etc.. it will take forever to get the bench done. Sure, in time you can add a few things to it that will dazzle your friends, but get it built first then figure out what you will need as time passes.

Updated: March 25, 2015 — 3:19 pm
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