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LEAVE ROOM ON THE ENDS FOR LONG WORKP1ECES
WALL PREVENTS TOOLS
AND OTHER ITEMS FROM FALLING OFF THE BACK OF THE BENCH
STORAGE . AT BACK OF BENCH
SINGLE FACE VISE PROVIDES.
ATTACH TO WALL FOR INCREASED STABILITY
AGAINST THE WALL WORKBENCH
POWER OUTLETS NEARBY
PLENTY OF ROOM FOR STORING LARGE BENCHTOP TOOLS OR SHOP VACUUM
onegncr, nov^much space will you eed beyond tlmedge of the bench to accommodate ybiy work? You'll ve to factor,ihts work area into youKdeeision before you anchor r bench to a wall.
The biggest disadvantage of a wall-mounted bench is that you only have access to three of the four sides. That not only restricts your movement around the bench, but it makes it much more difficult to work on a large project.
HANG A CABINET OR SHELVES FOR HANDY STORAGE
Workbenches come in all shapes and sizes — from traditional, maple-topped benches with tail and face vises, to a sheet of MDF on a two-by-four frame.
But for your bench to actually become a useful tool in your workshop, where you place it is as important as how it's built. Here are a few options and some things to keep in mind while you're setting up your shop.
AGAINST THE WALL
In a small garage or basement shop, floor space is always at a premium. Placing a bench against a wall, as shown above, leaves the middle of your shop free for the
table saw, jointer, and other large stationary tools. I like this arrangement because it adds stability to the bench, especially if you anchor it to the wall. In many cases, you'll also have a power outlet nearby.
One big advantage to placing your bench against the wall is how easy it is to add a few shelves above it for handy storage. I like the convenience of having hand planes, bench chisels, and other frequently used tools within arm's reach.
Work Area. One thing to keep in mind, however, is the actual work area your bench requires. That is, how much space on each end you'll need if you're working on a long board. If you have a vise on
CENTER OF THE SHOP
Locating your bench nearer the center of the shop, like the illustration on the opposite page, allows you to work around all four sides. I like this position because it offers more room to work on larger projects. Another advantage is you'll be able to use the bench for assembly in different ways. For example, it's often useful to be able to clamp pieces directly to the benchtop. And by using cauls, you can apply downward pressure to an assembly. Like clamping a tabletop down onto a frame, for instance.
Although this arrangement takes up more space, you can minimize the impact by making your
ShopNotes No. 88