Alexandrin Garage Workbench October 12th, 2017 - 19:56:31
A common material for pre-manufactured workbench legs and supports is steel sheet. As we discussed in our previous article "A Handy Guide on Shelving Systems for the Home Garage and Workplace" the thickness of sheet metal is called its gauge and the lower its gauge number is the thicker the steel is. Steel sheet ranges from about 30 gauge to 8 gauge with thinner 30+ gauge material called foil and thicker 8 gauge or less material called plate. Typical workbench supports range from around 12 to 16 gauge. Stringers and lower shelves add stability and strength to the legs and allow for heavier loads to be applied.
For the DIY workbench designers out there consider building it permanently to the exposed wall studs in your garage walls. This type of bench is for all intensive purpose permanent but can easily be dismantled in needed. It gives work space far more sturdy than the types found for purchase in the hardware store and can be customized as much as you want. Once you have a good idea on the size and location of your workbench its time to consider storage space for tools supplies and raw materials that you tend to work with most. You can build shelving underneath the workbench to provide enormous amounts of storage space for hobby supplies or other garage relegated storage. Cabinets or shelves above the workbench provide additional storage or you can always use pegboard to arrange tools for hanging storage.
In addition to the main pieces of a workbench there are many add-ons that are used to increase utility. Back and End stops might be installed to prevent things from rolling off onto the floor. Drawers shelves and risers can be added for increased storage. Electrical power strips and outlet cutouts can be incorporated into the design as well to run tools grinders drill presses etc. Vises and clamps can also be added to help secure whatever you are working on. The best place to start when choosing a design is to define the intended use. Once that is established the support structure worktop add-ons and size can be more easily selected. There are literally thousands of available workbench designs and configurations many of which will suit your needs and budget. When in doubt contact your supplier for assistance selecting an appropriate design.
A workbench should be higher than a desk as you must be able to stand and work comfortably with your arms bent at the right angle. Some experts suggest that the table tops height should be at the level of your navel or at the crease of your wrist. Others find it more comfortable and usable at a higher level. If you want extra work room and support consider the height of your table saw and place both together as a unit. You can set up a prototype bench by placing a sheet of plywood on some blocks in order to determine which height works best for you.