Lundy Garage Workbench October 11th, 2017 - 17:37:03
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.
The drawback is once damaged it may be expensive to replace. Manufactured work surfaces like MDF or particleboard is the preferred surface for industry. They are warp and splinter proof and are highly resistant to oil and moisture. They are also less expensive than hardwood and can be easily replaced if damaged. Plastic worktops provide strength chemical resistance and are non-conductive. Plastic is great for electronics assembly circuit board repair or any application that may be prone to spills. However plastic may be too slippery for woodworking and favor applications like ceramics work pottery or anything that requires moisture or chemical resistance.
If your house and garage are attached your choice in placement may be limited. Putting the garage workbench against a shared wall is a good idea for ease of electrical outlet installation. It will also be the area to give you the most warmth during cold months. Some insulation for sound should be considered so the folks in the house are not bothered by the noise. If your garage stands alone you may find it easier to select an area. Ideally place your garage workbench along a bare wall in order to have plenty of room for cabinets and shelves on one or both sides of the workbench. By positioning your workbench on the opposite wall of a window you will be provided with the most natural light.
Workbenches in their basic form consist of a worktop surface and support legs. Two saw horses with a sheet of plywood laid across them can be defined as a workbench. This design may be suitable for laying out drawings or holding a few tools however without additional support it will not provide much more in the way of functionality or utility. Basic workbench design should include additional support structures and a strong worktop surface that will increase the load capacity of the workbench. The design may include support stringers lower shelves drawers back and end stops risers or any number of additional specialty attachments.