Alacoque Garage Workbench October 12th, 2017 - 18:52:54
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.
Worktop surfaces come in many material and designs. Depending on the intended use one material may be more suitable than another. Common materials are steel wood solid plastic plastic laminate and others. Steel worktops are typical for heavy duty use. They will not become oil soaked or crack and are extremely tough. Mechanics and small engine repair shops favor this material as well as welders who might damage other work top surfaces. Disadvantages are scratching or denting if they are hit sufficiently hard. Wood tops can be made of solid hardwood like maple or made of plywood MDF or other manufactured wood material. Hardwood worktops resist damage by sharp tools and hard blows and is ideal for tool and die work electrical wiring fabric cutting and is favored by woodworkers.
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.
If your at-home carpentry jobs have been taking place in the driveway or on the floor of your garage you can build you own garage workbench tailored to fit your personal needs and you dont need to spend a lot of money doing it. A garage workbench will spare you back and knees and if you decide to make it a bit more complex will have drawers and shelves in which you can keep the tools ad materials for your carpentry jobs.