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Thread: Workbench Size

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Reno NV

    Workbench Size

    So, I've got a workbench I made quite a few years ago.

    It's big and heavy. It's 3'x6' and I'm starting to think it's too big, because all I use it for primarily is stacking stuff on and under.

    I'm toying with the idea of dismantling it and making a smaller one using the same hardware.

    I think it would be more efficient for me to have a narrower bench built up along the wall purpose made for storage and bench top tools, and have a smaller workbench with the wood working vices I could use as an outfeed for the tablesaw.

    So how big is your workbench?

    Thanks in advance for any ideas or suggestions you might have.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    RETIRED(!) in Austintown, Ohio
    Mine's 32" wide by 8 feet long, and most of the time it's so cluttered with stuff that I have a hard time finding a two foot wide workspace.

    Smaller might be better - but whatever you do, don't include a tool tray (AKA a junk collecting tray) on it!
    Jim D.
    Adapt, Improvise, Overcome!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    somewhere east of Queen Creek, AZ - South East of Phoenix
    mine 36x72 and I work real hard to keep it uncluttered. I do like the fact that it is free standing so I can work on all side of stuff.
    "There’s a lot of work being done today that doesn’t have any soul in it. The technique may be the utmost perfection, yet it is lifeless. It doesn’t have a soul. I hope my furniture has a soul to it." - Sam Maloof
    The Pessimist complains about the wind; The Optimist expects it to change;The Realist adjusts the sails.~ William Arthur Ward

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Reno NV
    I'm really thinking about something about 30"x48" might be just the ticket. I could have that in the center for an assembly table/workbench/outfeed table if necessary.

    The replacement 'bench' along the wall could be used for the clutter and for a sharpening station, etc...

    It's just that where it's at it never fulfills it's mission as a real woodworking bench and is too big to put in the middle of the shop, where something like that would belong.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Kansas City, Missouri
    Can it be split into two benches, a 3x4 and a 2x3? Would have your smaller bench and a tool bench.

    To a small child, the perfect granddad is unafraid of big dogs and fierce storms but absolutely terrified of the word “boo.” – Robert Brault

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Reno NV
    That would basically be the idea.

    Right now it's shoved up against a wall, and it's tough to store anything under or over it because of it's size.

    If I cut it down, I could move it out into the center of the shop, and put a fixed bench with drawers below and perhaps a slatwall system above it.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Decatur, Alabama
    My current workbench is 30" x 96" but that's going to turn into a coutertop for some cabinets in the shop. It has always been up against a wall in the garage. I'm planning something around 24-28" wide by 6-8' depending on what I feel like after I get all my tools in the new shop.

    I really want a bench I can walk all the way around. I thought about the outfeed table/bench combination but I'm hoping after I get everything in the new shop I'll have room for a seperate bench. I think an outfeed table/bench would work almost as good as a free standing one though.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Escondido, CA
    I find a bench in the middle to be far more useful than against the wall. In the middle it holds pieces bigger than it is. Against the wall that doesn't work. Against the wall I just pile stuff on it. I'd rather have the right end of the table saw against the wall. Fence only goes so far anyway.

    But that's just me. When I had the bigger shop, two work benches parallel to one another was really useful. Don't make anything that big any more.

    What I am going to make is a roll around tall tote. It will be bench height or nearly so. It will be for keeping the tools I am currently using. You guys may not be able to relate but we girls will. It is like the tote the hairdresser uses as she works from one side to the other. It is place for her tools and supplies and it is within reach.

    It needs to be a bit bottom heavy to be stable. Drawers will take care of that. I made a small tray storage cabinet for small hand tools I am always reaching for. Saved tons of steps. It is on a shelf and made up of TV dinner trays.

    My 2 centavos.

    Some say the land of milk and honey; others say the land of fruits and nuts. All together my sort of heaven.

    Power is not taken. It is given. Who have you given yours to? Hmmmm?

    Carol Reed

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Reno NV
    Well that does make sense.

    I think I know what I have to do.

    I'll break out the ole wormdrive skil saw and see if I can cut my current bench down to size just for kicks. If not, I'll make a new top. The base is already on wheels and I should be able to salvage that at least.

    I'll move it away from the wall and put in a row of base cabinets against the wall where it currently is setup.

    When I think about it, All I had before in my shop was one little 2'x2' piece of counter by a window, and my bench. If I can get more counter space, I'll be able to keep the bench clear and useable, and gain more storage space...

    Thanks everyone for helping me to make up my mind.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Oceanside, So. Calif. 5 mi. to the ocean

    27 x 67 is my bench size. This is much smaller than the previous bench. Both benches were/are "stand alone."

    If I were doing it again I might go a bit narrower and shorter. Depends on whether you are going to set large work pieces on it. My original bench was built heavier than a brontosaurus and the new one is also. There is no wiggle or whatever when planing, sawing, etc. Top is 3 1/2 inches thick. Legs are 4 x 4. There is good structure in the base to fight any torsion stresses.

    New bench is a bit lower than the old...I'm a little guy. I have a piece of particle board, with attachments, that works as an outfeed from the TS to the bench. Some time ago I posted pics showing how a little guy rips 2 x 12 x 10ft pieces of poplar. The pics show the long lumber going along the "chute." I have a gizmo I set on the bench (which is lower than the TS top) when the bench acts as an outfeed table.

    I do not have much room between the bench and the TS. However there is enough for me when I want to go there. I had a wall mounted bench very many years ago. I far prefer free standing.



    Oh yes, for those of you who don't know...My fast moving wife spun around making a foot contact a swivel chair which made her do a beautiful pirouette (spelling = ?) and come down on the sharp corner of her "Craftsman" desk. Net result has been many hours in doctor offices, x-rays, etc. for her broken (you guessed it RIGHT) arm. Trying to get that woman to slow down and think and not try to use that arm is a task and a half.

    Anyway, she is healing well in spite of herself.
    First of all you have to be smarter than the machine.

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