A solid, hard-wearing workbench is an essential piece of kit for any woodworker, mechanic, or fanatic DIY-er. It's the perfect investment, and you're guaranteed to get loads of use out of it - but if you're looking to create one yourself you need to be aware of the potential mishaps and pitfalls you can potentially run into. Making a workbench is an enjoyable project and you can really tailor-make it to suit your exact needs and requirements. So to help you out, Woodshop Direct have put together a list of the top 5 mistakes you should avoid before you get to work!
Over-complicating the function
You would think that an array of clamps, vices and holdfasts would only improve your efficiency at your workbench, but in fact it will do the complete opposite. Spending time and money installing loads of extra tools for your bench will add extra hours to your build time - you'll also find that the extra tools only get in you way when you're working. Aim for a maximum of 2 vices - one at the front and one at the end of your bench. In terms of holdfast holes, depending on your bench size, consider less than 10 individual holes - any more may weaken the wood structure and also reduce efficiency - less is more, you can always add more if you need to.
Overthinking The Design
Making your workbench is not meant to signal the beginning of an elaborate design project, instead think about how you can tailor it to suit the needs of the specific jobs you will be undertaking when it's complete. Therefore, consider the proportions of the bench in relation to your height and work space area; if in doubt make the workbench a little bit taller than you're used to, then you can simply adjust the legs accordingly until you find that perfect height.
Worrying About Wood Materials
You might be confused into thinking that your workbench needs to be made out of a specific type of material, but spending a lot of money, time and research on finding the "right" type of wood is not necessary. Your work area will get scratched and scored as time goes on so you don't want to be too precious about what you use - any solid, cost effective and easy to use solution will do just fine.
Misjudging The Proportions
Along with considering the leg height, one of the other mistakes you can make when building your bench is making the worktop too deep. You may think that the deeper the bench the more work space you have, but a shallower workbench will actually make it more comfortable for you when you're standing up for long periods of time and will enable you to have easier access to your various work tools and materials.