It doesn’t take long for those of us that are new to power tools to be infected with the DIY bug. Suddenly all of those little jobs that have been put off due to the expense of a tradesman seem simple enough to do ourselves.
With a good range of power tools, we can now put up shelves, decorate, sand, chop wood, plane, construct and even become more creative as our experience develops. Some go a little further and make furniture for the home, or bird houses and benches for the garden.
However there is one essential piece of kit that you need for your workshop, whether you house your power tools in a shed, garage or an outhouse, you still need space outdoors to be able to do those messy jobs that would ruin the carpet and make you unpopular indoors.
For the practical DIYer this is the one piece of furniture that will seem the most important, and scrimping is not an option. When treating yourself to the latest electric screwdriver or jigsaw, think of the workbench first, as a good solid surface will become an essential part of everyday DIY life.
There are many portable workbenches for sale that you can transport indoors or outdoors. These are very useful as they double as trellis for furniture or allow you to work inside. However, if you are to expand your range of power tools to include a circular saw, planers and more, you need something permanent and sturdy on which to use the tools.
Think of it like your office desk. Not only does it need to be able to hold your most precious items, it also has to have enough space for you to work. However, unlike the office desk this is yet another item you can actually build yourself. It may even become your first creative project!
Solid antiquarian mahogany wouldn’t be a wise choice for the construction of your workbench, however old palettes, or 2 by 4 would. By its very nature it needs to look a little scruffy as no matter how careful you are you will accumulate an array of scratches, dents and even holes. Although the wood must be sturdy (pine is excellent) it mustn’t cost so much that you’re scared to use it.
Although you may be tempted to give it a lovely silky finish this may be counterproductive. A glossy varnish will encourage power tools (and your hands) to slip making it quite a dangerous work station. Instead to inject a little personality try a matt varnish or even a stain. This way if you must you can rejuvenate it on an annual basis.
All workbenches should have a vice or two. Not only for holding pieces of wood steady as you drill or sand, but an array of sizes perfectly aligned will enable you to have the pressure required if you have caught the carpentry bug.
Also, many circular saws have the facility to be able to be screwed directly to the workbench. If you have enough space this is perfect as it makes sure the saw stays still as the wood moves through it.
In summary your workbench doesn’t have to be a piece of art, practicality is the key. As long as it’s strong enough and sturdy enough you will get a lifetime of enjoyment out of your new best friend.
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