The Best Woodworking Bench for Beginners [2023 Updated]

  • More than 20 Years Woodworking Experience
  • 7 Woodworking Books Available on Amazon
  • Over 1 Million Words Published About Woodworking
  • Bachelor of Arts Degree from Arizona State University

Come See What I'm Making on Etsy!

Check Out My Shop!

I receive Commissions for Purchases Made Through the Links in This Post.

This is the Best Woodworking Bench for Beginners, and in this post I’ll show you why the workbench you build is the best beginner woodworking bench you could ever own.

If You Like My Posts, You'll Love My Books

See My Woodworking Books Here

(Updated July 2023)

The Best Woodworking Bench

best woodworking bench for beginnersThe best woodworking bench that you can possibly have as a new woodworker is the bench that you make yourself. Not only is this considered a rite of passage for woodworkers, it’s a project that you will keep for a lifetime.

If you think about it, you are going to need some kind of a bench for woodworking, and you can spend a lot when you buy one from a store. Instead of giving someone else money for something so personal, you can make it instead and learn a lot along the way.

That’s right, this is going to be a skill building project, and that’s just what you need as a new woodworker.

Come See What I'm Making on Etsy!

Check Out My Shop!

See Also: 15 Helpful Woodworking Bench Design Tips

Making Your Own Woodworking Bench

If you start out by making a workbench, you will learn several necessary woodworking skills in the process. Not only will these skills help make you a better woodworker, but you will be rewarded in the end with a new bench, and that’s awesome.

Even though a carpenters bench is bigger, it’s actually not that complicated to make, as long as you don’t let it get out of hand. If you are designing what you should be, which is a functional, nice looking diy bench, then you will be fine.

In cases where you are making something functional, you really only need a few tools, and some basic skills like gluing wood, flattening a surface, measuring, and designing. You will need to learn to cut wood to length and width, and then attach the pieces together.

All of these are important skills as a woodworker, and you can use this first big project to help you develop those skills.

See Also: 9 Tidy Workbench Organization Ideas

Your First Big Woodworking Accomplishment

One way to build momentum as a woodworker is to make projects. Once you get through a project, and stand back and marvel at your work, it makes you feel good. It also gives you something that you may not realize right away, and that’s confidence.

As a beginner woodworker, if you knock out a big project like a woodworking bench, you will have huge a huge accomplishment under your belt. Right out of the gate, you will have something to be very proud of, and a really useful tool for your shop as well.

Come See What I'm Making on Etsy!

Check Out My Shop!

This helps build momentum, and also gives you some confidence going into your next build. After making a bench, the projects coming up will likely seem easier, which will help give you a good perspective going into the builds.

See Also: 15 Amazing Tips on How to Become a More Productive Woodworker

You Don’t Need a Fancy Workbench

As you design your workbench, remember that it is much more rewarding to complete a simple project really well than to complete a complex project poorly. In the end, you will be much happier with a great looking simple workbench than a crappy looking fancy workbench.

This all starts with design, and restraining yourself a little. It’s easy to go overboard with workbench design, and adding things to the build. When this gets out of hand, not only do you add complexity to the project, you also add a lot of time.

What most people forget when they are designing is that all the extras take time. It’s not that they are really hard to build most of the time, they just take a lot of time. Add seven things to your bench that all take a day to make, and you will be adding a week before you even start.

Take it easy on yourself on this build. You likely only need a sturdy surface, with one vise. Anything beyond that is more about features than function, and you should keep those out in the beginning. You can always add to your woodworking bench down the road.

If You Like My Posts, You'll Love My Books

See My Woodworking Books Here

Even if you do want things like drawers, dog holes, inlays, and such, you are a woodworker, so you can always add them in the future. Let those things come naturally over time as you add to your bench, and it can become the foundation of your shop without ever looking like it was made by a rookie woodworker.

See Also: 15 Best Tips for Making an Economy Woodworking Bench

Tools You Make Work Better

The tools that you make yourself, and a workbench is just one big tool, just work better than those you buy from a store. It sounds weird, but all you need to do is make one tool yourself, and you will understand exactly what I mean.

When you make a tool, craft each part, and assemble them to work together for a purpose, you will understand each and every one of those parts on a whole new level. You will know it far better than anything you didn’t make yourself, and that’s a good thing.

When you really know your tools, and you fall in love with the tools you made yourself, you will work better, feel better in the shop, and make better projects.

As odd as it sounds now, you will make better projects on the woodworking bench you make yourself than any other one. It’s the time, the work, the sweat, and the effort that you put into that bench that almost seems to feed you back those energies as you make future projects.

See Also: How to Save Space with a Modest Workbench

2×4 Woodworking Bench

In the beginning, start simple. One of the best ways to do that is with a 2×4 bench. Now, you may be thinking that 2x4s will look terrible, or they aren’t as good as other wood types, but that’s just not the case. 2X4s are a great way to start, and they are not as expensive as other woods. There are also a lot of woodworking plans out there for a 2×4 bench.

Come See What I'm Making on Etsy!

Check Out My Shop!

You can take a pile of 2×4 lumber, knock off the rounded corners by passing the pieces through a table saw or a planer/jointer, and all of a sudden you have a nice pile of squared off lumber.

With those pieces of wood, you can make a really nice laminated top that will be close to three inches thick! That’s a solid rock of a bench top, and a great surface to work on. You can also make a nice, thick workbench base, feet, stretchers, and gussets all of of the same 2x4s. 

This project will teach you how to square up and prepare rough wood, how to cut wood to width, length, and how to design a project. You’ll learn a lot, and all with simple 2×4 lumber.

See Also: 6 Smart Reasons to Start With a 2×4 Workbench as a Beginner

Best Woodworking Bench Vises

In the beginning, the best workbench to make is a simple workbench. Keep it that way by adding only a couple nice features, and save the rest for later. Even though you are not going to go nuts on this first round, adding a couple things right from the start is a good idea.

You can also make it from a set of workbench plans if you like, and there are plenty to choose from. 

First, you are going to need some kind of vise. You can make it yourself with a nice set of vise hardware, and in some cases you only need to make a couple jaw faces and screw the hardware to the bottom of the bench. Super easy.

You should get a vise on your first workbench, simply because having a vise is like having an assistant that can hold things for you. This makes you more efficient, you use less energy, and you free up both of your hands, giving you more control.

It also makes things a little safer, because both of you hands are focused on the work, and not on holding the piece. 

See Also: How to Choose Your Woodworking Bench Vise

Making a Plan to Build Your Bench

a beginners guide to woodworking helping new woodworkers make better projects woodworkingNow that you know the best woodworking bench is the one you make yourself, it’s time to make a plan, and take action. You are probably excited right now about the project, so don’t let that excitement go to waste. Get out some paper, and start planning your project.

Keep it simple, and shoot for function over fashion. You workbench can always be added to over time, and thankfully you are a woodworker, and you can do that yourself.

If You Like My Posts, You'll Love My Books

See My Woodworking Books Here

Use this excitement, and get a plan on paper. Once you have that, you will be one step closer to making a woodworking bench that you will be proud of, and that make it the best one you could ever have.

Happy building.

Post Author-

  • More than 20 Years Woodworking Experience
  • 7 Woodworking Books Available on Amazon
  • Over 1 Million Words Published About Woodworking
  • Bachelor of Arts Degree from Arizona State University
Buy My Books on Amazon

I receive Commissions for Purchases Made Through the Links in This Post.

Come See What I'm Making on Etsy!

Check Out My Shop!

 

You Can Find My Books on Amazon!

woodworking and guitar making books
 

An Exclusive Member of Mediavine Home

Westfarthing Woodworks LLC is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.