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.
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The Best Woodworking Bench
The 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.
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 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 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, 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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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Tools You Make Work Better
The tools that you make yourself, and a workbench is 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.
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.
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.
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.
Best Woodworking Bench Vises
In the beginning, the best workbench 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.
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.
Making a Plan to Build Your Bench
Now 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.
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.
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