Why did I make a workbench?

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Forum topic by Brian posted 08-24-2009 02:42 AM 1766 views 0 times favorited 14 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Brian's profile


79 posts in 4270 days

08-24-2009 02:42 AM

I never use it. Just sits there accumulating junk (and these days, spiders). I remember being so excited about making one but alas it was for naught.
If I had to do it again I think I could’ve used another cabinet.
Seriously thinking of moving the bench to where the outfeed table is and making a new storage cabinet in it’s place.
I do 95% of my work on the melamine covered outfeed table and if I had of placed my vise on the outfeed table I suspect it would of even been higher .
Must be due to having little in the way of them tools that don’t have an on/off switch, no?
I have 1 block plane and a hand-full of chisels.


14 replies so far

View a1Jim's profile


117781 posts in 4135 days

#1 posted 08-24-2009 02:47 AM

Maybe it will take time to get use to having it and you’ll use it more. It’s a great bench it would be a shame not to use it.

View Brent's profile


11 posts in 4374 days

#2 posted 08-24-2009 02:59 AM

I kinda doubt it Jim. Brian looks at handtools like they carry the plague LOL.

-- Have a Good One....

View akstudio's profile


26 posts in 3764 days

#3 posted 08-25-2009 02:43 AM


I understand. We all start there. It simply comes down to what type of woodworking YOU want to be doing. If you envision yourself using that great bench with nice handtools, then move forward towards that. You say you have a few chisels and a block plane? Hey, that’s exactly what I started with a decade ago! Find a reason to use those few tools in your building process and viola! you have a reason to use your bench!

Just keep incorporating processes in to your furniture making that force you to use that beautiful bench and work on growing your hand tool collection as you can.

Warning: you will catch the fever! hehe

Let me know if I can help in any way! Good luck!

-- Inspiring Your Passionate Pursuit of the Craft

View bobdurnell's profile


317 posts in 4455 days

#4 posted 08-25-2009 03:02 AM

Brian- I know where your coming from. I do the same amout of stuff on my melamine out feed table too! I still like working sometime at the bench that I made when I was 14 (has had 3 tops though). I like using chisels, planes and stuff with my William and Hussey vise that I got in the early 80’s that now has been discontinued. I see in your picture one hellofa patternmakers vise on that bench, and I agree with akstudio that one day you’ll catch the fever.

-- bobdurnell, Santa Ana California.

View PurpLev's profile


8553 posts in 4206 days

#5 posted 08-25-2009 03:20 AM

let me count the ways.. lol (not really).

like was mentioned here – it really depends on the type of woodworking you do. if you dont really find yourself using it – then most likely you don’t necessarily need it (for what it is).

whether you think you need it, or think you don’t need it – you’re right!

personally I do ALL my work on my workbench, but thats also because aside from milling parts on powertools roughly – the rest of the work is with handtools. also for routing I use my workbench as it can grasp my work pieces very well. but as I said – that’s personal, and that’s how I work. you obviously do things differently.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View ChrisN's profile


259 posts in 4331 days

#6 posted 08-25-2009 03:27 AM

Where would you put all the junk if you didn’t have the bench?

-- Chris N, Westford, MA - "If you won't eat something from your fridge that turned green...why would you eat something that started out that way?"

View Ben Kahmann's profile

Ben Kahmann

231 posts in 3830 days

#7 posted 08-25-2009 03:31 AM

I can see it’s a great looking workbench. You can always send it to me here in Dayton, I’d be glad to take it off your hands, lol. You have a nice set You have a nice setup though. Give it time and I’m sure you’ll get into it

-- Ben Kahmann Dayton, OH

View gerrym526's profile


280 posts in 4366 days

#8 posted 08-29-2009 01:09 AM

I understand your dillemma. Before building my workbench, I read The Workbench Book cover to cover. One of the major themes of the book was to decide what your woodworking processes consisted of, then build the functionality they required into the bench. In my case, I do utilize both hand and power tools but have to admit that most vise-equipped workbenches are really “workstations” for hand tool usage. When using chisels and planes for handwork, and some routing operations, I’m at my workbench. However, when sanding, laying out, and gluing up, I’m usually using a worktable that’s a fairly large piece of MDF on top of folding saw horses. (Have a small shop, so all of my machines and worktables need to be movable).
You may decide to build a new workbench/worktable that assists with the operations you most commonly perform in building your pieces (very beautifully I might add-did look at your projects and Maloof rocker blog).
Just my two cents on your topic.

-- Gerry

View Julian's profile


884 posts in 4083 days

#9 posted 08-29-2009 03:24 PM

Brian, it sounds like you have Norm’s disease. If it doesn’t have power, you don’t use it. Those type of workbenches are made for working with hand tools.

-- Julian, Homewood, IL

View miles125's profile


2180 posts in 4563 days

#10 posted 08-29-2009 04:36 PM

The outfeed table attracts woodworking assemblage for the same reason a house party always congregates in the kitchen. Theres room to move around and everythings right there! Thats my theory and i’m sticking to it.

-- "The way to make a small fortune in woodworking- start with a large one"

View Luke's profile


545 posts in 3852 days

#11 posted 08-29-2009 04:54 PM

I think it’s simple really. You got all your junk on the bench and nothing on the outfeed table. Which one would you use? Clear the junk and put it anywhere else then move the bench away from the wall and KEEP IT CLEAR OF JUNK. It’s not a storage place. You need to use it. It’s much more sturdy than a melamine covered table at least it looks like it. You need to be able to get all around it to really get the usage out of it. If it is made well then you will find it much more useful than the other table.

-- LAS,

View Cantputjamontoast's profile


416 posts in 3990 days

#12 posted 08-29-2009 05:03 PM

I can be there in 4 hours to take it off your hands. LOL

It is very nice.

Leave the vise on it too!!!!

-- "Not skilled enough to wipe jam on toast!"

View mtkate's profile


2049 posts in 3883 days

#13 posted 08-29-2009 09:54 PM

I agree with Miles. I think it’s placement.

View ondablade's profile


105 posts in 3756 days

#14 posted 08-30-2009 08:59 PM

I guess realistically that a woodworking bench unless you use it to hold work in progress and pieces of wood for shaping using largely hand tools is almost inevitably going to be used as just another storage and work surface.

It’s a bit of an issue with setting up a shop, and one i’m in the middle of right now. I’ve found it’s taken me nearly a month to plough my way through the selection of kit, and given my lack of experience with the stuff i’ll probably find when i get it that in my case too there will be at least some (hopefully not a lot) that doesn’t get used.

I’ve found myself trying to predict the type of work i’ll be doing, and to extract from that the sort of processes and methods relevant to it. After that it’s tough to select tools and equipment – it all claims to be the best, but of course isn’t. Yet when as i do you live several days mail order from suppliers you can’t realistically avoid buying until you need stuff.

No doubt there will be some cobwebs around…..

-- Late awakener....

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