The term “customized furniture” always sounds like something unnecessary, out of reach, and simply luxurious. Now when brought to a world that is as utilitarian as the woodworking world, the world of luxury is something we do our very best to run away from. In our world, everything must be necessary, meaningful, and purposeful. However, that last part may be the very reason why we need to customize our most valuable piece of workshop furniture – our workbenches.
Customizing your workbench can save you time and plenty of liters of sweat. It can also be one of the most effective ways to ensure that all your tools are visible and never prone to growing legs. When customizing your workbench, the most important step before any execution is careful consideration and planning. Developing a greater sense and understanding of how you work, your various processes, and whether you wish to improve them or hone in on them will help you create the perfect workbench that you will never have to replace ever again (improve on, maybe).
Here are some of the most important considerations to take into account when designing this one-of-one ultimate woodworking tool.
Hand vs Power Tools
Deciding what kind of woodworker you are will impact the type of workbench which you will be designing. For handtool woodworkers, there are a few additions that can be added to improve the way you work. Simple additions like bench dogs and plane stops can offer the world of benefit to a woodworker hell-bent on never leaving the workbench. Some of the best ideas are not created but stolen. Are you a power tool woodworker? Here’s a look at a great idea you can steal from the Festool MFT system.
Space, space, space, space.
One of the woes that the modern-day woodworker can never run away from. Because of our constant shrinking in living and working space, we are always having to consider not taking up too much space unnecessarily. The workbench can certainly assist in this regard. Adding storage solutions such as drawers, cupboards, or even cleats can help to save you space as well as add weight to your workbench and thus increasing its stability.
Mobility & Size
When considering the size of the workbench, space isn’t the only thing to think about. The size of work that you usually create can also be used to dictate the size of your workbench. If you usually make models and toys, then having a 4 x 6-meter workbench may not be all that necessary.
Creating a workbench with multipurpose functionality in mind from the very get-go can save a lot of time, space, and effort. For the power tool user, this could mean integrating various power tools within the general makeup of the workbench itself. We have seen examples of flip-up miter saw stations and undercover router tables and saws all over. Not only do these offer some of the best options for tools storage but this idea also has the potential to increase the structural rigidity and stability of your workbench.