Workbenches are sturdy tables used to do manual work at. They may be basic, simple flat surfaces or may be more complex and custom designed for the particular purpose it is being used for. Some workbenches may even be considered tools in their own right. All workbenches should be a comfortable height so that they can be sat or stood at for long periods of time. They usually have places to mount, store and easily access needed tools.
Preparation and Planning
Chances are that you want a multipurpose workbench to go in your garage if you are making one yourself. If you have a small garage, you will probably want to build one that is small, lightweight, portable and possibly collapsible. However, if your garage is sizeable and you have more space than you need to park your car in, consider building a permanent workbench against the wall. It would be much sturdier than a portable workbench and can even be disassembled in times of dire need when you just need that extra garage space. Also, building a permanent workbench allows you to customize it more because all the extra parts don't have to be removable or collapsible.
The first thing you should do is measure the dimensions of the area that you want to put your workbench in, so that you don't end up building one too large. Then ensure that where you want to put your workbench has easy access to at least one power outlet--you are probably going to be using a lot of power tools, and having extension cords stretching across your garage isn't the optimal situation. Take your time with this planning stage as it will save you a lot of potential headaches.
If you intend to build your own workbench at home, think of investing in some DIY workbench plans. You can always make it up as you go along, but you will probably end up with a shoddy piece of furniture that collapses as you try to rest a planer on top of it. As you are saving a fair chunk of change by building your workbench yourself, you can probably afford some plans. Also, don't rely on the free workbench plans you find online as they are unlikely to be very accurate or reliable.
Most workbench plans that you find require many different types of fancy power tools like drill presses and router tables--most of which you probably do not own. However, you will probably be able to find fairly simple tools at your local hardware store. When constructing your workbench, follow the instructions to the letter or else your workbench could end up collapsing at the end of the day. If you aren't confident in your handyman skills, consider saving yourself a lot of effort and time by just buying a workbench from the hardware store.
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