" The first thing every woodworker needs is a work bench. Even before any tool is purchased you need a work bench. There are a million designs and every woodworker has a different work bench, even if they are based on the same plan or design. A number of our members have asked be for more details on my work bench and so that is what this video is to do, review one option in work bench design.

Overall construction is simply based on air dried common 2x4 and 2x6 lumber which makes the bench heavy and hard to move … one of the few times this is a good thing. The original top was also 2x6 but over time I found these to be too uneven, even when they were planed flat, and so I added an MDF material over top. Because I didn't want the MDF material to conform to the existing top when I screwed it down I had to shim parts of it up so it would remain absolutely flat.

I soon discovered that most of the things I was making were square along at least one side and I was for ever squaring things up for gluing and assembly. I thought, “wouldn't it be nice if I had a square glued to the top of my work bench … which is exactly where the corner squaring jig comes from. ... click Rad More below for more info ...

Although it is screwed to top of the bench, the squaring jig can easily be taken off and put back on again (which I sometimes do when I have large vacuum pressure jobs I need to do). Because the jig is simply screwed on, it is easily put on and taken off, as long is it is always put back on square. I can say it is easily the handiest and one of the most used jigs in the entire shop and saves me loads of time and frustration.

Most benches have a vice and mine is now different, although I would like wee bit bigger vice. I also use a metal working vice from time to time but seldom do I need to use is so strenuously that it needs to be attached to the work bench. Simply attaching it with a couple of long bolts and holding it down with the wood vice works for most applications.

I like to keep a clean, well lit bench and have always had some sort of a light above my bench. I found that I was often bumping into a hanging light, and that in many cases I would need to move the light or the work to get a better view. This is when I decided it was time for a movable light, which is what I did … take down the old fluorescent light and install a fully adjustable light with an arm on it so I can examine my finer projects more easily. This is a very hand light.

There are many, many variations of work benches … we would like to do more on these, why not send us a description of your bench so we can add your ideas to the list.

Copyright Colin Knecht