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How Do I Choose the Best Woodworking Table?

Dan Cavallari
Dan Cavallari

A woodworking table is more commonly called a woodworking bench, and the best one will depend on your woodworking needs as well as the space in which you will be working. The bench is usually long and narrow, though some benches can be L-shaped to fit into a corner of a room, or even U-shaped to fit into smaller spaces. The exact size and shape of the woodworking table is less important than the convenience and ease with which it can be used. The best table will feature woodworking vises as well as other features that make clamping easy.

The size of the table can vary, but the woodworking table should be large enough to support the piece of wood being worked at any given time as well as many tools being used for the job. Many workbenches feature low shelves beneath the work surface on which tools and other items can be stored and accessed easily. The work surface may be completely flat, allowing for stability and functionality, or it may be tiered to allow for better clamping and stabilizing of various sizes of wood.


Sometimes a woodworking table will be made from metal, though this is not as common as tables made of wood. Metal tables are more likely to mar the piece of wood being worked, so woodworkers generally avoid this material in favor of more yielding wood. High-quality woods should be used to construct the table; pine is not always the best choice because it can warp, split, or crack with age, though it will be less expensive than other types of wood. Hard woods such as oak are good choices because the wood will be rugged and durable, and it will be less susceptible to cracking, warping, splitting, or other types of damage.

Of course, the type of wood used for the woodworking table will not matter at all if the construction is shoddy. The legs of the woodworking table should be screwed together, not simply glued or connected with dowels; the table should not wobble, sway, or otherwise move when a load is placed on the work surface. All joints should be carefully measured and connected so no gaps exist in them; gaps in a joint will lead to wobbling and instability. This can be inconvenient and dangerous, requiring constant repairs to the bench.

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