What Is a Woodworking Bench?

Christina Edwards

A woodworking bench is a type of workbench used by woodworkers when working on various projects. Many woodworking benches, whether purchased or made, have some woodworking tools built into them, such as vises. Some of these benches also have storage to hold other various woodworking tools and materials.

Commonly used tools, like a bevel gauge, can be stored in a woodworking bench.
Commonly used tools, like a bevel gauge, can be stored in a woodworking bench.

Generally, most workbenches are durable tables used by tradesmen. A woodworking bench is typically meant to be used by carpenters or woodworkers. These tradesmen often use these benches when they are working on a variety of carpentry projects.

A power sander, which is used for woodworking.
A power sander, which is used for woodworking.

Some woodworkers purchase a home woodworking bench in lieu of making one. This is typically much easier than building one, although many of them may require some assembly. Purchasing a home or professional woodworking bench, however, is typically much more expensive than building one. Even some of the available DIY kits can be quite expensive.

Not surprisingly, woodworking benches are typically made from wood. They can be as simple as a thick wooden top, or work surface, and sturdy legs. On the other hand, many woodworkers make their woodworking benches much more intricate. Aside from being more economical, building a woodworking bench also allows a tradesman to customize it to meet his needs.

Woodworking benches will often have some tools built into them. A tail vise is one common tool that many benches of this sort have. This type of vise is mounted at the end of the bench and is used for holding a wood project in place while it is being worked on. A tail vise with a raised lip can also be used in conjunction with bench dogs.

Bench dogs may also be used with a woodworking bench. These are square or round wooden pegs that fit into holes, known as dog holes, which are located along the length of the bench. To use these, one peg is inserted into a hole in the bench, and the piece of wood to be worked on is placed against it. The vise is then opened, and a second peg is held in the vise. When the vise is closed, the pegs should clamp the piece of wood between them, preventing it from sliding around the workbench.

Other woodworking tools and materials can also be stored in a woodworking bench, if properly equipped. Tools or materials, like hammers or wood stain, for instance can be stored underneath the work surface in built-in cabinets. Simple wooden trays can also be attached to the back of the work surface, to store nails and screws within easy reach.

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