Calling all benchtop warriors
Not everyone has a large, dedicated space for woodworking, though we’d all love to. Many people share elbow room with a car or a small mountain of basement clutter, with their woodworking confined to a few benchtops and the space between them. In that situation benchtop tools make a lot of sense, either actually sitting on a tabletop, or rolled out when needed on some sort of stand.
Most of us have a benchtop planer, and many have a benchtop sanding station, but I’m talking more about benchtop bandsaws, drill presses, jointers, and router tables, as well as portable tablesaws. Lower in cost, these tools also appeal to beginners. To help us with a future article on benchtop shops, I’d like to find how many of you have benchtop tools, and get a conversation going about how to make the most of them.
Take our quick poll here:
But if you have a few extra minutes, use the comment box below to tell us which ones you like best, which ones you hate, and how you handle the shortcomings of some of them, such as infeed and outfeed support, capacity, and power. Do you use multi-tool or rolling stands for some of them? Are those shop-made or purchased? Do you avoid using rough lumber so you can do without a jointer or planer? Is there any limitation in the size or type of furniture you can build?
Some of your tips and tricks might end up in a future article (with your approval). Don’t worry: If you are embarrassed about the state of your shop, we’ll just draw your tip and make your corner of the basement look like a million bucks.