Help us design a workbench for power-tool lovers
Purists would have you believe that you aren’t a woodworker if you don’t handplane all of your surfaces and dovetail every joint. The truth is that many a fine woodworker prefers power saw, sander and router over handplane, chisel and mallet. So why hasn’t anyone designed a workbench for the rest of you?
Traditional workbenches are designed to hold boards for handplaning, so everything from their height to their holding devices are aimed at that purpose. For handplaning, you need a hip-height bench that allows you to bear down on the tool. But it’s much easier to run a router and sander at belly height, where you have better vision and control. A power strip is also a must.
Tell us what else you’d like to see in a wired bench. Want a router table built in? Room for a compressor or tool-triggered shop vac below? Both? Or would you rather have storage cabinets down there?
What about holding devices? What type? One vise? Two? None? Would T-track be better than dog holes? There are lots of handy clamps and holding devices that don’t rely on dog holes.
What about the top? It’s hard to beat the good old slab of laminated maple, but should we go with MDF instead? Or a torsion box of some kind?
And last but not least, do you see this as the only workbench in a shop, or as more of a second bench if people have room? Lots to think about. C’mon, power-tool junkies, help us help you!
We know from our reader surveys that just as many of you use a sander for prepping surfaces as use handplanes and scrapers, so why is every workbench plan aimed at the hand-tool user?
The traditional workbench is great, but what would a bench for power tools look like?