Friday, 29 July 2011

First WorkBench

The Chicken & The Egg Workbench Conundrum...

As its been sunny lately and the room I intend to use isn't quite ready, I have been using a scrap piece of kitchen worktop placed on the garden table as a makeshift bench to clean & sharpen up my tools.

I was considering using the same piece of worktop and maybe knocking together some rough saw horses for it to go across as a slightly more rigid bench solution. However, it seems I would still be wrestling with clamps holding more clamps to hold a work piece. While I'm sure its doable it's far from ideal - much like previously living on a boat!

I could try and build a bench myself, but lets face it with my skills and no other bench to build it on, I'm not sure its going to be any better than the saw horse solution.

Therefore, after much deliberation and reading, I have decided that the best thing (for me) is to buy a beginner bench.

This bench at only £126 seems pretty cheap and despite a few poor reviews must be more sturdy than the other solutions, especially if I can butt it up against a wall. It includes two vices and other work holding devices. I don't think I could build anything better for the price.
A friend introduced me to Axminster Tools and it took less than 5 minutes to sign up and pay for this little beauty, with free next day delivery! While I don't expect it will be as solid or rigid as a professional bench, for the price I don't think it can be beaten as a beginner bench. If the woodworking bug really takes hold then obviously I'd like to build my own full size bench at some stage but by then I would know what I'm doing (hopefully) and probably wouldn't be working out of a tiny spare room.


upriver said...

I've been in the same boat, needing a workbench to build one, I have a Roubo in mind. However, my current bench was not intended for hand tools, so I have upgraded it with a new layer on top and some dogholes.

Your Axminster choice looks fun, indeed I think some wobble or racking while planing will be the only problems with it. Maybe you can screw it to a wall? You can also load up the bottom with weights (water or sand if nothing else).

Good luck with your adventure!

Simon (Boo). said...

Hi Upriver -thanks for visiting the Blog.
The bench will serve to get me started and I've actually done some planing already on some wood scraps. It does move a little but not too bad when placed against a wall. It serves as motivation to keep my tools sharp! Once my workshop room is sorted out, like you say I can weight & brace it ... I'll post some pics.