Worktables

A worktable should have a place on your floor plan, unless your workshop is too small to accommodate any work surfaces beyond the workbench.

Worktables

Photo: finewoodworking.com

Worktable. If there is room for it, make yourself a worktable using a full sheet of three-quarter-inch plywood. It’s economical to make and large enough to be used for many varying tasks (some of them at the same time, meaning that you don’t have to move everything off every time you change gears).

Build into its base electrical plugs, preferably on all four sides. Utility boxes set into each of the four side supports will prove their worth immediately. A shelf beneath (or even some drawers or cupboards) will be useful, too; among other things, you can stow the drill or saber saw or finishing sander, all ready to go. Depending upon the nature of the work you do, you may want to set up permanently a bench grinder, stationary belt or disk sander, or one or another of your tabletop stationary tools. Think it through first. Leaving one side entirely clear for assembly and other tasks is a good idea, too.

If you plan to paint or do a great deal of gluing on the top of the bench, you may want to purchase an inexpensive sheet of quarter-inch-thick masonite or hardboard. It’s replaceable at minimum cost when the accumulation of paint or glue or other unwanted material begins to be a problem. Tack it down with small brads.

Setup Table. For assembling cabinets, a low-to-the-floor setup table may prove to be a very handy addition to your workshop furniture. It should be about half the height of a normal workbench (perhaps fifteen to twenty inches tall). It can be a permanent fixture, a portable table that’s hung from the wall or ceiling when not in use. or just a flat surface like a solid old door or piece of plywood set on a simple frame. Three feet by six feet is a convenient size. You may wish to add electrical plugs and casters, too.

The Glue Bench. If you find yourself doing a great deal of gluing, whether it’s cabinets or chairs, casework or millwork, you may find a simple-to-construct work surface called a glue bench invaluable.

Most often the glue bench looks like a big drawer on legs. The top of the bench is recessed a few inches (typically, six to eight), with the boards around its perimeter forming a long, narrow cavity. The boards support the object to be glued, and the bed of the drawer contains the supplies, like glue, scrapers, and the rest. The clamps can be stowed beneath the bench or, better yet, conveniently at hand on a wall rack nearby.