Choosing a Workbench: Wood, Metal, Special Equipment
Whether you’re a hobbyist or a professional wood or metalworker, there is one item in your workspace that you can’t do without — your workbench. You may use different tools for different needs, but rarely will you ever move to a different workbench. This is the center or your world when you’re working, and it only makes sense that you choose or build one that serves the purpose to your specifications.
Whether you’re buying or building your own workbench, or ordering a custom job, here are some comparisons to make sure you get the workbench you really want.
Wood or Metal?
This question sparks debates. You probably already have an idea what you want, but it helps to break down their exclusive qualities to arrive at a more definitive answer.
Metal – Metal lasts longer. As long as it does not fall victim to rusting, it will serve you for a lifetime. Apart from rust, though, there are other drawbacks if you choose metal. First of all, the cost. You are likely to spend more on metal than on wood. There is also the question of whether you would like to build or customize it on your own. Either you learn how to weld metal together or buy metal parts with ready holes for nuts, screws, and washers. It’s going to be heavy too, so better choose a fixed spot in your workspace and build it there.
Wood – Wood is popular because it’s cheaper. You can build a workbench out of scrap wood and the finished product would still look great. It’s also easier to build on your own. Depending on the type and thickness of wood you use, it may be lighter than a metal workbench. Compared to metal, however, wood is less sturdy and may give way to rot if the area is moist.
In some cases, as in professional wood or metalworking, you might need special equipment. For example, a table that doubles as machinery for wet dust collections keeps your workspace safer from fires and contamination of products, as well as prevents health problems. For this, you should purchase your workbench instead of fashioning one out of scraps.
The workbench is the center of your projects. You will be spending the majority of your time at work at your workbench, so make sure to choose the one that suits your needs.