Whether you are just starting out in woodworking or you have been doing it for years, it’s important to have a good woodworking workbench. A workbench is a tool that is specially designed to hold your work materials in place. It has a flat, solid surface and usually features a work area that can hold various sizes of material.
Putting a woodworking workbench on wheels can be a daunting task. However, there are ways to make your life easier, or at least more fun. One way is to use retractable casters. These units are easy to install, and provide a degree of mobility without requiring you to dismantle your workbench.
These casters come in sets of four, and you can choose from a variety of heights and caster sizes. This allows you to choose the one that best fits your needs. You can also install these casters in a raised or a side-mounted fashion, if that’s what you prefer. This means that you can install your workbench on wheels without having to reposition all of your heavy fixtures. You can even put the workbench on wheels and still maintain a level work surface.
The best part about these casters is that they come with the requisite heavy-gauge wood screws. These casters are also easy to install, and are accompanied by a nifty set of instruction manuals.
Using retractable hold-downs for your woodworking workbench can save you time, effort and headaches. These handy tools can be placed in strategic locations to hold your work in place. These devices are ideal for projects involving long, wide workpieces that are vertically oriented.
The most obvious choice for holding your work in place would be the old fashioned pipe clamp, but you can also opt for specialized hold-down devices for different tasks. These include hold-downs, specialized clamps and pony clamps. These devices can be used to hold up to 24″ boards vertically. You may also opt for a workbench with vises for the most versatility.
These devices are available in a wide range of shapes and sizes. A typical retractable hold-down comes in the form of a 1-1/2″ diameter post with machined serrations along its length. The post is attached to a black coated base. This base features a large rubber pressure plate for non-marring clamping of your workpiece.
Unlike many other vises, a shoulder vice for woodworking workbench allows for direct vertical clamping, which is especially useful for holding tapered work. Typically, the clamping action is very stiff. It is also useful for gripping delicate pieces.
Unlike a traditional tail vise, which has a fixed, rectangular or L-shaped block of wood, a shoulder vice has a movable jaw that moves via a single screw. It can be used to clamp long boards with a “bench slave” or for planing.
A shoulder vise can be purchased as a portable unit, which can be placed on a regular bench. It is also possible to convert a large face vice into a shoulder vice. However, this is a little more complicated.
A shoulder vice is a unique feature of a traditional Danish workbench. It allows for clamping directly behind the screw. The bench screws used for this type of vice are stiffened with a steel bench screw. This allows for little play in the screw/jaw attachment.
Choosing the right Woodworking workbench accessories can enhance the woodworking experience and make it safer and more accurate. Wood blocks, shooting boards, planing stops, and bench dogs are just a few of the items that can help protect the woodworker’s workspace.
A shooting board is an accessory for workbench that allows a woodworker to square end grain without breaking or scoring the wood. It can also be used to support long stock when using a miter saw.
Planing stops are pieces of wood that are secured to the benchtop to keep the workpiece in place when handplaning. They can also be used to prevent parts from getting pushed off the workbench.
A stainless steel ruler is also a useful workbench accessory. This ruler is more accurate than a tape measure and can be used to draw straight edges and shallow arcs.
A project mat is another essential workbench accessory. It helps keep the work area clean and prevents paint and debris from rolling away.