Garage Shapeups Guest Author: John Man
The garage workbench is a must for every homeowner who has a 'do-it-yourself' attitude. Consider your future projects, and assume the ideal working area in your garage. Then buy or build the perfect workbench for your needs.
Placement is Key
Choose the optimum spot for your garage workbench. If you park vehicles in the garage, place your workbench in a location that allows you maximum work space.
If your house and garage are attached, your choice in placement may be limited. Putting the garage workbench against a shared wall is a good idea for ease of electrical outlet installation. It will also be the area to give you the most warmth during cold months. Some insulation for sound should be considered so the folks in the house are not bothered by the noise. If your garage stands alone, you may find it easier to select an area. Ideally, place your garage workbench along a bare wall in order to have plenty of room for cabinets and shelves on one or both sides of the workbench. By positioning your workbench on the opposite wall of a window, you will be provided with the most natural light.
If space is an issue, a fold-up garage workbench takes up little room when not in use. They are often designed with cabinet space to hang tools and hardware, and the hinged bench folds into that space with its legs tucked under. When you need to work, simply unfold the top, prop up the legs and get to it. Select one with a leg system that is sturdy enough for your needs. Make sure to allow adequate space to work in when the bench is laid out.
Height is Important
A workbench should be higher than a desk, as you must be able to stand and work comfortably, with your arms bent at the right angle. Some experts suggest that the table top's height should be at the level of your navel or at the crease of your wrist. Others find it more comfortable and usable at a higher level. If you want extra work room and support, consider the height of your table saw and place both together as a unit. You can set up a prototype bench by placing a sheet of plywood on some blocks in order to determine which height works best for you.
Store Every Tool within Reach
Do you have more tools than your local building store? A work bench should have a large enough tabletop to hold various saws, sanders, and other power tools for easy access. Installing wall cabinets and shelves either above or beside the workbench will greatly alleviate your organization task. Check out the myriad of options available, from open wooden shelving to stainless steel cabinets especially designed for garage wear and tear. They should give you ample space to store tools, manage all the hardware that comes with home improvement, and tuck away any work in progress. Some garage workbench designs actually incorporate a built-in cabinet system which is very practical when attached to the garage wall. If you find the surface area of your workbench insufficient, consider setting up a supplementary table top elsewhere in the garage.
Do Not Forget the Pegboard!
Every work area needs a pegboard that will accommodate a variety of things, from tools and cords to tapes and work aprons. Be sure to install your garage workbench against a wall that leaves you enough room for a good-sized pegboard. If necessary, supplement with additional boards elsewhere in the garage. Some workbenches are available with a built-in pegboard, often located along the back of the bench.
A Worthwhile Project - Workbench Kit or Build your Own?
Various workbench kits are available on the market. Choose the one that best suits your needs. Consider a heavy duty stainless steel garage workbench if you expect to use it often and want extra durability. Be sure to have all of the right tools on hand to assemble it, and if necessary shop for some new ones! You will most likely want more handy tools for your new work space. Note that some essential hardware may not be included in your kit.
If you would prefer to build it yourself, look for plans and designs online or browse through carpentry books and magazines. You should be able to find workbench plans that are not only simple to execute, but also require readily available materials.
Whatever garage workbench you choose for the organization of your new work space, it will motivate you to initiate many exciting projects.
John Mann is an experienced home renovator and webmaster. Visit his website Workbench Ideas [http://www.workbench-ideas.com/] for workshop tips.Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/John_Man/62190Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/4699012
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The author of this page is Nick Dixon, owner of Garage Shapeups and Lifetime Epoxy Floors.