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What's a good average size for a WorkBench? I was thinking of 6ft by 3ft, is that to small?

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What do you need it for, Tom?
My work area is a full 4x8 and it seems it's never big enough. :(
If you mean for bench work, like planing, or laying out small pieces, 6x3 seems pretty functional.
If you meant for cabinet work, that's probably not big enough.
Some drool worthy goodies here...
Workbenches | Woodworking Vises
 

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My bench is 26" X 76". Its size seems about right to me. You'll never have enough horizontal real estate within easy reach for your work-piece and all the tools you accumulate around a project, but that's what the table saw is for.
 

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I have a Harbor Freight workbench, which is only 20x60 inches. However, I have a fold down top added to the back which makes it 36x60. This is in a smallish, 12x24 shed that is my shop, so space is pretty tight. This gives me options. I also use the outfeed table on the ta ble saw. If I had a larger table, I'd probably litter it even more than the one I have. I do wood prep out in the garage, and just put a couple of 2x4s across saw horses and top with a sheet of ply.
 

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My space is getting tight too. One of the best things I did was make some really sturdy sawhorses exactly the height of my workbench. When I need to break down a 4 X 8 sheet of plywood, the offcut rests on the sawhorses and I make the cut between the bench and horses. No pinching and no drama. The horses stack and move out of the way when not in use.

If your bench is too big for the space, it's always in the way. If it's too small, you still have options.
 
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I made my bench based on the 21st century bench from popular woodworking mag. I lowered the height because I do a lot of hand work sitting at a stool. My bench top is 30" x 60" and is 2-1/2" thick. I am right handed, so I mounted my main vise to the left front, and a second vise to the right front end of the workbench. There are times I wish the bench was 6' long, but my shop is only 13' x 18' and crammed with stuff, so most of my larger machines are on wheels. I would say the height is very important. Consider what you will be doing the most at your bench, and get the height right to reduce fatigue.
 

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If I had a larger table, I'd probably litter it even more than the one I have.
The litter is the thing. I have a 24 x 60 workbench, and a 20 x 60 that used to be a bar and is at a comfortable standing height. But my favorite is a homemade 16 x 30 that my son made from 2 x 4's. It's small enough to walk around when I need to (often), and the small size forces me to clean up after myself when I get done using it.
 

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"...and the small size forces me to clean up after myself when I get done using it."

I don't understand, Jim; what's this 'cleanup' you speak of? ;)
It was an alien concept at first. I found that to use the small workbench, I had to remove all traces of the previous project. I'm still in the learning curve.
 

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It really depends on what you are going to make most of the time. Also power tools vs hand tools. Christopher Schwartz, a hand tool guy, wrote a book on hand tool style benches and he likes long and narrow so you reach/lean over it to get at the boards you are hand planing. Mine is scandinavian style and is 22" wide by 84" long. Also beefy so they don't slide around.
 

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Mine is 36" X 84" (3' X 7'), and it isn't big enough most of the time, but that's because half of it is covered with stuff. I have a bad back, so I built the work bench, miter saw bench, and band saw stand 38" high. I need to raise the new table saw to 38" also.
 

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I would say it all evolves down to your personal preference. Many variables involved; space available, height if you sit or stand, what will you use it for, and so on. Right now my router table is my main work table, it is about 18"X24" or so, I sit while using it. This has worked well for me, but I am planning on some work changes, so am thinking seriously of extending the left side about 2' maybe, possibly a bit more. For me it will work fine, for most others here doubt they would like it much. I will have to make a glue up jig too, probably about 12"X18" or so, don't know if I will have to make a stand or shelf to put it on or not. I always just think about what I want, decide on the size, and make it.

Plans? Plans? Don' need no steenkin' plans. Plans are someone else's idea of what you need, so I seldom follow plans, just use them for ideas, and make whatever the way I actually need it. Works for me.
 

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Work and personal preference are factors, but I think what really counts is exactly how much space your shop has for a bench. You did not say how much room you have for a bench.

No use contemplating say a 5 or 6 foot long by 24 or 30 + inches wide bench if you do not have room for it....

How much free space for a bench do you have?

If you are contemplating a bench with a tail/end vise, factor in the length of travel when fully opened. I have a 20+ year old Ulmia work bench and the shoulder vise and the tail vise with dog holes the length of the bench and end/tail vise top are very handy. Would not have another bench without those features.

Are you considering a tool well?

Want access on all four sides?

Weight is a good thing.
 

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I am not a hand tool guy, but I do build a lot of stuff. Sayin' that, here is the link to my new work bench that was constructed over the Christmas holidays. I love it and wouldn't change a thing.

http://www.routerforums.com/show-n-tell/105625-work-bench-make-over.html

Hope you get some inspiration from the ideas incorporated into my bench. Actually, now that I have been using it for 7 months, I think the Kraft paper roll holder is the most valuable part...and all of the holes for the clamps! :surprise::grin:
 

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Nice! How do you stop the plywood edge from splintering, Mike? No roundover as far as I can tell?
Do you have a trick for picking up long lengths coming off the TS: it looks like the work surface is lower than the TS top(?).
 

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Nice! How do you stop the plywood edge from splintering, Mike? No roundover as far as I can tell?

I actually had to go look at it. No splinters. I think I ran the ROS along the edge to form a mini roundover. The poly has worked great so far.

Do you have a trick for picking up long lengths coming off the TS: it looks like the work surface is lower than the TS top(?).

The top is about 3/8 inch lower than the saw. I really haven't had any problems ripping long stock other than on occasion, a small sliver will be left on the end and I trim it with a box cutter.
:grin:
 
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