I think it is about time I changed my workbench for something more suitable for woodworking, and am looking for suggestions. Attached are some photos and a Sketchup drawing of my "workshop" if you could call it that - it is really a small corner of our back deck about 2.7m x 3.6m (9' x 12') where I can make a mess without upsetting my wife, well not upsetting her too much...
It is an old family home. It's been in the family for 100 years and now the council has put it under demolition control which is a fancy way of saying we can't do much to the building without getting their approval. We were lucky to get the back deck on before the demolition control order happened. Working on the deck has a lot of advantage. I can be out in the open without being in the sun, and large pieces can easily overflow into the yard etc. while I am working on them. However the room for equipment is very limited.
Currently I put a piece of MDF on the table saw and use that as a general work bench. I have a portable workbench about 600 x 600 (2' x 2') that I use as a vice when I need to hold things, and that is one of my major bugbears. The existing work bench has become a storage place for all sorts of things, including the drill press, and I am gradually working through sorting that out. It is a bit tidier now than when the photos were taken, but still too messy to actually use. The table saw is positioned with a bit over 1200mm (4') clearance between the blade and the railings, and with assistance I can cut full size sheets if necessary. However this leaves the minimum amount of walking room between the table saw and the bench - 650mm (26"). The router is mounted under the table saw extension on the bench side. All in all, it is a very compact workshop and I am constantly re-arranging the layout for whatever stage of the job I am at.
My jobs include a range of things like:
homewares such as shadow boxes, serviette holders
bird feeders (get asked for them all the time)
minor joinery and mouldings for house maintenance
Any suggestions for the features I should build in a bench given the jobs that I do and the limited space? What I think I want so far are lots of holes for bench dogs with matching vices/clamps to hold small pieces, particularly for sanding, and a leg vice with supports that will hold panels vertically - Roubo workbench style. I don't want it blocking the door so maximum width is 1020mm (40").
Providing Web and IT services through my own business (Darbeth) by day, and by night
, saving my customer's sanity.
Escaping to the workshop to create things out of slabs of wood by day or by night
, to save my own sanity.