Workbench depth/width


The recent thread on workshop organization lead me to order the plans from New Yankee for the miter bench and workshop hutch. The current bench I have is a piece of kitchen countertop complete with splashguard and rolled edge, about 24" wide of working surface.
The plans show bench widths of 31.75" and 36". I find that a bit unrealistic for against the wall workbenches.Norm must have oranguntan length arms or something. I prefer 24", maybe 30" at a stretch. How about you?
I'll be modifying these plans to suit my purposes, when I get around to them that is!
I'm visualizing the miter bench with a sunken area to hold the 12" planer so that the tabletop is flush with the planer table, and it will be slide out to boot so I can reclaim the space when I need it.
I may just modify the workbench I have instead of building the hutch workbench. New counter top (not the kitchen stuff), take off the face framing and build all new drawers. No dovetails either. Don't have the capabilities or desire for them.
John
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Size your workbench to suit the largest project you routinely make.
The bench needs to be bigger if you are using it for assembly / glue up.
If used for assembly consider mounting the bench on a set of lockable castors so it can be moved out for access.
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Hi John,
IRRC, Norm has some DC pipes behind his set-up. I have about 24" and I don't hink that 32 or 36 inches are practical against a wall.
Sometimes even the 24" seems too deep.
Lou
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years, I will tell you this.
Any exposed surface-shelf will soon fill with dust.
The deeper the shelf-cabinet, the more stuff gets lost in back of them.
If you have a need for a bigger space, go for it. But something aginst the wall is only usable to what you can actually see or reach. Extra deep spaces are mostly wasted.
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Is this your only bench? Can you have more? This matters... alot.I have 4 "bench-like" horzontal surfaces (wall-mount built-in, a traditional European, Outfeed table wich functions very nicely as a glue-up space, and a dedicated miter station.
My "wall bench" is the least used. It holds a bunch or drawer storage and utherwise functions mostly as a dumping ground.
I would strongly urge you to have one workbench space which is accessible on 3 or 4 sides.
That said, I think 24" is fine for a wallmount bench is enough. I would not be ably to function with a planer set into a bench. "clearing the deck" would becone a major PITA. I have this situaton for my miter station. But there, I only need to clear the front 6 inches, and it's dedicated to the task and It's not really a general work area.
Granted, I choose to define bench rather broadly, but If I had to have ontly a wall-mount (and It was not that long ago that that I was in that situation) I could not have functioned with a planer in the middle.
-Steve
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I do have a 4'x8' "bench" in the other half of the basement, but thats my airplane buildig table. The bench I currently have is 8' long. this is the one I've been thinking of modifying. I would like to add another one at righ angles so that I would have a L shaped setup. The additional bench would be based on the NYW miter bench, but built to my specs.
For the planer, it would be slide out when I need the long bench surface. Hard to describe without a drawing.
John
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John,

My workbench is about 30" wide x 72" long, and is on wheels so I can move it around in my shop. At times the 30" width seems a little small when I'm trying to assemble a project, but it's a good middle ground of width and compactness when pushed against a wall.
I also use my workbench as an outfeed table for my table saw, and the 30" width is handy when I'm ripping a sheet of plywood down the middle. Plenty of support for each half of the sheet.
I can easily reach the other side of the 30" top, but if it were wider I could simply go around to the other side. So, I could go the full 48" width of a sheet of plywood if I wanted. But, a 48" wide workbench would take up a lot of space in my shop, so I compromised with the 30" width.
Anthony
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