Featured Garages Article
Workbenches That Expand Garage Use
Garages are great spaces for all sorts of activities, but nothing is more popular in garages than a sturdy, much needed workbench. A workbench is a great place for crafts, hobbies, woodworking, small repairs, art projects, school projects, and much more. When you have an ergonomically designed workbench, it provides the perfect solution for messy projects or long-term projects that need to be hidden out of the way.
Think about how you are most likely to use your workbench. Most people use their bench while standing, although you may have projects that require sitting. Consider how much space you have available for a workbench and how wide, tall, and deep it can be given your space constraints.
Keep some of these tips in mind as you prepare to build a workbench:
1. Workbenches come in a variety of shapes and sizes. You can build your own or you can purchase modular structures that are preconfigured. Many include the workbench surface. You can also purchase industrial workbenches with adjustable legs made from steel or laminate construction. There are also benches from compressed wood and hardboard and many other options at your home improvement store. Do some homework to find out what works best for your specific needs.
2. The length of the workbench should be determined by the amount of space you have available. You can never have too much space on a workbench. Don't crowd space used for your car with the workbench, but take advantage of as much space as practical. Modular or pre-built workbenches come in various lengths. If you're building your own, you can decide how long to build it.
3. Leave a section of the workbench free of any cabinets or encumbrances underneath. This will allow you to sit at the workbench while working with your legs comfortably underneath the bench. Keep this in mind when building or selecting a modular workbench.
4. Make sure you install a good quality top on your workbench. Again, depending on your intended use of the space, think about the work surface. You can purchase workbench surfaces made of butcher block material or other hardwood. You can also find plastic laminated material, steel, and other types of surfaces. It's a personal preference to choose a top but keep the durability in mind and think about how you plan to use the workbench most often. This will help you decide on the best material. Workbench surfaces come in various lengths, widths, and depths. You should be able to find precut tops for your workspace.
5. An ergonomically designed workbench should be about 40 inches high to allow you to work on your projects while standing. This will be a good comfortable height that won't put extra strain on your back and body. You won't have to bend and stoop to reach the workbench surface and you should be able to work for longer periods of time with this height. Since most workbenches are 32-36 inches high, the additional height will take pressure off of your lower back and shoulders.
6. If you plan to work occasionally at a seated position, you can purchase an adjustable height stool. This allows you to use your workbench for various projects whether sitting or standing. It is recommended that you have comfortable stools or chairs for seating even if you only think you'll need them occasionally.
7. With the higher 40-inch workbench, you have more room underneath for drawers, shelves, and other types of storage. Be sure to take advantage of this space underneath and create spaces that will help you organize your supplies, tools, and other things. If you build your own bench, it's easy to add plain shelving and use bins, crates, or boxes for storage. Pre-designed workbenches usually come with shelves or drawers.
8. There are advantages to having your workbench facing out the window if possible, but there are also advantages to facing a wall. You can install pegboard or other types of material on the wall where you can store tools, supplies, and things that you need to have within easy reach when working at the bench. You can build shelves and other types of storage nooks on the wall above the bench to help you organize your work area.
9. Make sure you install lighting at your workbench. Depending on how you plan to use it, you'll want lots of light. You can add track lighting at minimal costs and under-cabinet lighting is especially helpful. If your garage has windows, you may not need as much lighting, but most garages do not have the luxury of getting a lot of benefit from sunlight. If you opt for light bulbs rather than track lighting, use some type of shade or cover to avoid glare and harsh lighting.
Even if you have only a small space in your garage for a workbench, it can be worth the investment. Workbenches can be built or purchased in any length and width, so you should be able to find one to suit your needs. A sturdy workbench that is kept well-organized can be a great place for work or play.
Do your homework and decide the type and style of workbench that best suits your needs. Then, get started on your home improvement project that will make your garage a multi-purpose room.