Now, hands up if your DIY workbench is in a corner somewhere collecting dust. Come on, don’t be shy. We know there are workbenches out there sitting under a pile of rusty old paint tins or hanging hidden on garage walls. We’re here to change that!
Workbenches are so versatile it’s unlikely two people will use theirs for exactly the same tasks, but any DIYer should be able to find numerous ways that their workbench can help them. We’ve put together 12 to get you started.
Supporting Large Tools
Your workbench can be used to support sanders, saws, tile cutting machines, and other fixed power tools. Clamp your tools in place to prevent slipping, make sure your bench boards are spaced the right distance apart and you’re good to go.
Stay safe! Always check the bench can support the weight of the tool. Maximum load information will be in the manual. If your bench collapses halfway through your DIY you risk damaging your machinery and yourself!
Sanding or Planing
Need to trim down an ill-fitting door or smooth a splintery shelf? Your workbench will hold woodwork firm for sanding and planing. Wood shavings can be messy, but your portable workbench lets you work outdoors. (We can’t guarantee the same for the British weather.)
Breathe new life into your furniture with a fresh coat of varnish or paint! The vice of the workbench lets you hold items firm to coat them on all sides. Paint your drawers or varnish an old chair with ease. Simply touch up the areas where the item was secured when you’re done.
Keen gardeners, let your workbench double as a potting bench for planting seeds or re-potting shrubs. Workbenches are designed to be the right height to work on comfortably and you can use them for other gardening tasks too, like holding branches in place to cut them up.
Watch Mat demonstrate a Black + Decker Workmate in action! Watch the Video >
Whether you’re getting crafty making a homemade spice rack or need to fix some broken fence panels, workbenches make sawing simpler by stopping wood from moving about as you work on it.
Careful though, don’t saw through your workbench! Position the sawing blade so that it’s facing away from you and from the surface of your bench to prevent accidents.
Your nice clean dining table or kitchen surfaces aren’t the best places for messy tasks like changing the blades on your lawnmower or the filter on your vacuum cleaner. Your workbench, on the other hand, is ideal for the job. Just have a tin or mug handy to keep small loose parts like screws safe.
When you want to drill a hole through two items, use the workbench vice to hold them together to ensure the hole goes through both in the right place. You can assemble kitchen cabinets accurately, fix photo frames more easily or (for true DIY enthusiasts) build your own furniture.
A workbench vice is not just for securing flat items, it’s much more versatile than that. The vice and dogs (swivelling pegs on top of the bench) can be used to keep pipes, buckets and other curved items secure. Patch leaky plumbing, cut curtain rails to size and more – the DIY world is your oyster.
Use your workbench as a platform to stand on to raise your DIY endeavours to greater heights. As before, check the maximum weight restrictions, but most workbenches will comfortably support the weight of the average adult.
A workbench is much better than a wobbly chair for changing light bulbs, clearing guttering, or painting ceilings. Just take care not to step off the edges.
Change your bike’s tires, fit a new chain, touch up the paintwork or give your ride a thorough deep clean, all with the help of your bench. A workbench will competently hold your bike frame firm, even under the jets of a powerful pressure washer.
A workbench provides extra workspace for any hobby. Attach a long, thin and sturdy piece of wood to the bottom of a flat wooden board and clamp it in the vice to give yourself an even bigger surface area to work on, ideal for supporting large items like fence posts or drawing up plans.
If you’re gluing two items together use the vice on your workbench to efficiently hold them while the glue dries. Broken furniture or toys that have been subject to a little too much force can be repaired with no danger of them being picked up by mistake before the glue is dry.
eSpares Tried and Tested
Eager to get your hands on a workbench now you know just how versatile and useful they can be? We love the Black + Decker Workmate. It ticks all the boxes with great features including:
- Vertical and horizontal clamping
- Anti-slip rubber feet
- Durable steel construction
- One-handed operation
- Built-in ruler for measurements
- Support for loads up to 250 kg
Really we haven’t even scratched the surface of the countless uses for DIY workbenches. Workbench owners, what do you use yours for? Join the conversation and comment below!