In the past, I’ve managed to make do without a lot of tools, only buying what I really needed at the time.
One thing I haven’t compromised on though is having a decent work surface to be able to do good quality work.
As a cabinet maker, a quality workbench can easily cost a few thousand dollars and while my primary workbench did cost just that, I have always cheaply built others to fulfil particular project needs as they have arisen.
Whatever your craft skill is, you will no doubt need a really good workbench to suit your particular craft needs.
Here’s a selection of some of my favourite workbench designs.
1 – Roubo Style Cabinet Makers Workbench
This workbench is based on a design by the 18th-century French carpenter and author André-Jacob Roubo.
Since Roubo’s 1700s manuscript was translated from the original french in 2008 there has been an explosion of various hybrids hitting the woodworking world.
2 – Carls Cool Retirement Gift
This is a slideshow of a retirement gift built in Ash by Marvel Woodworking in West Chester, PA.
Truly a work of the finest standards, that any cabinet or furniture maker worth their salt would treasure.
3 – Ron Paulk Engineered Portable Carpenters Bench
Designer/Builder Ron Paulk built his original workbench for his own personal use whilst working on site. It’s often difficult to set up shop whilst working away from the workshop but Ron designed a portable lightweight workshop. His plans are available from his website here
4 – Jays Custom Creations Behemoth
Jay makes a lot of professional videos and the construction of this bench out of Southern Yellow Pine is just one of many. A Cool workshop Jay – plans available from Jays website.
5 – Dads 2 by 4 Workbench
Can’t think of anything more satisfying than building something with family. Here April Wilkerson builds a 7 foot long workbench for her Dads shop.
6 – Fold Down Workbench
Here’s another great design by April – this time for a folding workbench. If you’re a bit tight on space then this could work for you.
7 – No Power Tools Used for This Primitive Bench
Chris builds a primitive workbench using only basic hand tools and a lot of elbow grease!
8 – And Now to The Other Extreme
Here, Eve talks about her jewellers workbench, made by Emir in the UK. Here a different height and smaller work surface are important.
Whatever design of workbench you need, although some of these examples seem expensive you can often use cheaper or reclaimed materials.
I made a jewellery workbench for my son out of an old desk from an auction site with some custom modifications.
Total cost, less than $50 dollars.