8 helpful tips for organizing your workbench

September 3, 2015

Organizing your workbench is a sure way to make the space easy and comfortable to use as well as safer. Follow these eight helpful tips to tidy your workbench and to make sure its safe.

  1. Any outlets around your workbench that become clogged with sawdust can be a fire hazard. You should definitely keep these outlets clean, but an easier solution is to prevent clogging in the first place. Try putting some plastic childproof outlet covers in any outlets near your workbench when they're not in use.
  2. A workbench is easier and safer to use if all the power cords are hung up and out of your way. To make a hanger that lets a cord slide through without chafing it, cut a short length of old garden hose, slit it diagonally and tack it to the wall. Open the slit to insert or remove your cord as necessary. If you want to hold the cord in a fixed position, screw or glue some clothes pegs to overhead joists (or some other strategic positions) and use them to clip up the cord.
  3. For easy access to electricity hang a retractable (reel-type) extension cord from a hook screwed into an overhead joist. Or mount a multi-outlet power strip on the wall above your workbench or on a drop-down board bolted to a joist. Then plug your new overhead power source into an existing power point. If you have to run an extension cord to it, secure the cord loosely with slit-hose hangers (refer to tip #2). Be aware, though, that permanently attaching an extension cord may violate local or national electrical codes.
  4. Install an infra-red heat lamp over your workbench to give your hands and tools a quick warm-up. This will make it easier to work comfortably on cold days. But heat lamps typically draw 250 watts, so use them sparingly and check that your wiring can handle the lamp plus whatever other equipment you use on the same circuit.
  5. Perforated hardboard, otherwise known as pegboard, is a simple and attractive way to hang up hand tools – but don't limit its use to workshop walls. Mount it on the inside of cupboard doors or on the sides of your workbench and cupboards and you'll substantially increase your storage potential.
  6. Keep a bar magnet and a packet of plastic sandwich bags on hand and you'll always be able to pick up spilled metal washers, nuts or nails with ease. Drop the magnet into the bag and run it across the area of the spill to pick up the spilled items. When you've collected all the loose items, turn the bag inside out, remove the magnet and pour the contents of the bag into a container.
  7. If you have a spare hair dryer lying around the house, give it a new home at your workbench. You can use this new tool to blow away dust, dirt and shavings, to dry sweaty hands before handling new wood and to speed the drying of paint touch-ups.
  8. Tack an old leather or strong canvas belt along the edge of a workbench shelf to hold tools. As you nail it, leave small loops in the belt for tools to slip into.

Follow these eight helpful tips for organizing your workbench to help make it a safer, easier place to get work done.

8 helpful tips for organizing your workbench
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