Add life to your workbench and sawhorse

July 29, 2015

If you have a workbench and sawhorse in your basement, for pleasure, home repairs or work, you want to make the most of it. Preserve them, and you're giving your workshop a good chance of functioning well for a long time.

Add life to your workbench and sawhorse

Preserve your workbench

  • Cut sheets of tempered hardboard to the size of your workbench top, and tack it in place.
  • Once it's gouged or loaded up with glue drips, flip it over for a clean start.
  • This will keep your workbench surface looking new.

Fabricate a tougher top

  • If you need a bench for messy jobs, such as cleaning greasy parts, sharpening tools, and mixing paint, have your local heating and air-conditioning shop fabricate a top from sheet metal.
  • Give them a piece of medium-density fibreboard (MDF) the size of your bench top, and ask them to make a snug-fitting cover for it.
  • Make sure the metal gets bent over and under the MDF edges to avoid getting snagged or cut on sharp edges.

Go heavy duty

  • Heavy-duty benches need to be heavy in order to be stable enough for pounding, jointing, and planing tasks.
  • Their weight makes them difficult to move.
  • If you use knock-down assembly hardware, however, you can easily disassemble your prized bench and take it with you should you have to move.

Build drawers with heavy-duty glides

  • Woodworking and mechanics' tools are heavy.
  • If you're building a workbench with drawers, use heavy-duty drawer hardware for years of smooth, trouble-free operation.

Add life to sawhorses

  • A pair of sawhorses is an invaluable addition to any workshop.
  • Use them as the base of a worktable or to support lumber while sawing with a circular saw.
  • Attach a two-centimetre-thick (3/4-inch-thick) sacrificial wood strip to horizontal members to protect them from being sliced up by saw blades.
  • Fasten the strip from below so that the blade won't hit the fastener when you set your saw to cut slightly deeper than the workpiece.
  • When the strip gets chewed up, toss it and install a new piece.
  • This tip works for most resin and steel sawhorses as well.
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