The basics of building your own workbench or router table
Many craftsmen prefer to build their own workbenches, of course; and there are many sources of published designs, including woodworking books and mail-order firms.
The same can be said for router tables many woodworkers prefer to build there own router table and this is the same process for both the router table and the workbench after all many of the routers are benchtop routers.
You can buy router tables and they do have many features that will help you use your router to its maximum.
The site https://toolinspector.com/best-router-table/ has a great article about it on their website that is well worth a look if you want to purchase a ready-made router table for your woodworking projects.
One bonus of building your own workbench is that you can customize it to fit the space available in your workshop and to suit your individual needs.
If you do decide to go this route, you should try to use thick hardwoods for the top. Hard maple, red beech, and oak are all good choices.
The legs and bridging stretchers can be of any material, but the fittings should be bolted or wedged together and, therefore, able to be retightened from time to time. You should add vises to the edges of the bench and holes in the top for bench dogs and holdfasts.
You can also install a tool tray along the side of the bench, or a shelf or drawers within the framework to suit your style of work.
You should bear in mind, however, that building a good workbench is a substantial project, and once you pay for all the wood and hardware—not to mention the time necessary for building it—you may not save anything over purchasing a workbench made by a manufacturer.
The most reliable supplier for good-quality ready-made models is typically a specialist mail-order firm.
Shooting boards and hooks
There are simple homemade jigs that can aid the woodworker when working at the workbench, including shooting boards and bench hooks. The shooting board is used to hold work while it is being hand-planed to trim an edge.
It consists of a wide board with a shorter board attached on top to create a rabbet of about 3 inches (75 mm). The lower edge of the side of this board is undercut to create a groove to allow the accumulation of sawdust.
A length of wood called a stop is attached to the top of the shortboard at one end. To use a shooting board, the work is placed on top of the shortboard, pushed against the stop, and aligned with the rabbet end.
The plane is laid on its side to make passes along the edge of the work. Other versions of the shooting board are designed to trim splayed or mitered pieces.
The bench hook is basically a homemade workbench accessory made of a board of hardwood, with a rectangular block of wood attached on each end, but on the opposite side of the board.
By hooking one of the blocks on the edge of the workbench or in a vise, you can use the other block to hold the work in place. The bench hook may be shorter than the work to avoid damaging the surface of the workbench.
Important considerations when building your workbench or router table
Remember to see your bench up to the hight you are most comfortable with because you could be spending a lot of time working at the bench and it can give you backache and put unnecessary stress on your body when you are in an uncomfortable position for long periods.
It will also help you produce your best work if you are comfy whilst working away on your projects and not putting stress on your body.
Building your own workbench can save you a good amount of money and you can build a custom size bench that fits in your workshop or garage perfectly so you utilize all the space you have available and giving you the best possible workspace to complete your projects in..