Reply by Mauricio

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Posted on Workbench Tool Well? Yes or no and why.

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7144 posts in 3149 days

#1 posted 12-03-2012 02:54 AM

How did I miss this post? Thats my bench up there in the intro!

I thought about making a “backsplash” that could drop down similar to those planing stops you see people make for the end of the bench. That way you prevent things from falling off the bench but can still move it down out of the way if you were working on a wide piece. But I ended up going with the tool well.

In the end I went with the backsplash because the way I saw the argument is this:
-If you don’t have a tool well you have to be organized so things don’t fall off your bench
-If you have a tool well you have to be organized because it will fill up with crap

So either way you have to be organized, except with no well you still have the chance for things to fall off your bench. I prefer to err on the side of keeping my tools from falling off the bench and hitting the concrete floor. Imagine one of you prized planes falling off the bench, I would lose sleep over that one.

Also with a tool well you have options, you can have the tool well open, or you can make a filler piece when you need the extra surface. With no tool well you have no options, it is what it is.

I filler piece can be a simple board with feet on it that elevate it to the height of the bench or a rabbet or cleat around the lip of the well that you can drop a board into. Or boxes you can flip over like the examples some folks have posted. Again you have more options.

Also, in building my bench I was determined to work with the materials I had on hand. I kind of like that added challenge.

A well also helps you maximize your materials. It’s why so many of the antique benches had them. 4” of top thickness on the back half of the bench is wasted material, you’re not going to do any chopping back there!

Anyway, that’s my reasoning. I’m glad not everyone thinks the same, I enjoy seeing all the variety of benches people come up with. ;-)

Great topic Brad, thanks for posting it. I also like the solution you came up with.

-- Mauricio - Woodstock, GA - "Confusion is the Womb of Learning, with utter conviction being it's Tomb" Prof. T.O. Nitsch

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