Workbench against a wall?

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Forum topic by Brett posted 08-13-2012 04:01 PM 3885 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Brett's profile


660 posts in 2677 days

08-13-2012 04:01 PM

When I finish my Roubo workbench, I have to decide whether to put it against the side wall of my garage (which has no windows) or out in the middle of the garage. Having the bench away from the walls would let me work on all four sides of the bench, but that location would interfere with a lot of other garage functions (including providing storage for a lawnmower, a couple large trash bins, etc. Against the wall, it would be harder to use a clamp across the width of the bench, plus it would be harder to provide good lighting.

Have any of you used hand tools with a workbench located against a wall? What were your experiences with that arrangement?

-- More tools, fewer machines.

7 replies so far

View waho6o9's profile


8187 posts in 2571 days

#1 posted 08-13-2012 04:04 PM

Maybe make the Roubo mobile?

View Loren's profile


10377 posts in 3642 days

#2 posted 08-13-2012 04:05 PM

I seldom do more than small glue-ups on the bench. That’s because
it is against a wall. Larger glue-ups are done on an assembly stage.

If you are going to focus on handwork, you won’t be doing large
glue-ups nearly as often as you may imagine.

View carguy460's profile


802 posts in 2330 days

#3 posted 08-13-2012 04:30 PM

I can tell you that my “workbench” is less than ideal for hand work. It is 36” high (I’m 5’8) and is “built in”, tucked smack in a corner of my shop, such that the back and left hand side are against walls…I hate it with every fiber of my being. For assembly, I end up gluing stuff up on the floor. I can’t plane cross grain because I hit the wall. Sawing? Forget about it! I plan to build a Roubo-style bench soon, and plan to have it smack in the middle of my shop. If it gets in the way, I can move it…

As you can tell, I’m not thrilled with a bench against a wall, but I’m a beginner, so take my opinion with a grain of salt!

-- Jason K

View Bertha's profile


13525 posts in 2688 days

#4 posted 08-13-2012 04:32 PM

I don’t work with sheetgoods and I’ll probably only use one side of my bench. I think there might be BENEFITS to placing it against the wall, assuming you’ll be handplaning.

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View Derek Cohen's profile

Derek Cohen

370 posts in 3963 days

#5 posted 08-13-2012 05:02 PM

Hi Brett

I would recommend you site your bench about 12” or so from the wall, rather than against the wall. The reason is that you will want to plane across the bench, and then your plane will hit the wall! If you do not use your planes this way, then you are missing out on a mainstay of bench use for handplanes.

I used the space behind the bench for tool trays, which I attached to the wall instead of the bench (this allows me to use clamps on the bench) ...

The build write up of my Roubo in on this index page:

Regards from Perth


-- Buildiing furniture, and reviewing and building tools at

View Brett's profile


660 posts in 2677 days

#6 posted 08-13-2012 05:22 PM

I think the impediment to sawing on the end of the bench and cross-planing settles it for me: I won’t put the bench right up against the wall. A foot or so away might work. But I’m a little concerned about things rolling off the back of the bench. We’ll see.

Derek, I like your idea of building tool trays at bench height on the wall. My bench is 24.5” wide, but I’ve got a long reach, so that might be an option for me.

-- More tools, fewer machines.

View DKV's profile


3940 posts in 2498 days

#7 posted 08-13-2012 05:51 PM

I’m in the same corner as carguy460 (pun intended) and had the same frustration until I did what waho6o9 suggested and put wheels (locking type) on the bench. All four corners are swivel which make it very easy to move and manuever. Most of the time it is in the corner but it sure is nice to roll it out when access to all four sides is needed.

-- This is a Troll Free zone.

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