Woodworking has a long list of equipment, tools, and gears that have to stay right at your workshop for so many needs. One of the most important tools, probably heart of your workshop is a workbench.
Some prefer to buy themselves a strong and sturdy workbench for efficient and smooth functioning. That’s the very right thing to do no doubt.
But for beginners and someone who’s merely entering the field might not feel very comfortable in investing a high amount of money behind workbench. They are more likely interested to pay for learning and developing skills for a better experience.
So, it’s probably okay to give up on a workbench, right? Wrong! No matter what your skill level or circumstances are, you absolutely can’t ignore this elementary tool out of list. And that brings us to the matter of creating a woodworking workbench.
What is the Best Wood for Workbench Frame: Answers from Every Perspective!
The most important segment of a wooden workbench is probably its top. This is where all your tools are going to sit while you focus on projects. However, if it comes with a poor frame quality, even the strongest top will crash.
So, it’s essential that you pay attention to choosing the best wood for workbench frame. Of course, each wood type comes with its own peculiarities. You’ll also have to consider your aesthetic preference.
Exploring all these parts, you should make an informed decision on choosing the frame wood. Here’s my take on the best types of woods that are suitable for different workbench frame purposes.
Best Choice for Inexpensive Workbench?
If you are someone who has a soft side for inexpensive options simply because of the low budget, no worries. Woods have a lot of types available that are inexpensive and yet functioning enough. The best inexpensive wood is probably the softwoods.
Pine and birch are two fine nominees for this category. They are really inexpensive and easy to deal with. Using these woods for creating a workbench frame is also relatively easier.
However, the durability factor is pretty low here. At least lower than hardwoods. No matter how many types of paint and coats you apply, it won’t be a very long-lasting option.
But if you want a workbench for a short period, let say for practice purpose, softwoods can be one of the finest choices out there.
Also, there are many incidents where a worker tends to break his tools and parts by dropping it accidentally on the tough workbench. In this case, the workbench might shatter but your rare tool parts will remain undamaged.
However, if you are not really short of budget, it would be wiser to go for reasonable options rather than extremely cheap ones. I’m sure the percentage of folks who need a workbench temporarily is pretty low.
So, it would be a pity if your new workbench crashes right after a few days of using because the wood was too cheap. There are softwoods with moderate durability features, go for those.
Best Choice for A Sturdy Design
Now some of you even with the beginner tag want to invest in something hard and sturdy. There’s nothing wrong in wanting so and actually, it’s a very impressive consideration. For such seekers, using hardwood is the best option.
Hardwoods are always there to keep strong and sturdy designs at home. These are great at resisting any major damage while you concentrate on a particular project. Even with rough usage, these tend to go a long way.
The optimal choice of hardwood for sturdiness are oak and maple. However, you’ll have to let go of a generous amount of money here. But I’m sure, with the added durability, this deal is apparently affordable.
However, not any hardwood will be a pro-choice for workbench frames. There are certain types of wood that easily splinter with prolonged banging. You want to stay away from these if your chores include a lot of hammering. A good example from this category of hardwood is red oak.
There are certain hardwoods that are kiln-dried. For example, ash which is a sod. If you don’t want to work in an environment with waffle cracking sounds every time there’s some hammering job, then avoid such kiln dried timbers.
However, for someone who uses a lot of roughing machinery, ash can be a sturdy option though. These are really good for a workshop that involves a lot of hard-wearing tasks. But I believe, most beginners and newcomers will concentrate more on hand tools. Oak can be an ideal option for such usage. Especially if these are air-dried.
Best Choice for Any Season.
Coming back to your workshop, let’s have a look at the atmosphere. Of course, not everyone lives in the same climate and so needs are going to differentiate here as well. Because woods are one substance that might expand or compress depending on the climate.
That’s why someone who lives in really high or low humidity level areas will have to consider this factor more than anything else. Also, going for a wood that occasionally expands or contracts will bring a lot of warping at your workshop. Nobody wants that to happen.
One simple way to avoid this problem with hardwood is by using thick dimensions while creating a frame. Also, you may want to sand the hardwood occasionally to get rid of deep damages.
However, if you want to choose inexpensive wood for a frame that does not warp in humidity, use plywood. It’s a very low-cost option that can provide quite a praiseworthy durability for the money. It can also handle tool and material damage with occasional sanding.
It’s really great at staying unaffected with humidity changes. However, to get better performance, you may have to use thick pieces.
Another choice similar to plywood is MDF. This is also quite resistant to the moisture level in air. It can easily handle all your work pressure with regular maintenance and sanding. However, at some point, you’ll have to consider replacing. For the money, MDF woods are great options, just like plywood.
If you need Drawer Slides for your workbench, You may like to read this review
Creating your future projects will include the participation of a workbench. It’s going to be pretty upsetting when the bench bangs, makes sounds, cracks or shows tantrums while you are stressing over a particular project.
So, if you are very serious about woodworking, make sure to buy yourself a professional workbench. These are far better than the DIY versions, no doubt.
However, when you consider DIYing for a workbench, you’re saving money but investing time. A huge amount of time! Don’t let it spoil because of a poor choice on frame wood.
Also, don’t just absolutely choose very cheap options. You don’t want the workbench to fall down after barely using it a couple of times.
The overall durability has a direct connection with right material selection. Also, it depends on how precisely and carefully you carry out the DIY process. Don’t be lazy here and you’ll be enjoying a well-working wood bench for a long time. Good Luck!
Hi, this is Mathew from the city of Denver, Colorado. I am a professional woodworker with more than 12 years of experience along with the technical degree regarding the field. I have undertaken many small to large projects and ended with good result. Stay connected to know the knowledge and tips I implemented in my work in process. Thanks.