Make the Most of Your Workbench With Help From Our Global Geniuses
[Image Attribution: Michele Rinaldi via Getty Images]
A workbench is a long-term investment and choosing the right one requires thinking ahead — sometimes far ahead — to how it will be used. The wrong configuration can make your job harder, result in damage to products or the bench itself, and even waste space if the workbench you invested in can’t be used for a project you’re working on.
With all that to consider, where do you start? In this article, Global Industrial’s product experts answer some of the most common questions they get about putting together the ideal workbench configuration.
Most workbenches I’ve used have had wood tops. When is a wood top the best option, and what are some scenarios in which another bench top material is preferrable?
Wood tops are a great option for general use applications, as well as those with frequent impact, such as pounding nails. Our maple workbench top is oil-treated to withstand heat exposure and prevent warping and splitting as well as dents and scratching. Other options for general use include hardboard and particleboard shop tops and high-pressure laminated plastic.
There are several applications for which wood tops are not the best choice, however. For heavy duty uses such as repair and assembly, consider steel, which is durable and resists corrosion. Stainless steel, meanwhile, can stand up to harsh chemicals and is easy to sanitize, so use that for clean rooms and foodservice. Phenolic resin tops resist moisture and chemicals, also suiting them for use in clean rooms and labs. If you’re working with sensitive electronics, look for an ESD (electrostatic discharge) surface, which helps prevent static shock.
Aside from the bench top, what other factors should I consider when choosing a workbench?
Width, height, depth, and capacity are just as important as the bench top material. A bench that’s too high or too low can lead to ergonomic issues for your workers. The wrong depth may leave you with too little work surface for your needs. And insufficient capacity could cause damage to your projects and the bench, as well as injuries.
Check the product specs against your space and capacity needs before purchasing to ensure the model is right for your tasks and team. If flexibility is required, consider an adjustable-height workbench, whose top can be raised and lowered as needed, whether that’s to accommodate standing work or provide more leverage. If you’re working with heavy machinery and materials, consider choosing a workbench with capacity to handle weights of 5,000 pounds or more. Capacities of 1,000 pounds to 2,000 pounds are suitable for general use.
I need to fabricate my products in a different area from order preparation, assembly, packing, and shipping. Is there an option for a workbench that can cover all these areas?
A mobile workbench or a portable workbench can be moved from place to place as needed. The mobile option has a wheeled base for easy transport down and around the production line. Portable models, meanwhile, can break down and fold up for easy relocation and storage.
Keep in mind that there are other options for moving products from the production area to the packing and shipping workstation. These include a conveyor system complete with bins and totes. Industrial carts can also transport materials throughout your facility.
I love my current setup but need to expand my surface and storage area. What are some options for adding space and storage?
Adding uprights to your bench enables you to bring a range of storage options within arm’s reach. Those include shelves and cabinets, as well as pegboards. Below the bench, consider choosing a configuration with cabinets, drawers, and pedestals for additional storage.
Can I add lighting and power to my workbench?
We recommend integrating lighting and power right into the workbench to avoid the added hazard of electrical cords running across your space. Our workbenches are available with power aprons and cutouts to make the integration seamless. LED lighting can also be incorporated right into your setup, so your team has the level of illumination required for safe and error-free work.
What other accessories should we consider?
Customizing your workbench with accessories has a range of benefits. Storage options from shelving to bin rails and bins keeps needed material on hand, while tool organizers and sorting trays help keep everything in its place. Computer accessory mounts free up bench space while ensuring your technology is accessible but safe from damage. Fans, which can be fixed to the bench with a movable arm, bring extra ventilation to keep workers comfortable on the job.
Investing in the right workbench now can save you time and money later. Learn more about how to optimize your workbench, and contact our product experts for their guidance on creating the ultimate setup for your needs.
The information contained in this article is for informational, educational, and promotional purposes only and is based on information available as of the initial date of publication. It is the reader’s responsibility to ensure compliance with all applicable laws, rules, codes and regulations. If there is any question or doubt in regard to any element contained in this article, please consult a licensed professional. Under no circumstances will Global Industrial be liable for any loss or damage caused by your reliance on this article.