Welding is an in-demand and exciting career path and even allows you to pursue metalworking as an art form. This line of work’s complex demands require some creative thinking around workspace and storage considerations, and some welders who try to maintain an at-home workspace may struggle to balance their needs.
Having a welding bench similar to the ones carpenters or auto mechanics use makes it easier to store a variety of essentials within reach. This is especially true if you usually work with smaller components that can fit into drawers. Here are the best welding bench ideas for both beginners and advanced welders.
Benches with Work Space
Many users prefer to have a larger welding table in addition to a small basic welding workbench. This makes it easier to spread out a welding project over a surface unimpeded by shelves and supports.
Depending on your projects’ size and overall workspace, you may prefer to use your bench as a surface to occasionally weld. Any surface used for welding should be made of metal for maximum fire resistance, so take your intended use into account when deciding on your bench. Wood-topped benches are only appropriate for storage and drafting.
Benches with Shelves and Drawers
Workbenches commonly feature racks or short walls for hanging tools, but shelves and drawers can also be helpful. Thin layers of drawers are usually more helpful for welders because they can fit pipes and sheets of metal.
Your drawers and shelves’ size and shape will depend largely on the type of welding you do. Take a quick inventory of the materials and tools you frequently use, noting their size and shape. You might be able to find pre-made welding workbenches with storage that’s useful, but you may have to supplement with your own additions.
L-shaped welding workbenches are helpful for making the most out of a corner area in your workshop or garage. They make it easier to turn and grab the supplies you need while working. This is especially helpful for welders with a variety of small parts or documents to keep track of.
L-shaped benches are not common, and you may have to build your own to get a design that meets your needs. However, the effort is well worth it if you’re an intermediate or advanced welder. If you prefer some flexibility in your layout, you can make a cart that’s the same height as your workbench and has locking wheels so you can secure it in place wherever you need it.
Adjustable Height Benches
The height of your bench does not matter much if you only use your bench for storage. However, if you use your bench’s surface for drafting or reviewing plans, it’s helpful to have an adjustable work surface. Some workbenches have legs with adjustable height settings for more ergonomic use.
If you can’t find an adjustable-height bench with the exact features you want and are not comfortable engineering the legs yourself, consider buying the legs separately and building or buying a separate workbench top. This allows you to bring your custom welding bench ideas to life without sacrificing the features you want.
Instead of storing vice grips in a drawer or shelves, many welders find it much more convenient to hang vice grips on a small rack. This rack can fit on the side of the bench to keep larger areas open for wider items. It’s easy to make this add-on yourself if the workbench you want doesn’t have it.
Leveling feet make it easier to account for small dips in your garage or workspace floor. They’re an essential safety feature if you plan on doing any welding on your workbench, even if your workspace floor is currently in good condition. Some workbenches that are otherwise not height-adjustable have small leveling feet that allow 1-2” of adjustments.
Slide-out extensions and drop leaves are more common for welding tables than workbenches, but they can be attached to your bench for added space if needed. Consider designing your own extension if you have limited space in your workshop. As long as the surface is made of metal and you make sure the surface will hold enough weight, it can double both as a welding surface and as a general workspace.
Built-in lighting is a popular option for pre-made workbenches, but it can be tricky to position it just right, so you avoid heavy shadows on important work areas. It’s easy to buy and attach your own lighting with clamps to make sure you have enough light from multiple angles. Keep in mind that installing lighting directly into a metal workbench can be hazardous if you don’t have experience as an electrician.
DIY or Purchased?
Many welders make their own welding table as an easy beginner project. Add-ons like extensions and vice grip storage are a little more difficult than a basic table and shelf surface but are still possible for intermediate welders.
However, making a full workbench with drawers is a more difficult challenge, especially if you want to build an investment that will serve you well for decades, even as your repertoire grows. Once you’ve made a full accounting of the features you want in your workbench, look online for the best welding bench ideas and see if there’s a design that’s even better than the one you had in mind.
You could also buy an inexpensive welding bench and add more accessories to it once your welding skills have improved. The best option for you will largely depend on the features you need, your skills, and your budget.
Spend some time taking inventory of your current storage wants and needs to get a better picture of what your workbench should hold. Once you have some ideas in mind, sketch out multiple options, including online premade workbench options you can add on to.
If your needs change as your skills develop, add on additional storage and equipment as needed. You can also change your table and cart to better complement the capacity of your workbench. Use your new skills to expand your horizons and create the perfect customized environment.