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Workbenches are helpful tools to have in your working area as they can act both as a place to work on your projects and as a storage space. But what are the accessories that will fit your workbench and help with your projects? Here is a helpful guide to workbench accessories.
Vices are essential tools for metal and woodworking projects and they also have other manufacturing applications.
They hold workpieces still during sawing, planning, or drilling. Vice designs vary, and there are good options available for the avid DIY-er and for professional use.
1. Metalworking Vices
Usually made of cast iron because it is tough, strong, and inexpensive, these can sometimes be made from cast steel.
These engineer’s vices are used to hold the metal in place while you work on your project. The jaws of the vice are often separate pieces so they can be replaced easily.
A soft jaw covers made from aluminum, copper, wood or plastic may be used to protect more delicate work. Metalworking vices are usually bolted to the bench.
2. Woodworking Vices
These vary depending on their strength, durability, and application. Heavy-duty and medium-duty versions are best suited to industrial use.
Woodworking vices do not need to be attached to the workbench as long as the surface is stable, they can be attached to the side or directly to the surface.
Heavy Duty Vices
Often made from iron to withstand frequent use and heavier applications.
Medium Duty Vices
Used for more varied work, they come with replaceable steel top jaws and pipe jaws. They are usually also made from iron.
3. Pipe Vices
Designed for plumbing applications to hold tubes and pipes secure while they are being cut, they can be fitted to the workbench or used with a mobile tripod for extra flexibility. There are two types of pipe vice – chain and yoke.
Use a chain made from high-tensile steel to secure the pipe in place. Chain vices work well with irregularly shaped pipes and other objects.
Because of their chain, they have a greater working range that is limited only by the size of the chain.
They take longer to set up as the chain needs to be carefully threaded through the jaws to secure the object properly in place.
Usually made from cast iron, these vices can be attached to the workbench or to a tripod stand. They use a screw to clamp the pipe in place.
Panels and Storage
Panels and storage included in your workbench can help organize all your tools and accessories, giving you easy access to them and keeping them away from your project while also having them on hand. Here are a few panel and storage ideas you can include with your workbench.
Half the panel is louvered while the other half is designed to hold hooks and clips that store tools. This option gives you more flexibility when storing your tools.
Great for storing bulkier tools and organizing folders. They can come with locks for extra safety.
They are ideal to organize your smaller tools, especially with added compartments. Again, they can have locks if you prefer.
Different types of shelving can keep you organized and have everything in easy reach.
A storage bin rail is a popular shelving attachment for a workbench it is a thin rail with a thin lip that allows you to attach storage bins to hold your tools.
Bench grinders make it easy to prepare metal components for welding. They remove sharp edges from cut pieces and those equipped with a wire wheel can also polish for a finer finish on your pieces.
Heavy-Duty Bench Grinders
Fitted with two grinding stones, one for coarse and one for finer work, they are ideal to withstand rigorous professional use.
General Workshop Bench Grinder
a powerful tool meant to take on tougher jobs without slowing down, it has two grinding stones one for coarse and another for fine work. Ideal both for the professional workshop and home use.
Wet and Dry Bench Grinder
With two wheels for slow (wet) and fast (dry) use, this grinder is perfect to put a finer edge on your projects. May include a slide-out coolant tray to cool hot tools.
Bench Grinder and Wire Wheel Combo with Light
This grinder is perfect for when the place is not well lit, as it has its own light. This grinder is capable of grinding, sharpening, cleaning, and much more.
Self-healing cutting mats usually have a gridded pattern to improve cutting accuracy, they are also great at protecting your working surface from acquiring damage and cuts.
When looking for a cutting mat it is best to measure the worktop you are using to get the right size. Depending on the cutting equipment you are using you should also look into the thickness of the mat.
The most cost-effective option, manufactured with three layers for extra protection, these mats are perfect for amateurs, schools, and professional use.
They have a helpful grid for better accuracy when cutting straight lines and can be used with rotary cutters, Stanley knives, power knives, craft knives, and scalpels.
Heavy-Duty Cutting Mats
great for industrial work. They make cutting marks almost invisible, which allows for more accurate cutting as the knife won’t get caught in previous cutting marks. They are fire- and heat-resistant, waterproof, and impervious to solvents and most chemicals.