Our recent survey found that over 30% of the Common Woodworking audience didn’t have any kind of workbench. To many, this will be the obstacle standing between them and practical woodworking. However it is possible to begin your woodworking journey with nothing but a small collection of tools (see our buying tools guides for more information) and some sturdy clamps.
Not everyone has a dedicated woodworking area in their house so a workbench may not be suitable. Although this may limit the projects you can make, it certainly shouldn’t stop you from progressing.
We recently released the ‘Chopping Board‘ course, a remake of one of Paul’s popular YouTube videos from 2016, where we challenged Paul to complete the project without using a workbench. As an alternative, Paul used a Workmate® which is a smaller, lighter, collapsable working station. It enables you to clamp your work and keep it secure when working. Although it doesn’t work as well as a solid workbench, it is a great in-between step to allow you to continue woodworking.
Paul has made a simple jig which allows you to clamp and secure many different shaped pieces without a vise. This can be made by using clamps on a regular table top.
Using a jig, clamps (f-clamps and sash clamps) and a table, Paul demonstrates the different ways you can secure your wood to enable you to work without a workbench:
Have you got any other alternatives to a Workmate®? Let us know in the comments below!