On Mister Worker™ today we speak about the most common types of workbenches and their main characteristics. Workbenches are sturdy and flat surfaces that come in a variety of sizes. They are designed for specific tasks that may involve, for example, the use of large tools or the assembly of parts. Workbenches are crafted for specific applications and uses, and they can be either simple or complex.
Simple workbenches are made of a plain flat surface without special integrations. On the other hand, complex workbenches are customized and designed with electrical outlets, computer interfaces, shelving, drawers, and they usually have a large area where the user can carry out different kinds of activities. There are a wide variety of designs available to match any application. Would you like to learn more about the most common workbench types? Then carry on reading this article, and discover all the features of professional workbenches, including woodworking workbenches, portable workbenches, maintenance workbenches and many other.
The worktop is surely one of the most important features that one needs to consider when buying a new workbench. It can be made of wood, steel, laminate and many other materials: what they all have in common is their durability and reliability. The material is usually chosen taking into account the tasks that will be performed on the workbench. Small parts and testing workbenches are usually covered in resin or plastic laminate. On the other hand, heavy-duty workbenches are typically made with stainless steel or aluminium and are typically protected with rubber mats. Other examples of work surface materials are high-pressure laminate, phenolic resin, epoxy resin, stainless steel, butcher block, steel, and maple.
Another important specification of a workbench is its rated load capacity. The range of load capacity depends on the specific application that the workbench is going to be used for: the rated load capacity of a standard workbench is 500 kg (example FACOM WB.1500GSA), enough to permit work with heavy machinery, tools, and equipment. Heavy-duty workbenches are rated at around 2000 kg.
Industrial workbenches are designed for heavy-duty applications wherein they are expected to withstand harsh conditions and continuous use. They are engineered to resist impact from machinery and equipment without bending or collapsing. Industrial workbenches are rated to be capable of holding high load requirements. A great example of maintenance workbench, equipped with a 2 meter wide galvanized steel worktop, is Facom’s WB.2000GSA workbench. This welded and bolted heavy duty metallic construction has a static load resistance of 700 kg and it can be enriched by adding some drawers to it. A great example of a workbench with drawers is the USAG U05160020, equipped with a 40 mm thick wooden worktop and 6 drawers in which you can store all your work equipment.
Another really common type of workbench, practical in particular for workers that need to move their equipment often, are portable workbenches. Such workbenches are typically used for lighter applications requiring easy movement of a workstation. These benches are designed to be conveniently inserted into workstations that do not require a permanent work surface.
Portable workbenches are typically constructed with caster wheels and folding legs. One of the main features that characterize mobile workbenches are wheels: the Stahlwille 85010620 rolling workbench, for example, is equipped with oil and acid resistant wheels and parking brakes. Its worktop is large, and it allows the user to work comfortably regardless of where he is.
As we have already explained before, there are different types of workbenches that adapt perfectly to specific applications. Among the most commonly used workbenches there are surely metalworking and woodworking workbenches: the main features that they should have are simplicity, durability, and repairability.
Metalworking workbenches are designed for heavy duty applications and usually they have a really high load resistance. Therefore, they are very sturdy, strong, durable, and stable. They are used, for example, in fabrication shops relating to shaping metal by welding, light castings, and grinding. Many metalworking benches are integrated with vises and clamps for holding metalwork parts.
Woodworking workbenches are used as workstations for shaping and building wood projects. They come in many size ranges, where larger benches are for complicated projects involving more significant components (e.g., building staircases, assembling framing, and planing surfaces)
Furthermore, there are specific workbenches for electronics and for cleanrooms. In the first case, the workstation is used to carry our operations of repairing electronic components and equipment; that is why they must have power sources integrated with them. These types of workbenches are specifically grounded with ESD because of electronic equipment sensitivity.
On the other hand, cleanroom workbenches are specially designed to meet the high standards of cleanrooms. If you’re looking for a workbench for this specific scope, you should pay attention to the fact that all surfaces should be made from non-porous materials such as steel, aluminium, or plastic. It is fundamental that the worktop is resistant to harsh chemicals, petroleum products, rust, and solvents.
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