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A few days ago I asked for opinions about my ideas for construction of a workbench that would be mounted against a wall. I now have another question. I have seen many different videos of great woodworkers and the vast majority of them have freestanding workbenches either near the middle of the room or far enough away from the wall that they can fit comfortably between the two. Would having a wall-mounted workbench obstruct my maneuverability enough to have a negative affect on my work? It has also occurred to me that I could use much more wall space for storage of my tools if I were to move the bench away from the wall. Any comments or suggestions?

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    This isn't an ideal type of query for here because there are too many variables some of which are unknown/unstated (size of your workspace relative to the bench, type of work you'll do, depth of the bench, what you prefer) and it's the type of thing that's better served by a discussion rather than an attempt by one person to give a definitive Answer which is what SE is all about. But at the end of the day it may or may not suit you, only you can determine it and you may have to find out empirically. – Graphus Nov 21 '17 at 6:04
  • For me, I need to keep my car in the workshop (or is it a garage?) so my workbench has to be against the wall. My workbench came with the house anyway, but if I ever get time to build a new one from scratch, I think I'll put some workbench castors on it - see axminster.co.uk/axminster-workbench-castors-507151 for example (not a recommendation as I haven't tried them - just to illustrate what I mean). – MarkH Nov 21 '17 at 18:27
  • This might go without saying, but one advantage of having the workbench away from the wall is that larger work pieces can hang off the back. However, moving the bench is away from the wall makes it harder to reach tools hanging on the wall behind the bench, if you have any of those. – Mr. Kevin Nov 21 '17 at 22:02
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My workbench is a roubo split top style bench with a wagon vise along the width and a leg vise at the opposite end of one side. I use it both for small projects and some larger furniture pieces. I can perform all operations including planing and hand work from one side and so my bench is against a wall on the other side. I have storage shelves and hangers for tools above the work surface. The bench can be pulled away from the wall if I need the full depth of the bench for any project. Reaching for tools is a bit of stretch then, but the split top allows easy access to tools in active use. If I had more room I would have located the bench with full access, but I do not really suffer with the current arrangement.

This is really a question of how much room do you have and how to best arrange everything in it for functionality. When I planned my workshop I began with a paper model including cutouts for each major component I would need (tablesaw, band saw, bench etc.) I then explored layouts based upon the sequence of work, material movement, access to each component and special needs such as a clean finishing area. There are always multiple solutions each with some necessary compromises. I ended up putting my heavy power tools on wheeled bases and have, from time to time, rearranged components for special project setups.

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