There is no single standard answer to this question. Each woodworking workbench is unique and requires its own set of features that are necessary to make it functional as well as beautiful. If you are a beginner woodworker, it is important that you do your research and consider all the options. You will need a sturdy work surface and at the least, a comfortable seat. But beyond that, you really need to pay attention to what all these components can do for you.
The reason I bring this up is because there is an inherent danger involved in working with wood. The potential for wood to splinter, warp, bend and even split while being cut or shaped is always present. Being surrounded by moisture and varying temperatures can greatly affect the condition of your wood workbench. And since wood is essentially just a natural substance, the resulting properties of water, humidity, heat and cold are also variable. Without good protective coverings, even well-seasoned wood can become ruined quickly.
So how do you know if a wood workbench is going to be safe? Well, consider just how often you are likely to use it. If you are a woodworking beginner, a wooden tabletop workbench may be just right for you. Because woodworking workbenches are designed for rapid tasks, many models are built with lightweight materials so they are easy to move around and are fairly light overall. Also consider your skill level. If you are just starting out, it might be a bit risky to invest a lot of money in a woodworking workbench that is very solid and very dependable.
On the other hand, if you have been doing woodworking for years, then you know that it is not always easy to trust new machines or tools. A woodworking workbench with a metal surface may be more trouble than it’s worth. That’s why having it be grounded is an important feature for any woodworking workbench. Grounding prevents dust, dirt, moisture and other hazardous particles from getting into the surface of the wood. Without this essential coating, wood grains will be roughened and damaged easily. It is possible for wood grain to be completely removed using sandpaper, but it is very difficult to restore it to its former smooth condition.
There are many different ways that woodworking workbenches are grounded. The easiest way to protect wood surfaces is by using wood screws or wood ties. Wood screws are the safest because they are attached directly to the wood, so there is absolutely no possibility of the wood coming off.
Wood ties are a little different. Instead of being attached directly to the wood, these fasteners are mounted to steel rods and are then screwed into the wood at the joints. This allows the fastener to be buried deep in the wood and protects it against accidental contact with the metal surfaces. Because of the way these fasteners are installed, however, they are susceptible to removal without proper protection.
In most cases, woodworking workbenches do not require the use of screws or metal rods. If you choose to use them, however, you must make sure that the wood is completely grounded. You can purchase an electrostatic charge to keep wood grounded at all times, and it is a simple, inexpensive addition to your woodworking tools. Electrostatic charging will not affect wood that is already grounded, but it will not prevent electrical connections if the wood is not grounded.
Regardless of the type of wood that you use for your woodworking workbench, you should remember that electrical cords, splice wire, and any other metal accessories that are attached to wood should be connected to metal only. Do not connect woodworking screws to metal, and do not allow the metal of a splice wire or cable to come into contact with wood. These accessories can be dangerous and cause damage to your woodworking workbench if they are not properly secured. If you have any questions about how to maintain your woodworking workbench, or safety issues, you may want to consider asking a professional woodworking store owner or a local home improvement contractor. They will be able to answer your questions and guide you in the right direction for keeping your woodworking workbench safe and clean.