One of my favorite things to see and hear about are luthiers shops and work benches. I feel like they are key elements that make you work effectively and efficiently. I need help in both! I am attempting to post pictures if it doesn't work I will post as soon as I can.

              Right now my bench is about 30" by 6' its made with two pieces of plywood on top of metal shelving units from home depot that are screwed into the wall for stability.

           I have a small shelf right above the work surface to keep stuff off the work surface. I have an over head lamp and a side retractable lamp. The more light the better! Power strip on the back of the bench. Variac, soldering station, and amp fixing supplies to the right. Not much amp business right now though :(
          Small vise for nuts and saddles on the left. My next purchase is a repair vise that will go on the left.Within the next year I am moving the hole shop into a different room.

          One of the most helpful things is my little dolly bench made from scraps and some carpet I found at the clearance aisle at Home Depot. It helps keep thing off the bench and when I am busy, which isn't often ;), I use it as a temporary bench.


What does your shop/ bench look like? What cant you live without? Whats on your radar?

Tags: Benches, Shops, Tools, advice, area, bench, benches, luthier, of, shop, More…space, use, work

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One more this is the right side of my shop next to the bench. Small tool box and a small closet for things that I dont use often.


I love "show us your bench/shop" threads and my own shop in my home has greatly benefited from having been exposed to many of the ideas of others.

Here's my home shop/man cave.

A couple of reoccurring themes in my shop are lots of light including task lighting at every station/bench.  When I selected my house I was looking for a basement with shop potential or in other words a great, dry basement with a house on top... ;)  The house is built in sand and as such the sump pump has never had to turn on even once so this basement is pretty dry.  Additionally since this place is built in a giant kitty litter box (sand...) once I built my walls with vapor barriers and R-13 in the interior walls I need very little humidification in the winter months and very little dehumidification in the summer months to keep it very close to 45% RH.  This is important since I build guitars too and I always tell folks that Job 1 in setting up a "guitar building" shop is to address what ever needs to be addressed to deal with the RH issues.

Here is my main repair and set-up bench and it works great for me.  Bench height is a personal thing and once I knew what I liked all of my benches are built to this height.

Go-bar decks although very useful are a huge space-suck when not in use so I put mine in a corner AND mounted it on a TV pull-out slide so it pulls out clear of the wall and rotates 360 degrees too.  Makes cleaning up squeeze-out infinitely easier when I can get it from all sides.

You gotta have tunes.... in fact my love of music came before the Lutherie bug and as such I'm all wired for sound.  Jimi is one of my childhood heroes (I had many....) so he oversees my efforts these days...

A few plants brighten up the place a bit since, after all, it's a stinkin basement...  Two things that I kept in mind when putting this place together are the need for lots of electrical sockets and dedicated benches for dedicated activities.  When putting in the electrical I placed the overhead lights on a separate circuit so that in the event of a personal accident that may pop a breaker I would still be able to see since there is zero natural light down here.  I have three other circuits, all 20 amp as well for the bigger tools.  Safety is important so give some thought to things such as eye protection located at EVERY power tool, hearing protection, a way to call for help, and of course quality fire extinguishers that can be recharged when necessary an eye wash station would be a good idea and remains on my list...

A good shop vac is likely the single tool that I use the very most being a bit of a Felix Ungar sort here...  Here's mine...:)  Nuff said....

To be continued.... (I think that I have reached a limit for uploads per post so I'll continue this with a second post)

Here are more of my machines...

Since I am basically a lazy sort... a decent break room... is important too...;)  My shop has an outer office/break room/supplies and storage space where I am writing this post at the moment.

You never can have too many shelves and I'm ready for a few more units me thinks....

Here is where I take a break... and as you can see my favorite web site is on the screen too ;)

BTW when I designed this place I wanted to go-green to some extent too so I have made a liberal use of those fat-arse Al Gore CFL light bulbs in my shop and for task lighting on my benches.  I like the color of this light these days... and the fact that it gives off very little heat in comparison to conventional light bulbs is a plus in an enclosed space.

Most of all though I really enjoy my shop and even though it took some years to get it the way I like it it was well worth it.  It's efficient, safe, well lit, warm or cool as needed, the RH issues are well addressed, and it's a cool space for my friends and I to hang out and play tunes too.

Awesome shop! Very neat and organized. Lots of high end equipment too!
What a great shop! I have always wanted a "clean room" for computer and finished guitars. It looks like all your rooms are clean rooms, very nice. Thanks
My main bench is 32"x72" and made of Doug fir from a 100 year old home torn down in Chico, CA 35 years ago. The guitar body in the foreground photo 1 is on Art Overholtzer's old workboard attached to a bench behind where I sit. To the left can barely be seen the bench where my apprentice, Molly Bernstein, works. A hand cranked is at my right hand for shaping nuts, saddles, cleats for cracks and other small shaping jobs. Plenty of overhead light and an old 2 bulb drafting lamp for top and back lighting.
Second photo shows the soldering station which has little cubbies for solder, wicking material, shrink tubing and a small torch for heating the shrink tubes. The wire for the Peterson tuner runs under the bench and comes out next to my right knee, this keeps it handy and off the bench. I start the day off with 5 pencils in the soldering station along with easily reached Phillips and slot head screwdriver. The legs of the bench hold string peg winder, nut drivers, Allen set, and other most often used small tools.
The third photo shows the cam clamp holder which sits within reach to my left when sitting at the main bench. The right side of the pine storage unit holds Tri-flow tube in an old piano few, a pen for check writing, needles for clearing CA applicators, a white pencil for dark woods and a sharp pencil used only for marking fine measurements. The tuning fork is mounted on a small box made from an old piano soundboard and is struck touching the attached piano key mechanism. Fretting and nut files are on a shelf under the cam clamps.
photo 1
photo 2
photo 3
That's very cool. I like all of the wood and homemade shelves and little home made tools onthe bench.

I have a self made "luthier's workstation" which stewmac sold in the 80's/90's (They sold plans, which I bought). It's about the size of Hesh's bench with the neck vise. Has "T" slats for hold down clamps, the top rotates, all hard maple. But, I prefer my other bench which is just a solid front door from a house, mounted to two bottom kitchen cabinets. One short edge against the wall, 3 sides accessible. I can have a guitar at the end of it and loads of room to throw tools and boxes of parts. Half that bench is always a mess, but it's big enough that that's ok. With the maple bench, there's room for a guitar and barely anything else.

Gotta go with Tom on this one Hesh. If there's any work being done in your shop you've got to have a crew of elves following behind with brooms, vacuums, and feather dusters. The only way my shop could look that good is if I moved out.


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