Tool: Universal Bench
Every shop needs a bench. In fact, two or three is even better, as you’ll want an assembly table that’s a little lower than your workbench. Then what about all those benchtop power tools? Where do they go? The folks at Kreg and their Universal Bench cover pretty much any bench need you’ve got.
The key is flexibility. The Universal Bench offers five different rail lengths (14″, 20″, 28″, 44″, & 64″), and two leg lengths. This gives you fifteen possible top sizes ranging from 14″ x 14″ to 64″ x 64″. Both leg lengths are infinitely adjustable within a 6″ range; the shorter legs from 15-1/4″ to 21-1/4″, and the taller ones from 29″ to 35″. Price ranges from about $102 for the smallest possible bench to about $236 for the largest. Adjustable feet are included. If you need your bench to be mobile, Kreg offers a set of high quality 3″ locking, swiveling casters (set of 4, $60).
Assembling the Universal Bench couldn’t be much simpler. The 28″ x 64″ version took me about half an hour. The assembly holes are square, with parts held together by square-shoulder carriage bolts and self-locking nuts. You only need two wrenches; one for the main fasteners, and one for the feet.
After assembly, apply whatever top and shelving you wish. You can also add vises, drawers, Kreg accessories, etc. to customize your bench to your liking.
The Universal Bench is capable of supporting up to 600 lbs., so it’s no lightweight. The legs are 2″ x 2″ 12 gauge angle steel, and the rails are 1″ x 3″ C-channel 14 gauge steel. After assembling my bench, I loaded it up with about 360 pounds of lumber and wheeled it across the shop with ease.
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