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August 2011 Shop Space

Posted in Product Reviews on August 1, 2011 Comment (0)
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One of the most important tools in any shop or garage is a quality workbench. As enthusiasts, we put our workbenches through the gamut of abuses, such as welding, hammering, grinding, cutting, and spilling, and we need a work surface that is capable of lasting years. Buying a workbench is an important purchase, and there isn’t one out there that meets everyone’s needs.

Craftsman, a name that is synonymous with American tools, came up with a modular workbench system that can be bought with different components to better fit a customer’s individual needs. Part of the line-up is a newly offered bundle, which packages many of the popular options together at a discount as opposed to purchasing them separately.

Starting with the black 6-foot workbench frame, which is 41.25 inches tall, 72 inches wide and 18 inches deep, the bundle includes the line-topping stainless-steel work surface. This work surface measures 1.5 inches thick and is 24 by 72 inches in size. The stainless steel is laser-cut and is draped over an MDF board for support. Because the work surface overhangs the workbench frame by about 6 inches, it is easy to bolt down additional bench tools, such as a vise or grinder. Together, the frame and top make for a sturdy workbench that can easily be leveled with the adjustable feet.

Also included in the bundle is the 6-foot metal workbench backwall that incorporates both a pegboard and fluorescent workspace lighting. The backwall pegboard is a handy place to keep regularly used tools and is sturdy enough to support the weight of heavier ones, such as hammers or cordless drills, without deforming. We like that it has an easily accessible six-outlet power strip, allowing for quick powering of tools or battery chargers.

In addition to the backwall and work surface, the bundle includes Craftsman’s three-drawer workbench module with ball bearing drawer sides. The module is 29.5 inches wide with generously sized drawers of varying depth, allowing flexibility in what you store onboard the workbench. The module can be attached to either the right or left side of the workbench frame, and a second one can be added, although at the expense of space under the bench for things like a stool.

Other options for this modular system are the availability of an 8-foot system, which uses the same modules as the 6-foot system; as with the 6-foot system, you can mount storage modules on either or both workbench frame legs, though the 8-foot model gives you more room between them. Red is also available for those who prefer the more traditional Craftsman hue.

In addition to stainless steel, other work surface choices include MDF board, butcher block, and bamboo, while other storage modules that can be bought separately include a five-drawer module and three-shelf module.

The gorgeous stainless steel work surface is laser-cut with an MDF support structure underneath.

Assembly is not difficult, and at a leisurely pace it took us only a couple of hours to put the entire bundle together. After a few months of use, we are very pleased with the overall quality and the added workspace of the Craftsman modular workbench system. We would only urge you to check your boxes carefully and refuse shipment if there is any external damage to the packaging, as our first workbench frame suffered from heavy damage during shipping. Craftsman, however, promptly replaced it.

Overall, this workbench bundle has proven to be a sturdy and roomy place to work on our projects and is a nice addition to any active garage or shop space.

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