NOTE:Just so you know, this is an older workbench series. Paul has a newer Workbench series. If you are interested in the updated version of Paul’s workbench please click the button down below. This page links to a cutting list, tools list, FAQS and much more.
Here is a question from a woodworking enthusiast about left- or right-handed benches:
I’m just getting started in woodworking and I’m interested to hear how you accommodate left-handed woodworkers.
Do you have benches set up with vices on the right or do the lefties just learn to work right handed?
I can’t find much information online about this so I was hoping you could address my question on the blog when you have a chance.
Well, I want to open this up to other left-handed woodworkers to comment as I think their input might be a better evaluation. I do have a couple of impressions from the 4,000 plus woodworkers we’ve trained,; as an observation really.
Firstly, in every case, students have seemed well adapted to what we might call a right-handed bench, which means the vise is on the left hand corner as you face the bench from the side you work. I haven’t found anyone that stated it was better for them working at a left-handed benches when offered.
I actually feel that there may be no difference because the vise position I find most practical is not so much at the very corner but about a 30cm (12″) from the end of the bench. That at least puts you nearer to the middle of the length of the bench. Both left and right hand people can work from this position.
Secondly, the right hand position of the vise means that all tools are placed and retrieved from in front or to the right side of the vise. This will be more convenient and therefore practical.
Opening it up for left-handed input
To our left handed woodworkers I want to ask if you can you help in this. What are your preferences and needs. What restrictions do you face with vise positioning. Anything that you can add might help us all.