Building a Proper Workbench

As anyone who has been in my workshop knows, it’s very much a chaotic mashup of impulse purchases and salvaged odds-and-ends. Whether it’s the old pantry door that is now serving as a table or the welded together rack for my tool cases, my shop is full of character (and lots of left-overs). This weekend I decided that I needed a proper place to build and a proper workbench to facilitate the projects.

I started by identifying the one tool that I don’t have and know that I will need in the future: a table saw. Being a poor graduate student, purchasing a saw–even a cheap one– was a bit more that I had in mind, so I built one with my skill saw. From there, I took full advantage of my scraps bin to piece together a full-size workbench. While I’m still not done, I wanted to take a few minutes to share where I’m at.

Let’s take a look at my plans for the table to get a feel for what I’m building (click on any image to bring up a larger version):

2016-07-02 17.58.52

Okay. So the plans will not be much use for anyone by me, let’s just take a look at the table itself.


TableSaw Schematic


Looking from left to right, we start with the table saw section with a storage rack below it as well as a built-in dust collection box. Next to that section is a hinged work surface and the dust management system below it. In the final section that will be a router and additional storage, but this section is the furthest from completion.

Table Saw

Storage Rack

Below the table saw unit is the storage rack I built this morning for the harbor freight cases I store just about everything in.

Center Section

The center sections consists of both the folding work surface and dust management box (which I’ve discussed before).

Final Section

Since I am waiting on my router to arrive, I wont be able to complete the finals section or the table for the time being. Eventually I’m envisioning more storage below the router as well as another dust-collection box (depending on configuration of the router). I should also note here that the entire bench is on lockable casters for easy reorientation in the shop.



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