It all starts with a sheet of plywood
From there I added the toe kick area
The base is put together almost exclusively with pocket screws and glue
Then the four sides are added to form a box and the fan was installed. I was lucky to find this squirrel cage fan on Craigs List for $20
Here is the outlet side
Then I added these guides which create a funnel shaped section inside the bench. Air and dust gets sucked in through holes in the top, down the angled shelves, through the two filters and clean air exits the side of the bench.
Here, one of the angled shelves has been installed
And here is a better look at the entire funneling system (one of the shelves is still missing in this photo). Woops, I glued a couple boards in the wrong location and had to pry them off. Good thing it’s on the inside.
I added some feet to the bottom. The white ones are temporary and were later replaced with wheels. You can also see in this photo that I’m just about to cut the opening for the drawers.
I made a couple of drawers out of 1/2” plywood. Again, just pocket screwed together. But the pocket screws are on the outsides of the front and back of the drawer. Once the drawer front is installed, nobody will ever seen them.
Now for a little electrical. There is a double outlet on the front and another outlet and a switch on the side to turn on the fan.
I just used a standard vent cover for the outlet
Time for the top. I purchased this 1 3/4” maple top from Woodcraft
It’s fastened to the bench with aluminum angle bracket I picked up at Dixieline.
Now you can see why the bench itself is rather skinny. The top overhangs in the back a good 8” or so to make room for the saw motor. I also had to route out some of the underside to make room for the motor to swing up for 45 degree cuts.
The roll of paper at the end of the bench sure comes in handy. I’m not going to baby this workbench, but I don’t want it covered with stain and poly either.
And here is the finished product. It’s a very solid workbench, a great clamping station, the downdraft works amazingly well and very quietly, being able to plug power tools in is a real convenience. What would I change? The only thing I can think of is a way to make the height adjustable. Because my garage floor is so uneven, I either have to find just the right spot for the bench and saw, or shim the saw. But since I don’t plan on moving either around much it isn’t a big deal.
I started this idea with this article . Then I incorporated ideas I found in books, magazines and online.
-- Dan, San Diego, CA