Work benches are for working

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Blog entry by Gary posted 11-23-2008 04:40 AM 1118 reads 0 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Hello everyone, I have a small workbench and several tools, scroll saw, router table, dovetail jig, etc. Right now I am clamping these to the workbench as needed, I can spend a couple hours in the shop and most of it is spent moving tools back and forth. What do you all do for these tools. I was thinking of a long table down one side of the room to bolt these down to on a permanant basis but spacing between the tools could be a problem. The other option I guess would be a portable stand for each. Any tips, tricks or suggestions will be appreciated. Thank you. Gary.

-- Gary, Missouri

6 comments so far

View oldskoolmodder's profile


801 posts in 3648 days

#1 posted 11-23-2008 05:16 AM

I’ve tried the whole bolting them down thing and for me, it was a major inconvenience. I was always needing more room, than what I had when hey were bolted down to a bench of any kind. The only thing that worked for me, was bolting them to a piece of 2 x whatever then being able to clamp them in place.

-- Respect your shop tools and they will respect you - Ric

View tooldad's profile


660 posts in 3683 days

#2 posted 11-23-2008 05:35 AM

You could make a homemade version of the tool dock system. Have each tool mounted to a sheet of plywood that fits into a cutout on the workbench. Then just have a board attached to the bench with a bolt that goes through the bench and just rotate the board around to hold down the tool plywood. When finished you put the tool into a shelf that has spacing for each tool.

Norm did something like this when he rebuilt the miter saw bench, this was a similar way he added a spot for his mortiser. Otherwise google Tool Dock. They were advertising heavily on DIY about 2-3 years ago, havent seen much lately. I think it was a simple idea that they overcharged for and people just made their own versions rather than pay for the system.

View sandhill's profile


2128 posts in 3892 days

#3 posted 11-23-2008 06:20 AM

Hi Gary, I have the same issues with my shop I have to roll things around when I need to use a tool. I have two wall work benches but I don’t get to use them because they are so cluttered so I am building a new bench.

View Dan Lyke's profile

Dan Lyke

1519 posts in 4093 days

#4 posted 11-24-2008 12:41 AM

My shop is a 1940’s garage, probably about 10×15, with a good portion of that taken up by shelves and storage. My “workbench” is a single Festool 1080MFT table. I swap things like dovetail jigs and router tables on and off of it constantly, and I think the best thing you can do is set up a system to make the clamping and unclamping as quick and easy as possible.

I have things mounted so that two pistol grip clamps hold ‘em to the table, and it takes me no more time to move the router table attachment on to my work table than it does to change the bit to what I’m using.

In a perfect world I’d have a 40×20 or larger space, with a separate table for everything, and more room to do glue-ups and such, but I think the other comments here are on the right track. With a good system it’ll take you less than a minute to change out tool attachments, and you’ll spend far longer than that with the tool specific setups anyway.

-- Dan Lyke, Petaluma California,

View ChicoWoodnut's profile


904 posts in 3783 days

#5 posted 11-24-2008 12:53 AM

Check out the tool bench in my workshop.

Here is a picture of it set up as a router table. Click it to see the whole thing.

and here it is set up as a planing station.

The center part of the top can be switched out to serve as a stand for a planer, mortiser and router table. You could put a miter saw in there too but I have a RAS. It is on wheels and has its own power too. The bottom is an MDF torsion box so it is plenty strong and won’t sag.

PM me if you need more info.

-- Scott - Chico California

View Albert's profile


508 posts in 3557 days

#6 posted 11-24-2008 10:43 PM

I built one like Chico’s and find it very versitle not as good as having space to have separate workstations for everything but overall it was a very good investment and is rock solid.
I found the plans for mine free at

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