Workbench Evolution

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Project by boyneskibum posted 12-03-2008 06:30 PM 5426 views 10 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I started woodworking about 5 years ago, and have slowly grown my collection of tools and knowledge. My workbench area is without a doubt the most valuable equipment I own.

The first photo is my first “workspace”, I found some plans in an old magazine and really liked the ability to tuck away my table saw. I incorporated a reccess for the miter saw, and the flap on the right end is for a router. This version lasted for about 6 months, and then it was time to expand (plus the bench was getting in the way of my wife parking in the garage!).

The second and third pictures show my “reassessment” of available space. Mobility is the key criteria I had in mind. I built the cabinets on both sides of the garage for storage, and can now fit both cars inside our 1954 garage. I based my workbench design off of several traditional plans. I wanted to be able to “break” the thing down should we ever move (seriously, it weighs like 300lbs), so it’s put together using half-laps and 4 inch bolts with threaded inserts. I’ve recently added a few drawers to the front, and a bench vise on the back. One feature I do like is the t-track in the bench, I’ve found it to be very handy. I spent about $130 for all the material in the bench.

-- Always keep a stash of band-aids in your workshop!

13 comments so far

View Robb's profile


660 posts in 3933 days

#1 posted 12-03-2008 07:01 PM

That’s a neat, well-organized space you’ve made for yourself. It looks like it’d be a pleasure to work in. Thanks for sharing!

-- Robb

View Thos. Angle's profile

Thos. Angle

4444 posts in 3961 days

#2 posted 12-03-2008 08:00 PM

Lookin’ good.

-- Thos. Angle, Jordan Valley, Oregon

View PBoy's profile


8 posts in 3573 days

#3 posted 12-03-2008 08:27 PM

T-Track in a workbench? I’ve never seen that before, but that’s a brilliant idea – especially if you don’t have bench dogs.

View Mario's profile


902 posts in 4050 days

#4 posted 12-03-2008 09:34 PM

That is one great looking bench that should be around for quite a while.

-- Hope Never fails

View Andraxia's profile


133 posts in 3508 days

#5 posted 12-04-2008 12:30 AM

After spending the last 4 weeks building/setting up my shop I am almost ready to reveal to the world. My last major project is my central work bench. I have the top sorted but still deciding on the base structure. I hope it looks and works as least as good as your!

-- The wood slayer - Yes dear I did plan to make more kindling out of that wood I have been drying for the last year - honest!

View woodworm's profile


14468 posts in 3589 days

#6 posted 12-04-2008 03:46 AM

Great project. I like the idea of using the hold-down clamp on the workbench – flexible, functional and looks very neat. Your workshop is also great! – very conducive if I can use the word.

-- masrol, kuala lumpur, MY.

View rtb's profile


1101 posts in 3712 days

#7 posted 12-04-2008 06:05 PM

Every thing is exactly as said above, BUT the big thing has to be your use of T-track. You may well be on to the 21st Cent replacement for bench dogs.

-- RTB. stray animals are just looking for love

View Napaman's profile


5526 posts in 4076 days

#8 posted 01-02-2009 10:46 PM

i actually like version one…but its great that you are learning and growing—-so i have a chance?? haha…one of my goals is to rip everything out of my one car garage this summer and make it a functional and dedicated woodworking space…so these are all great ideas…

-- Matt--Proud LJ since 2007

View AaronK's profile


1506 posts in 3463 days

#9 posted 01-02-2009 10:57 PM

nice bench. interesting support design – on the horizontal frame members why did you do it that way? to clarify: in the 3rd pic, the long side facing the camera has its horizontal support on the bottom, whereas the side facing away from the camera has its support further up.

also, how does the t-track work vs. bench dogs?

View boyneskibum's profile


76 posts in 3469 days

#10 posted 01-04-2009 07:15 PM

I like to sit on a stool when I’m laying out or designing stuff, so the horizontal support on the bottom serves as my foot rest (I know, you can’t believe I’d actually design it with a foot rest). I think it would’ve been fine had I moved it up even with the other one. The clamps work better then bench dogs in my opinion. If I want them to behave like a bench dog, I just clamp a piece of oak across the table with the hold-downs. The t-track gives me a simple, no hassle solution to hold work pieces or equipment (jointer, planer, etc…) on the workbench.

Napaman: I should probably have added upper cabinets to make for more storage, plus my cabinets have shelves which limits me to how much I can store (pile) in them. Maybe this summer I’ll expand on my workshop!

Bhack: I haven’t forgotten about you I promise! I take my GRE on Tuesday, and I’m working on making a sketch up file of this workbench. You will be the first person I send it to I promise!

-- Always keep a stash of band-aids in your workshop!

View AaronK's profile


1506 posts in 3463 days

#11 posted 01-04-2009 07:26 PM

ok, thanks.

good luck on the GRE.

View boyneskibum's profile


76 posts in 3469 days

#12 posted 01-04-2009 07:28 PM

Thank you, I’ve been studying about my rear of for the last 2 months (got to love having a slow job!). AaronK, I just looked at your profile. Are you attending West Virginia University? If so, thanks for the football coach you gave us…would you like him back? This season was painful!!!!

-- Always keep a stash of band-aids in your workshop!

View RandyMarine's profile


236 posts in 3368 days

#13 posted 03-09-2009 02:14 AM

I too, am finishing up my shop and loved the idea of the t-track. Can you get them wide and deep enough to double as a miter gauge track….because I could also see where this would second as a mack-daddy outfeed table!

I would also love to see your sketches if you wouldn’t mind?

-- Semper Fi, Randy Sr.

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