Bench Tool System

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Project by Joe posted 09-11-2013 01:51 AM 7079 views 25 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Built this a while back and am finally posting it. I originally found the plan in Wood Magazine, and I based most of the design on that. You can take a look at the project here. I had no reason to put the pegboard on the sides since there is a wall on one side and a toolbox on the other. I can always add them later if I get to build a shop…

The frame of the cabinet part is made entirely from 2×4s lap jointed together (photo 2). Never done lap joints before, so I thought something for the shop was a good place to learn. Didn’t turn out too bad. Learned a lot.

Each tool is mounted on a shelf. The shelves are about 23-1/2” square and the height of each is fully adjustable by 1/4” holes drilled through each upright. I glued some scrap pieces of plywood under each shelf (photo 3) so it would sit nicely on top of the base.

I had a saw stand with nothing on it, so I used that for my base (photo 4). It was a bit short, so I had to build it up a bit. Boosting it up gave me the opportunity to create a little cavity underneath to hold whatever smaller tools, pencils, tape measures etc I’m using on the project. The top of the base is about 20” x 20”. Photo 5 shows my small bandsaw in place.

I also cut a tabletop out of 3/4” ply. It’s about 30” x 30” and makes a great extra work surface for small projects (photo 5). I got some non-wood related grease on it (sorry for talking about that here), so I figured a few coats of polyurethane would make it easy to wipe off. The tabletop hangs on the wall with a couple of screw eyes I hid underneath.

There is a space in the top of the base. I plan on making a set of rollers for table saw outfeed. Haven’t finished that part yet, but a piece of plywood with rollers will sit right in that slot.

Changes I would make:
I’d make the cabinet a bit taller. An extra 6 or 8” on top would make room for one more tool. For me anyway.

I intend to build a smaller version for another place in the shop that will hold two smaller tools. It will use the same base, likely utilizing that slot. If I ever get to that, I’ll post it.

Thanks for looking.

-- It's better to have a tool and not need it than to need a tool and not have it.

7 comments so far

View SirFatty's profile


545 posts in 2358 days

#1 posted 09-11-2013 01:55 AM

that’s pretty clever, and a good use of space!

-- Visit my blog at

View doubleDD's profile


7703 posts in 2189 days

#2 posted 09-11-2013 02:15 AM

Sure helps to create counter space. Nice build.

-- Dave, Downers Grove, Il. -------- When you run out of ideas, start building your dreams.

View Ken90712's profile


17575 posts in 3334 days

#3 posted 09-11-2013 08:20 AM

Nice work, storage is a good thing…. Well done.

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View Belg1960's profile


1073 posts in 3211 days

#4 posted 09-11-2013 10:54 AM

Joe, very practical and economical solution to storage problems. I have all those types of tools just standing on my benches and am constantly moving them to some room. Can I ask if your not happy with the height why not just make it taller by adding a 2x frame under the box on the saw base? You could build it 3 sided to be able to get the extra tool underneath, add a piece of ply on the 4th side with an arc to reinforce. Just thinking out loud.

-- ***Pat*** Rookie woodworker looking for an education!!!

View becikeja's profile


925 posts in 2959 days

#5 posted 09-11-2013 01:41 PM

Clever yet simple. I will definitely be adding this concept to the shop. Great job.

-- Don't outsmart your common sense

View NormG's profile


6252 posts in 3149 days

#6 posted 09-11-2013 07:26 PM

Excellent storage idea

-- Norman - I never never make a mistake, I just change the design.

View workerinwood's profile


2717 posts in 3213 days

#7 posted 09-12-2013 12:49 PM

Well done, great idea!!

-- Jack, Albuquerque

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