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Use T-track on workbench top

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Forum topic by Gary Lucas posted 1495 days ago 11146 views 0 times favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Gary Lucas

67 posts in 1513 days


1495 days ago

Has anyone had any experience using T-track on the top of your workbench, instead of bench dogs? I could see some advantages…easy adjust of hold downs or stops anywhere on the track. Also, you could design carriers that would slide into the T-track to hold tools you use occasionally, like dovetail jigs.

-- Go create sawdust


13 replies so far

View ChrisCarr's profile

ChrisCarr

196 posts in 1503 days


#1 posted 1493 days ago

I know someone who did that to their bench, he put these (http://www.rockler.com/product.cfm?page=21310&filter=t-track) along all 4 sides of the bench. To clamp in the middle of the bench he made 2 fences which lock on the side t-tracks and have toggle clamps all the way across them.

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wseand

2116 posts in 1647 days


#2 posted 1493 days ago

Interesting idea, it sounds like it would work out pretty good.

-- Bill - "Freedom flies in your heart like an Eagle" Audie Murphy

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Chase

448 posts in 1631 days


#3 posted 1492 days ago

Sounds like an idea worth trying. I wouldnt completely skip bench dogs, but options are always good.

-- Every neighborhood has an eccentric neighbor. I wondered for years "who was ours?" Then I realized it was me.

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rance

4126 posts in 1765 days


#4 posted 1492 days ago

I’ve not used T-Track, but I like the idea. I embedded a Bora clamp into a bench. I then swapped it out for a Woodcraft brand because the head was shorter. It worked great. I may have to try the T-Track soon, very clever idea.

I’ve also considered inlaying some magnets or steel plates just under the surface for use with magnetic clamps. Maybe imbed the plate, and have a very very tiny layer of veneer over it. One day maybe.

-- Backer boards, stop blocks, build oversized, and never buy a hand plane--

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ChrisCarr

196 posts in 1503 days


#5 posted 1492 days ago

If you hate having to tighten knobs, instead you could use cam locks such as this..

http://www.woodcraft.com/Catalog/ProductPage.aspx?prodid=8907&ss=48636150-c88d-4f1a-81b4-abb000e7174c

or fabricate your own with a scroll or jigsaw.

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Gregn

1642 posts in 1588 days


#6 posted 1492 days ago

My only concern about this for a work bench would be that the tracks would collect dust, nails and screws, or get glue on or in them or dinged making it difficult to make adjustments at times. I would think it might be better to get bench dog hold downs and clamping devices. Such as something like this http://www.woodcraft.com/Product/2005404/13692/34-DuoNordic-Holdfast-1-Pair.aspx

-- I don't make mistakes, I have great learning lessons, Greg

View Cory's profile

Cory

722 posts in 2024 days


#7 posted 1492 days ago

Check out this bench:

http://www.bobsplans.com/BobsPlans/GarageWorkbench/GarageWorkbenchPlans.htm

He uses t-track all over the place. No idea how it works, though.

-- The secret to getting ahead is getting started.

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PurpLev

8476 posts in 2253 days


#8 posted 1492 days ago

it really depends for what purpose. but theoretically they would be weaker than a benchdog. A benchdog relies on the thickness of the entire benchtop for it’s strength, whereas the T-track relies on the screws holding the T-track. plus as mentioned, a bench dog is fast and height adjustable, and can be put out of the way, whereas the T-track and accessories will be more cumbersome to deal with.

not saying it won’t work, I’ve seen posts of people putting those in benches, but personally, I think it’s too much hassle for no real benefit.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View TheDane's profile (online now)

TheDane

3659 posts in 2268 days


#9 posted 1492 days ago

I incorporated t-tracks into the end of my workbench for a planing stop and along one side for a utility fixture ( http://lumberjocks.com/projects/18261 ) ... works great. Just make sure you attach with longer. heftier screws than you might otherwise use.

The t-track along the side of my bench should be longer … I have 3 fixtures that I can hang on it (power center, tool tray, and small clamp rack) and could use more.

-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

View ChrisCarr's profile

ChrisCarr

196 posts in 1503 days


#10 posted 1492 days ago

Here is solutions to the problems you guys stated above that deal with a t-track bench..

Gregn: To remove dust from in a t-track just use a shop vac hose over top of it. To remove glue just run a bolt back and forth in the track to scrape off the glue. If you meant by “dinged” that the aluminum track would get dented then just make sure its mounted flush with the table top/surface (or 1/32 below).

To give the track more strength you could use long coarse screws and even some epoxy or contact cement.

View richgreer's profile

richgreer

4522 posts in 1679 days


#11 posted 1491 days ago

I put a t-track across the far end of my workbench (opposite the end with the vice). I also ran that t-track along the side of my workbench about half way to form an “L” with the t-track.

I also have holes for bench dogs that work in conjunction with the vice.

I also installed two plates for Kreg Hold Down Klamps.

I have 3 ways to secure work to my workbench: bench dogs, t-track and Kreg hold down klamps. Whenever I can, I use the Kreg hold down Klamps, they are very secure and very easy to work with. In some other applications, the bench dogs work best. I very seldom use the t-track and, in retrospect, I wish I had not bothered to install it.

If you are not familiar with Kreg hold down klamps, here is what I am talking about – there are at least 3 versions – they really work great.

http://www.rockler.com/product.cfm?page=21459&filter=kreg%20clamp

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View ChrisCarr's profile

ChrisCarr

196 posts in 1503 days


#12 posted 1491 days ago

the kreg klamps are nice but they apply downward pressure, not side ways Pressure. What ever anyone chooses to do the the kreg klamps should not be your only method to secure work.

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Gregn

1642 posts in 1588 days


#13 posted 1490 days ago

This is true ChrissCarr, I was merely pointing out some of the disadvantages and offering alternate suggestions. I understand that these are easy fixes to minor problems it may create. It can be a pain if you have to stop and do this in the middle of a project though.

-- I don't make mistakes, I have great learning lessons, Greg

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