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T-tracks on a workbench

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Forum topic by Bluenote38 posted 09-01-2017 09:28 PM 666 views 0 times favorited 14 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Bluenote38

176 posts in 171 days


09-01-2017 09:28 PM

Topic tags/keywords: pine question bench workbench t-track t track bench dogs

New bench top is still sitting on horses. Looking for some thoughts on installing T-tracks on my new bench. The dog holes aren’t in yet. There will be a string along the length for the wagon vise on the right and a short string on the left for the Wilton.

Bench is 6’ long the front is 12”, 3” Gap, and back is 10”. The bulk of my work will be middle 3’ of the front bench top. The top is pine. I’ll be drilling additional dog holes as needed.

In the picture I have two 2’ tracks about 9” apart in the center of the bench.

Any thoughts/comments/considerations on T-tracks, T-tracks on a bench, their utility, usefulness, are the dust/chip or tool catchers, placement, accessories, etc.

All comments welcome, thanks

-- Bill - Rochester MI


14 replies so far

View Rich's profile

Rich

1711 posts in 371 days


#1 posted 09-02-2017 12:53 AM

I use twin t-tracks on mine that run the full length of the 80” bench. It started out as a solid core door slab (32”x80”) I got on clearance at HD for $19. It sat on saw horses for a while until I got around to building a simple base out of 4×4 legs, 2×6 aprons and 2×4 stretchers with a plywood shelf supported by the stretchers. After I installed my Jorgensen vise I have had for years, I was debating dog holes, but ultimately decided on the t-tracks aligned with the dog holes in the vice plates.

It works well, giving me the ability to set stop blocks anywhere along them. I made various styles of stop blocks using t-track hardware and Woodpeckers knobs. I also bought several hold-downs of different types. The hold-downs are really handy during glue-ups, etc. To finish it all off I built three banks of drawers underneath. It’s not a fancy Roubo or 21st Century, but it’s solid as a rock and works the way I like it to.

Here’s a photo of the vise-end:

-- No matter how much you push the envelope, it'll still be stationery.

View WoodES's profile

WoodES

84 posts in 1473 days


#2 posted 09-02-2017 03:41 AM

I used two full length t-Tracks on my first real work table. Due to the small shop space at the time the table served as a swiss army knife of work tables and the t-track gave me a lot of flexibility in how it was used. Carefully think about how you will use the tracks, what will be mounted to the table, etc.. You can always make jigs that mount to the track to give more flexibility.

I mounted my lunch box planner, various jigs, work hold downs etc.. It’s been awhile since I moved and I can’t remember all of the details. I still have that table though.

View BenDupre's profile

BenDupre

513 posts in 270 days


#3 posted 09-02-2017 05:16 AM

Two T tracks on my bench too.

They are rockler aluminum tracks. Have to be careful with the kreg clamps. Too much pressure and they can bend the aluminum. Works well with other hold downs and clamps/toggles etc.

-- The problem with communication is the illusion that it has occurred. – George Bernard Shaw

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Rich

1711 posts in 371 days


#4 posted 09-02-2017 05:32 AM


They are rockler aluminum tracks. Have to be careful with the kreg clamps. Too much pressure and they can bend the aluminum. Works well with other hold downs and clamps/toggles etc.

- BenDupre

Nice bench, Ben. Those clamps will pull a lot harder than the hand tightened ones I use. Maybe if you drilled and put more screws than what the tracks came drilled for it might help.

-- No matter how much you push the envelope, it'll still be stationery.

View MrRon's profile

MrRon

4351 posts in 3026 days


#5 posted 09-04-2017 07:36 PM

Bending of the tracks would be my main concern if clamps are clamped too much.


Two T tracks on my bench too.

They are rockler aluminum tracks. Have to be careful with the kreg clamps. Too much pressure and they can bend the aluminum. Works well with other hold downs and clamps/toggles etc.

- BenDupre


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MrRon

4351 posts in 3026 days


#6 posted 09-04-2017 07:39 PM



I use twin t-tracks on mine that run the full length of the 80” bench. It started out as a solid core door slab (32”x80”) I got on clearance at HD for $19. It sat on saw horses for a while until I got around to building a simple base out of 4×4 legs, 2×6 aprons and 2×4 stretchers with a plywood shelf supported by the stretchers. After I installed my Jorgensen vise I have had for years, I was debating dog holes, but ultimately decided on the t-tracks aligned with the dog holes in the vice plates.

It works well, giving me the ability to set stop blocks anywhere along them. I made various styles of stop blocks using t-track hardware and Woodpeckers knobs. I also bought several hold-downs of different types. The hold-downs are really handy during glue-ups, etc. To finish it all off I built three banks of drawers underneath. It s not a fancy Roubo or 21st Century, but it s solid as a rock and works the way I like it to.

Here s a photo of the vise-end:

- RichTaylor


I am curious. What is the item shown mounted to the leg next to the drawers?

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Rich

1711 posts in 371 days


#7 posted 09-04-2017 08:25 PM


I am curious. What is the item shown mounted to the leg next to the drawers?

- MrRon

That is a JessEm Marking gauge. I did a review of it here some time back.

-- No matter how much you push the envelope, it'll still be stationery.

View kroginold's profile

kroginold

20 posts in 831 days


#8 posted 09-05-2017 09:41 AM

Might want to try the t-tracks from peachtree woodworking or orange aluminum. Both sell heavier duty tracks than Rockler ones. I’m about to start a workbench build later this month and it will have t-tracks, but not on top. I’ll post this project when I get started. I’ve worked with wood on and off for years, but this will be my first project post here.

View Bluenote38's profile (online now)

Bluenote38

176 posts in 171 days


#9 posted 09-07-2017 10:53 AM


... it will have t-tracks, but not on top…

- kroginold

? Not on top? Then where? (I’m trying really hard not to ask if they will be on the bottom :-)

And I currently have Rockler tracks – I hadn’t given much thought to the durability. I may have to take a closer look.

-- Bill - Rochester MI

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bondogaposis

4395 posts in 2133 days


#10 posted 09-07-2017 02:24 PM

If you are going to have dog holes then you could use hold fasts. Hold fasts are a lot more robust than t-track and t track clamps. So I don’t see the need unless you are opposed to using hold fasts for some reason.

-- Bondo Gaposis

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Bluenote38

176 posts in 171 days


#11 posted 09-07-2017 02:30 PM



If you are going to have dog holes then you could use hold fasts. Hold fasts are a lot more robust than t-track and t track clamps. So I don t see the need unless you are opposed to using hold fasts for some reason.

- bondogaposis

I have one and am pretty disappointed in it’s performance. Though I will say it is a Chinese cast model from Woodcraft that didn’t cost much. When it works it’s good but it’s hard to get it to hold and doesn’t stay. This may be because I am using it on a 2×4 (on the flat) bench top so it really can’t wedge.

Any thoughts or recommendations?

-- Bill - Rochester MI

View CharlesA's profile

CharlesA

3286 posts in 1580 days


#12 posted 09-07-2017 02:36 PM

yes. I had cast ones and couldn’t figure out why anyone would use a holdfast. Then I tried the ones from Gramercy and they were a revelation (and not much more than the nasty cast ones):

If you are going to have dog holes then you could use hold fasts. Hold fasts are a lot more robust than t-track and t track clamps. So I don t see the need unless you are opposed to using hold fasts for some reason.

- bondogaposis

I have one and am pretty disappointed in it s performance. Though I will say it is a Chinese cast model from Woodcraft that didn t cost much. When it works it s good but it s hard to get it to hold and doesn t stay. This may be because I am using it on a 2×4 (on the flat) bench top so it really can t wedge.

Any thoughts or recommendations?

- Bluenote38


-- "Man is the only animal which devours his own, for I can apply no milder term to the general prey of the rich on the poor." ~Thomas Jefferson

View BenDupre's profile

BenDupre

513 posts in 270 days


#13 posted 09-07-2017 02:37 PM



If you are going to have dog holes then you could use hold fasts. Hold fasts are a lot more robust than t-track and t track clamps. So I don t see the need unless you are opposed to using hold fasts for some reason.

- bondogaposis

Bluenote has one reason, bench top too thin. Also to use holdfast you need clear space under the bench.

Aluminum T track don’t perform well or deform easy when i use the kreg clamps. I wonder if there are stronger ones out there.

-- The problem with communication is the illusion that it has occurred. – George Bernard Shaw

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Bluenote38

176 posts in 171 days


#14 posted 09-11-2017 10:59 AM



yes. I had cast ones and couldn t figure out why anyone would use a holdfast. Then I tried the ones from Gramercy and they were a revelation (and not much more than the nasty cast ones):

If you are going to have dog holes then you could use hold fasts. Hold fasts are a lot more robust than t-track and t track clamps. So I don t see the need unless you are opposed to using hold fasts for some reason.

- bondogaposis

- CharlesA

I need to get a pair. And you are right – only a couple buck more than the cast boat anchor I have – glad I only bought on of those.

-- Bill - Rochester MI

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