Workbench catch all tray on back?

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Forum topic by JesseTutt posted 11-04-2012 04:05 PM 1705 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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854 posts in 2106 days

11-04-2012 04:05 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question workbench design tool tray

I don’t know the correct name for the wooden tray that runs along the back of some workbenches. But, I am thinking of adding one to my (soon to be) new workbench.

Is there an official name for this tray?
Is there a standard size (width, depth) for the tray?

-- Jesse, Saint Louis, Missouri

7 replies so far

View johnstoneb's profile


2914 posts in 2168 days

#1 posted 11-04-2012 04:10 PM

Sound like you have a pretty good name for it. It’s normally just called a tool tray. there is no standard size for them. I have one on my bench and the way I use my bench it is handy. If I had the bench in the middle of my shop and worked around all sides I wouldn’t want one on the bench.

-- Bruce, Boise, ID

View Loren's profile


10381 posts in 3644 days

#2 posted 11-04-2012 06:22 PM

It’s called a tool tray.

I have one and it’s a mixed blessing. It tends to fill up with
junk, especially since I fuss with metal parts on the bench
a lot and have a habit of throwing parts in the tool tray.
Mine is deep enough to lay bench planes on their
sides in it.

The main advantage is it saves you the expense of the wood
for a full-width bench top. It’s also a good place to stow
marking tools and to put chisels in so they don’t roll
off the bench, but if you can put drawers, shelves, bins and
hanging storage at hand behind and around your bench,
you’ll find it preferable to put a tool you’re not using in
its place than in the tool tray.

In situations where the bench is functioning as an island
with a lot of space around it, then you may have a situation
where the tool tray is more useful.

In european style benches the tool tray bottom serves
a structural function together with skirts on all 4 sides
of the bench top.

Here’s a post about my bench, with drawings:

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404 - Not Found

2544 posts in 2965 days

#3 posted 11-04-2012 06:46 PM

I always referred to it as a ‘well’.

The one on my bench is known as ‘the well from hell’, I regret building it into my otherwise perfect-for-what-I-want-it-for-bench, as it’s a magnet for sawdust, chips, loose odds and ends, screws, nails and other workshop detritus.

I have even made some pencil boxes to sit flush to the top within the well to try and tame it.

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854 posts in 2106 days

#4 posted 11-04-2012 06:51 PM

Loren, why the angled end on the tool tray?

-- Jesse, Saint Louis, Missouri

View Loren's profile


10381 posts in 3644 days

#5 posted 11-04-2012 06:57 PM

It’s a removable ramp to sweep dust out.

View MrRon's profile


4764 posts in 3239 days

#6 posted 11-04-2012 08:09 PM

For lack of a better name, I would call it a gutter.

View paratrooper34's profile


915 posts in 2948 days

#7 posted 11-04-2012 11:58 PM

Personally, and this is my opinion, I do not like those trays on a bench. I use all four sides of my bench (knew I would be when I bought my Ulmia bench) and because of that, I do not want that space lost in a tool well. I also do not like the idea of my tools banging around each other in a tool well as they will if I left them in one and started doing some heavy planing and making the bench rock. Tools should be stored where their “home” is and not piled up in a tool well.

Again, my opinion and I approve this message! Good Luck!

-- Mike

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