Gut Shop Reorganization #3: Workbench inspiration

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I’m very tight on space. My original plan did not allocate room for a garbage can and only partially for dust collection. I think I’ve come up with a solution: combine tablesaw, router table and workbench including vises into one. The outfeed table can be the workbench, essentially. I already use the tablesaw for assembly and many things. Why not add a couple of vises, some dog holes and make it permanently awesome?

I’ve been looking online and found only one example of the same idea. So I guess that’s almost a unique idea. :-) Seems like a good one but what do I know until I build it? I guess I’m looking for advise on the downside of this idea more than anything else.

-- Losing fingers since 1969

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Great pictures guys. Yeah i can see how that whole combination would work for you Brian. Yes Thorreain you have a beautiful shop. Its so clean. Mine well right now is a total mess. Lol ill clean up after my bench is done. Lol

-- Jeff Vandenberg aka "Woodsconsin"

Yes the floor is concrete, a little beat up and pitched about 4" from front to back as well. I considered redoing the floor but there are a number of obstacles that make it not worth doing. The pitch is the big part. Also, the ceiling is already less than 7’ and literally every inch counts – especially because I’m 6’-4". Above the garage is bedrooms. It’s built into the house so I don’t have that luxurious rafter space for storage, etc.

Ideally, I would have a flat and level floor. Then I could put everything on casters and rearrange it on a daily basis if I wanted to. But adding 2"-3" to the floor and then having a steep drop off or step at the garage door just doesn’t work for me at all. That’s also one big reason why I’m taking my sweet time designing the flow of the workspace because it will be more or less permanent after I build a bunch of cabinets and shim them and tie them to the wall. If I don’t get it right I’ll suffer in the future.

-- Losing fingers since 1969


If your concrete floor is really screwed up? That is what I learned that is most important. I rebuilt my small animal barn into a shop. I didn’t plan too well. I didn’t level the floor. It is really important to do that. If I knew now what I didn’t know then? Before I’d assemble my shop equipment and set up the floor plan, I’d float a new floor over the concrete that is in the shop. Then seal it, paint it etc. Put in a new floor with my shop machine room addition and I get no rusting of tools, and easy movement of some equipment I use there. My main shop sucks! because I didn’t think ahead in the planning phase. Said “I’ll do it later.” LOL!

By the way Kiefer is the man to listen too. LOL!

-- Thomas J. Tieffenbacher/aka docSavage45

Note in the last pic, I mounted a pair of pliers to a clamp, then attached the clamp to the bench, it slides up past the top and makes the perfect holder for guitar necks or model aircraft, it’s painted white and hard to see, but I use it for multitudes of things.

-- CHRIS, Charlottetown PEI Canada. Anytime you can repurpose, reuse, or recycle, everyone wins!

That’s exactly what I did, built everything around the table saw, even the benches under the windows are the same height so I can run a piece of plywood by myself. My first mitre saw was recessed into the bench, in one of the pics, but my new one is too large, 14" cross cut. The benches under the windows are always full of things so that’s why I mounted the mitre in the saw bench in the first place. Now I can move the whole apparatus anywhere. I can’t wait to attach a vise.

-- CHRIS, Charlottetown PEI Canada. Anytime you can repurpose, reuse, or recycle, everyone wins!

That’s a beautiful shop. I wish I had such an abundance of natural light (and a concrete floor in such nice shape). It must be very gratifying to work there. Nice bench too. Have you considered putting the mitre saw on the bench between the windows? It appears to be a perfect fit.

One of my main concerns for re-doing my shop is the mitre saw which currently sits on the floor. I need the floor space and extra storage gained from putting it on a bench, not to mention the usefulness of having it really available without having to haul it out for a big setup when I need to use it. I’m basically organizing everything around that and the table saw.

-- Losing fingers since 1969

My bench in not of the same caliber, but it is handy for my purposes. I love the vise, I’m thinking of adding one after seeing this! Mine is built around a cheap table saw, with the out feed table housing a very good router. It also has a great chop saw that contains its own support wings all and the router fence are removable.

-- CHRIS, Charlottetown PEI Canada. Anytime you can repurpose, reuse, or recycle, everyone wins!

By the way, your tablesaw/router/workbench combination is very similar to the one example I found on the internet. The right end of my table is against the wall and I was thinking that the out feed extension work serve the purpose of this. It could be the length of the table as well, which I think would work well for many different kinds of operations.

-- Losing fingers since 1969

Thank you. I’ve been meaning to learn sketchup too. It’s on the to do list. In sure I can figure out how to print the vise file in the meantime.

The best or maybe next best after the pedal is fact you don’t have to mess with pegs and such to lock the sliding beam into place. What holds it in place? Just friction? It’s hard to see in the video how that part of it works.

-- Losing fingers since 1969

This is the link to SKETCHUP and you can download the file for version three if you have SKETCHUP .
I have no drawing for version two avalible but any questions that you have I will gladly answer.

Hi Brian
Here is my very compact work centre .
It works very well with all the things you are looking at included and then some ,I also include a couple of videos of vises I designed and version two is the one on this setup.

There is also a clamping rail which was a add on that came later.

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