Workbench #5: Workshop improvements

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Blog entry by JimYoung posted 04-26-2020 12:28 PM 644 reads 0 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 4: Finishing touches Part 5 of Workbench series no next part

With the completion of my new Roubo workbench, I set out to reorganize and arrange my workshop since I have a lot of time on my hands due to the virus. The current arrangement was cramped and there was no room to work or move materials around. The first thing was to rotate my table saw 90 degrees to give better access for infeed and out feed. The work bench sits behind the table saw, and essentially extends the outfeed. I re-plumbed my dust collector and parked it next to the support pole.

Next I had built some 2×4 and MDF benches when we moved in, mostly for building model airplanes and holding some bench top tools.

The problem with this arrangement was no storage and everything thrown under the benches was a mess and got dusty. Menard’s has an 11% off everything sale, so I picked up 3 of their unfinished kitchen base cabinets and a 24” wide cabinet of drawers for HD. I gave them a quick couple of coats of BLO, and installed them.

Now all of my power hand tools have a home and out of the way and easily accessible. The drawers are for a variety of small hobby tools and supplies, and the opening allows for a stool and an area to solder and work on models and other delicate stuff.

The bench tops tools were bolted down to the old bench tops, but they were always in the way and being so close to each other there was never room for larger work pieces. I’ve ordered some knobs with threaded studs, and will use T-nuts under the bench to secure them in place. This way I can quickly unbolt them and slide them out of the way.

My planner is on the stock rolling cart, but sits much lower than the table saw and work bench. I also have an oscillating spindle sander, so the plan is to build a flip top cart for these and raise it up so the table saw and work bench can be used as infeed and out feed.

Other ideas I’m toying with include cutting the table saw extension to turn it into a router table. Then I could use the table saw fence for the router. Any thoughts on this? If I do this, then I could adjust the height of the exiting router table to hold my chop saw and be able to use the built in bench as a support. Comments and suggestions are welcome.

The new layout has worked really well for me so far. This week I’ve cut a bunch of sheet stock for a friend who is building some shelving units in his family room and built some custom cabinet frames for another friend who is redoing his kitchen. Next up will be custom cabinet doors.

-- -Jim, "Nothing says poor craftsmanship more than wrinkles in your duck tape"

3 comments so far

View AandCstyle's profile


3306 posts in 3541 days

#1 posted 04-26-2020 02:34 PM

Jim, you certainly are ambitious; I got tired just reading about all the work you have done. The shop looks great!

-- Art

View James E McIntyre's profile

James E McIntyre

1567 posts in 2576 days

#2 posted 04-26-2020 04:39 PM

That I one professional shop Jim. Wish I had all that space.

-- James E McIntyre

View JimYoung's profile


431 posts in 2871 days

#3 posted 04-29-2020 01:00 PM

Hi Guys,

I’ve got the cabinet frames built and installed and will start on the doors this week. I ended up assembling the shelving units for my other friend, since he was a bit overwhelmed and less than confident with his skills.

@James, I think the key is to use the space you have efficiently. Just moving things around opened up a lot more usable space. Also, having table saw and workbench at the same height makes moving material much easier.

-- -Jim, "Nothing says poor craftsmanship more than wrinkles in your duck tape"

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