New Workbench

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Project by phlepper posted 06-30-2009 07:43 AM 4284 views 5 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch
New Workbench
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Since this is my first posting to Lumberjocks, I thought I’d start with a recent project: my workshop. I recently moved to Colorado and had to give up my workbench in Illinois. Here’s the original:

Old Workbench

I built this bench based on an article in Workbench magazine (October 2006 issue). You can find the article online here if you’re interested.

Anyway, I liked the design of that bench a lot as it worked in a small space. With our new home in Colorado, I again have a garage space to work in. I used the opportunity to recreate my previous workbench, but with some improvements. Here is the new bench:

New Workbench

Obviously it is very similar to the old version, but I used the opportunity of building version 2.0 to add some improvements. The most obvious change is the use of pre-made cabinets. This was done more out of convenience because I just didn’t have the time to build cabinets from scratch, especially since I needed a place to put all my tools. I did hang the wall cabinets with french cleats, so I can move them around if the layout doesn’t work for any reason. Other changes are the addition of a tail vise and corresponding bench dog holes, and a fence for the miter saw.

Here’s a shot of the end of the bench (right side) with the tail vise and bench dog holes. I got the vise on sale at Rockler. It is a 12″ quick-release vise with two steel guide rods to prevent it from racking side to side.

New Vise

Here’s a shot down the bench showing the bench dog holes and looking at the miter saw in the center.

Bench Dog Holes

Here’s a shot of the center with the miter saw (pretty much the same as the original bench). I haven’t created the cut-off bin that goes under the saw (where the shop vac is), but have the casters, so it’s practically done already ;)


Another new feature is the fence for the miter saw. This was in the original magazine article, I just never got that far with the old bench. One of the benefits of having a Rockler store a few blocks from work…

Miter Saw Fence

The fence uses the Kreg track system which I attached to two pieces of poplar for the fence itself. The system comes with a flip stop with a rule for the measuring tape. Just slide the stop so the red line is at the right measurement, tighten the black knob in this picture and go ahead and cut the correct length as many times as needed. The flip stop has a curved front edge, so you can also just push a board against it and it will raise up and out of the way.

Kreg Fence Kit

To allow utilizing the left bench when not cutting at the miter saw, the fence is screwed into the benchtop with three of these star knobs. The knobs have bolts that screw into threaded inserts embedded flush with the bench surface. This means it is very quick and easy to remove the fence to use the workbench and then add it back just as easily. Again, knobs and inserts courtesy of my local Rockler.

Removeable Miter Fence

Unlike the original bench which had just an end panel on the left-hand side, the new bench has a cabinet on both sides. The end panel was part of the design from the original magazine article but also forced on me because of the limited width of the garage space in Illinois. Since the new garage space gives me a lot more width, both benches are longer (with more space for the tablesaw) and I was able to put an extra cabinet on the left-hand side.

Table Saw

This is the space in front of the workbench. The tablesaw is pushed in as far as it goes. It is on wheels, so I can pull it out as far as I need. This section of the garage is the third car bay. There is plenty of room to work and if I really need to spread out, I can take the cars out of the garage and have the full space to work.

Work area

Hope you enjoyed this peek at my workspace. Now that I have everything set up, I’m sure my next project will be super speedy ;)

-- "A hammer in search of a nail..." (

11 comments so far

View a1Jim's profile


118153 posts in 4551 days

#1 posted 06-30-2009 07:46 AM

cool shop and bench well done.


View patron's profile


13716 posts in 4315 days

#2 posted 06-30-2009 07:50 AM

good shop start up .
looking forward to your projects !

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View Don K.'s profile

Don K.

1075 posts in 4301 days

#3 posted 06-30-2009 09:46 AM

Welcome to LumberJocks. Nice new shop, and I also look forward to seeing some of your projects.

-- Don S.E. OK

View jockmike2's profile


10635 posts in 5221 days

#4 posted 06-30-2009 10:03 AM

Great looking shop. Well put together.

-- (You just have to please the man in the Mirror) Mike from Michigan -

View Derby's profile


27 posts in 4247 days

#5 posted 06-30-2009 11:56 AM

Great looking shop.

Since one of the projects planned for my own garage re-do is the construction of new cabinets and benches, I must inform you that I fully plan on copying/stealing your idea of using the end vise and drilling dogholes into the top!


-- "Lumber is just sawdust in 'solid' form!"

View Splinterman's profile


23074 posts in 4336 days

#6 posted 06-30-2009 11:56 AM

Real nice set up…...well done…......I like the Kreg gear…cool.

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27249 posts in 4796 days

#7 posted 06-30-2009 01:02 PM

That is a nice start on your shop. The bench and cabinetry not only add functionality to your shop but they also look good as well. I like the multi-tasking functionality that you built into the bench.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View Richard44's profile


10 posts in 4357 days

#8 posted 06-30-2009 03:29 PM

Good job!

View longgone's profile


5688 posts in 4283 days

#9 posted 06-30-2009 04:45 PM

It is a good day anytime you have a place to call your workshop. I know you will have lots of fun in it. Creating and building/organizing a new workshop for me was just as enjoyable as being able to build projects in it. I have the Kreg fence system and I reall like it. Very convenient. The way you can remove it is a very good idea.
What’s your first project?

View ND2ELK's profile


13494 posts in 4748 days

#10 posted 07-01-2009 04:33 AM

Nice looking work bench. I need to do something similar. Thanks for posting.

God Bless

-- Mc Bridge Cabinets, Iowa

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13345 posts in 4647 days

#11 posted 07-02-2009 12:27 PM

Nice workbench.

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