Sheet goods cutting bench.

  • Advertise with us
Project by Viking posted 03-23-2010 10:44 PM 24214 views 10 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I find that one of the most difficult tasks in my shop is handling and cutting full 4’ x 8’ sheet goods to sizes manageable on my table saw, etc. In the past, I wrestled sheets of plywood onto saw horses which was never fun as the saw horses sometimes tried to tip over with sliding of the sheets.

I got my copy of Tom Clark’s book “Practical Shop Cabinets” a couple of weeks ago and reading it I found Tom’s sheet goods cutting bench near the end of the book. He made his from scrap already in his shop.

I had a fairly large pile of left over pressure treated 2×4’s and 1×4’s from an outdoor project and decided to kill two birds with one stone;

1. Make my scrap pile smaller.

2. Using the PT wood will allow me to place the cutting bench outside my shop under roof (saving floor space inside shop) and make it very convenient to pull full size sheets from back of my pickup and slide them right onto the cutting bench.

The 2×4’s, on top of the cutting bench, are held on by some deeply countersunk #10×2” screws to avoid hitting them with saw blade but, easily removeable later if they get too chewed up.

Dimensions are 92” L x 40” W and 32” to top of the 2×4’s that sheets lay on.

I plan to give the whole bench a good coat of water sealer for protection and it should last for many years.

Thanks for looking and many thanks to Tom Clark for the great idea.

2012 update;

Added picture showing how simple (not backbreaking) it is to unload full 4’ x 8’ sheets from my truck and onto the cutting table.

-- Rick Gustafson - Lost Creek Ranch - Colorado County, Texas

8 comments so far

View Frankie Talarico Jr.'s profile

Frankie Talarico Jr.

353 posts in 4519 days

#1 posted 03-23-2010 10:58 PM

Thats a great idea, my shop has floor space but no cieling height. This would be a great idea. I’ve been using my assembly table, with 2×4’s mounted to the surface. A definite addition to my to-do list. Nice idea about sliding it off the truck and onto the bench, I think I’ll do the same!

-- Live by what you believe, not what they want you to believe.

View jpc's profile


139 posts in 4344 days

#2 posted 03-23-2010 11:00 PM

I tell you what, its the most practical and simple ideas that make the most sence, I have thought often of making something like that everytime i struggle with a sheet, and tell myself im going to make one when im done with this project, but by then im on to something else, then right back to struggling with another full sheet, sometimes you just make time,,,, good post

View Viking's profile


882 posts in 4358 days

#3 posted 03-23-2010 11:11 PM

The bench is light enough (probably less than 40 lb.) that I can step over the side of it and grab the side rails and pick it up and carry it.

I still may put some square bases on the corner 2×4s and mount some lockable swivel casters so I could move it into the shop and use it as an auxiliary assembly table in a pinch. If I do that, I would shorten the legs by the height of the casters as the 32” height is a very comfortable working height for me. I am 6’ so, if you are shorter or taller you might very the 32” overall height to fit your comfort zone for cutting.

-- Rick Gustafson - Lost Creek Ranch - Colorado County, Texas

View longgone's profile


5688 posts in 4471 days

#4 posted 03-24-2010 03:03 AM

I have a plywood cutting table similar to yours that I made a couple of years ago. I did the same thing and built it with treated lumber from a deck I tore down behind my house. I also previously struggled with the saw horses and the biggest pain was trying to balance the sheets after making cuts. This has been one of those simple things that make life easier. I put cheapo locking wheels (about $4 each) from harbor freight on the legs and roll it behind the barn when not needed.

View mcshaker's profile


29 posts in 4702 days

#5 posted 03-25-2010 12:46 AM

It is a great solution. When I first saw it I thought “genius”. and made one immediately.

I used folding legs like this guy.

So it stows away pretty tight. And the top replaces in 20 minutes for 2 and a half in 2×4’s when it finally gets ruined.

Worst problem was my friend kept borrowing it and not bringing it back.

View PaBull's profile


969 posts in 4828 days

#6 posted 04-05-2011 04:17 PM

Good looking bench there Rick.
Maybe put some wheels under this thing.
Good use of wood that just clutters the shop floor.

-- rhykenologist and plant grower

View JoeyG's profile


1275 posts in 3788 days

#7 posted 01-29-2012 08:55 PM

I was just trying to decide how I was going to tackle the sheet goods for an upcoming project. I think this may be just the ticket. Thanks for sharing. I need to go dig through my 2×4 pile and get to building one.

-- JoeyG ~~~

View Viking's profile


882 posts in 4358 days

#8 posted 01-29-2012 09:04 PM


I built mine from leftover pressure treated lumber so, it can stay outside. I just back my pickup up to it and slide plywood sheets out of the bed and onto the cutting rack so never have to handle a full sheet.

Good luck and thanks for looking.

-- Rick Gustafson - Lost Creek Ranch - Colorado County, Texas

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics