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Project by DustyS06 posted 05-22-2019 05:03 PM 1761 views 10 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Just completed a unique workcenter featuring an adjustable worktop that will accommodate just about any light project or clamping requirement I might take on and two adjustable outfeed supports to handle the cutting of long stock from my table saw. I got the inspiration for this project from ShopNotes magazine # 104 to which I added my own enhancements to meet my needs.

It has a very solid base containing a shelf to store tools while woking on a project, a clamp rack capable of storing up to twelve 12” clamps and four fully extendable drawers for additional storage of tools, etc. The two sections of the adjustable worktop contain numerous dog holes and notches to accommodate the clamping of my projects. To free up space on the worktop, the rear adjustable jaw has a tool well attached to provide me with a convenient place to temporarily hold tools while working on a project.

The foundation of the workcenter is it’s two vertical supports made from three layers of sandwiched 3/4” plywood using tenon and mortise joinery to join the vertical legs to both the feet and the support arms. The clamping jaws of the worktop consists of two jaws, one fixed in the front and a larger adjustable one in the rear. Both of the jaws are constructed from 3/4” birch plywood cut into strips then sandwiched together to form a very stable 1.5” thick worktop. The rear adjustable jaw mechanism is designed to be self aligning and will rack if necessary to accommodate odd shaped items.

The majority of the workcenter is constructed of 3/4” birch plywood. It’s overall dimensions are 33” L x 23 W x 33” H. The lower cabinet portion measures 25” L x 14” W x 18” H containing the 4” H x 21” W clamp rack and the four 12” D x 10” W drawers.

Two adjustable levelers on the foot of one of the vertical supports to allow for any unevenness of my shop floor. For mobility there are casters on the other vertical support foot which are engaged by lifting the opposite end of the workcenter.

For a finish I painted the vertical supports espresso brown, then finished all the unpainted surfaces with three coats of gloss polyurethane sanding between each of the coats.

-- Dusty

13 comments so far

View builtinbkyn's profile


3009 posts in 1709 days

#1 posted 05-22-2019 05:13 PM

Beautiful! 1000 times nicer than a Workmate. Excellent design and work to match!

-- Bill, Yo! Brooklyn & Steel City :)

View Bill Berklich's profile

Bill Berklich

1108 posts in 1157 days

#2 posted 05-22-2019 05:28 PM

Sweet – a one stop do-all bench. And as said much nicer than my Workmate. I’m sure it will be a pleasure to work on it.

-- Bill - Rochester MI

View pottz's profile (online now)


9830 posts in 1753 days

#3 posted 05-22-2019 06:47 PM

yeah a workmate on steroids.nice design and looks damn nice too.great job.

-- working with my hands is a joy,it gives me a sense of fulfillment,somthing so many seek and so few find.-SAM MALOOF.

View Rick  Dennington's profile

Rick Dennington

6947 posts in 3963 days

#4 posted 05-22-2019 07:18 PM

Stellar job on the work center….That should take care of all your expectations……!!

-- " There's a better way.....find it"...... Thomas Edison.

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

24775 posts in 3874 days

#5 posted 05-22-2019 11:27 PM

Very nice…well thought out, too!!

Cheers, Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View metolius's profile


159 posts in 1499 days

#6 posted 05-23-2019 02:14 AM

I may rebuild the top of my workmate. When I do, I think that I may use your idea of a tool tray on the top like that. But, it can never be as nice or adorable as this little work center.

-- derek / oregon

View EarlS's profile


3730 posts in 3117 days

#7 posted 05-23-2019 11:27 AM

Good looking and functional. Nice work!!!

-- Earl "I'm a pessamist - generally that increases the chance that things will turn out better than expected"

View Peteybadboy's profile


1950 posts in 2718 days

#8 posted 05-23-2019 02:31 PM

Impressive work. Congrats on DT3

-- Petey

View KettleWorkshop's profile


40 posts in 410 days

#9 posted 05-23-2019 04:35 PM

Very nice job.

I have a big assembly table that works great for big things but it has proven a bit annoying to get it setup for smaller projects. A version of your genius little workcenter here might just be the ticket for smaller projects that dont require full production capability.

Also. do you have plans for this or was it just built as you went?

-- If you don't throw out the original design at least 2 times, you aren't finding all the imperfections.

View awsum55's profile


762 posts in 1277 days

#10 posted 05-23-2019 04:53 PM

That’s really nice. Did you use the components from a workmate to make that, or is it all something you sourced from elsewhere?

-- John D, OP, KS

View DustyS06's profile


30 posts in 818 days

#11 posted 05-23-2019 10:17 PM

No, I didn’t use anything from a workmate. The basic idea for the adjustable worktop mechanism came from ShopNotes #104. They had some pretty good info in there relative to the fundamental build. All the lower cabinet was just something I came up with as I went through the build. I really appreciate all the awesome comments. Thanks.

-- Dusty

View swirt's profile


5216 posts in 3740 days

#12 posted 05-25-2019 01:44 AM

Very clever. I imagine that to be handy for so many things.

-- Galootish log blog,

View Grumpy's profile


26416 posts in 4620 days

#13 posted 05-26-2019 12:17 AM

Dusty , nice job and congratulations on your ‘Daily Top 3’ award.

-- Grumpy - "Always look on the bright side of life"- Monty Python

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