Need advice on T track installation in work bench

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Forum topic by AndyDouglass posted 02-12-2018 02:37 PM 1045 views 0 times favorited 3 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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2 posts in 876 days

02-12-2018 02:37 PM

Topic tags/keywords: t track

I’m brand new here so hopefully I picked the right forum for this question.

I am in the midst of a project to add storage space and organization to our house. The house has a truss roof which is not engineered for storing items in the rafters, so despite being a big house for us, storage space is almost non-existent.

I got tired of the garage being a disaster so I decided that I would tear out the flimsy workbench and particle board cabinets that the previous owner (he of questionable critical thinking ability) and replace it all with a long workbench surrounded by cabinets. The wall is approx. 22’ long and almost 10’ to the ceiling, so my first attempt at cabinet making should be educational.

The workbench itself is 18’ long: two 8’ sections with a 26” lower section in the middle for my miter saw. Because of the miter saw, I plan on adding Rockler T-tracks in each of the 8’ sections. These will run from front of the bench to back, so that I can mount an adjustable miter fence on either side of the miter saw. In total, I have six 24” T-tracks. There will be 3 on each side of the miter saw.

So I got the tracks and hardware, including some Rockler hold-down clamps, and two 36” sections of multi-track with angle brackets to make the fences out of. The miter fence hardware uses the t-nut inside the track, with a mounting bolt running through the bracket and into the nut. These t-nuts can be inserted into the t track from above. The problem I am trying to solve is in regards to the hold downs, which use t-bolts. The t-bolts can’t be inserted into the track from above; you have to slide them into an open end of the track.

The workbench is a simple mdf top with 3/4” maple ply on top. I had planned on setting the t-tracks into the maple ply, just a hair below the surface, and trimming around the bench top edge with 3/4” maple wood, which would enclose the front end of the tracks (the rear end of the tracks will butt against the wall at the back of the bench). I’ve looked around and have only seen two solutions to allow access to the t track ends: having the t track run all the way to the edge of the bench top, or incorporating the 4-way t track intersections. Aside from these options, I could hog out a section of the track to allow me to insert the bolts from above, but then I am going to ruin that premium Rockler blue anodizing that I paid so much for.

I am wondering if a)what I wrote will make sense to anyone, and b)if anyone knows of any simple solutions to this problem.

3 replies so far

View Tony1212's profile


434 posts in 2506 days

#1 posted 02-12-2018 02:59 PM

That’s a lot of information, let’s see if I got the gist of it:

Having a long bench with a lowered section in the center for a miter saw is relatively common. So that makes sense.

The back of the bench will be along the wall. And there is a wall at each end of the bench “wings” (left and right)? So that the bench is enclosed on 3 sides?

You want to add t-track to each “wing” of the bench. Starting at the miter saw and extending to the left and right? You will use this t-track as a way of positioning stop blocks for the miter saw?

Finally, you are concerned that you will not be able to access the t-track because the walls on each end of the bench will be butted up against the track?

My first question would be, can you access the t-track from the miter saw area?

My second question would be, are you sure this is the best application of t-track in your project? What other ideas have you considered and why did you reject those ideas?

There are plenty of videos on people making miter saw benches on youtube. Check those out and see if anything helps.

-- Tony, SW Chicago Suburbs

View Rich's profile


5609 posts in 1361 days

#2 posted 02-12-2018 03:14 PM

Some brands add openings every so often, so you don’t have to start at the end each time. I had already installed Incra brand and decided to drill my own. You can get by with a 1/2” bit, since that’s the corner-to-corner measurement for a 1/4-20 bolt head. Also, be sure to take a good, sturdy block of wood for a guide, drill through it, and use hold-downs when you go to drill the track, otherwise the bit will walk around uncontrollably.

There are other possibilities as well, like burr wheels. Whatever works for you.

-- Half of what we read or hear about finishing is right. We just don’t know which half! — Bob Flexner

View AndyDouglass's profile


2 posts in 876 days

#3 posted 02-19-2018 10:16 PM

Thanks for the comments/advice. I ended up holding the tracks out from the rear wall 1/2”, leaving a square gap that allows t-bolts to be put into the tracks.

To clarify for Tony:

For simplicity’s sake, picture a regular work bench mounted to a wall in the garage. It is 24” deep, from front edge to to the wall. I have 24” tracks running from the front edge of the bench back to the wall, so that a miter fence can be mounted and slid front to back to match the saw itself. The reason why I wanted it to be adjustable is so that it can be removed from the bench, or adjusted for other uses. The miter fence itself is a 36” piece of multitrack with “L” brackets that attach the fence to t-bolts which ride in the track.

The tracks are set into the benchtop, which is trimmed in maple. With the only way to get t-bolts into the tracks being an open end, I was trying to find a solution that allowed me to insert and remove t-bolts into the tracks without having to hog out a hole in each track or in the maple trim. I ended leaving a big enough gap between the wall at the rear of the bench and the rear end of each track, so that a bolt can be inserted there. The front end of each track butts right up to the maple trim that runs along the front edge of the bench. It makes each track a “dead end street” for the t-bolts, but the front edge of the bench has a clean finish.

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