Simple Power Tool Work Bench

This blog comes from building the block bots you can find Here: https://coldstreamhobbyist.com/2019/12/16/block-bots-kids-toys/

I had a temporary setup on a table made from my Centipede folding work station and a piece of OSB. It worked but it was clunky and awkward. I needed both the drill press and mounted dual sander for that project back and forth. I had a feeling this will happen again in the future so it was time to give them a permanent home!

The old setup. Not the most efficient.

I started out by removing the stuff I had in place before, a small shelf and parts bin. Then I measured my material and available space. In order to fit the drill press without overhanging I needed 18 inches of depth and it worked out that 48 inches wide was good use of my 3/4 inch OSB.

Bench top framed out

I framed out the OSB with 2×4’s for rigidity and left the front board inset about 2 inches to allow for clamping to the edge. I have always found an overhang on a bench to be beneficial with no real downside thus far. I used 1 1/2 inch screws to put on the top and 3 inch screws for the framing.

Next I measured my height (39 inches in this case) and marked it on the wall. My garage was built by a crew of drunken sailors it seems as it is not level in any direction and the walls are crooked so I have learned to measure off what I have to work with and make it work. 39 inches seemed a good working height for me (I’m 6’2″) without extra bending.

Bench top secured to the wall

I secured the top to the wall with some screws and used a pipe clamp under the front to hold it square to the wall. Then I cut a 2×4 at a 45 degree angle and held it up against the outside to figure out the length I needed. Once the first one was cut and test fit I copied it for the second. I secured these to the underside of the bench and screwed directly into the wall. I have 3/4 inch plywood walls in my garage (highly recommend if you can swing it) but you can cut and add a 2×4 brace between the legs along the wall and screw into that for extra stability if you do not have that luxury.

45 degree braces

The next step was to layout the tools and hope everything would fit nice and tidy. The drill press and sander were priority but I also wanted to be able to bolt up my vise and bench grinder.

Laying out the tools for mounting

The vise and bench grinder are mounted to doubled up 3/4 inch plywood and hang on the wall when not in use. I normally would just clamp them to my bench and use as needed. With this bench I added T-nuts wherever the items will be bolted down. I simply placed the tools where they will be and marked through their mounting holes. next I drilled out 1/2 inch holes to fit the 3/16-16 T nuts. I used a corresponding bolt and large fender washer to pull the nuts into place with a ratchet.

T-Nuts being installed after layout

The T-Nuts allow you a simple secure way to hold your tools down while not needing access to the underside of the bench. Even though I have that access I chose to use them to steer clear of the hassle of threading nuts under the bench and all that.

I installed a board between a couple shelf brackets and mounted an LED strip light over the bench for some extra lighting and she’s done!

Overall I am happy with this bench, it could use some sanding or even some paint but the function is there and brings these very useful tools out from under my main work bench and into the spotlight.

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