Build a Work Table for Your Work Shop





Introduction: Build a Work Table for Your Work Shop

Build this 4 ft x 4ft Work Table. Built from pine 2x4, 4x4 and 3/4, 1/2 MDF plywood. Features a pegboard, two electrical outlets, and three shelves on each side. The top has tic-tac-toe board shaped tracks for holding down work with your own jigs. Table edges extend past edges to allow for clamping. Top inserts between track are removable/replaceable. Can be replaced with soft material so that delicate items are not scratched. Put hard top pieces on for rough building work.

Comments welcome. If you build one, send me a picture... I'd like to see it.

Author comments added (6-Dec-2008):
1) Some of you want dimensions. I have these in AutoCAD DWG format for each part. I will upload that today for you to download. If you don't have AutoCAD to view the drawing then you can download a free DWG file viewer. All parts and assembly are on one DWG drawing. Use tabs across bottom (or zoom in) to view each part and assembly. Turn layers of the drawing on and off as desired.

2) For those that just want rough dimensions. Well it has 4x4ft top and is built to be the same height as my table saw to help hold large pieces while being cut.

3) For those that wanted to add wheels. As you can see in the pictures the bottom of the table has a gap between the floor. My plan is to build a device to mount under the table which will allow the table to be moved on a cushion of air connected to my shop air compressor or shop vac. That device is still in the prototype stages though. As you can see in the AutoCAD drawings the bottom rails have a cutout. In case you are wondering what these cuts are for... well its is to accept the air lift module that slides under the table.

4) I uploaded a material list (with assembly order instructions). It fits together nicely like a puzzle, but you must follow the assembly order to get all the parts together correctly.

5) Added a few more pictures for your enjoyment.

Step 1: Tools Used

Table saw, drill press, circular saw, scroll saw, sander, sand paper, dado blade, router, wood chisles, newspaper, blue masking tape, rubber hammer, drill, level, square, screwdrivers, wire cutter/stripper, paint supplies, rags, vacuum, pencil, ruler, AutoCAD (or free DWG viewer program).

Step 2: Collect Material

Buy sheets of 3/4 and 1/2 MDF (medium density fiberboard) for top subsurface, shelves, and bottom. Buy pine 4x4 for legs, Buy pine 2x4 for shelf supports, interior structure, and top surface edges.

Buy hold down tracks (comes with knobs and bolts for creating your own jigs). Buy electrical outlets, covers, bolts, screws.

Step 3: Cut the Pieces

Cut the top inserts from any material (soft or hard wood). Cut inserts to fit around the track pattern of your choice.

Cut bottom shelf. Grooves hold sides of shelves in place.

Cut Shelves and pegboards for each side.

Cut support structure for shelves and edges of table.

Cut all parts prior to assembly.

Step 4: Assemble the Work Table

Assembly one side at a time. After three side are assembled slide in the bottom and center shelves. The attach the last side. Rope helps to hold the assembly together (and square) until the fourth side has been installed.

Step 5: Wire It Up

Cut holes in each side for electrical outlets.

Mount an electrical junction box just under the top on one of the center cross beams. Run wires to each outlet. Connect all wires in the junction box. A pigtail hangs on the outside of table is used to power all the outlets from house power.



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    man, that's what Google Shopping is for. If you want to get your hands dirty and put some sweat equity into a project we'd all love to help you!

    Reminds me of the work tables we had in my middle school woodshop class. Except we had lockers on the bottom of ours and vices on each corner.

    Heh, Got one very similar but it is 4 by 8 and is on wheels. I use it for all of my portable stationary tools, (Router table, drill press,  drum sander, grinding wheel, belt sander, planer (underneath), plus a lot more!). One thing to try is to build a cord drop in the middle of the table by cutting out a section of the top and dropping the cords down to a strip on a shelve or cubby. That avoids cords being hung up on  the corners and keeps the surface clear of cords.
     Wheels work fine. Only hassle is the power cord that snakes out the bottom to power the bench. That can be a pain when moving it around a lot.

    2 replies

    Wheels are a nice addition.  When I started to design this bench I was either going to put it on wheels or some sort of air cushion powered by my air compressor or shop vac.  I didn't spend the time to figure out the mechanics of either so I ended up with neither.  I left space on the bottom if I ever decide to do something though.  I like the idea of the drop cords for the power.  I was only thinking about dropping saw dust collection and compressed air hoses.

    Man that great. Nice tight/clean electrical work.

    This is a nice, well-made, tidy workbench. I really like the design. Good work!

    This is an awesome plan and could be converted to a kitchen island if drawers were added.

    1 reply

    My original plan has doors and drawers (see attached DWG drawing) but I decided not to add them at this time and go on to another project. Someday I may decide to add them. Interesting thought to make kitchen island. :)

    Not to be a pain, but is there a chance of a different file format on the .dwg file? I don't have AutoCAD and Google Sketchup won't import it properly. I have several programs that claim to import .dxf files, so maybe that's an option for you? Failing that, how about a .pdf file (not editable, but at least more of us CAD amateurs could see it). Thanks! BTW: nice bench. ;-)

    1 reply

    If you do not have AutoCAD to view the DWG drawing, the next best thing to do is to download TrueView from the following link: This is a free DWG viewer program from the makers of AutoCAD for DWG files. It will allow you to view, zoom, pan, print, turn drawing layers on/off, and many other things.

    Well,you've told us exactly what to buy. Some dimensions would be nice.

    5 replies

    I think the dimensions are up to you, what you can fit in your workshop. Really, this is an awsome project, Ill be working on one that I can move since i dont have a workshop, plus, it would be awsome if we could mount a hand saw and make it a table saw. :D

    It is a great table. I'd like to build one myself. However, if the dimensions are up to me then the materials list won't be the same. I'd like to know his dimensions with his materials list then I can go from there.

    I uploaded dimensions (in the form of a DWG drawing) and materials list updated per your requests. More pictures too!

    I agree, I have no idea how large to cut anything, or where the cut pieces go... and how much of what kind of wood? Great slide-show though.

    I haven't thought about this kind of shop table in years. My high school had similar except with project lockers on 4 sides. Yours is a nice update more suitable to the home.