Saw Workbench Area Retrofit





Introduction: Saw Workbench Area Retrofit

This is an Instructable on how to turn a crabby empty space in to a productive shop work area! This workbench will be a central part in the new makerspace in Portland, OR located at 7600 N. Interstate Ave for makers of all types to come and work on projects!

Here is a list of the materials, tools, and files required.

QTY Description

2 4' X 8' Plywood 3/4" Thick

8 4" X 4" Pressure Treated Wood

4 2" X 6" X 8' Wood

8 1/2" X 6" Lag Bolts

112 3.5" Wood Screws

16 Nuts for Lag Bolts

31 Washers for Lag Bolts

1 2" X 4" X 8' Wood

12 2" X 6" X 3'


QTY Description

1 Chop Saw

2 Cordless Drills

1 1/2" Wood Spade Bit

1 1/2" Drill bit

1 Chisel

1 Hammer

1 Level

1 Ratchet Socket Wrench

1 Orbital Sander

Step 1: Create the Table Top

First, cut 1 foot longways off the plywood to make it a workspace within arms length. Then, attach the 2" X 6" X 8' boards along the long edge of the plywood and secure it with 3.5" wood screws.

Second, cut the 2" X 6" X 3' pieces of wood in to six 33" pieces, flip the table over and screw the support ribs from the side with two 3.5" screws every 16".

If the wood is slightly warped at the corners, you can hammer a nail from the inside to make it flush, then screw in the screws from the side.

* It may help to screw one side of the ribs laying on the ground and screw the other side turning the table top on its side.

Step 2: Add Legs to the Table Top

First, cut the 4" X 4" to 42 inch long pieces as accurate as possible.

Second, Use the 1/2" Wood Spade drill to drill 2 holes on the center each side of the legs in a fashion that will allow the lag bolts on each side to miss each other. Measured from the top, one leg side will have a hole at 2 1/4" and 4 1/4" and the other leg side will have a hole at 1 1/2" and 3 1/2".

*** It is best to drill through the lag half-way, flip the leg over, and drill the other side half-way to complete the hole to ensure straightness.

Third, put the leg on to the inside corner of the table top, put washers on the lag bolts, and hammer the lag bolts through the holes to leave a mark on the wood.

Fourth, drill 1/2" holes where the marks in the wood are and if the spade drill can't fit, use a standard 1/2" drill bit.

Fifth, hammer the lag bolts through the holes, put a washer and nut on the other side, then tighten the bolt with a ratchet wrench. Repeat for each leg, then flip the table over

Step 3: Secure the Table Top

Finish the table top by screwing 3.5" screws along the sedge and screwing a two 1.5" screws on each rib evenly spaced. Sand the top and edges down with an orbital sander.

Step 4: Combine Tables With Saw in the Middle

Once two of these tables are created, put them side by side with enough space in between for a chop saw to rotate and move.

*** Each chop saw may have different height requirements.

First, cut two 2" X 4"s to span the legs between the two tables and cut a 1/4" notch in to each piece.

Second, cut pieces of wood to simulate the height of the chop saw.

Third, cut two 2" X 6" pieces to span these supports and lay the chop saw height pieces of wood on top to align the 2" X 4"s and screw them to the inside of the leg.

Fourth, space the 2" X 6" to fit the base of the chop saw, lay the chop saw on top, and add spacers or shims with a leveling guide to make the chop saw table flush with the two work benches on each side.

Fifth, secure the chop saw and supports with screws.

Add tool boxes, cordless drills, chargers, storage drawers, shelves, and other accessories to the work bench area as you see fit. The scrap can be used for shelving too.

Congratulations you did it!



    • Science of Cooking

      Science of Cooking
    • Microcontroller Contest

      Microcontroller Contest
    • Spotless Contest

      Spotless Contest

    We have a be nice policy.
    Please be positive and constructive.




    Where could I find the tool boxs underneath?

    looks great.. have to make this happen!

    nice job!

    i like simple solutions

    Looks very durable. One thing that I've done with bench tops is to attach a 1/8 or 1/4" MDF or hardboard surface on top of the plywood. This allows for easy replacement if there's some damage. Just some hot melt glue in a few positions is enough to keep it from wandering.

    I used hardboard (we used to call it Masonite) and waxed the top with floor wax. Still going after ten years with lots of use.

    I got a kitchen counter top from ReStore (a thrift store for building material, tools, etc) and use that as the top of my work table. The lip at the back prevents stuff falling behind the bench.
    If it ever wears out, I know where I can get another.