Instructables

Simple Plywood Cutting Table / Work Table (Updated)

Featured
Picture of Simple Plywood Cutting Table / Work Table (Updated)
temp_206726066.jpg
temp_125245029.jpg
temp_206726066.jpg
temp_2038176077.jpg
After making the Multi-functional Workbench, and a few projects later, I realized that I needed another workbench. The multi-functional workbench worked great, but it's fairly complicated to set-up, also when I was in the middle of the project and the workbench was in use, cutting some more plywood became a hassle.

I never liked to break down plywood on two sawhorses, as it did not quite feel safe for me. So there is a reason to build a simple work table / plywood cutting table. It should be easy set up and takes very small space in the shop.

 
Remove these adsRemove these ads by Signing Up

Step 1: Material And Hardware

Picture of Material And Hardware
temp_-2019186309.jpg
temp_-2019186309.jpg
temp_-1940990655.jpg
I bought (5) of 8' long 2x4 from home center, and that's all I needed for the table.

I own (2) of the metal folding sawhorses, and I had some scrap lumber screwed on top of them. I also found some left over window latches that I could use to lock the table top to the sawhorses.

First cut (3) of the 2x4 into 48" pieces. Then bundle them together with two clamps to trim them to the final length, in this case 47". Leave them clamping together for next step.

Lay out the notches 12" from each end while they were still clamped together, and (5) of them would be placed 16" from one to the other on two of the 8' long supporting beams.

James A.L16 days ago

To stop cutting into the frames for mine I avoided cutting half way through each beam. I use 2" x 2" piece and notch on 1/2". The leave the beams 1/2" proud on each top and bottom. If I'm cross cutting, I have the 4' beams on top. For ripping I flip the frame over to the 8' side. With my saw blade or route bit no more then 3/8" below the sheet goods I avoid making unintended cuts.

Jzbowmannz (author)  James A.L15 days ago

Great idea. Thanks for sharing!

vladivastok1 month ago

LOVE IT . GANNA MKE ONE [LET YOU KNOW ABOUT ANY MODS. THANK'S [ VLAD ]

thecapper1 month ago

I dig this. Very clever, and an inexpensive solution!

Jobar0071 month ago

Just a couple of tips to help things out:

You don't have to trim all of your short members to be the same because your notches are all cut while the boards are clamped. That eliminates the need for either a long hand saw or a sliding miter saw. Yes, they will look wonky, but functionally they will be sufficient.

If you don't have a good, sharp chisel, you can just *carefully* slide your circular saw back and forth across the notch to get the bottom smoothed out and level (as long as the base maintains good contact with your guides.

This is a great idea and with 2x4s costing (in NW Oregon) around $3, this is easily a $20 project if you have the cutting jigs and saw horses. I foresee one in my near future.

Jzbowmannz (author)  Jobar0071 month ago

Jobar007,

"You don't have to trim all of your short members to be the same because your notches are all cut while the boards are clamped. That eliminates the need for either a long hand saw or a sliding miter saw. Yes, they will look wonky, but functionally they will be sufficient." - Good point. I am an engineer, maybe it's the nature of me trying my best ability to make everything square and precise, I am sure it would still function well if it is not.

"If you don't have a good, sharp chisel, you can just *carefully* slide your circular saw back and forth across the notch to get the bottom smoothed out and level (as long as the base maintains good contact with your guides." - I would never make this recommendation to the general public, it's not a safe practice. I've seen them been done, but I rather use hand tools for this task.

Thanks!

It is absolutely not safe, that's for sure. That's why I created a jig to make it a bit safer. Is it as safe as a properly sharpened chisel used in an appropriate way? No. But that's a risk I'm willing to take. I've assumed that liability just like anyone following my advise. People are responsible for their actions, despite the casual nature of litigation. I'm approaching soap box territory with this one so I'll step down.

I can't sharpen a chisel to save my life and a dull chisel can be just as dangerous (digging in and then unexpectedly giving say and slicing something soft). Somehow I manage to even mess up sharpening using a jig. Everything is a compromise of safety and I agree that you should mitigate danger in every way possible.

Nice job! Well done. Thanks for sharing

Jzbowmannz (author)  johngriswold1 month ago
Thanks!
Shiseiji1 month ago

Good carpentry, it's surprising how easy it is to mess up the cuts. I made a similar one using some old 1 by 2" stock I had that didn't last two uses.

Taking it down is a good way to avoid the flat surface magnet for whatever becomes a "I'm a gunna." project. And they tend to multiply like rabbits. Then you end up having to move the "I'm a gunna." projects someplace (uh . . another not so flat surface over crowded with "I'm a gunna." stuff) so the must do projects can be worked on . . .

gcliffe1 month ago

This is a brilliant idea -Well done on a great make.

Do you see the beams and cross members as sacrificial when cutting sheet materials? I always use a sacrificial timber on my saw-horses, so when it's been cut/notched/sliced/diced to destruction I just replace it.

But with the ease and low cost of this, I'm not sure whether I would bother with tacking on another piece of timber. It'd be just as quick to make up a new set as it would replacing all the sacrificial strips.

Jzbowmannz (author)  gcliffe1 month ago

Thanks.

My initial thought was to use the table as sacrificial when cutting sheet good.

If in case you are not consider that, one way is to use a sheet of house insulation board as the sacrificial, it also help the dust collection when using the track saw. It weights very little, and you can cut it into three 16"x8' strips, tape them together to use as a sheet, fold them when you are done to save some space.

Another easy way to save the table is to drill some holes on the top, use dowels to space out the sheet good from table top, or use biscuit joiner to cut some slots and use #20 biscuits as spacers.

Thanks! JZ

This is making me reconsider how I built a suspended miniatures gaming table in my barn...

Thanks!

fzumrk1 month ago

This looks much nicer than a similar one I made. On mine, I put some notches in the top of the 2x4s for the saw blade to run through so I would not get a bunch of random cuts in them. I just shift the panel I am cutting so the cut line lines up with the nearest notch.

This kind of table is essential if you have to cut paneling by yourself. It does a good job of keeping the panel fully supported so there in no binding of the saw and dangerous kick-back.

Jzbowmannz (author) 1 month ago

Thanks everyone!

Still thinking about the plywood loading feature to save my back, and some way to keep the tools around - detachable tool tote or shelving.

Allons2151 month ago
Awesome! Could have used this a few months ago cutting paneling!
Ssmo721 month ago

Great set up. The low cost of the project and lack of metal hardware is great if you happen to accidentally cut into it. Something satisfying about knocking wood out of a notch with a hammer and chisel as well.

LukasM11 month ago

cool idea