Modular Bench Tool Mount

About: Professionally I have been a summer camp counselor, a Draftsman/designer, salesperson, bicycle mechanic, laminate flooring machine mechanic, teacher, and designer of the OP Loftbed. Personally I am a human...

There are some tools that are meant to be mounted to a bench. Bench grinders, bench vise, and bench presses. Mounting them firmly is important in them being able to be used safely. The problem I have found is that once they are mounted, they are not portable. You could mount them to a rolling work bench or tool box. I wanted a way to mount my bench tools in a way that made them easy to be moved to another location. I will show you how I made my modular bench tool mounts. I hope this gives you the information you need to make your own modular bench tool mounts.

Step 1: How Does It Work?

I mounted my bench grinder and bench vise to bases that could be mounted to different locations. I used four 3/8" bolts and 3/8" t-nuts to mount the bases at their locations. The bases have the same dimensions so they can be switched around. They can also be removed from their locations and stored out of the way. Another benefit is that you can clamp the base in a portable work bench like a workmate.

Step 2: What Is Modular?

Definition of modular

1: of, relating to, or based on a module or a modulus

2: constructed with standardized units or dimensions for flexibility and variety in use

I made multiple bases that were all the same size and had the same mounting holes. I used a 2 x 10 piece of lumber. The length I made the same as the width of my tool box. I have three mounting locations; one on the end of my tool box, one on the end of my work bench, and one in the middle of my workbench. The mounting locations are just four holes, that match the holes on the tool bases, with a t-nut on the bottom.

Step 3: What Is a T-nut?

A t-nut is a type of threaded nut that is hammered into a hole and is a good way to put strong threads in wood or other soft materials. Some t-nuts are threaded on the outside and meant to be threaded into a hole. The t-nuts I used are the type that are hammered into the hole.

Step 4: Installing a T-nut

T-nuts are beast installed on the opposite side of the surface that the screw, that will be used with them, will be coming from. I installed the t-nuts on the bottom of the surfaces that I would be using the bases on. The bottom of the work bench I was able to get to without taking it apart so I was able to drill my holes from the top and just hammer the t-nut into place from the bottom. Mounting on my tool box was a bit tougher. I had to take the wood top off the tool box and flip it over. The way my tool box was made meant that my t-nuts had to fit flush with the bottom, so I countersunk the hole for the t-nut first and then drilled out the hole for the middle part of the t-nut. I used the t-nut (held upside down) as a gauge to see if I had countersunk drilled deep enough.

Step 5: All Your Base Are Belong to Us - How to Make the Base

As I mentioned earlier I used a 2 x 10 piece of lumber as the base. I cut the length to match the width of the wood top of my tool box. To keep the bases modular, the four mounting holes have to be in the same location.

Step 6: Mounting Tools to the Base

I used lag bolts to mount the tools to the bases. Remember that if you mount your vise so that the back jaw is flush with the mount, you will be able to clamp long objects vertically.

Step 7: Additions

I first built my bases and would just carry the bolts or set them to the side as I moved them from one location to another. I decided that I would drill a hole at each corner of the bases but not drill the hole all the way thru. These holes can be used to hold the bolts in place and keep you from loosing the bolts. I also made a mounting base that is longer and hangs out over the edge of my work bench. I used this base to mount a bicycle clamp that makes it so I can mount my bicycle off the floor and makes it easier to work on. I had also thought of making the bases square. My rectangular bases can be mounted two ways, at each mounting location. If the bases were square, they could be mounted four different ways, at each mounting location. I decided that the rectangular pieces provided enough space around the tools to access the bolts, and provided a solid base for the tools.

Step 8: Video

As usual; I made a video.

Thank you for watching.

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    3 days ago on Step 8

    I love the idea, but my only suggestion is to use threaded inserts instead of t-nuts. They are much better at holding their position in the base that you're bolting into. Every time I used t-nuts they inevitably loosen and/or release entirely from their original position.