It’s been about 3 years since we built our table saw workbench and we’ve had lots of questions about how it’s holding up, what table saw fence we use, and more. See our update and answers to FAQs here.
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Table Saw Workbench Update
I built the table saw workbench to meet a need in our garage shop — a great work surface in our limited space.
Our garage is about 22 feet wide, with a beam in the middle of the space. The workbench is 4 feet wide by 7 feet long, and 36″ tall (including the rolling caster wheels).
I couldn’t use the full 8-foot plywood in my shop space, but if you can in yours, awesome!
The size and tool layout works great for our space and needs, and I love the T-Track system and accessories!
What would you change about the table saw workbench?
For over 3 years, this table saw workbench has been a stellar workhorse of a bench.
It’s a great fit for our garage work space and for the projects and tasks I do regularly.
There are only 2 small changes or upgrades I’ve considered:
- Move the router lift more toward the center about 4” to give me more room to use a featherboard against different sizes of wood.
- Add a longer table saw fence — which I just did! (more info about the fence below).
Readers have suggested other additions, like adding a tape measure for cutting accuracy, magnifying glass marker, storage drawers — and that’s the beauty of building it yourself! Customize the table with the features you want and need.
How strong is the workbench? Does it sag or warp?
This table has held up great. Many people have suggested a different assembly method, but there was no need to make it more complicated in the construction of it by using joinery or half lap joints or a torsion box or overbuilding the support system.
I have loaded the workbench up quite heavily with a lot of tools with no issues, and no sagging from the weight of the table saw.
If you’re concerned about the bottom plywood base twisting or warping, you can add extra support underneath (such as an on-edge 2×4 frame that doesn’t get in the way of the casters).
Do the rolling casters move or wobble as you use the saw?
Some readers have reported that their casters still swivel when locked, creating some instability and movement. I haven’t found that to be an issue.
I installed 4 heavy duty locking casters, one on each corner, and between the weight of the table and the stability of the locking system on the casters, I’ve had no problems with instability as I use the table.
The 4″ heavy duty polyurethane locking casters I used are no longer available from Rockler but here are a few that are well-reviewed and look comparable:
- Everbilt 4″ Caster with Brake
- Set of 4 – 4″ Lockable Bearing Caster Wheels with Brakes
- 4″ Set of 4 Heavy Duty Casters with Brakes
Table Saw Workbench FAQs
What table saw do you have?
I have a 20 year old Delta saw that we bought back in college when we started remodeling our first house. It’s the Delta Shopmaster model TS300 with a 10″ blade.
At the time we bought it, it was a step or two up from the cheapest available, but it’s a pretty basic model.
All table saws will be different. To build this workbench around your saw, you will just need to make adjustments according to what you have.
What table saw fence do you use on the workbench?
I used the classic fence that came with my Delta Shopmaster table saw for the last 3 years. I only had it attached to the front. (It had a guide on the back that I had to remove, but it still works just as well.)
That original fence limited me to about 24″ wide cuts. That fence stayed in place by clamping where you pull the lever down.
I found that I didn’t really need additional support on the back side of the fence that just sits on the table.
How do you keep the table saw steady and prevent wiggling?
I have shims under my table saw keeping it level, flush with the table top, and steady. It’s a *really* heavy saw, so it doesn’t move easily.
Using it about weekly, we haven’t had any problems with movement. However if it becomes a problem, we could always add a little glue under the shims, so they stay in place permanently.
Why do you have the table saw on the long side instead of the short side of the workbench? Could I change it?
The table saw is where it is because of the size and layout of my garage. We have a beam in the center of our garage, so we can’t move around or cut boards in that direction.
You could definitely put the table saw on the other side, but it just wouldn’t work with the space in our shop/garage. It’s easier for us to rip full sheets of plywood this way with our setup.
Do you use an outfeed table for support ripping full sheets of plywood?
Right now I have a stand that catches the outfeed. I’ve considered a few other options, such as a drop-down or slide out leaf extension, too.
What kind of router did you use? Is it easy to change the router bit?
I have Rigid router and it is really easy to change the bit. Just crank it up and out loosen the nut and put in the new one. No need to take out the router. That’s why I love the router lift so much!
Why does the router face the outside end of the table instead of the inside of the table?
I like mine close to the edge so I have a place to stand as I push the wood through.
But I could easily turn that fence around and put it on the opposite side for larger pieces of wood (and feed from the other direction). It just may be a little harder to control the wood being routed.
That’s personal preference and it’s worked great for me.
Why did you use T-Tracks instead of dog holes? Are the T-Tracks hard to keep clean of sawdust?
I haven’t ever had a bench with dog holes, so I can’t compare. I love the T-track system though. There are so many ways and clamps to use on them.
The T-tracks are holding up nicely. You do have to keep it clean, but I just brush it out regularly and it’s fine.
Why isn’t the table a full 4×8 sheet of plywood?
I designed it to be 7’ long because that fits better in my shop than a full 8’. The bottom is a bit smaller to provide a bit more foot space, and I do think it looks nicer.
I just wanted the top to be full size and I wasn’t worried about the bottom being smaller.
If you have the room and want the top and bottom to be wider that would still work. Send me a picture when you get it built.
How do you handle dust collection from the table saw?
We plan to add some doors and connect it with our dust collection system. But for now, I put a board up in front while cutting and that works great.
How much did it cost to build?
The plywood and lumber cost about $200, and could be less if you use a cheaper plywood. Total cost is between $1200-$1500 depending on the lumber you choose and hardware options. I consider it a great investment because it keeps my shop organized and ready to work!
- Lumber approximately $200.
- Routing station area and accessories about $600.
- T-tracks about $150.00. Accessories are additional but you can pick and choose what you want.
- Casters approx $75 or slightly less since they all didn’t all lock.
And the upgraded 50″ fence system is about $400 to add, but totally optional.
Could I use MDF or less expensive plywood to build the workbench?
I wouldn’t recommend because using MDF for the workbench because MDF is very prone to moisture. It might work if you had a really low humidity workshop, but I prefer the plywood.
You could definitely try a less expensive plywood, though. We chose a high quality birch plywood (even though this is “just a work table”) because we like the look and added durability — and the extra $15 for a sheet (at the time) wasn’t a deal breaker for us.
With current lumber costs, a higher grade plywood might be something you decide against. But keep in mind that cheaper plywood might not be as smooth or as durable for your work table surface, and also might be a factor in the base twisting or warping as mentioned above.
How has the polyurethane finish held up to scratches? Is there a better work table finish?
I have noticed that my polyurethane finish does get small scratches. I have not tested any other finishes though.
Any painted or sealed work surface will get scratches. You could try using a sheet of laminate or melamine as an alternative.
As you can see (or not see) in the photo above — the work table finish is still overall in great shape with no visible scratching or damage.
What CAD software did you use to design the bench plans?
I use SketchUp. It’s a great 3d program for creating your own models and diagrams.
Do you have SketchUp plans for sale?
We don’t offer the 3D model but you can purchase the printable woodworking plan with our modeled sketches here. The uncomplicated build makes it easy to adjust to fit your needs and your table saw.
What can I build on this sweet new table saw workbench?
What we love about this workbench is that it is so versatile.
It’s great for ripping boards and plywood to width.
It’s also great assembly table with the huge workspace and built-in T-tracks and clamps.
So you can build ANYTHING you want, but here are some of our favorites:
- entry table with cubbies (and also works as changing table for our adorable babies) — the workbench does great for ripping the plywood and also making the dadoes
- monogram letter planters — bevel and miter boards with precision for a tight fit
- farmhouse end table — half lap joints are a cinch on the workbench
- DIY cornhole boards — easy to cut precisely and also fun to play!
- plywood sectional — rip accurately so you don’t waste material
Any more questions?
Leave your questions in the comments below, or drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org
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Lorene has been behind the scenes here at Remodelaholic for more than a decade! She believes that planning projects and actually completing them are two different hobbies, but that doesn't stop her from planning at least a dozen projects at any given time. She spends her free time creating memories with her husband and 5 kids, traveling as far as she can afford, and partaking of books in any form available.