Australian Woodsmith 12th December 2018

Pull-Out Worksurface

My workshop is small, and my main work area is a benchtop that I built above a bank of cabinets. So any way that I can expand my work area in the workshop is a blessing. The pull-out worksurface you see here fits squarely into that category.

WORKSURFACE DETAILS. As you can see, the worksurface is simple to make and can be put together with scrap materials. It consists of five parts: a plywood panel, two runners that allow the worksurface to slide in and out from under the benchtop and a pair of stops that prevent it from being pulled out completely.

BUILDING THE WORKSURFACE. The most time-consuming part of the project is shaping the runners. Each one has a groove cut in it to capture the plywood panel. I didn’t want the panel to sag when fully opened, so I finetuned my dado blade to get a smooth, sliding fit with the 19mm plywood.

Once that’s done, you can cut the panel to size, add a hole for pulling it out, and screw on a stop. Now find the right spot in your workshop for the worksurface, and screw the second stop to the underside of the benchtop as shown in the drawings. Then you can position the whole assembly under your benchtop and drive screws into the runners.

Download this tip
  • Weekend Project: 
    Mitreless Picture Frames 
  • Workshop Project: 
    Plywood Bench & Tool Shelf
  • Heirloom Project: 
    Greene & Greene-style Bookcase
  • Woodturning: 
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SAFETY IN THE WORKSHOP Safety devices, such as riving knives, guards on table saws and guards over router bits have been deliberately left out of the line drawings in Australian Woodsmith projects in order to make them easier to follow. It goes without saying that where safety devices have been supplied by the manufacturers you should use them. We encourage the use of push sticks as good work practice.
    Exercise vigilance and the greatest of care when using power tools, whether stationary or portable. Keep all your tools sharp and well maintained. Wear protective eyewear, a dust mask and a hearing protector when appropriate. By limiting distractions and developing safe work practices you will go a long way to avoiding workshop accidents. So, work safe fellow woodworkers.  -Editor
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