I’m the kind of guy that likes to get tool and shop “systems” setup and dialed-in before undertaking projects, and for daily tasks as well. Until recently, I had to bolt down reloading presses on my steel pedestal to use them. That created a lot of extra work to switch between tasks, and also prevented effective group loading sessions.
For a few months, I’ve been planning an overhaul to my storage system and bench that would permit the use of many different presses and tools at arbitrary positions on the bench. What I ended up with was 2 heavy duty T-Tracks embedded in my bench top (for a total of 12′ of workspace). I fabricated 1-up or 2-up hardwood plywood baseplates for each tool group or press, and also updated my storage shelf so that I can “slide in” presses without needing securing hardware or clamps. The net results is much improved usability and minimized setup time. Best of all, I can still use my heavy duty pedestal when needed (better for filming and is more rigid).
As you can see from the above photo, this permits the use of many different tools at the same time. Gotta love that!
Every 4′ I added a milled out section (of the top surface of the T-Track) so that bolts can be inserted and withdrawn easily for the mounting and dismounting of tools. The T-Tracks are separated by 8″ center-to-center.
So far, I’m really liking this setup. I contemplated the 1/4″ 20 TPI bolt T-Track system (lighter duty) but thought that I may as well go with the more heavy duty 3/8″ 16 TPI optimized system so that I can use stronger hardware for the mounting of presses and tools.
So where did I get this stuff you may be wondering? I ordered the T-Track and hardware online at Peachtree Woodworking. Here’s a link to the product page:
My friend Tim took the doors that make up this benchtop down to a friends wood shop, and dado’d out the proper channels for the T-Track to fit in. I then used 3″ stainless screws to mount the T-Track sections – with the screws engaging with a 2×4 running the length of the bench added for this project.
You’ll be seeing plenty more photos and videos that utilize this system, here’s one example:
Next, I’m going to look into square nuts or t-nuts that can stay in the channel with the idea of adding a bunch and then using knobs with 3/8″ 16 TPI threaded ends on them that screw down into the nuts. That way, I wouldn’t even have to worry about having to insert and remove the bolts. We’ll see…