Armor Tool Workbench Upgrades

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It’s been a few years since I started incorporating the Armor Tools Mobile Workbench into my workflow. And I absolutely love it because it’s very sturdy and has wonderful mobility.

However, when I roll it into the center of my shop for a specific project, I need a lot of tools and accessories. So what ends up happening is the top gets cluttered and then I have less space to actually work. So, this week I took the Armor Workbench and personalized it a little bit to hold all of the accessories I need to actually build on it.

These accessories include a few drawers for tucking things away (such as safety glasses and tape measures), a bottom shelf that can store the tools as well as the Armor Tools Self Adjusting Clamps. Also some Bessey Quick Clamp storage, which I always have different sizes on hand, a few extra batteries, two drill holsters, two speed squares, a mallet, a sanding block, hardware storage and of course wood glue.

Be sure and watch the video above for an even more detailed tutorial.

Things I Used in This Project:

You can see that on my current workbench, I already added a bottom shelf of plywood for extra storage.

However, by changing the plywood to the bottom, I’m creating a built in shelf by having the stretchers create side walls. I only want to use half of this, though, as a regular shelf. The other half will store the bench dog clamps.

I found that the easiest way to do this was to drill holes for the stems of the clamps to stab into. Since the top of the bench conveniently already has a hole pattern already laid out, I came up with a few jigs to place the shelf piece on the top so I could go through the underside and transfer the hole locations.

I used a forstner bit of the same size to punch through.

Once I was done drilling all the holes, I clamped it to the underside of the shelf and screwed it into place. Now I have plenty of space to store these dog clamps.

I then moved to the side of the workbench. It’s worth noting that I’m just using scrap wood for this project. This is a great one to use up your scrap ply bits that you haven’t thrown away.

I cut a piece of 3/4″ ply to size and filled in the sides by screwing it in. I wanted a place on this side to store my longer Bessey Quick Clamps. And I actually used two Bessey Clamps to clamp on the block of wood. If you line up the jaws of the clamps to your piece of wood, you can use that reference on the back side and know where to drill your screws in.

This now gives me a simple shelf to store my Bessey Clamps, which I always have on hand.

Moving above that, I incorporated some spare battery storage.

I’m in love with this new product called Stealth Mounts. They’re holders for batteries.

They don’t charge the batteries, but they organize them and give you a place to clip the batteries so they don’t fall off and get damaged. I now have these all over my shop. So when I’m working and my battery goes dead, I can easily grab a new one.

I incorporated a few of the brands I use most often. They’re simple to use with just three screws each and then the battery clips right into place. The clips even have a feature that clips right on to a tool belt.

I screwed this right into the side of my workbench.

Ok, speed square holsters!

I love having a square on the end of my bench, always available. I used glue and brad nails to build the holsters, and then clamped them on to my workbench and then pre-drilled and used a few screws to attach them.

Now on to the front.

I thought a shallow drawer would be nice to hold things like tape measures, safety glasses, pencils, glue brushes, etc. So I incorporated one on the top right. However, once I filled the drawer full of stuff, it hit the dog clamps when they were in place.

To avoid this, you can scrap the drawer idea… OR you can pull the drawer out before utilizing the dog clamps on the top. I personally would much rather have the drawer to help organize and store little things.

I’m using the Lock-Align Drawer Organization System from Rockler. This is a flexible system for any drawer in the shop. They make a lot of trays for miscellaneous items, and dividers for those trays.

If you’d like to build the drawer, it’s very simple construction with wood glue and and brad nails. Then I made a T that would go up and under the workbench and rest on the rails of that apron.

After getting it to width, I attached some sliders to insert the drawer. I then came back and made the face to it would cover the front.

On the other side, I repeated and cut ply to enclose the side. I wanted to utilize this side to store my two drills, which I always have around me.

I used a jigsaw to cut out two U shapes, and then my spindle sander to refine the edges.

You can see on this side that I have a cut-out made custom for the length of my drills. To attach it, I used wood glue and screws along the back.

Now I have two places where I can quickly store and grab the drills.

I decided to utilize the bottom space for storing wood glue bottles. I made a simple caddy that can store the round and rectangular bottles.

Next, I added some hardware for a simple mallet holder.

Next up, a sanding block. I grabbed a scrap piece of wood and drilled in a few pockets holes, using my Armor Tools Self Adjusting Pocket Hole jig. And then attached it right next to my drill holder. And this just gives me a simple shelf for my sanding block to be placed.

Now moving on to a bottom drawer. I’d recommend adding this at the beginning so you don’t have to crawl underneath later on.

After drilling a few pocket holes, I used screws and attached it to the underside. On this one, I didn’t want to attach sliders but instead just make a shelf for the drawer to slide on.

This is also just half of the drawer, because on the back side, I really wanted to incorporate some hardware storage. Last year I made hardware storage for these little plastic containers that fit within the studs of my interior wall. When doing projects, I always have a few of them on the workbench.

So I utilized this bottom space for some of the plastic bins. It’s a very simple shelving system. I know a lot of you wouldn’t want them at the very bottom where you can’t see them. But keep in mind that you can move this system anywhere.

The very last thing I wanted to incorporate was more clamp storage for the smaller size of Bessey clamps. I created another divider wall and attached a chunk of wood to the bottom to create a lip and attached that to the workbench.

Now my longer clamps can be stored along the side, and my shorter clamps all along the back.

And that’s it!

With the extra weight I’ve added, this thing still moves and rolls effortlessly. I can easily move it around and nothing falls off.

Keep in mind that these add ons can be placed almost anywhere. I have a lot of these features on my plywood workbench and other places that are not workbenches around my shop. So don’t think that you can’t utilize these solutions if you do not own this workbench. BUT, I do find this workbench super handy and useful. I actually own two.

Don’t forget that I do have a set of plans HERE for all for all of the add ons if you are interested.

I’ll see you guys on the next project.

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