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How to Add a Sanding Station to a Workbench

In part five of this series, House One Editor and DIY Expert Jenn Largesse shows how to build a downdraft sanding station for the Ultimate Mobile Workbench.

I just finished installing a basic dust collection system inside my mobile workbench, so in this video, I’ll demonstrate how I added a built-in downdraft sanding station that can easily be capped for more workspace when not in use. To create it, I’m installing a box with a pegboard on top to allow sawdust to filter down and an opening below to attach a hose to my shop vac.

For the cut list, tools, and materials needed for this project, scroll down to the bottom of this page.

Steps for Adding a Downdraft Sanding Table to a Workbench

Mobile Workbench with Downdraft Sanding Station, finished Jenn Largesse
  1. To get started, I first marked the cutout on my work surface. Next, I set the depth of my circular saw blade and used a straightedge to guide my saw along the lines. I used a plunge cut to cut the back line and a handsaw to finish at the corners.
  2. With my opening sized, I cut the sides of the box, so that edges will run half under the edges of the work surface to create a lip for the cutout to rest back in place as a cap.
  3. Using glue and screws, I assembled the box frame.
  4. Next, I marked the perimeter of the box on a scrap piece of ¼-inch plywood. I size the base and then installed it with glue and nails.
  5. Then, I used my vacuum attachment to size an opening on the underside of the box. I used my drill to cut the ends of the opening and a jigsaw to remove the rest.
  6. I drilled holes through the corners of the attachment and the box and dry-fit the installation with bolts and nuts.
  7. Though it wasn’t necessary, I decided to attach some scrap ¼-inch plywood strips and angled wings inside the box to divert the sawdust to the port and lessen the open area inside the box to create more suction.
  8. I then added the support strips around the top to hold the pegboard. As an optional step, I sealed all my joints with caulk including around the hole on the underside of the box before permanently securing the vac port. Note: When sizing the pegboard, you want a tight fit so that air doesn’t leak out around the edges, but removable in case you lose suction and need to clean out the box. I made a few trims with my table saw and then dry-fit the pegboard in place.
  9. Now it was time to install the box in my mobile workbench. To do this, I added some 2x4 supports along the side and back of the opening using pocket holes. I prepped the inside edge of the box with pilot holes and screws and then positioned the box and sunk the screws into the supports and sidewall.
  10. While the doors were off, I attached the fittings to accept my vac hose and tested out the suction.
  11. With the doors back on, I can put the cap in place and conceal my new downdraft sanding table.

To see the other customizations I made to this bench, click the links below this video:


Cut list

Mobile Workbench with Downdraft Sanding Station, cutlist
  • ¾” Plywood sides – 2 @ 15 ½ inches
  • ¾” Plywood front and back – 2 @ 25 ½ inches
  • ¼” Plywood base – 1 @ 25 ½” W x 17” D
  • ¼” Plywood wings – 2 @ 15 ½” W x 11” D
  • ¼” Pegboard – 1 @ 15 ½” D x 24” W
  • ¼ x ¾” Lattice – 4 @ 15 ½ inches
  • ¼ x ¾” Lattice – 2 @ 23 ½ inches
  • 2x4 Support – 1 @ 17 inches
  • 2x4 Support – 1 @ 25 ½ inches

Materials


Tools