Table Saw Clutter Catcher Shelf

I’m in the process of changing the shop layout a bit due to an upcoming miter saw station build. It makes the best sense to put the miter saw close to the lumber rack, which is where the table saw was, so I had to obviously move the table saw. The new location for the table saw will now be on the back wall. I still have 10′ of rip capacity to the front and the back of the blade in this location. I also like moving the table saw over here because it pretty much guarantees that I won’t be blocking my metal cabinet or the switch to my shop lights with sheet goods.

The main focus when changing a shop layout is obviously the larger tools. But it also gives an opportunity to look at the smaller aspects and see if there is room for improvement there. One of the smaller annoyances in my shop is the fact that I always clutter the right side of my table saw surface with junk. It’s obviously mostly my fault as I’ve got the bad habit of setting stuff down on the saw but I think some of it has to do with the fact that I just didn’t have a convenient place to put stuff when working on the table saw. So that’s where this simple shelf system idea came from.

The shelf itself is primarily sized for my needs and space but you could obviously modify it to fit your needs. I wanted something that would hold all of my table saw accessories such as push blocks, remote dust collection switch, and a few stray tape measures. I’m planning on moving my table saw rails to gain more rip capacity so I can’t have the shelf as low as the table saw surface. I also don’t want it to be incredibly deep as I know it will then just turn into a regular shop storage shelf. The largest unused piece of 3/4” plywood that I had was 60” long so that sounded like a good place to start.

table saw clutter catcher shelf (1)

Along the 60” length I ripped four strips at 10”, 8-1/2”, 8-1/2”, and 3”. I think all of this bare wall is really begging for a huge Redwings logo.

table saw clutter catcher shelf (2)

Did I mention I’m going to be building a miter saw station soon? This is why. I have a really crappy older model miter sliding miter saw with no miter saw station. That means every time I need to use my miter saw I have to either setup a quick table or cut on the floor. That’s a real pain in the butt.

table saw clutter catcher shelf (3)

Because one 8-1/2” strip and the 3” strip both need to be 54” long they can be stacked and cut at the same time.

table saw clutter catcher shelf (4)

This is a great shot of the dust collection setup I have on this saw. I call it “shop” dust collection. The saw makes dust and every square inch of horizontal surface in the shop catches that dust.

table saw clutter catcher shelf (5)

The three vertical pieces are just 8-1/2” squares. They can be cut from the second 8-1/2” strip with a stop block setup on the miter saw fence.

table saw clutter catcher shelf (6)

All of the vertical pieces need a 3” x 3/4” notch on the back side to accept the mounting strip. This will also stiffen the shelf structure and will prevent racking if something large were to bump into it after it is on the wall.

table saw clutter catcher shelf (7)

Assembly is pretty straight forward. Tack the 3” strip into the previously cut notches with the center support centered on the 3” strip.

table saw clutter catcher shelf (8)

Then rotate the pieces so that the bottom of the supports is on top and secure the lower shelf. I’m using glue and brad nails at every joint until the structure is built.

table saw clutter catcher shelf (9)

Flip the assembly over and install the top shelf with glue and brads as well. I was originally going to leave it as is but I figured it wouldn’t be much more effort to predrill and use a couple screws at every joint. Glue and brads are probably strong enough but using screws always makes me feel a little better.

table saw clutter catcher shelf (10)

Because the lower part of the structure is 54” long it gives enough space to accommodate four mounting screws spaced on 16” centers to firmly attach the shelf to the wall studs.

table saw clutter catcher shelf (11)

This was a relatively simple project that will hopefully have a noticeable impact in my shop. Now if I could only get that dude working in the shop to actually use it. I also have a free PDF plan for those who are interested. Although this plan is free to you remember that it isn’t free to produce. If you would like to show your thanks please consider using the donate button at the bottom of this page. If you liked this project and found it useful please share it so others can do so as well. Thanks for stopping by folks and have a great day!

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18 Comments

    1. Jay Bates

      I didn’t know that. Luckily I’m not subject to those codes. I can access the electrical panel just fine. It’s common sense not to put anything in front of it that will obstruct use.

  1. Howard McLean

    Jay, you mentioned you were going to build a miter saw station in this post. Can you post plans or ideas on this station. The miter saw station is the next build for my shop. Thanks and I enjoy your posts on facebook.

  2. TLM80209

    I had to hold my breath as you drove screws into the wall just below your electrical panel. I hope you were able to know before hand where the wires were located.

    1. Jay Bates

      Yes, I had that section of drywall removed before. The only wires below the panel are the ones I installed which go to an opening near the floor. Everything else that is original in the house go up.

  3. Mike C

    I know how you feel. I have my table saw set 90° to my radial arm saw. And I’m always moving things from one saw to the other,etc push sticks, clamps,tape measure,etc,etc,etc. This looks like a good solution to my problem. Thanks for the idea.

  4. Gymgirl

    Great build, Jay!

    I’m a novice, and will build this shelf for over my washer/dryer, to hold the laundry supplies. I might even get bold and try to add doors, after I paint it pale yellow, to match the back wall in the garage, LOL!

    Just a design question. Is there a reason not to put the shelf on TOP of the notches, to support the weight of what’s on the shelf. As I looked at the construction, I kept thinking that if the shelf sat on TOP of the notched piece that screws into the studs, it would hold weight more securely.

    Please explain to this newbie…

    Thanks, in advance!

    Linda (p.s. I also get inspired by April Wilkerson, too!)

  5. Gymgirl

    Jay,
    My last reply was unclear. In looking at the shelf affixed to the wall, my question is about flipping the notched pieces upside down, so they hang on to the board nailed to the studs, and further support the weight of the bottom shelf.

    Almost like a cleat…

    Sorry for the confusion — I am a newbie, LOL!

    1. Jay Bates

      If you attach it to the wall near the botttom shelf the top will want to tip forward. If you are only going to have one horizontal point of contact when securing something to the wall it is best to have that point of contact on the high side.

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