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Rolling Assembly Table/Workbench with folding, height adjustable legs

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Project by Fotodog posted 01-03-2019 01:53 AM 11083 views 24 times favorited 24 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Hello All,
I’m a frequent viewer, but this is my first project post that some of you might find interesting. I needed a good sized assembly table/bench, but I work in my garage with limited space where everything must be put away at night. Also, this is an older house, and the garage floor is very uneven with a big slope towards the floor drain.

I got my ideas from my own experiences and different sources, notably Ron Paulk’s portable workbench and a fold up workbench from Craig English, both on YouTube. Lots of credit to both of these gentlemen for their great designs.

My table folds up flat against the wall, resting on a small shelf that’s installed at the height that allows me to roll the table onto the shelf and tilt it up against the wall. Since I used a torsion box design for the top, I needed a wider shelf for support. It’s secured with a couple of 5/8” bolts inserted in 3/4” holes in the side of the bench, which double as dog holes. The torsion box is 44” x 74”, and is 6” in height, as opposed to many of the torsion box designs which are taller.

The legs fold out when the bench is secured to the wall, a spacer bar is inserted between a notch in each cross member of the legs for support, and then the support bolts are released and the bench is lowered down and slid off the shelf. It’s rolled into position, and then the side mounted casters are released by foot so the bench now sits on it’s legs.

I wanted a way to quickly adjust the height of the legs due to my very uneven floor, but most of the techniques I’ve seen depend on a threaded bolt. I have that design on my tablesaw outfield table, but it’s a bit slow and tedious. So, I came up with my own design, basically a leg within a leg. The outer leg is made by milling a centered dado in 2×4 stock, and then glueing 2 pieces together to form a 4×4 leg with a 1 1/2” centered slot. The interior leg has a T-Track to accept the head of a 1/4×20 bolt, which slides through a hole drilled into the outer leg with a knob attached, so the leg can be secured quickly at any height. It’s easier to see in photos than a written explanation.

I made this bench with 1/2” Birch plywood and KD Douglas Fir from the Borg to save money. It would be a bit more refined with higher quality lumber, but at a higher cost. I drilled the typical 3/4” dog holes in the top, and finished with a couple of coats of Watco Oil and paste wax. I know the arguments against using paste wax on a workbench, but I just couldn’t help myself since I wanted to keep it looking nice for a while. I bought a couple of the Festool clamps for use with dog holes, as well as Veritas Bench Dogs and quick release Wonder Dog, and I can’t wait to put these to use. Thanks for looking!

-- Tim





24 comments so far

View AJ1104's profile

AJ1104

836 posts in 2171 days


#1 posted 01-03-2019 02:05 AM

Really nice bench. I love the torsion top and folding design. Great job!

-- AJ

View swirt's profile

swirt

4236 posts in 3484 days


#2 posted 01-03-2019 03:04 AM

Very clever design and storage features. Well done.

-- Galootish log blog, http://www.timberframe-tools.com

View BurlyBob's profile

BurlyBob

6510 posts in 2777 days


#3 posted 01-03-2019 03:19 AM

That’s a really great idea!

View Ron Stewart's profile

Ron Stewart

157 posts in 3016 days


#4 posted 01-03-2019 04:15 AM

That’s a clever design that seems perfect for your situation. Nice work.

-- Ron Stewart

View woodbutcherbynight's profile

woodbutcherbynight

5974 posts in 2921 days


#5 posted 01-03-2019 04:42 AM

WOW, that is some piece of work!

-- Live to tell the stories, they sound better that way.

View therealSteveN's profile

therealSteveN

3902 posts in 1086 days


#6 posted 01-03-2019 06:28 AM

Awesome Paulk like design, with more goodies.

This is worthy, nice post.

-- Think safe, be safe

View EarlS's profile

EarlS

3097 posts in 2860 days


#7 posted 01-03-2019 12:41 PM

Clever, well thought out design. It’s going in my favorites so I can find it when the time comes to build a new assembly table.

-- Earl "I'm a pessamist - generally that increases the chance that things will turn out better than expected"

View Ken90712's profile

Ken90712

17744 posts in 3701 days


#8 posted 01-03-2019 01:49 PM

A+ outstanding.

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View BlueRidgeDog's profile

BlueRidgeDog

499 posts in 291 days


#9 posted 01-03-2019 01:49 PM

Love the leg in leg system. I need to convert my assembly table into a combo-outfeed table and have been reluctant as I have it very high for my use (6’4”), so this may make it work.

View waho6o9's profile

waho6o9

8770 posts in 3089 days


#10 posted 01-03-2019 02:19 PM

Perfect design and build, I appreciate the functionality of it all.

Great storage idea as well!

View Fotodog's profile

Fotodog

18 posts in 291 days


#11 posted 01-03-2019 02:52 PM

Wow, thanks for all the nice comments. This is a great community. If anyone is interested, I designed this project in Sketchup and can post my plans.

-- Tim

View FreddieMac's profile

FreddieMac

147 posts in 859 days


#12 posted 01-03-2019 03:25 PM

I like it, good build!

View jerkylips's profile

jerkylips

495 posts in 3082 days


#13 posted 01-03-2019 06:14 PM

Wow, this is great. I’ve been thinking of a way to build a combo outfeed/assembly table that breaks down. I’m stealing this.

View Mike_D_S's profile

Mike_D_S

596 posts in 2726 days


#14 posted 01-03-2019 06:47 PM

Nice assembly table. I’ve been kicking around ideas for one like this, but I need to be able to put it away when I’m not using it and wasn’t loving any of the ideas I had so far. But your folding leg layout looks like it’s something I can work with.

Mike

-- No honey, that's not new, I've had that forever......

View Fotodog's profile

Fotodog

18 posts in 291 days


#15 posted 01-03-2019 06:54 PM

Thanks! When you assemble the legs to the frame with the bolt, be sure to test the fit first with some scraps, hopefully offcuts from the legs themselves. I had to shim the leg slightly away from the frame in order for it to open and close smoothly.

Also, for anyone adding the adjustable height legs, make sure the inner leg has a loose fit. I originally made mine with a snug fit, but it was a PITA to lower it for leveling. With the loose fit, you just loosen the knob and the legs drops down to the floor height with gravity. I’m also planning on adding some non-skid rubber feet to the bottom of the legs.

-- Tim

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