Folding Workbench!

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Project by jamsomito posted 08-03-2020 01:39 PM 1161 views 7 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I’ve really needed one of these for a while. Did some looking around and eventually decided to recreate this one I found on YouTube:

Overall I love it! It adds a considerable amount of work space, and I can still fold it away when we need to park cars in the garage in the winter. Only downside is it weighs a metric TON which kind of defeats the mobility aspect, but it is still possible and for that, it’s great. The wall mount in the video is genius and really the best way to go after having used it, but I did not have the wall real estate available and so I have to stand it up.

The size of the top is dictated by the height of the workbench because the legs need to fold up without interference. In my case, It’s about 36-1/4” tall (TS is 36-1/2”), which necessitated the top be 81” long, including a 3” overhang on each end. I just picked a number and decided on 36” wide. I wanted it smaller than a full size sheet of plywood.

I made a few changes from the design in the video:

- For one, I changed the long aprons to 2×6 instead of 2×4 for rigidity reasons, then added the handles to make it easier to move around when folded.

- In the video he mentions finding the hinge hole location to be a challenge, but I just made it right in the middle of the leg and cut a semi-circle around it for clearance.

- I also added a support for the opposite side of the hinge rod (1/2” threaded rod I cut from a 36” piece).

- I modified the stretcher slot in the legs to eliminate a cross member (his are doubled up) to save some weight. It’s snug, but it falls out when you set it up upside down and bump it the wrong way, so I’ll probably add some kind of swinging latch to keep it in place.

- If I could do it again, I would put the legs cross member on the outside so I could put the stretcher inside the legs when they’re folded up, but as it is, they interfere so I have to store the stretcher along side the aprons. Kind of an oversight on my part, but I can still keep it all together when it’s folded and stored.

- Not sure if this is a change, but the locking wheels lock both the roll and the swivel, so it’s pretty firm when all 4 casters are locked. Also, I think the ones I found look pretty awesome. And they roll smooth too.

It has a slight amount of racking in the direction of the hinges so I’ll probably be thinking of some way to strengthen that joint, but it’s not bad. I just won’t be cutting any dovetails on this. Otherwise It’ll be fantastic for stock holding while I’m working on a job, infeed support for large pieces on my table saw, rolling out to the driveway for operations best done outside, finishing, working with sheet goods, etc. It’s a welcome addition to my shop!

Already using it for assistance on another piece.

My back hurts now from building this and hoofing it around the shop, but it’ll hurt much less on every project moving forward!

9 comments so far

View John Stegall's profile

John Stegall

549 posts in 4578 days

#1 posted 08-03-2020 03:05 PM

Thank you for posting this! I was doing a search yesterday and although I found a few, none fit the bill like this one appears to. I will take your suggestion on moving the leg stretchers to the outside. Sounds just about what I am looking for.

-- jstegall

View pottz's profile


16399 posts in 2046 days

#2 posted 08-03-2020 03:18 PM

thats a pretty cool folding bench, perfect for those that are space deprived.

-- working with my hands is a joy,it gives me a sense of fulfillment,somthing so many seek and so few find.-SAM MALOOF.

View ZachinIowa's profile


53 posts in 358 days

#3 posted 08-03-2020 05:23 PM

this is awesome! I have the same need to take things down in the garage in the winter. I am working on a miter saw station right now and next might be this exact same set up!

-- Zach

View AJ1104's profile


1289 posts in 2721 days

#4 posted 08-03-2020 11:37 PM

Super idea and you did a great job building your bench. I love the folding legs.

-- AJ

View GR8HUNTER's profile


8358 posts in 1774 days

#5 posted 08-04-2020 02:51 PM

looks to be very good and sturdy GREAT JOB :<)) GRATZ TOP 3

-- Tony---- Reinholds,Pa.------ REMEMBER TO ALWAYS HAVE FUN :<))

View therealSteveN's profile


7559 posts in 1636 days

#6 posted 08-05-2020 12:29 AM

thats a pretty cool folding bench, perfect for those that are space deprived.

- pottz

I too, like the idea of this, and I am not space deprived. Having another horizontal surface to use for assembly, holding partially finished widgets, or whatever is a good thing. Being able to fold it up, and hang it on a vertical surface is a huge bonus. Making it from 2×4’s will also make it affordable to just do it.

jamsomito, Congrats on your 3. Where did you source those Orange wheels?

-- Think safe, be safe

View jamsomito's profile


655 posts in 1488 days

#7 posted 08-05-2020 12:38 AM

The casters were actually in one of those Amazon boxes you see in the first pic in the body of my post :) Here’s a link:

View jamsomito's profile


655 posts in 1488 days

#8 posted 08-05-2020 02:33 PM

So I’ve been mulling over this horizontal racking I’m having. I think the difference between mine and the one in the video is definitely the hinge rod placement. As I have it, the leg could rotate freely all the way around if it wasn’t for the short apron. The one in the video has a positive stop because he has a flat part on the top of the leg that can register against the underside of the table, making it more stable. In mine, when the legs are deployed, despite the extra cross brace right underneath the apron, it still hinges on that hinge rod and the only thing preventing racking is the bottom screw connecting the aprons (yikes).

I’m going to try some L-brackets around the bottom edge of the aprons to reinforce it a bit. If that doesn’t do it, I might add some 45 deg triangle pieces for braces on the outside of the aprons to the underside of the table. If THAT doesn’t work, I’ll figure out some kind of angled brace from the legs to the center of the underside of the table. I’m a little hesitant for that last one despite having the most potential to add rigidity because then it defeats the purpose of the stretcher I made. I’m also slightly concerned about supporting all the racking force with some screws into an only 3/4” piece of plywood, but maybe it’ll be good enough. I also thought about adding some huge 6” GRK fasteners instead of that bottom screw, haha. For some reason I just don’t think that’s the right answer.

I’ll keep updating here as I find the best solution!

View ohwoodeye's profile


2606 posts in 4215 days

#9 posted 08-05-2020 06:36 PM

This looks great. Thank you very much for posting the video.
Well done.

-- "Fine Woodworking" is the name given to a project that takes 3 times longer than normal to finish because you used hand tools instead of power tools. ----Mike, Waukesha, WI

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