Mobile worktable with shop-made drawer glides and flip-up wing

  • Advertise with us
Project by DonnyBahama posted 08-22-2011 10:33 AM 10102 views 29 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This worktable has retractable casters that allow it to be mobile when necessary, and completely immobile (and sturdy) at other times. It’s based on a design I saw on the New Yankee Workshop but it has the following design modifications: it’s taller (40”), it’s longer (8 feet), it has a flip-up wing, so it’s narrower when the wing is in the down position, and it has a lower shelf for extra storage. Also, since the method for lowering the casters into place involves lifting one end of the table, I made a simple lift jack. This thing is heavy on its own (especially for a 76-year-old guy with some health problems), but by the time you get some things stored on the lower shelf, and get a project or two up on the top, it could easily become to heavy for most people to lift one end.

The flip-up wing was chosen so this behemoth could take up a little less space. I wanted to make sure it was very sturdy so I built a pull-out support for the shelf. It kind of looks like a drawer with no bottom; it consists of four shop-made drawer glides with UHMW bearings. (see pictures 3 and 6 for details.) I put a lot of effort into ensuring that the pull-out support would slide out cleanly, without hanging up on the piano hinge… I routed out a long rectangular area so the hinge would sit flush with the bottom, and I mounted the hinge barrel up. Unfortunately, piano hinges are meant to be mounted ONE way – and the bevels for the screw heads are only cut into that side. So, as it stands, you have to give it a bit of a yank to get the support face past those screw heads. Over time, I’m sure it will wear grooves where it meets the screw heads.

There’s more construction details in my blog series on this project, including a video demonstrating how the lift jack and retractable casters work. In the near future, I’ll post a video showing how the flip-up wing (and the pull-out support) works. There’s also a SketchUp model of it, though I need to update it with a few design changes.

-- Founding member of the (un)Official LumberJock's Frugal Woodworking Society -

11 comments so far

View workerinwood's profile


2717 posts in 3573 days

#1 posted 08-22-2011 01:51 PM

Great job!! Like the design, very creative.

-- Jack, Albuquerque

View HorizontalMike's profile


7797 posts in 3419 days

#2 posted 08-22-2011 02:19 PM

Nice use of retractable wheels.

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

View eddie's profile


8565 posts in 3119 days

#3 posted 08-22-2011 03:00 PM

that’s a very nice table.thanxs for posting.I’m in the process of building a shop. right now working under my carport for now .i got to favorite this one.I’m new to this craft and was looking to re build my table which is way to big.I’ll re post it when i get to the rebuild and harller at you to check it out. again really nice table have my router table fixed to mine now and wanted to put it on a flip wing like the one you have. check out my table and see if you think it would work.don’t laugh at it it’s kind of a trail type.and like i said I’m new last year the only jig i knew of was one we used for fishing on the bayou and rivers and dove tails were pointed and hard to shoot.thanx really like your table

-- Jesus Is Alright with me

View Richard's profile


297 posts in 3043 days

#4 posted 08-22-2011 03:02 PM

“necessity”... What a mother, right.!
You have a work space to be proud of, Dono.
This would have perfect for working glass.
Great job.
One question? Do you promise to be careful of the gas meter when you back this into my garage?

Hope to be back making dust, myself, a.s.a.p.

Peace and blessed be.

-- 'I sand, therefore, I am'. Richard. PNW.

View AbranV's profile


30 posts in 2993 days

#5 posted 08-22-2011 05:00 PM

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! ............I have a VERY small shop(7.5×15) and working space is limited. I have been searching ideas for a workbench for weeks now and I think this may be my answer!

-- I'd rather be making sawdust.....

View DonnyBahama's profile


215 posts in 3037 days

#6 posted 08-22-2011 05:57 PM

Thanks, fellas. :)

@Eddie – You couldn’t put a router in the flip-up wing on my table (at least not the way it’s currently designed) because you wouldn’t be able to pull out the slide-out support. (The router would get in the way.) if you put the piano hinge on the top (recessed down in so it would be flush with the table top) with the hinge barrel down, then you could lift the wing to where it’s at a 90 degree angle to the table, then pull out the support shelf and lower the wing so the router dropped down between two of the drawer glide rails. I hope that makes sense. If not, let me know and I’ll draw up a picture.

@AbranV – I’m glad this helps. The guy I built this for was adamant that it should be a full 8’ x 4’ when it was finished, but if I was building it for myself/my shop (one half of a 2 car garage, so only somewhat bigger than your shop), I would have made it smaller. This thing is so big its like an aircraft carrier. I could easily have taken 6” off the depth and it would have been plenty big – even with the flip-up wing down. The length would have been fine at 6’, I think. In a small shop like yours, I’d be tempted to make it 2’ deep with a 1’ flip-up wing on each side. Another possible design modification would be to enclose the open area between the top panel and lower shelf, creating storage cabinets or maybe drawers.

@Wiggy – It’s good to hear from you! Hope your recovery is a speedy one. I’m looking forward to your next pile-of-sawdust project! :D

-- Founding member of the (un)Official LumberJock's Frugal Woodworking Society -

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 3196 days

#7 posted 08-23-2011 03:58 AM

Donny Great build. I especially like the shop made slides. Very clever. I thought you were trying to tell us you were 76 then I reread it. I thought you looked like a very young 76! LOL

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View DonnyBahama's profile


215 posts in 3037 days

#8 posted 08-23-2011 04:28 AM

Thanks, Andy! I highly recommend those drawer slides. They work well, are quick & easy to make & save you a bundle.

-- Founding member of the (un)Official LumberJock's Frugal Woodworking Society -

View RexMcKinnon's profile


2593 posts in 3701 days

#9 posted 09-15-2011 08:21 PM

Really like this design, It is something that would be very usefull in my garage/shop. For me though I would remove the bottom shelf and use it as a cover for my tablesaw.

-- If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail!

View DonnyBahama's profile


215 posts in 3037 days

#10 posted 09-15-2011 09:05 PM

Thank you, Rex! That’s a really good idea. When I make one for myself, I will probably do exactly that!

-- Founding member of the (un)Official LumberJock's Frugal Woodworking Society -

View Sylvain's profile


880 posts in 3005 days

#11 posted 09-17-2011 10:26 PM

Well, I am glad that the caster jacks work without modification afterwards. (see your part 4)

After looking to the video :
The trick was to give some momentum to the parts.

Most sport need its use (except taï chi may be). LOL

-- Sylvain, Brussels, Belgium, Europe - The more I learn, the more there is to learn

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics