Torsion Table

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Project by MasterSergeant posted 02-07-2014 11:34 PM 2113 views 3 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I finally made a torsion box table! I have been wanting one of these since I watch Norm Abrams make one many many years ago. I want to thank all my fellow LumberJocks who have posted their torsion boxes on this site. I gleaned a lot of valuable information from you guys and I want to thank you for that!
Lots of time was spent build this project I had no idea how involved making one was going to be. Norm made his in a 1/2 and hour ;-) #1 picture is the finished table. I used 2”x2” glued up for the legs. I have sheet of 1/8” hardboard as an insert for the top. I can replace the top cheaply and quickly using the hardboard.

#2 picture is what the torsion table has replaced. The sawhorses and layers of plywood were just a little too unstable for assembly work ;-D

#3 picture is my son helping me glue up the inside grid before we place the 1/2 MDF top skin on.

#4 picture is the attachment cleat I made to affix the top to the legs. I found out later not to use the long grain as the tongue so I made another set using the endgrain with much better results.

#5 picture is what I was after! A dead flat surface that I can lever!!! Great moment for me when I placed the level on the table as saw no LIGHT under it!!

#6 picture showing all the pre-drilled screws I placed in both skins.

I used MDF for most of the table components, 3/4” perimeter boards with 1/2” for the grids and top and bottom skins. When I made the outside trim board I made it 1/8” taller to accommodate the replaceable 1/8” hardboard top.

All in all a great project, learned a few new techniques and now I have a great work surface that will last me a long long time!

I have one more torsion table to build, this one will be used as an outfeed table for the table-saw! WHOO-HOO looking forward to that one!

Thanks for looking, let me know what you think.

-- Kelly, woodworker under construction

5 comments so far

View Holbs's profile


2262 posts in 2637 days

#1 posted 02-08-2014 01:53 AM

definitely on my to-do list, #57 !
question: people keep saying the top hardboard is replaceable top skin. but yet, it’s either glued down or screwed down or both. how does one replace it later on?

-- The Carpenter Bee is derived from the Ancient Greek word wood-cutter "xylokopos/ξυλοκὀπος"

View MasterSergeant's profile


1428 posts in 3296 days

#2 posted 02-08-2014 02:01 AM

Holbs, my hardboard is not glued or fastened to the table. When I trimmed the table I allowed for 1/8” on top to accept the 1/8” hardboard flush to the top. When I need to change the top I just lift out the worn board and insert a new one.

-- Kelly, woodworker under construction

View doubleDD's profile


8973 posts in 2651 days

#3 posted 02-08-2014 01:54 PM

Lot of involved work in this. Nice build and well done.

-- Dave, Downers Grove, Il. -------- When you run out of ideas, start building your dreams.

View Holbs's profile


2262 posts in 2637 days

#4 posted 02-08-2014 03:02 PM

oooo… i get it now :) it’s amazing how much ‘common sense’ and me do not have in common at times.

-- The Carpenter Bee is derived from the Ancient Greek word wood-cutter "xylokopos/ξυλοκὀπος"

View Roger's profile


21030 posts in 3412 days

#5 posted 03-09-2014 12:25 PM

Another one that’ll stay flat. Very nice.

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed. [email protected]

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