Instructables

Collapsible Workbench

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This is a simple little collapsible workbench/assembly table I made. The dimensions may seem strange but it was as large as I could get it while still fitting under my current one. It also is tall enough so that the surface of the mitre saw when it is up there is level with my big workbench, allowing my to easing cut long boards. This can easily be adapted to be a sturdy, permanent workbench with only a few extra bolts.

Final Dimensions:

22" Wide, 35" long, 33 1/2" Tall

 
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Step 1: Materials

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You will need:

1-2'x4' Sheet of 3/4" MDF

4-8' 2x4s

1-Box of 2" or 2 1/2" Wood Screws

Wood Glue

Material for the Apron (the part right below the surface)-the dimensions don't really matter, but I ripped a 1x10 in half because that's what I had on hand. You could use 1x4s as a cheap alternative.

Total Cost Not Counting Apron or Wood Glue:

$33.32

Step 2: Legs

The legs consist of two 32" segments of 2x4s screwed and glued together. You will need eight individual segments in all. Use the first one you cut and base the rest off of that-you get more of the same sized legs that way. I ripped the edges off because it gives it a slightly cleaner look and makes them square, but if you don't have a table saw this is not necessary. You should have one 32" segment and a full 2x4 left over.

Step 3: The Stretchers

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You will need two 22 1/2" boards and one 35 1/2". Square the edges if you can.

Step 4: Apron

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I made these 4" wide, but that can change easily based upon your materials. These will need to be cut to the size of your tabletop-in my case 35" and 22"-with a 45* cut on the ends. The second photo is just a test fit. Then they will need to be screwed and glued into a square. A corner clamp really is helpful, I got mine for a $1.50 and an antique tools store!

Step 5: Table Top

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Cut the top out of the MDF. I used the jig saw to cut the wide part and the table saw to cut the remainder.

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Twas Brilag12 days ago

Thanks for sharing this! I will be making one soon.

schoonovermr (author)  Twas Brilag12 days ago

Thanks! Be sure to post pictures

Goatherd126 days ago

I thinks I'm going to try this and expand it to bench size to travel with the folding table under my camper.

hohum1 month ago

love the notches, very smart, nice looking, thanks for posting

There isn't a workshop in the world that wouldn't benefit from having a few of these around....

schoonovermr (author)  craftclarity1 month ago

Thank you!

In answer to 2 questions, weight is better in a work bench as we like to pound on it or put heavy items, but to make it more travel friendly as a take down table, I proposed lightening it up.

As for the Eurosealer. I have made covers for things using one. It is a plastic bag sealer. So if you want to leave one outside you can make a fitted cover for it. Or a and a a plastic case for it to travel,(just for water protection.

Eurosealer is a brand, you can use a soldering iron, (I have a friend who makes waterproof bags if need be, or seals small electronics in plastic this way.

I do realize that this was meant for the garage/basement, but your design is so darn good, there could several ways to make it, for other applications.
schoonovermr (author)  spark master1 month ago

That sounds really cool, I would love to see someone make one. Thanks!

0ne day perhaps. My wife and I were talking about camping again so who knows? I have had some fold up tables that were light, but were elstinko, this may allow for a much nicer table, sturdy that is.

And if you spar varnish everything with a few good coats (thinned) the pores can really absorb, then wax it and it is never "water proof", but it will be highly water resistant, and good for field use.

made just way it is here, and higly finished, I see it good for a camping/fishing/hunting person. If it get covered in game guts rinse it off and soap it, rinse again. But varathane all parts before assembly, and run a bead of silicone (rtv) on all the joints.

For Scouts decoupage a logo of the troop and troop Number after 4 coats then do another 4 thin coats and a heavy coat. It will be there for their kids to use.

But again this gilds the lily it is pretty sweet w/o any additions.

sparkie
builtofire1 month ago

very nice. but I see some space for improvement : if u make the lower wood to fix from inside (currently it fixes the legs from outside) then it will fit in the box

schoonovermr (author)  builtofire1 month ago

Thanks. If I understand correctly, that isn't the part that doesn't fit. One of the legs doesn't, but that can be fixed by making it wider. Also, the long stretcher is about 2 inches too long to fit.

Hi, sorry about not pointing in the right direction, i was talking about the long stretcher, if you design it to hold the legs from inside and not from outside. Thanks for the nice design :)
schoonovermr (author)  builtofire1 month ago

Glad I could help!

SWEET.

add a couple of velcro strapping and a handle (maybe a cover for the bottom and it goes in the car to the camp site/ trailor etc., ok maybe you need pressure treated for it then)

nice job, indeed

schoonovermr (author)  spark master1 month ago

Thanks! You might want to modify the design to make it a bit lighter though!

Weight is a good thing for a work bench.

I used a eurosealer

http://w remove this and spaces ww.amazon.com/s/?ie=UTF8&keywords=eurosealer+bag+sealer&tag=googhydr-20&index=aps&hvadid=31587514717&hvpos=1t3&hvexid=&hvnetw=s&hvrand=2114424813153172204&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=b&hvdev=c&ref=pd_sl_8iwnhild08_b

It was not great, but it can be very useful with practice, or practice a few times and use a soldering iron.

I don't understand your comment about the eurosealer. A bag sealer? For what?

I am thinking back yard camping, that is in the car to a campground. Or, while car traveling, or a canoe excursion.

For canoeing use a hollow core door, shellac the heck out of it, use spar varnish or such.

Yours is strong enough for me to sit on it w/o death of table, but, if you glue the legs with polyester glue or exterior Elmers, after curing you can take a hole saw and drill out lotsa wood and even do the edge skirt/facia.

If it is to be used out doors a lot consider making the ends come to a point of sorts. That makes it easier to make it level. And last, make a plastic cover for it, not a tarp, a cover, so if you do take it out doors it is dry in transit and after setting up. I used this gizmo crappy as it is to make a huge condom like coat to keep my giant hand made TIKI MAN dry when he was to be transported in wet/snowy weather. I wish I could find my pictures.... :-(

Please remember all my suggestions are gilding the lily, your project stands alone. It is very nice...as is.

ciao
aubiecat1 month ago

Very nice design. This would make a nice router table as well.

alcurb1 month ago

Awesome work. It is great for a place with limited space like my apartment!

I see it more as a spare table. With a nice finish and a butcher block style top, one can use it in the kitchen. It's usefulness for my only workbench is dubious because I don't see a way to attach my vice to it. The side boards are a bit wide for my vice clamp or for my articulated lamp clamp. I might have to cut a couple of notches somewhat sacrificing the table's integrity or make the top bigger so that there is a decent-sized lip.

Cueball211 month ago

Great design, even better execution!

Thank you for sharing it with us. I'm going to steal the idea and try to embellish it with a laminated 2x4 top. I'm thinking it will be study enough to use hand planes and chop out mortises and will not have metal screws in the top.

Thank you, again, for sharing your genius.

Sound of great applause!

schoonovermr (author)  Cueball211 month ago

Thanks! Make sure to post pictures!

Inspirational! I feel sure that this will inspire many related workbenches.

roboram1 month ago

Nice, Excellent plan and neat work. Thank you.

bcharris9161 month ago

very well done

chuckyd1 month ago

That's a great plan. The only thing I would add would be an easily replaceable top cover made of hardboard. Then you could just glue and screw the top to the apron.

Nice but it lacks the primary fundamental of BRACING... and loads of it.

Plain legged tables, tend to come loose and break up when things are clamped to them and sawn or planed or hammered with a chisel, with a deft blow, a sharp cut, at a rapid removal rate.

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Panel style bracing works - bolt on with load spreading plates under the bolt heads and nuts...

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You can stop the left to right, back to front and torsional twisting forces with bracing...

Mutazek1 month ago

Nice! I don't have so much space on my house to left a workbench all the time, this would be an excellent solution!

Kenno791 month ago

Neat :)

BobAtWork1 month ago

Elegant and inexpensive. Nice work - and thanks for sharing!

schoonovermr (author)  BobAtWork1 month ago

Thanks!

vjdoro1 month ago

I want to make one. Love that it takes up so little space when dismantled. Thanks.

schoonovermr (author)  vjdoro1 month ago

Thank you!

tbonham21 month ago
Hey Iam an OKLAHOMA SCHOONOVER I come from musicians and wood workers. What state are you from?
schoonovermr (author)  tbonham21 month ago

That's wierd! I'm from Georgia

wilgubeast1 month ago

Thanks for sharing such a useful and simple project. Your documentation is top notch and definitely deserving of a feature. Favorited so I can practice my lap joints AND get a sweet workbench out of the deal.

schoonovermr (author)  wilgubeast1 month ago

Thanks!!

savageeuge2 months ago

Hi, you should do an instructables on those chairs that you used as saw horses.

schoonovermr (author)  savageeuge2 months ago

I would but it's not my own design. I built them with the video in the link below. They are great little stools-I highly recommend making them.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cWqoPBfUW6M&list=FLVDdtIbnmajgJjWBRibaotQ&index=37

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