Introduction: Fold Up and Down Metal Benchs

I recently built a shop that is 11' by 29'. I wanted to be able to drive my pickup into the shop for servicing but I also wanted a long bench that I could use when the vehicle is not in the shop. A bench built along one wall would make it very difficult to get around the pickup when it was in the shop. The solution was a stable bench that could fold up and down.

Materials

  • Three metal fire doors that salvaged from scrap metal yard
  • 9 hinges
  • 1" by 2" by 1/8" by 19' tubular steel
  • 10 @ 3.5x#10 screws
  • self tapping metal screws
  • 4 1" rare earth magnets

Tools Used

  • Metal band saw
  • impact driver

Step 1: The Shop Setup

I had a 28 foot long uninterrupted wall that I wanted to install the benches along. I first drilled and countersunk holes along the 1" x 2" tubular steel to match the location of the wall studs. I then screwed this steel onto the wall at the height I wanted for the bench, and high enough for the doors to hang down without touching the floor..

Step 2: Setting Up the Door Hinges.

The metal doors that I salvaged have screw on hinges. I attached the hinges to the doors then I held the doors against the tubular steel that I had attached to the wall. I marked the hole locations for the doors so the doors were arranged about 1/2 inch apart. I then drilled and taped the holes so the hinges could be attached.I arranged the three doors to be separated by about 1/2".

Step 3: Attaching the Folding Legs

Following drilling and attaching the door hinges, I then attached the outside legs to the two outside doors that I had made from 1"x2" tubular steel. No legs were attached to the middle door. This door was held up by brackets welded on to the legs adjacent to the middle door. I attached these legs using hinges so they could be folded against the doors when they were lowered. I attached a 1" rare earth magnet to each of the legs so they folded and held against the door.

Step 4: Bench in Use

The benches can be folded up or down and are held in place with four folding legs. When up, they can support considerable weight and are very stable. When down, The doors occupy about 3" of wall space allowing working space around vehicles when they are in the shop. The metal doors clean up easily and can easily be change. I have been using the bench to assemble doors for greenhouses and for a jig that tests the curve on pipes that my son and use to make cold frames. They work like a charm.

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