Introduction: Portable Workbench for a Bicycle.

Picture of Portable Workbench for a Bicycle.

This, all in one workbench, worktable and toolbox is born out of necessity, to drive environment friendly to the local Repair Café. As repairer of small electro/electronic devices I went by car, because of the toolbox, workmate, etc. The idea came by combining bike and workshop. The all in one concept was growing gradualy. After the first sketches I couldn't wait to see this 'workshop' on the luggage carrier of my bike. The 5 minutes video gives an impression of 'the making off' this prototype. With this step by step guide I hope many of you will be inspired to make one for yourself.

Step 1: Drawings With Measures

Picture of Drawings With Measures

With most of the size's of the cabinet and also from the drawer and tilt tray, it is more easy to calculate the plywood boards. I was using one quarter 8x4 foot multiplex 1.5 cm - 0.6inch thick board. Also two 4x2 foot 0.5cm - 0.2inch triplex board. For the frame you need also two laths of 210cm - 82.6inch lenght. The workbench top is pinewood of 1.8cm - 0.7inch thick. The size is 40cm x 100cm or 15.7inch x 40inch. You have to cut this through the middle. The piano hinge comes on the 50 cm side. The new (open)size is 50cm x80cm.

Step 2: Wood Construction

Picture of Wood Construction

We have to build two cabinets, two drawers and two tilt trays. I was using construction glue for all the connections. Both nailed or screwed; glue makes joining stronger. All the pieces needs planing and sanding. The placing of the drawer sliders, need's some special attention. The drawer has to go smooth in and out. Constructing the toolboxes is precise carpenters work.

Step 3: Attaching the Toolboxes to the Benchtop Blade.

Picture of Attaching the Toolboxes to the Benchtop Blade.

The benchtop blade has to be cut in two the same pieces. Planing and sanding is a must to make it fit. Now attach the piano hinge to the long side. In the video you can see how to attach the cabinets to the benchtop. Take in mind that the width of the rear rack of your bike determines the width in betweem the toolboxes. With that most of the woodwork is done.

Step 4: The Metal Part

Picture of The Metal Part

For the legs we have to cut the two alluminium tube's of 100cm - 40inch in the middle. On one side a leg cap of plastic has to be pressed on the tube. That is goes better when putting the cap in warm water first. After that the leg holder has to be made. The connection hole in the middle has to be 1cm - 0.4inch from the top. The round shackle of aluminium strip, what keeps the legholder in place is made with the lifting pieces in mind. To make the workbench stable to the floor the legs have to direct outwards. How far that is depends on the lifting block direct beneath the pipe. The position of the screw on top of the legholder is 6.3 cm - 2.5inch from the front or rear and 9.3cm - 3.6inch from the bottom. The last photo shows the legs stored under the bottom of the drawer. Also the 30 cm - 12inch foldable shelf bracket is attached to the toolbox at 5cm - 2inch from the back side. At last, the spacing alu strip is mounted. The lenght is 22cm - 8.6inch.

Step 5: Three Colors of Stain.

Picture of Three Colors of Stain.

Whether or not a color, it's to everyone's taste. The wood has to be protected agains water and oil. My choise was to use waterbase stain. Take a good brush for smooth work. Two layers are, at least, necessary for an opaque effect. Take special care for the edges of the toolboxes and the drawers.

Step 6: More Photo's

Picture of More Photo's

This was a time-consuming but fascinating prototype project. I had to use a lot of skills and had to work with a diversity of tools and materials. I have still to calculate the total costs of the project. In the end it was fun to change my rear rack luggage bag in a usefull and good-looking new kind of user object. The total weight of the bench is 10kg - 20lbs. The maximum load on the rear rack is 25kg - 55 pound, so there is still 15kg - 33lbs left for tools and materials. More than enough for an electro/electronic repairer. Success...


blorgggg (author)2017-07-12


animalbx (author)2016-05-15

Love it, thanx for sharing.

fullclip765 (author)2016-04-21

I'm definitely making one like this but maybe shorter profile

knurd (author)2014-06-18

sehr schone!

just1jane (author)2013-02-19

That is amazing work. I see this being incredibly useful for artists and craftspeople traveling to street markets.

softbid (author)2012-12-24

Great job, the video is well made just like your mobile workshop. I am considering a similar project but would like the additional feature of being able to be wheeled around by hand.
Thank You for showing the rest of us your ingenuity. I also like the Repairer Cafe idea, it's nice you contribute to your community and the environment.

FriendOfHumanity (author)2012-10-12

Nice idea and very well done.
Congratulations on your deserved prize win.

dimtick (author)2012-10-09

Wow...nice job!
really a gret project which is tailor made to suit your needs.

In watching the video the little black & decker workmate was in every step. I'm wondering if you could add some of it's functionality into your top by adding some holes in your top so that you could use some of the clamp pieces? there are lots of accessories & bench dog's that are small & light weight and may be useful.

Another thought is to add some hooks so that you could remove the drawers and hang them off the end and then rig a hold open to lock the tilt out box's in the tilt position. this way you can keep your tools within easy reach without taking up precious surface space.

NICE JOB!!!!!!

Christopher_Moore (author)2012-10-06

I think this instructable is awesome. I've never heard of a Repair Cafe before. After a quick google search, I think that is a great idea too.

louis.m (author)2012-10-03

Now, this is what I call an Instructable !

Easy explanation, nice design, a practical item and very well visualized,.


criggie (author)2012-09-30

Did you do anything to the rear wheel/axle to help with the extra load? I suppose the extra weight of the battery means the wheels are already beefed up.

Does that 10 kg include the stool and the legs? What about a load of tools inside?

Does it affect peddling at all?

For more storage space you could fit something similar on the front wheel?

And - I wonder if a bike repair setup would be especially suitable.

IamWe (author)criggie2012-10-01

The extra load on the wheel/axle can be 25Kg excl. battery. The workbench is 10Kg incl. legs excl. stool (0.5Kg). So there is 15Kg free for tools and workmaterial. Peddling is going as normal; I don't feel difference with my e-bike ;-). With this basic concept you can customize it as a mobile bike repairbench or shop in the park, etc. I use it for the local Repair Cafe; see short video:

Wazzupdoc (author)IamWe2012-10-01

I would think that Plein aire painters would love this...portable studio!

bullzebub (author)2012-10-01

cool idea.
you could use something like pipe clamps as drawer pull handles. and if you also put one on the benchtop you could use the legs to prevent the drawers from vibrating open while biking :-)

tsmith36 (author)2012-10-01

Very well thought out. I would like to see your take on a chuck box / campers kitchen in a box.

troopersmachine (author)2012-10-01

This is a great project. I work as a mechanic and often get called out to the homes of customers. This would be much easier than filling my backpack full of tools.

phamvankientk (author)2012-09-30

i want todo it now.......! thank you so much.

mammasboy (author)2012-09-30

this is a fantastically made instructable, and a truly awesome idea. i wish i had the stuff to make one :/ but oh well

keep up the good work :)pand

bethmwl (author)2012-09-30

best i've seen, i'd like one for hauling fishing supplies or picnic supplies. Always wanted to fish from a set up table rather than reach for tackle off the ground all the time. i could also see a bit of tweaking for car/van travel and tailgating and again, fishing cool.

thegreat58 (author)2012-09-30

This is an absolutely brilliant project, I shall start building one for myself. Awesome !!

KookyKreations (author)2012-09-30

This is really fabulous. I can see this for use in all kinds of professions / avocations that struggle with needing tools AND a workspace.

You don't have any problem with the drawers vibrating out during your ride? I might put a small latch on the side of the drawers to prevent that.

Fabinstr (author)2012-09-30


DonaldChapman (author)2012-09-30

I am pretty sure this is the best instructable I have seen. Bravo!

DisplacedMic (author)2012-09-30

i know we have a "be nice policy" but i have to say - this is really outstanding!

seriously - great project, great instructable!

rulala (author)2012-09-30

This is soooooo cool!! I am going to ask my dad to make this for me. This would be a cool jewelry bench when I am at the park or flea market!! This get my VOTE!!

billbillt (author)2012-09-30

GENIUS !!!..

Attmos (author)2012-09-29

Nice work, looks great. Awesome idea.

cameronhirsch (author)2012-09-27

Excellent Instructable. I think I may make one to use as a desk for working in the park, or to take on rides when I go fishing locally. How did you secure it to the rack though? Does it just rest on top?

IamWe (author)cameronhirsch2012-09-28

Thank you for the compliment! Securing it to the back carrier of your bike depends of the construction of your back rack. For the moment it just rests on top without padlock. Take care; the width of the rack is important for the distance between the two toolboxes.

topseyturvey! (author)IamWe2012-09-29

amazing idea!!!!!!!!!!!!

cameronhirsch (author)IamWe2012-09-29

You're welcome, have you had a problem with it sliding around on the rack since it just rests on it?

spiderham (author)2012-09-28

This is a great project. Thank you for sharing it.

audreyobscura (author)2012-09-28

THIS IS EXCELLENT! When I saw it I kind of chirped out loud! I have been trying to sketch out a soft-fabric based version of something like this, I will let you know once I get it going. Thank you so much for the share!

randofo (author)2012-09-27

This is a really nice idea and great execution. What sort of repair tools do you typically carry with you?

IamWe (author)randofo2012-09-28

In my case, tools for electro/electronics. First my extreme foldable Star Seat, a soldering iron, a mini cordless drill, a vise, all kind of screwdrivers and pliers, extension cable, regulated mini powersupply, lens, tweezers, timber clamps, a small hammer, a small metal saw and more. Materials are typically for electro repair.

kikiclint (author)2012-09-27

This is awesome. I may be making one in the future.

About This Instructable




Bio: Tinkerer from childhood on. After my retirement, together with my wife, fully committed to creative production. I prefer simple solutions for non-existing problems.
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