Picture of Make a Portable Workstation

After having finished my CNC router (see my other Instructable), my workshop (a small shed in my backyard 3 x 6 m), became pretty full. The only other tools that I can fit in there are a small table saw, a drill press and some small powertools and handtools. So most of my woodworking happens outside. Next to woodworking and CNC stuff, I also like to work on smaller projects with electronics, which requires soldering etc. Since my 'workshop' is pretty full, I didn't have a proper place to work on these smaller projects. So I just moved some of my smaller tools (screwdrivers, soldering iron, pliers etc.) into my bedroom and worked on my electonics projects there. My parents were ok with the fact that I did some soldering in my bedroom, (better than in the kitchen or the living room), but didn't like the fact that my tools were laying all over the place. The table I was doing my work on also became pretty dented and full of glue and solder blobs. That's why I came up with this portable workstation. It has plenty of storage for all the tools I need, it also has some drawers where I keep solder, heat shrink tubing, wires etc. The lid forms a worksurface, so my parents don't have to worry about the table. I made it in the form of a suitcase, so that it would be very portable.
Ben Heck, from the Ben Heck show had a similar idea a couple of years ago for his portable workbench. I really liked his design, but it was quite complicated to build and it required the use of a CNC machine. For this build I decided to simplify the design quite a bit, so that it would be easier to replicate by people without fancy tools. It also has a bit more storage capabilities and you can customize it any way you want.

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sway1 year ago

Great job! I'm very happy to see you won the Judge's Prize for this. I voted for you :-)

Benne (author)  sway1 year ago

Thanks! I'm really happy as well :). Thank you all very much for the votes and the great comments and support I really appreciate it!!! And thank you SpaceGambit for this awesome prize!

jimhenry20008 months ago

Nice work! Is there anything like this available commercially? I don't have the tools to make one but I would buy it in a heartbeat!

Bushie9 months ago

NICELY finished project there, Benne...

AND I notice that you still have plenty of space/room around your workstation there, that you could both store a lot more tools and supplies in there yet..

AND there's plenty of scope for further modifications and adaptations to your design to suit other people's needs. Good job..

mommywoman12 months ago
Could you add a fire/heat resistant material to one of the fold down surfaces to allow for soldering? I'm a girl and don't know much about some of this stuff. This was just a thought.
Benne (author)  mommywoman12 months ago

Sure, you could simply add a piece of sheet metal or a thin aluminum plate to make the surface fire/heat resistant. But if you are careful you can just leave the wooden surface. If you want to put your soldering iron down just set it in a stand (which you can store inside the workstation) and dont lay it onto the wooden surface. Example of a stand: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Proskit-Clarinet-Circular-Soldering-Solder-Iron-Metal-Stand-Holder-Bracket-Base-/191166234597?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item2c82653fe5

super cool, you should show a version with measurements of each board that is a net picture, you could also add to the work station sockets and a soldering station

thanks for sharing you awesome instructable

how cool is this man?! wow, very nice, i 100% need to make one, i dont' even have a shed anymore :( just a 1 bedroom apartment, I have to put away my tools after each use....!

Dave A1 year ago

gefeliciteerd Benne, met het winnen van de Jury prijs! (Een tweede cnc in je kleine werkplaats, dat wordt passen en meten ;-) ) Nederland is goed vertegenwoordigd in deze contest.

Benne (author)  Dave A1 year ago

Dankjewel! U ook gefeliciteerd! Na mijn eindexamens zal ik eens kijken wat voor leuks we er allemaal mee kunnen doen. Ik denk dat ik er een laser module op ga zetten, om hem als laser graveerder te kunnen gebruiken. Het wordt inderdaad lastig om er nog een plekje voor te vinden :). Op mijn middelbare school worden nu ook Science+ lessen gegeven. Misschien kunnen er volgend jaar wel een aantal lessen over CNC toepassingen gegeven worden, dan kan de machine ook een tijdje op school staan.

Het is inderdaad erg leuk om te zien dat steeds meer Nederlanders op Instructables actief zijn, maar het is natuurlijk ook een fantastische website!

Eh Lie Us!1 year ago

Nice. At first glance my thoughts went to "wow, a mortal's version of the Studley's tool chest!"


I'm sure zillions of Instructables viewers already voted for this project.

I join them right away !…

foobear1 year ago

I need about 10 of these. hee hee

shazni1 year ago
Grand prize??? I hope so! Good luck :-)
s00500 made it!1 year ago

This is really nice!!! I've also rebuild Ben Hecks Portable Workbench (Since I don't own a cnc it was a bit more difficult =D)
I've ducumented the whole thing on my Website!

Check it out =D


Benne (author)  s005001 year ago

Awesome! It looks really nice, especially knowing you did this all by hand without the use of a CNC machine. Where did you get those tool holders for your pliers? Those look really convenient and can hold all kinds of tools. Your website also looks great, lots of beautiful pictures and well documented projects. Nice to see someone of my age being interested in technology and making things as well.

s00500 Benne1 year ago
Yes it was quite a bit of work =D
The tool holders are actually clips for installing cables and pipes. I found them in our cellar and thought the might work. It's not the best solution and I would love to have some 3D printed parts for the tools but as time and money are always my biggest enemies....
Thanks again (I've been working and designing on my website for quite a long time now but I'm still not finished..)
The Wapusk1 year ago

This looks excellent though I might suggest some sort of flat fold or mortised hinge, such as those used in fine carpentry. I can see it might not work with the thickness of wood you're using, but ultimately it could create an uninterrupted work surface.

mclancer1 year ago

What a fantastic idea and execution. The idea of a "tool box" combined with a "workstation" is brilliant. There are only 2 small suggestions I could make.

1... Install 2 small chains (or rope/wire) from the top of the main section, to the sides of the main piece of the work surface. This is to not let it pivot forward more than 90 degrees in case there is not enough support for the work station.

2... Tools can be heavy. adding small wheels and a telescoping handle (like a suitcase) for us people that are getting older.

I needed to replace my portable tool case, and this Instructable will provide me with ideas and modivation to start my own project. Thank you.

Benne (author)  mclancer1 year ago

Great suggestions! I really like the idea of adding small wheels, which would definitely make it even more portable.

agis681 year ago

excellent idea and well presented voted as well

Benne (author)  agis681 year ago


BALDORKHAN1 year ago

Very good!!!!!

BALDORKHAN1 year ago
Very good!!!!!

You should really consider cleaning your garage out, if you have to move things to your bedroom...

Benne (author)  AJMansfield1 year ago

Well it's not really a 'garage'. It's a small shed 3x6m (or maybe even smaller) in my backyard and my homemade CNC router already takes up half of the space :). It's also a place for garden equipment from my parents and all the room that's left is taken up by my small table saw, drill press, wood storage and some small powertools. So there really isn't enough space to put in a small desk, where I can solder etc. I already moved a lot of stuff from my parents out of the shed, so I really can't throw out more. A portable workstation for my bedroom definitely seemed like the best option. Hope you liked it.

NEIN1 year ago

Very nice! It's somewhat similar to one I've been working on, with a few key differences. You got my vote!

Benne (author)  NEIN1 year ago


Is het gebaseerd op Ben Heck's portable workbench of ben je op hetzelfde idee gekomen?

Ja, ik denk dat het moet zijn: het is zo vergelijkbaar!

Benne (author)  msemtd1 year ago

Hallo DIYToday en msemtd,

Dit ontwerp is inderdaad gebaseerd op Ben Heck's portable workbench welke hij een aantal jaar geleden heeft gemaakt. Ik ben net als jullie een trouwe fan/kijker van de Ben Heck show en ben al een aantal jaar op zijn Youtube kanaal geabonneerd. Ik heb een link naar Ben's website toegevoegd aan stap 1 met wat extra toelichting. Ik heb voor mijn ontwerp gekozen om de basis relatief simpel te houden, zodat iedereen zijn eigen invulling hieraan kan geven. Door de hole deuren is er ook wat meer ophang mogelijkheid voor verschillende gereedschappen. Ben's design is erg ingenieus maar ook zodanig moeilijk/precies passend, dat een CNC machine eigenlijk wel een vereiste is. Mijn ontwerp is dan ook relatief simpel en ik heb geprobeerd om alles zo goed mogelijk te documenteren.

Met vriendelijke groet,


msemtd Benne1 year ago

Hi Benne,

Ik ben een grote fan van Ben's Show. Ik hou van uw versie van het plan en ik zal proberen om het te maken! Spijt voor mijn slechte Nederlands!

Mooie instructie!!!

Benne (author)  LanderDeBoeck1 year ago

Dank u wel

Aussiek081 year ago
Stolen from the Ben heck show (YouTube)
Benne (author)  Aussiek081 year ago

Hello Assiek08,

I just added a link to Ben's website and a bit more explanation to the first step. I don't think you should say that I completely stole Ben's design, but as a big fan of the Ben Heck show (I have been subscribed for many years), can I say that I definitely got inspired by his build and the main idea of this portable workstation is based around his design. I did however alter his design quite a bit to make it easier for other people like me (17 year olds and/or people without many fancy tools) to build, without the use of a CNC machine. I also changed the whole inside, to give it more storage and more room to hang tools. I should have added a link to Ben's website earlier (which I now have done) and I hope you still liked it.



msemtd1 year ago

Heel goed werk!

muddog151 year ago
Can I buy one?
overca$t1 year ago
Beautifully designed. A lot of thought has clearly gone into it. Instructions are great too with lots of photos. I'd been looking at designing a mobile workstation myself but your solution fits my needs perfectly - thanks!

do you have old pc? if you do you can build electrinics box wiht psu

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