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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.
- Table saw (a circular saw or handsaw works as well)
- Router table or handheld router
- Hand sander
- Tape measure
- A band clamp makes your live a whole lot easier when glueing.
- CNC router
Always wear safety glasses, hearing protection and a dust mask while working with powertools!
- 1 sheet of 9mm birch plywood (2440x1220x12mm, you won't need the whole sheet, but it's nice to have some extra. Any 9mm plywood will work).
- 10 hinges (I used 6 40x20mm and 4 15x25mm)
- handle (I made mine out of some scrap wood)
- wood glue
- screws (+/- 3x12mm for the hinges)
- For the tool holders, I used scrap pieces of wood
- Elastic band
- Self adhesive velcro