Introduction: Mobile Workbench With Built-in Table & Miter Saws

I've been looking at a lot of similar workbenches for a while, trying to find the right set up that would best utilize my woodworking tools and the space I have. I was blown away when I first saw this flip-top design that implements 6 separate tools mounted on an axle of sorts: https://www.instructables.com/id/Multi-Tool-Flip-To...

I decided that was overkill for my needs, and probably beyond my skill set. I also saw this featured instructable which was more up my alley (and takes a good look at using half-lap joints, which I didn't): https://www.instructables.com/id/All-in-One-Work-

Then recently I saw this post on my beloved Imgur, and I knew it was the workbench I'd been searching for: http://imgur.com/gallery/SN9Pr

This was the design that I followed almost exactly, making a couple adjustments to suit my needs, including the addition of power outlets.

Step 1: Tools & Materials

Material list:

2x4's: I had a bunch on hand from a demolished tool shed so I'm not positive how many I used. The base frame is exactly 6' x 3' and legs were all cut at 30".

2x3's: again I had several on hand from a previous project. You'll see I used 2x3's in less structurally significant spots to help reduce the overall weight. They worked particularly well for supporting the miter saw since 2x4's would have been too wide.

Table top: I used an 8x4', 11/16" thick maple plywood board for my work surface, which was the most expensive part of the project at $50. You could spend more or less on other options but this has been working great for me.

#10 x 3" T-star screws for the framing, and 2" screws for securing the table top

(4) casters. Mine were 5" in diameter, but smaller ones will save you some money.

(20) 3" lag screws for the casters and mounting the table saw.

(4) 3" carriage bolts plus washers and nuts for mounting the miter saw.

Electrical: 3 outlets, a one-gang and a two-gang box, about 5' of romex and a male plug for connecting it all to your extension cord

Scrap plywood for the bottom shelf. I used 1/2"

Tools:

Impact driver: I don't know how I ever survived without this thing. If you haven't invested in one yet, now is the time.

Miter saw for cutting the lumber; I'm assuming you have one if you want to make this table, but make sure it's one you're happy with because a replacement may have different dimensions (same for table saw). I love my sliding compound saw but it makes flipping the buggar over a little more complicated. Worth it to me, but be forewarned.

Circular saw for trimming the edges and cutting out spaces for the table saw and miter saw

Jigsaw for making the finish cuts on the cut-out spaces in the table

Level, clamps, square, etc.


Step 2: Framing and Table Saw Stand

I built mine at 6 x 3'. you could go bigger if you want more work space surrounding the table saw, but I was more concerned with mobility since I'll be pushing it outside whenever I use it. If you want to get fancy with joints, go for it; butt joints worked well for me and it ended up plenty sturdy in my opinion. For the legs you could also use 4x4's but I had too many scrap 2x4's lying around that I needed to put to use. All my vertical boards (legs) were cut at 30". That plus the plywood top and the casters puts the final work surface at about 36", which is comfy for me at 5'10". I built from the ground up since I knew I'd be making changes as I went. Make sure the spot you're working on is level (mine wasn't, I later discovered).

For the table saw support, I added 3 boards to the framing board that was set back a distance equal to the depth of my table saw's base (1st pic). I used clamps to hold the support boards in place tom make sure they were level when I added screws. I trimmed down these vertical boards to get them out of the way of my table saw's fence, which clamps to the back edge of the saw. Alternatively, you could keep them 30" and connect to your table top when it's mounted.

Measure the distance from the top of your table saw work surface to its base. That will need to be the distance that the two support boards are from the top work surface of the table, and don't forget to factor in the material you're using for your table top.

Step 3: Miter Saw Stand

My sliding miter saw takes up a lot of space, so I ran the support 2x3's the entire width of the bench. I'll be honest, getting these measurements right was tricky and I had to redo them a couple times. First add a 2x4 on the top, backside of the bench, taking time to keep everything square. Check for notes in the pictures if you're not sure if I used a 2x3 or 2x4 in some spots. All the legs, or vertical boards were cut the same size and then the horizontal boards were measured and cut as I went. If anything is confusing leave a comment and I'll add more notes to the pics.

The top two 2x3 supports are flush with the rest of the bench top, and the second row of 2x3's is where it gets tricky. Like the table saw support, you'll need to measure the distance from the top work surface of your miter saw to the bottom of its base. That will be the distance to mount the second row of 2x3 support boards, so that when your saw is slipped in, its work surface will be flush with the rest of the bench top. Again, factor in the thickness of your table top material. If you can't be perfect (I wasn't either), it's better to have your miter saw slightly higher than the rest of the table versus lower, in which case your work pieces will catch as you shift them around. This took me a few tries to get everything level and square(ish).

Step 4: Casters

Easiest part of the project, so grab a beer; you've earned it! I had these 5" casters on another shelving unit that didn't really need to be mobile. Never pay money for that which can be salvaged. (Craigslist is your friend). These 5" wheels are great cause I have a bit of a lip to run over, getting back into my garage and didn't want to get hung up on it. If you're buying new, choose wisely as their cost can add up. I'd say get 3" at a minimum if you won't be moving around much. At least two locking casters are a good idea if you'll be working on slopes. I used 3" lag screws that I had on hand for securing these.

Step 5: Cutting and Installing the Table Top

Sorry I didn't get more in-progress pics for this part, I was a little aggravated that I had to use a hand planer on some of the 2x4 framing since the spot I'd built it on wasn't quite level. After that nonsense was over, I started by securing the table saw in its spot with lag screws (drill pilot holes, add washers if needed). Next I double-checked measurements for the width and depth of the table saw surface. Mine wasn't perfectly centered since I left about 4" of table overhanging on the backside vs just 2" on the front edge. After marking out the cut-out area, I proceeded with the circular saw, cutting both sides and then finishing the corners and back edge with a jigsaw. I had to cut a little farther back, leaving about a 1/2" gap behind my table saw so I could still use my fence, as well as the blade cover.

Side note: I was able to make the cut-out space for the table saw and miter saw the same width. This will allow me to keep the piece removed for the table saw, and use it for an additional tool (router, probably) in the space where the miter saw normally sits. I may end up cutting another square piece for my bench grinder as well.

With the plywood in place around the table saw, from underneath the bench I marked the outside edges of the 2x3 supports for the miter saw. If your miter saw doesn't slide then it probably won't need to be as deep as the one I cut, but make sure you'll have space to reach all knobs and adjustments on your saw when it's in place. After cutting about a foot in on the left and right sides I added clamps and a scrap 2x4 to support the front edge while finishing my cuts. As long as the support boards are square and parallel you shouldn't have any problems. But keep in mind that this piece will be upside-down when you mount your miter saw to it. Otherwise, if it's not perfectly square, it may not fit back in place when you flip it around. In other words, attach the miter saw to the under-side of the plywood piece you cut out. Once the piece is cut you'll be able to test fit it and see what I mean.

I attached the miter saw with 3" carriage bolts, washers and nuts. The heads of these bolts stick up about 1/8" when the saw is upside down, but as of yet haven't gotten in the way when I'm ripping plywood sheets on the table saw. If you're a perfectionist you could also route out a recessed area to get the heads below the work surface. Then I finished securing the table top with 2" screws and cut the excess material off with a skillsaw. If you want to avoid drilling thru the top of the table you could also use a mixture of wood glue and brackets on the underside for a cleaner look.

Step 6: Lower Shelving

Things should be looking pretty good by now, and fully functional. I added one more 2x4 support to the base frame before I cut three sections of scrap 1/2" plywood for the bottom shelf. I ripped them to fit the overall depth and then took measurements for cutting around the legs. I used a jigsaw and gave myself plenty of wiggle room; it's a workbench, not a cabinet after all. I got excited and loaded it up with all my other power tools: planer, grinder, skillsaw, sawzall, compressor, sanders. It's probably too much weight for moving around frequently but I just love having everything in one spot, and it cleared up so much space in my garage!

Step 7: Electrical

An optional step, but worth it after all this effort in my opinion. I mounted 4 outlets in a 2-gang box on the front of the table, so both saws could remain plugged in with two additional outlets for other tools. When picking the location I made sure it was close enough to the miter saw that I could leave it plugged in while flipping it around. This connected to two outlets on the backside, where the power comes in via a male plug, strapped to the framing. This way I can bring an extension cord to the table wherever it ends up and then everything's powered.

Step 8: Finito!

Thanks for reading my first instructable! Feel free to ask questions in the comments and I'll do my best to answer.

https://www.instagram.com/craftytrev/

Comments

author
DarkDiviner (author)2017-07-17

What would you guess how many 2x4's and 2x3's I should buy for this project?

author
beerdidtrev (author)DarkDiviner2017-07-27

Less than 8-10 I'd guess

author
JoshuaP174 made it! (author)2017-07-27

Some slight modifications early on as my floor was not quite level and threw off the squaring of the frame. Here is where I am at currently.

I probably won't be doing the power box just yet. Since I'm still a Novice, I am enjoying that I only have one extension cord plugged in that follows me around the garage. This way I only have one tool powered on at a time. Great for keeping me accountable to safety while I am honing my skills.

This has been a very fun project and will be a great tool as I move to the follow on projects.

Does anyone have any opinions on a moisture barrier for the MDF top? I find myself wanted to set down my soda or glass on the surface. I have a separate counter that has become my drink spot (probably a better practice), but I'd like to protect my work from my bad habbits.

Thanks again for posting this. It's been a blast.

Table Saw Miter Saw Stowed.jpgWork Bench Miter Saw Installed and Stowed.jpgWork Bench Miter Saw Installed.jpgWorkBench as of 24JUL17.jpg
author
BretW6 (author)2017-04-18

I am building this now. I made some small changes to your instructions though. I used 4x4s for the corner legs and simpson strong ties for the top base. Using conduit for the electrical, to minimize damage to the electrical cabling. Also leaving about 1' on the end to attach a vise. This table will suit my needs quite well. Thanks for posting

author
beerdidtrev (author)BretW62017-04-27

Nice, those sound like some solid modifications. I'd love to see a picture

author
BretW6 (author)beerdidtrev2017-04-28

I'm still very much a novice when it comes to wordworking, so my bench is a work in progress. I'll post more pictures when it's complete in the next week or so. As you can see, I still have to complete the electrical and then mount the casters and top.

20170422_153911.jpg20170422_153958.jpg
author
BretW6 made it! (author)BretW62017-04-29

I have to test the electrical, attach the locking casters, then I can attach the top and brace up my vise area.

20170429_152003.jpg20170429_115100.jpg
author
jcannava1 made it! (author)2017-03-22

Aside from customizing for your specific saws, this project was pretty simple. It did take me 4 evenings to complete.

bench2.jpgbench.jpg
author
beerdidtrev (author)jcannava12017-04-27

Very nice set up! thanks for sharing.

author
beerdidtrev (author)jcannava12017-03-22

Great work! That faster than me I think.

author
TerryE7 (author)2017-03-23

Working on this now! I just started woodworking about 6 months ago and decided a need a decent workbench before starting my next project. (OK, maybe before finishing the one I'm in the middle of). I think this will be just what I need. I'm planning on adding a router similar to what I found here. A couple of notes so far.

Casters. I chose poorly. I bought some hard rubber ones. The workbench slides on concrete even with the wheels locked. Back to the store, maybe rubber ones would be better. I'm glad I tried these early in the process.

Saw dust containment. On worry I have is about dust containment. It seems that everything underneath is going to be buried in sawdust. I'm thinking about shop vac attachment and/or closing off key spots with plywood to make clean up easier. Just wondering what your experience has been.

Any other "In hind sight..." ideas?

author
beerdidtrev (author)TerryE72017-04-27

Cool, I think my casters have a rubber coating on the outside but not sure. Bigger might be better for you, but price is going to climb quickly unfortunately. Yes the lower level collects a lot of sawdust. A shop vac attachment would probably work great, but I just push mine outside and then occasionally use my leaf blower to clean everything off. Works for me. Be sure to read through the other comments, a lot of people have mentioned the need to use electrical conduit that offers protection for the wiring, along with some other great tips. Be sure to post pics when you're done, thanks for reading!

author
1Madkahar (author)2017-01-20

So I am in the process of building this. Unfortunately my wonderful store I buy my lumber from is pumping out crap wood so I have been forced to stop till I can make the 'drive of shame' to a different lumber store.

The one thing I did differently is My son and I did the same inset for the other side and placed our thickness planer there. We found the height to the thickness planer the same so we just ripped a 2x4 in half and placed a runner all the way across the bottom. To provide some added support we added a 2x4 stop in the middle and attached it to the 2 sides.

Since the thickness planer is a wee bit heavier than the miter saw, we added are adding a scissor jack with a 4 point leveling bracket to the bottom and a jack to socket adapter. Once this is done we can raise and lower with my drill when needed. when not inuse, we lower and put a board over it. Once the finish project is done Ill post here as well.

Thank you for the inspiration! this project will make my projects and my woodworking instruction to my son 300Xs easier.

The one thing I did differently is

author
beerdidtrev (author)1Madkahar2017-03-19

That sounds great! Be sure to post a link to your pictures here when you're finished.

author
ken820 (author)2017-03-13

Like it going to try something like myself

author
ErnestF8 (author)2017-02-01

I love this. I just got the wood to start mine. My only change will be adding a diagonal board under the table saw to help direct the saw dust out from under the saw and storage area.

author
PremaL4 (author)2017-01-13

Good design and it is very easy for new woodworkers, and I used different type of plans for my customer, and one of the woodworking forum I download few different plans and I used for my customer and they like it, If anyone looking for different woodworking plans contact at ( lutherking1912@gmail.com )
I can share my plans

author
Murry1900 (author)2016-12-25

well done, I like it.

author
gasher (author)2016-11-08

Looks like a great bench!

My only concern (as an electrician) was
that the NMD wiring you used for your outlets isn't mechanically
protected from getting dinged when you throw stuff under your bench. It
would be a great use for BX / Armoured Cable or you could protect that
wiring by running it in conduit or routing out a channel in piece of
2"x4" you could mount over it.

Nice project! :)

author
JOECANDOIT (author)gasher2016-12-25

Thumbs up for this comment. Wiring is my strong suit. Critical to do it wright the first time around.

author
FrankC148 (author)JOECANDOIT2016-12-25

Yes, for sure, do it WRIGHT the first time.

author
casino_trains (author)gasher2016-11-09

Yes, best is using a grounded metal box and you could even use a total stop button in the presses of making this one.

author
casino_trains (author)gasher2016-11-08

How about Romex?

author
gasher (author)casino_trains2016-11-08

Romex is a brand name for Non-Metallic sheathed cable for Dry Conditions (NMD). Because it doesn't have a sheath that protects the wires from mechanical damage it needs to be protected (Usually this is used indoors and in walls where it is protected). Where there is a possibility of mechanical damage you move to protecting with conduit or with Type AC "Armoured Cable" (Old trade name BX). the metal sheath of this cable protects the wires from mechanical damage...

Hope that's helpful.

author
MikeS323 (author)gasher2016-11-08

Safety first. I agree with Gasher, flex conduit is a much better choice than Romex here. Most of the big box stores have 25' rolls of flex in 12-2 + ground that should be perfect for most anticipated applications. Also, I'd suggest using metal outlet boxes and cover plates instead of plastic for the same saftey reasons.

author
beerdidtrev (author)gasher2016-11-08

Thanks and great point. I was too excited to get it up and running but I should do that.

author
bjaunarajs made it! (author)2016-11-10

I made something extremely similar about 6 months ago. I added a router table on the other end and made collapsible wings on the sides of the table saw part. It is by far one of the best "tools" in the garage. Good job!

IMG_20160204_195126898.jpg
author
beerdidtrev (author)bjaunarajs2016-11-26

that's a really nice bench! I like how you supported the back of the table saw from top frame instead of connecting it to the bottom. I'd love to see a better picture of your router station. If I'd seen this before I started mine I'm sure I would have incorporated a lot of your design. Thanks for sharing!

author
jboothby made it! (author)2016-11-14

Thanks for the inspiration. Some modifications. adding a router table where the chop saw space is. Chop saw would go on the lower deck/shelf.

Also adding a vise on the far side for larger work like doors (adding large dowels up the leg to hold the door level.

Thanks again, great inspriation and working outdoors is awesome.

2016-11-12 15.58.56.jpg
author
beerdidtrev (author)jboothby2016-11-20

hell yeah! nice job. I'm definitely adding a vise and router station soon.

author
jwzumwalt (author)2016-11-13

Thanks for the great article. I have been wanting to do something similar with room for a table top drill press. You have given me a sense of size and done most the engineering :)

author
beerdidtrev (author)jwzumwalt2016-11-20

thanks! be sure to check the links in my intro. there's a lot of room for customization to suit your needs.

author
robkabob147 (author)2016-11-08

Is the planer bolted to the bottom shelf? If not could you add it somewhere on top flipped upside down like the miter saw? Then just flip it over when you want to use it?

author
beerdidtrev (author)robkabob1472016-11-20

it's not bolted, just stored down there. but you're right, I could mount it the same way and I'll probably get around to doing that.

author
carrtoon (author)robkabob1472016-11-08

I Agree! Go Modular with your tools the Miter Saw space!
A Router Table would fit nicely...

This is a great bit of engineering; I see a similar Saw Station in my garage within the near future!

author
LarryW3 (author)robkabob1472016-11-08

Perhaps mount the planer on a duplicate base as the miter saw and make them interchangeable. Would seem to be an expedient way to use both "on the go", so-to-speak.

Great 'ible!!!

author
LarryW3 (author)LarryW32016-11-08

Preemptive defense, y'all. I should have made the observation that, with a little bit of blocking, the planer would/could share the table top for in and outfeed. Sorry for the omission. :)

author
OutlawKtulu (author)2016-11-08

One of us! One of us!

author
beerdidtrev (author)OutlawKtulu2016-11-20

I immediately tried to upvote your comment. http://imgur.com/gallery/etjgJ2D

author
DIY Micah (author)OutlawKtulu2016-11-08

Gobble-gobble, gobble-gobble!

author
Epimethius (author)2016-11-08

Is the miter saw spring loaded or must it be entirely removed to lower? If no springs, I'm gonna look into it. Those tools are getting too heavy for me to toss around.

author
Epimethius (author)Epimethius2016-11-08

Just saw the vid and you lif out the miter saw. 'k , some weight compensation will be my first contribution.

author
beerdidtrev (author)Epimethius2016-11-08

Yeah it's a bit awkward and heavy. I don't mind because I don't need to flip it too often. Check out my first link in the intro. that guy's bench is lightyears ahead of mind.

author
crasstafari (author)2016-11-08

As a carpenter/joiner with 25 years experience I can honestly say this is a great set up. Pushing a full sheet of ply through a table saw? Learn to use that little fence/guide that came with your your (preferably battery) circular saw. Or a straight edge. Or one of the many 'ibles for 'door boards'. Anyone thinking of getting an impact driver- get another, better battery drill instead. It will punch harder and be loads quieter than an impact. Get one of those quick change bit holders of you must but with 2 (3 is even better) drills you'll hardly need even that. Also millimetres rule. Cheers

author
thepaine (author)2016-11-08

Great Instructable. I know what my next few weekends are going to consist of...

author
Eh Lie Us! (author)2016-11-08

The flip chop saw idea is great. Kudos man.

author
autocthon (author)2016-11-08

This is a very nicely done project but I do have a couple of suggestions. I would have put locking casters instead of the free-wheeling kind. I would also have notched the front bottom corners on the table saw so I didn't lose the full width of the table saw fence.

This is an outstanding solution to a small shop where you can't leave all your tools at the ready. It's kind of like a workbench version of a Shopsmith.

author
Epimethius (author)2016-11-08

Very well written and photographed. It helps you included your mistakes - we all make them, it makes the project more approachable and tells us areas to be cautious. I'll try to make only new mistakes.

author
BruceD28 (author)2016-11-08

Anyone care to share the pdf for this table, thanks.

author
DIY Micah (author)2016-11-08

I have been looking for a new design for my work bench (which currently is our old kitchen table) and I think this is it. Great job on the build and on your first 'ible!

About This Instructable

172,144views

1,235favorites

License:

Bio: sometimes i make stuff
More by beerdidtrev:Mobile Workbench With Built-in Table & Miter Saws
Add instructable to: