I am in need for a portable workbench, and it's in my mind for a long time. I went through the sawhorse design and made a couple of them already. Now it’s time to make the table top and put the workbench together.
Step 1: Design Concept
I've done a two-month-long study on the portable workbench, having a bench fever (my wife said) and accumulated a stack of papers full of my brainstorm ideas.
First of all, I’d really appreciated for the people out there on the internets who posted their ideas of making workbenches and tables, I did get many inspirations from all of you, I took some ideas with my own modification based on what I needed for the workbench. Ron Paulk (Google his name you will find his "ultimate protable workbench") has a great workbench, you will see a few of his design elements in my bench because I liked his so much.
In my case, the workbench has to have a large working surface, but portable enough to fit into my minivan, along with my other tools. I was thinking about a 4’x8’ bench but settled with 4’x7’, because it’s easier for my van.
- I like to have two torsion boxes because they are more stable and strong, but they take too much space, so I settled with two of the L-shape half boxes.
- I deliberately designed my bench as a split top with a 12” gap in the middle, easier for breaking up full sheet of plywood with circular saw without sacrificial strips underneath and worry about cut into the bench top.
- I wanted to have two or three different work surfaces for different application, 37 3/4” for the table saw outfeed, cutting plywood and some layout work; 36” for router work, 30” for assembly, cutting narrower strip of plywood, or hand cutting where I can apply some body weight to work piece. I also have a shelf that is 13” off the ground that I can do some painting or assemble taller pieces.