Introduction: Portable Worktable Using Compressor Cart

This is the part 2 of building compressor cart.

Step 1: Design Concept

The purpose of project is to design a usable work surface using an existing fairly heavy structure of the compressor cart as a base, and the work table should then become a modular work table system where multiple tools can be set up in a small space.

This design is different from my previous Multi-functional workbench. The application of MFWB is to handle bigger projects / medium duty work, where the work will take days or weeks to complete - kind of like the semi-permanent set-up; the portable worktable in the other hand is build for light duty work in a small area, or a small garage workshop where all the tools have to be put away at the end of a day.

In this regard, the base of this portable work table will be a 2'x4' work surface, that can be expended to a 2'x8' or a 2'x12', and a 4'x6' with additional frame work or cutting support; and a 4'x8' in the future when the toolbox cart finalized.

Step 2: Table Top

The table top was a little time consuming. It had a piece of ½” 2’x4’ plywood and a same size ¾”x2” frame. ¾” holes were drilled on the top after frame assembly completed, so the work piece can be clamped anywhere on the surface. Festool, Makita, DeWalt and now Grizzly all make these special clamps.

Frame was half-lapped, glued and nailed together to create stronger joints. Table saw or router can do a great job for this, but I chose to have a quiet dust free night with the old fashion handsaw, hammer and chisels to finish the job.

Plywood top was then screw on the frame from the bottom side.

Step 3: Folding Leg Assembly

Folding leg assembly I created was a bracket with two 2x2 cut to length and screw on as legs. The bracket was to provide a place to fasten the hinge. You can also use pins for two legs, but that’s more work.

A curve was cut on the bracket to make it lighter, and it also looked a little better than just a rectangle piece as well. The bracket was then joined with the top frame together using a left over piano hinge.

Next, flip the table top onto the cart at the right place with the right height and support under it, clamp both legs onto the bracket at the desired location, and attached legs to the bracket with two screws - the basic structure was completed.

Step 4: Table Mounting

I had to have a ¾” spacer between table top and vertical 2x4’s in order to get the hose reel clearance needed.

I cut a ¾” strip, clamped it in place and drilled through to vertical 2x4s with ¼” bit at each side for the ¼” dowels, then screw under the tabletop at the right location. Glued the dowels only into the spacer.

Step 5: Shelving

·The shelving was just two pieces of 1x material cut to length, and 1/2” plywood on the top. Using the leg stretcher and hand truck frame (2 of 1/4" oak dowels) as the mounting support, which was the last minute change from the plan.

·A few holes could be cut on the shelf for router bit / jig saw blade / circular saw blade guard to protrude through when you want to have the tools sit flat on the shelf. I didn't do anything at this time.

·The shape and size of the shelf was determined by the compressor of your application, but it would be preferred to be no bigger than 2’x4’ so it will package better with table top.

Step 6: Work Table Completed

Finally, a curve were cut on the shelf to provide more clearance for easier installation. At this point, the portable table on air compressor cart was done.

Next project, expend the table with a couple of frames and removable legs. Coming soon.