Rolling Workbench + Downdraft Table




Introduction: Rolling Workbench + Downdraft Table

As an addition for my work space I wanted a rolling workbench to roll to where I need it. I also wanted to test my new router, so I integrated a downdraft box in the worktop. Two drawers for all my loose stuff completes it all.

Step 1: Frame and Cutlist

My workbench will be 140cm by 70cm. The height will be around 90cm, taken in account the height of the wheels and the top leaves 822mm height for the frame. At this point I am not cutting the support beams so I can cut them to size when the time is right. For this build I am using 44mmx94mm beams.

4x 1300mm
4x 822mm
4x 634mm
4x 512mm
2x 424mm

Step 2: Frame (legs)

We use the 822mm and 634mm beams to construct the 4 legs. The 822mm beams need 2 cutouts on opposite sides of the beam to fit the crossbeams. Using a spacer on the tablesaw you can make sure the cutouts are all the same size.

Next, you attache the 634mm beams to the 822mm beams with glue and screws. The 634mm beam should fit perfectly between the cutouts of the 822mm beam. Be sure you secure the 634mm beams to the right side of the 822 beam (2 on each side needed).

Step 3: Frame (attaching All)

Use two (different) legs and two 512mm beams to make one side. The 512mm beams should be secured (with glue and screws) on the tips of the legs, not beyond them. Place them in the cutouts so they are flush with the legs. Make sure you the sides are square! Do this 2 times to complete the two sides.

When the sides are dry and ready you can attach the four 1300mm long beams. Again, make sure they are square and use glue and screws. Make sure the 512mm crossbeams are either both looking outwards or inwards.

At this point you have the basic frame, the 512mm crossbeams that are looking inwards are the top of your workbench. Because they are flush with the inside we can use them for our downdraft box. For a nicer finish I attach two 424mm beams to the outside of the upper beams.

Step 4: Downdraft Box Hole

I decided to place my downdraft box at the right side of the table and the hole for my shop vacuum at the back. The size of the box will be 512mm (length of the support beams) by 300mm.

I drill a hole slightly smaller than my vacuum cleaner size in the middle where the box will be. Using a rasp I am sneaking up on the vacuum so it is a good fit.

Now I place the first support beam so there is a 300mm gap between the side and the first support.

Step 5: Frame Finish

Finish the frame with additional support beams (3 at the bottom, 3 at the top). The bottom supports can be placed random. Place one of the top support beams right in the middle of the 1300 beams. You will need this one to place the drawers. The other support can be placed at random.

Step 6: Wheels

Now place the four wheels. Simply screw them in place. Use washers if needed.

Step 7: Workbench Top

I use a 1400mm by 700mm sheet of 18mm plywood for the top of my bench. Place the plywood sheet so there is 50mm space on each side of the frame. This will make it possible to easily clamp stuff to the workbench.

Screw the top in place with 2 screws on the side of the downdraft box. Take a pencil and mark the square that needs to be cleared on the bottom of the sheet.

Using the table saw and a handsaw I clear the most of the square.

To make a nice straight edge I am using a router. Place some guides at the right distance of the pencil lines and start routing.

Step 8: Downdraft Box

1. My downdraft box has a downwards angle. I start with two 100mm by 512mm pieces of 18mm plywood. I draw a line so there is a side 100mm high and a side 20mm high. I cut these pieces with the table saw.

2. Use some clamps to place the freshly cut sides to the table.

3. Next we need a 100mm high and 20mm high piece for the sides.You can determine the length by placing the pieces on the sides we placed on the table a make a mark where to cut.

4. When this is done you need to drill the hole you had made further in the plywood.

5. Screw the four pieces to the sides of the frame and support. Be sure they are flush to the top of the frame.

6. Use a leftover piece for the bottom of the box and screw in place.

7. Using silicone I seal the box airtight.

Step 9: Drawer Supports

Now it's time to make the drawer supports.

two 100mm by 600mm plywood (18mm)
two 150mm by 600mm plywood (18mm)
two 44mm by 100mm plywood (18mm)
one 500mm long beam (44mm x 94mm)
four sets of drawer wheels

1. Cut two 50mm x 50mm squares out of the same side of the 150mm by 600mm pieces. These will be the center supports.

2. Attach the two 100mm by 600mm to the inner sides of the frame.

3. Attach the two 150mm by 600mm pieces to the middle support beam. Use the 500mm long beam as a extra spaces.

4. Using the two 44mm by 100mm pieces you can close the gaps of the center support.

5. Screw the drawer wheels in place.

Step 10: Drawers

Now we make the drawers. First we make the preparations of our plywood (18mm)

1. Cut eight 80mm by 600mm plywood pieces.

2. Make a 10mm deep and 8mm high rabbet in each piece. (This will secure the 8mm MDF I am using as bottom of the drawer.

3. Take 4 pieces (these will be the sides of the drawers) and make a 10mm deep and 18mm wide rabbet beginning 10mm from the side. These will hold the back pieces. Be sure to place the rabbets at the right side (2 on the left and 2 on the right when the 8mm rabbets for the bottoms are facing the same side).

4. At the other side of these four pieces you make a 10mm deep and 18mm wide rabbet for the fronts. After completing these you can cut of 5mm of the rabbets.

5. Measure the gap between the supports on the frame. Subtract the space you need for clearance of the drawer wheels. (for me this was 476mm and 474mm)

6. Cut the remaining plywood peaces to size (two at the measurement you just calculated and two 16mm shorter).

7. Cut a rabbet at each side of the longest pieces of 8mm deep and 13mm wide (these are the fronts of the drawer).

8. Try the fitting of the drawer without glue and see if everything fits.

9. Measure the distance between the sides and front-back. Ad 20mm to these measurements and cut a 8mm MDF sheet to this size.

10. Drill the pilot holes in the sides.

11. Glue and screw everything in place. (Always screw from the sides so the forces of opening the drawer will not break the front)

12. Place the drawers

Step 11: Top and Bottom

Place and secure the top plywood sheet at the right place.

Using 8mm MDF I cover the bottom. Cut out the legs before screwing the MDF down.

Step 12: Downdraft Plate

Finish the gap between the bench top and downdraft box with some more silicone.

Now I make the downdraft plate.

1. Cut a plate to fit the gap

2. Make a grid (I use a 30mm distance between the lines)

3. Drill the holes and coutersink them

4. Use a router or plane to chamfer the bottom edges of the plate. This way the plate will be flush with the surface of the top even with some silicone sticking out.

If you want you can make a second plate without holes to clean up the bench top. The downdraft box (without plate) can also be used to paint objects. Spills will fall in the box and be covert up again with the plate.

Step 13: Finish

I finish by workbench top by rounding the edges with my router.

Now we are finally finished, this table is multi-functional and can be use wherever you want and need!

Happy building!

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    5 years ago

    Looks really good!

    A question: What is a downdraft table meant to accomplish? So if you work with a router that the sawdust gets sucked into it? Does that work well?

    Olivier Iserbyt
    Olivier Iserbyt

    Reply 5 years ago

    A downdraft table is mainly used for sanding. Sanding on top of a downdraft box/table leaves almost no dust. I also use it when I cut and shape foam for prototypes because this foam dust will stick in you lungs when inhaled and will not leave.


    Reply 5 years ago

    Ah thanks, yeah then I'll definitely need that because I am planning to work with foam and fiberglass laminate.

    But oldbear is right, a breathing mask is probably more essential when sanding foam.


    Reply 5 years ago

    I do like the idea of converting an old motorbike helmet into a functional PPE. There are full face shields that seal around the face and have ear muffs. But I think I paid less for my first car...

    I use a North mask with changeable filters, it seals very well - my glasses don't fog as the outlet is separate from the filters. My only issue is if using a full face (none sealing style) my glasses still fog up.

    I use the "christmas tree" reusable ear plugs (Jackson?) all the time in my shop and on my bike.

    I've used a "space helmet" style fresh air unit when I worked as a sandblaster and when gassing bugs in an empty chicken barn - it was like working through a small pipe - I lost too much of my peripheral vision.

    Now I need to go spend some thinking time in my shop and come up with something...


    Reply 5 years ago

    That is where a mask or a bandana over the face would be wise. Protect your body when you work.

    I use dust collection/mitigation to keep the dust off everything else in the shop. Saw dust doesn't mix with welding, welding/grinding dust doesn't mix with wood finishing, styrofoam and plastic dust doesn't mix well with my drinks...

    It is a very well laid out instructable and I will be borrowing some of the ideas on my next bench build.

    Olivier Iserbyt
    Olivier Iserbyt

    Reply 5 years ago

    I've never tried a bandana before, have to try that! Problem mith a mask is the condensation it makes on my glasses so I try to avoid them, would be a shame if I lose a finger by not seeing my stuf :)


    Reply 5 years ago

    I wonder if there is an instructable for a really universal motorcycle type helmet? Would be cool to have something comfortable that protects your eyes and face from debris, has integrated ear protection and also seals against your neck and allows your to screw in one of those 3M filters or a hose for outside air. Maybe even a few magnets so you can just snap the auto darkening faceplates from welding masks in. Would be a cool project and might be more practical than all those things separately!


    5 years ago

    Nice solid looking bench. I like the corner clamps shown in steps 3 & 4.

    But my head's hurting from converting mm to inches. ;-) (You probably have the same problem in reverse.)

    Olivier Iserbyt
    Olivier Iserbyt

    Reply 5 years ago

    So true! Try to find a 2" by 4" in mm in Belgium, impossible!


    5 years ago

    Well planned project, good workmanship


    5 years ago

    That is truly amazing work! Great job and writeup!!


    5 years ago

    Amazing, I want to go home and make one right now!