Introduction: Folding Up Flat Workbench / Shop Table
[My First Instructable]
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I wanted an extra table in my shed, but I did not always want it around and in the way while I was doing other things in my shed. I use my shed for storage and for all my projects so all space is valuable for me. I saw folding workbenches online and I thought it would be a great idea. I also did not want to make a lot of work for myself setting it up and taking it down. I also store some supplies on the side of my shed and I did not want to have to move them when I wanted to setup the table. I am putting this instructables together to show others a cheap easy way to do so.
I put this together as a weekend project I worked on throughout the day. It took 2 extra trips to Lowes, because I was designing in the fly with scraps I had around my shed. A lot of the pictures were taken after the fact, because I did not plan on putting this instructable together. I ended wanted to readjust the height of the table so I took more pictures that time around.
It is loosely based off of AverageJoesJoinery instructable:
It is a simpler / cheaper design, but that is all I was going for with this project.
Step 1: Collect Materials & Tools
My Folding workbench matches the height of my portable table saw. (It does now any way. It is actually slightly lower in order to guarantee wood does not get snagged as I am passing it through the table saw.)
3 hinges are needed for the table to fold up against the wall.
2 hinges are needed for the legs
2 Door locks are needed to lock the legs in position so they can't accidentally be knocked inward.
A chain, eye hook, a bungee cord, and a carabiner are required to keep the table locked against the wall.
Plenty of screws. (~2 or 3 inches)
2x4s (The lengths and amount depend on your dimensions)
Tools: (That I used)
Miter Saw or Table Saw
[Pictures are to show that it matches the height of my table saw]
Step 2: Measurements
Take the measurements of length and width of the area you want the workbench. Draw out on paper the shape and dimensions you want so you have something to reference.
Measure the height you want the workbench to be when finished.
***Don't forget the thickness of the plywood, because it will rest on top of the 2x4 Frame and add to the total height. (I included a picture showing the difference. There is a notch missing out of my scrap 2x4 too) I would also recommend keeping it slightly lower if you plan on using this in combination with your table saw.
I messed up while I was marking out my height so I had multiple lines. I would recommend drawing an arrow to the line you decide to go with if you make the same mistake I did.
Since I am doing this in my shed, I have plenty of studs to screw into for support.
Step 3: Mount a 2x4 to the Wall
After you measure and mark the height of where you want the bench to be (accounting for the plywood top).
Cut a a piece of 2x4 to the desired length and get ready to screw it to the wall. I used my miter saw for this step.
You might need a buddy to help hold it in place or stack something it can rest on while you screw the 2x4 to the wall.
Using a drill gun, drill out holes on the right on left sides of the 2x4 with a drill bit slightly smaller than the screw you plan on to use. After drilling out the holes. Put one screw on the right, then on the left (or vise versa) so you don't need you buddy to keep holding up the 2x4.
Then finish drilling out the holes and putting in the screws. I used 2 screws to each stud.
Step 4: Build the Frame
Cut out the dimensions you want with the 2x4s and start assembly. I again used the miter saw for this step. I used warped wood that I had in my shed. I just worked around the flaws as best I could and my workbench holds up just fine. So don't be discouraged if something is slightly off.
Use a drill bit, drill out the holes where you want the screws. I used two screws for each connection.
A couple tips would be to used the wall and push tight on the section you are about to screw so the 2x4 are flush. The screw will want to push the second 2x4 away after it goes through the first.
Use 2 drill guns so you don't have to keep swapping the screw drill bit and the screw driver bit. It takes a lot of battery just to swap out the bits and takes up so much more time.
Step 5: Attach the Frame to the 2x4 on the Wall
This step will probably be easier with help from a friend, but you can stack anything to help hold up the other end. I also used scrap wood that was close to the height I needed to help support.
I highly recommend a friend or a spouse. It only takes a few minutes.
Screw the hinges to the 2x4 against the wall first. Then screw the other end of the hinges to the frame. This is the part where a friend would be great.
Make sure the pin is facing UP.
You don't need to necessarily drill out the holes first for the hinges, because the screws are small enough. I did drill out the holes first, but that is just me.
Step 6: Add Legs
Hinges worked great for this, because the Legs are on hinges when you lower the table down the legs should "Fall" outward.
I also used door locks to lock the legs in place so they can't accidentally be kicked in while the bench is being used.
The door locks will come this a metal bracket the lock is suppose to slide into. Unfortunately, I could not think of a way to achieve attaching it. Instead, I drilled a large hole into the frame for the door lock to slide into. It works well enough, but it is not great. I am currently looking into to hammering in a sleeve or collar to help it be more stable. (If you have a better idea for this, please let me know in the comments)
I included an image showing a mistake I made with attaching the legs to the hinges. There is a slight space when the table is folding down and all the weight is on the hinges and not 2x4. I have not noticed any problem with it. It holds up fine with my miter saw on it and that is just about the heaviest thing I plan on putting on top of the bench. I also messed up with the angle of the legs. They are not perfectly straight up and down. This is not a problem other than looks. It could get stuck against the side of the frame, but I did not have that problem.
When installing the door locks on the inside side of the legs I used a hammer to make in indent of the pin onto the bottom of the frame so I would know where to drill. When drilling out the hole in the frame, make sure to start with a small drill bit and work your way up to the right size. You want to keep the hole small tight so it is a tight fit for the door lock.
Step 7: Mount the Plywood to the Frame & Attach Chain
I went to Lowes, told them my dimensions and had them cut out the ply wood for me because I could not fit the full plywood in my car. Plus it is way easier and free to have them do it. Since my wood was warped, I remeasured my frame and did not use the dimensions I initial chose. My frame ended up having a slight shift in it (not square), but not enough for me to care about.
Secure the plywood down with screws. I used 1 screw per section of frame. I used 1 screw per middle section of frame. Make sure you line this up correctly otherwise your screw will miss the frame. You can always use a stud finder to play it safe.
To attach the chain, just screw a screw through one of the openings (which may need to be expanded open with a pliers).
Screw an eye hook to the the frame underneath the bench.
Feed the carabiner through the other end of the chain. Make sure there is some slack.
Attach a bungee somewhere near the chain, but make sure there will be tension when the other end is attached to the middle of the chain. This will keep the bench tight against the wall. I left plenty of extra links in my chain in case I wanted to increase the slack.
Please keep in mind that some of the pictures where taken as I was making some modifications and not the initial construction.
That should do it. You now have a folding workbench.
***Please Vote for me. I am submitting this into the Flat Pack Contest. ***