Folding Wood - Work Platform

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This can be made in 60 minutes or less. I used rough sawn lumber and a random piece of 3/4" plywood I had laying around. This was made on the cheap and fast.

Do not attempt this project if you do not practice proper shop safety at all times. This project may appear dangerous but with proper precautions you can lessen the possibility of injury. I take no responsibility for the accuracy and completeness of this instructable. I am not responsible for you building this instructable and using it in an unsafe manner, proceed at your own risk.

You'll need, and in no particular order;

4 5/16" carriage bolt (rounded head on one end), sized to your lumber dimensions (mine was 3").

8 5/16" washers

8 5/16" nuts

1 20"x48" sheet of 3/4" plywood (you can size this to your needs)

4 2"x4" x 30" long (legs)

2 1"x3" 46 1/2" long (skirt boards)

2 1"x3" 20" long (skirt boards)

4 2"x4" 3 1/2" long (stop blocks)

30 or so 1 1/2" long wood screws

1 1"x3" 15 1/2" long (leg brace)

1 1"x3" 20" long (leg brace)

Step 1: Begin

Attach the 1"x3" 's skirt boards 1 1/2" in from the outside edge of the sides of the plywood top with wood screws. If you do not have plywood you can use wood slats.

Step 2: Legs, Because Everyone Likes Legs

Take the 2"x4" 's and round over one end. The 2"x4" 's are typically 3 1/2" wide so you need a 3 1/2" diameter circle template. I didn't have one, so I used a roll of tape that was sized to suit.

Step 3: Rough Cuts

I used a jig saw to cut the ends of the 2"x4" 's and as they were roughly cut, used a sander to smooth them.

Step 4: Stop Blocks

You need to take some 2"x4" 's 3 1/2" long and cut one end at a 15 degree angle like the ones in the picture. Attach them to the inside of the 4 corners of the underside of the table top you made. The 3 1/2" dimension of the 2"x4" 's placed at the underside of the table top. The short dimension +/- 3" should be facing you. Use the wood screws to fastened the blocks to the skirt boards of the table top.

Place the stop blocks; 2 on the inside at one end and 2 on the outside at the other end of the skirt boards, see pictures above.

Step 5: Tips and Tricks

OK, so I told you to use 5/16" bolts. You know the size of the bolts to use and the size of the drill bit required to drill the holes for the bolt to go through. But lets say you didn't! Take your random bolt and place it in your drill bit holder and move it to a hole it fits in and voila, now you know the size of the bolt you have. Amazing you say, well, maybe not so much.

Take a drill bit one size larger than the bolt you have and place it in your drill and get ready for the next step.

Step 6: Drill

Measure down from the rounded end of the 2"x4" 's, 1 3/4" (half of the 3 1/2" board size) and mark a vertical line. Now measure from the right or left, doesn't much matter, 1 3/4" and mark another vertical line. Where the 2 lines intersect, drill a hole.

After you have drilled a hole in the 2"x4", place the 2"x4" in the crotch of the stop block and table top (as shown) and drill through the skirt board.

Tip: I use playing cards (not shown) for spacers. Place 3 playing cards (either full or cut up) under the rounded end of the 2"x4" before drilling through the skirt board. The added space will allow the 2"x4" to rotate without binding. And if you do the same for all 4 table legs they will operate in the same manner and you will not have to measure for the hole centers on the skirt board.

Step 7: Almost Forgot

Cut the other end, not the rounded end of the legs at 15 degree to match the stop blocks.

Step 8: Tightening Things Up

Place a bolt in the skirt board. Place a washer on the inside of the skirt board. Place the wood 2"x4" leg against the skirt board. Add another washer and a nut. Tighten the nut to pull the carriage boat snug to the skirt board bout not to tight to bind the assembly. Add another nut to the first and tighten to snug it. The second nut will lock to the first one and they should not loosen. If you have lock nuts (the ones with Teflon in them) use them.

Step 9: Almost Done

You will need to add a board to the legs so they do not flop around but act in unison and not independently to one another.

Step 10: Weight Test

I stood on the work table and it held my 190 lbs. I placed all the kindling I could find on it and it held the weight. I'm not suggesting you find the limit of the table, but it should be adequate for your needs. Always be careful and be safe.

Based on my experience in using this work platform. I would suggest not making it any narrower than the 20" width of the design intent or it could tip over on you if you stood on it. I might suggest making it as wide as you can handle to avoid it tipping over on you if you were to use it as a standing work platform.

Proof of Concept, see above, it worked, and saved me much $ on an aluminum one from the big box store down the road.

If you liked that, check out my Table Saw Wood Lathe!

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40 Discussions

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Capt Caveman

Tip 5 weeks ago

Very nice looking table and looks stable. I have one suggestion though, if you was to extend it 61" length ways, cut it right across the middle, attach a couple of 46" 3x1's across the space and add 2 hinges (or 1 long hinge) to the bottom of the long skirt 3x1's you could fold it and make it smaller again.

4 replies
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Capt Cavemanhandyhelp

Reply 5 weeks ago

Whilst I never said I was looking for a good folding worktable, the one you linked is a little on the large size and alot over-engineered. That being said though thanks for the link.

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ledgeheadCapt Caveman

Reply 5 weeks ago

Capt Caveman Hey, thank you for the tip and for looking. While I like your enthusiasm, I would caution you on making it foldable in the middle as you suggest. It might fold up on you while you were standing on it.

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Capt Cavemanledgehead

Reply 5 weeks ago

With regards but if the hinge is at the bottom then the likelihood of it failing would be negligible, especially if you used decent hardware.

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CoquihallaDuck

Tip 5 weeks ago

I'm so honoured. No one has ever adopted a suggest of mine so quickly, and reposted it's adoption. I'm going to print this out and hang it in my shop.
Thank you.

1 reply
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ledgeheadCoquihallaDuck

Reply 5 weeks ago

CoquihallaDuck, All it takes is one. I’m sure others have read and even adopted your suggestions, they have just never publicized them. Thank you for sharing.
Hunter

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charlessenf-gm

5 weeks ago

Elegant fix - two issues in one!

PS: "Rough sawn" lumber? Looks like Big Box 2 x 4's (1.75 x 3.5's !)

1 reply
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ledgeheadcharlessenf-gm

Reply 5 weeks ago

No, the 2x4’s are 2 1/2” x 3 1/2” and the 1x3’s are 3/4” x 2 1/2”. I have a friend with a saw mill.

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onetruegod

5 weeks ago

Nice design for a portable platform. If you cut the stop blocks from the same piece that will be the leg then your angles will automatically be a perfect match.

2 replies
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ledgeheadonetruegod

Reply 5 weeks ago

Hello,

I updated the instructable based on user feed back and it now folds up, check it out!

Hunter

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CoquihallaDuck

Tip 5 weeks ago

Having read Brianaala's comment, and realizing I saw the same problem, I was measure the trunk of my new hatchback when it hit me.
I need a lip to clamp equipment to, so why not move the skirt in the width of the leg and put one leg on each side of the skirt. Also allows me to shorten the table since I just need room for the 30" legs and stop blocks between the end skirts, and I can widen the table until it takes up all the room in my hatch.
I'll post picks when it's done.

2 replies
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ledgeheadCoquihallaDuck

Reply 5 weeks ago

Hello,

I updated the instructable based on user feed back and it now folds up, check it out!

Hunter