Full Function Portable Workbench W/Plans





Introduction: Full Function Portable Workbench W/Plans

Hey Guys, these are the plans to my portable woodworking workbench that fits on a Ridgid wheeled toolbox. Checkout the videos to see how I built my mobile workbench.

The plans/measured drawing for this workbench are included in this Instructable along with some details/tips that I think a important. If you have additional question please let me know. If you ask on the video link's comment section, then you'd get a timely response. I'll try to check the comment section on Instructables to try and answer any questions as well.

I wanted to build a small bench that can be transported to any room of the house. It had to be tall enough for me to work standing up. The bench needed to have a regular vise and some storage space. It also needs to be big enough to make projects up to 3'x2'; the 3'x2' size is big enough to cover over 80% of the projects that I've done in the past 3 years.

This bench is designed with woodworking in mind, but it can be used for many other purposes. I hope you use the plans and videos as a starting point in building your own small full function workbench.

Step 1: Cherry Top and the Outer Frame

The top is 8/4 cherry. The actual thickness of the bench top is just under 2". Other woods such as white oak, mahogany, or beech are great substitutes. Pine would work as well. But if you are going to make a nice mobile bench I'd suggest spending a little more on nicer woods. It's ok to treat yourself occasionally.

The outer frame of the workbench is made from walnut. Oak should be a fair substitute. I started with rough lumber, but I think 3/4 oak or pine would make the dimensioning the lumber easier.

The front face of the bench has a drawer in it. And I had to add a bar under the frame because the drawer opening was flexing with moderate pressure. You can start with a wider board and avoid the need to add this strip.

The vise is not visible because everyone will have a different vise budget and functional need for this workbench so I left that out in the measured drawing.

Step 2: Leg and Footing

The bench legs are made from pine to save some weight. This pine is construction lumber that I had purchased from my local big box store. Pine is more then strong enough for a bench of this size, keep in mind that if pressure is apply to pine parallel to the grain then it is super strong; almost as strong as oak.

The footing is made from more wear resistant oak because I need to put my foot on the footing and use my body weight in some techniques to steady the bench.

Step 3: Middle Divider, Shelves, and Drawer

The cherry top is frame but there is also a middle divider. The middle divider strengths the top but also creates a small for a tool well. The workbench does not need a tool well, but a tool well is super useful. The size of the tool well was selected to hold chisels but is deep enough that the chisel does not protrude above the bench top.

The shelves are made from oak. A wear resistant wood should be used. Pine would work but be comfortable with lots of scratches. The backing are also made from oak, just tall though to keep stuff from rolling off the back.

The bench drawer front is made continuous with the vise face. This adds aesthetics but certainly can be done easier use other methods. The drawer pull is located under the drawer, see video for details.

Step 4: Putting It All Together

These diagrams shows you how the workbench is put together. The parts are glued together. See part 3 of the how to video to see how I glued the bench together. There are so many parts I broke it down into sections.



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    9 Discussions

    Great bench, have to agree with eroat 1, although jpgs are free if I save the images and enlarge them, the dimensions are unreadable. Great job though.


    10 months ago

    Great job. Looks to be exactly what I need.


    10 months ago

    Is there a way (or another location) to download the full plans without being a premium member in instructables?

    This is great! I don't do nice woodworking, but a portable workbench should be great for all kinds of projects. The ones that came to mind first were patching holes in sheet rock, lawn mower engines, and working on electrical or Arduino and Raspberry Pi stuff. Having an interchangeable surface of plywood or chipboard would be useful when changing from dirty to cleaner tasks.

    Making it a stand-up bench is something I wouldn't have thought of, even though the bench in my shop is at standing height. I don't have the Ridgid toolbox your mention, so adapting it and my two-wheel "hand truck" to each other and accommodating need to go through doors in our house will be things to work on.

    Well done!


    1 year ago

    The plans are so beautiful. I'm so impressed by how much reverse-engineering was involved in crafting this design. Great job!

    What program did you use to make the plans?

    This is awesome! I have been trying to come of with ways to make my workshop modular so that I can move things around depending on what kind of project I am working on. Thanks for t he idea.

    Beautiful job, getting materials together, gonna give it a shot. Thank you.

    Starting now.......Lol