Mobile Workbench With Built-in Table & Miter Saws

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Introduction: Mobile Workbench With Built-in Table & Miter Saws

About: sometimes i make stuff

I've been looking at a lot of similar workbenches for a while, trying to find the right set up that would best utilize my woodworking tools and the space I have. I was blown away when I first saw this flip-top design that implements 6 separate tools mounted on an axle of sorts: https://www.instructables.com/id/Multi-Tool-Flip-To...

I decided that was overkill for my needs, and probably beyond my skill set. I also saw this featured instructable which was more up my alley (and takes a good look at using half-lap joints, which I didn't): https://www.instructables.com/id/All-in-One-Work-

Then recently I saw this post on my beloved Imgur, and I knew it was the workbench I'd been searching for: http://imgur.com/gallery/SN9Pr

This was the design that I followed almost exactly, making a couple adjustments to suit my needs, including the addition of power outlets.

Step 1: Tools & Materials

Material list:

2x4's: I had a bunch on hand from a demolished tool shed so I'm not positive how many I used. The base frame is exactly 6' x 3' and legs were all cut at 30".

2x3's: again I had several on hand from a previous project. You'll see I used 2x3's in less structurally significant spots to help reduce the overall weight. They worked particularly well for supporting the miter saw since 2x4's would have been too wide.

Table top: I used an 8x4', 11/16" thick maple plywood board for my work surface, which was the most expensive part of the project at $50. You could spend more or less on other options but this has been working great for me.

#10 x 3" T-star screws for the framing, and 2" screws for securing the table top

(4) casters. Mine were 5" in diameter, but smaller ones will save you some money.

(20) 3" lag screws for the casters and mounting the table saw.

(4) 3" carriage bolts plus washers and nuts for mounting the miter saw.

Electrical: 3 outlets, a one-gang and a two-gang box, about 5' of romex and a male plug for connecting it all to your extension cord

Scrap plywood for the bottom shelf. I used 1/2"

Tools:

Impact driver: I don't know how I ever survived without this thing. If you haven't invested in one yet, now is the time.

Miter saw for cutting the lumber; I'm assuming you have one if you want to make this table, but make sure it's one you're happy with because a replacement may have different dimensions (same for table saw). I love my sliding compound saw but it makes flipping the buggar over a little more complicated. Worth it to me, but be forewarned.

Circular saw for trimming the edges and cutting out spaces for the table saw and miter saw

Jigsaw for making the finish cuts on the cut-out spaces in the table

Level, clamps, square, etc.


Step 2: Framing and Table Saw Stand

I built mine at 6 x 3'. you could go bigger if you want more work space surrounding the table saw, but I was more concerned with mobility since I'll be pushing it outside whenever I use it. If you want to get fancy with joints, go for it; butt joints worked well for me and it ended up plenty sturdy in my opinion. For the legs you could also use 4x4's but I had too many scrap 2x4's lying around that I needed to put to use. All my vertical boards (legs) were cut at 30". That plus the plywood top and the casters puts the final work surface at about 36", which is comfy for me at 5'10". I built from the ground up since I knew I'd be making changes as I went. Make sure the spot you're working on is level (mine wasn't, I later discovered).

For the table saw support, I added 3 boards to the framing board that was set back a distance equal to the depth of my table saw's base (1st pic). I used clamps to hold the support boards in place tom make sure they were level when I added screws. I trimmed down these vertical boards to get them out of the way of my table saw's fence, which clamps to the back edge of the saw. Alternatively, you could keep them 30" and connect to your table top when it's mounted.

Measure the distance from the top of your table saw work surface to its base. That will need to be the distance that the two support boards are from the top work surface of the table, and don't forget to factor in the material you're using for your table top.

Step 3: Miter Saw Stand

My sliding miter saw takes up a lot of space, so I ran the support 2x3's the entire width of the bench. I'll be honest, getting these measurements right was tricky and I had to redo them a couple times. First add a 2x4 on the top, backside of the bench, taking time to keep everything square. Check for notes in the pictures if you're not sure if I used a 2x3 or 2x4 in some spots. All the legs, or vertical boards were cut the same size and then the horizontal boards were measured and cut as I went. If anything is confusing leave a comment and I'll add more notes to the pics.

The top two 2x3 supports are flush with the rest of the bench top, and the second row of 2x3's is where it gets tricky. Like the table saw support, you'll need to measure the distance from the top work surface of your miter saw to the bottom of its base. That will be the distance to mount the second row of 2x3 support boards, so that when your saw is slipped in, its work surface will be flush with the rest of the bench top. Again, factor in the thickness of your table top material. If you can't be perfect (I wasn't either), it's better to have your miter saw slightly higher than the rest of the table versus lower, in which case your work pieces will catch as you shift them around. This took me a few tries to get everything level and square(ish).

Step 4: Casters

Easiest part of the project, so grab a beer; you've earned it! I had these 5" casters on another shelving unit that didn't really need to be mobile. Never pay money for that which can be salvaged. (Craigslist is your friend). These 5" wheels are great cause I have a bit of a lip to run over, getting back into my garage and didn't want to get hung up on it. If you're buying new, choose wisely as their cost can add up. I'd say get 3" at a minimum if you won't be moving around much. At least two locking casters are a good idea if you'll be working on slopes. I used 3" lag screws that I had on hand for securing these.

Step 5: Cutting and Installing the Table Top

Sorry I didn't get more in-progress pics for this part, I was a little aggravated that I had to use a hand planer on some of the 2x4 framing since the spot I'd built it on wasn't quite level. After that nonsense was over, I started by securing the table saw in its spot with lag screws (drill pilot holes, add washers if needed). Next I double-checked measurements for the width and depth of the table saw surface. Mine wasn't perfectly centered since I left about 4" of table overhanging on the backside vs just 2" on the front edge. After marking out the cut-out area, I proceeded with the circular saw, cutting both sides and then finishing the corners and back edge with a jigsaw. I had to cut a little farther back, leaving about a 1/2" gap behind my table saw so I could still use my fence, as well as the blade cover.

Side note: I was able to make the cut-out space for the table saw and miter saw the same width. This will allow me to keep the piece removed for the table saw, and use it for an additional tool (router, probably) in the space where the miter saw normally sits. I may end up cutting another square piece for my bench grinder as well.

With the plywood in place around the table saw, from underneath the bench I marked the outside edges of the 2x3 supports for the miter saw. If your miter saw doesn't slide then it probably won't need to be as deep as the one I cut, but make sure you'll have space to reach all knobs and adjustments on your saw when it's in place. After cutting about a foot in on the left and right sides I added clamps and a scrap 2x4 to support the front edge while finishing my cuts. As long as the support boards are square and parallel you shouldn't have any problems. But keep in mind that this piece will be upside-down when you mount your miter saw to it. Otherwise, if it's not perfectly square, it may not fit back in place when you flip it around. In other words, attach the miter saw to the under-side of the plywood piece you cut out. Once the piece is cut you'll be able to test fit it and see what I mean.

I attached the miter saw with 3" carriage bolts, washers and nuts. The heads of these bolts stick up about 1/8" when the saw is upside down, but as of yet haven't gotten in the way when I'm ripping plywood sheets on the table saw. If you're a perfectionist you could also route out a recessed area to get the heads below the work surface. Then I finished securing the table top with 2" screws and cut the excess material off with a skillsaw. If you want to avoid drilling thru the top of the table you could also use a mixture of wood glue and brackets on the underside for a cleaner look.

Step 6: Lower Shelving

Things should be looking pretty good by now, and fully functional. I added one more 2x4 support to the base frame before I cut three sections of scrap 1/2" plywood for the bottom shelf. I ripped them to fit the overall depth and then took measurements for cutting around the legs. I used a jigsaw and gave myself plenty of wiggle room; it's a workbench, not a cabinet after all. I got excited and loaded it up with all my other power tools: planer, grinder, skillsaw, sawzall, compressor, sanders. It's probably too much weight for moving around frequently but I just love having everything in one spot, and it cleared up so much space in my garage!

Step 7: Electrical

An optional step, but worth it after all this effort in my opinion. I mounted 4 outlets in a 2-gang box on the front of the table, so both saws could remain plugged in with two additional outlets for other tools. When picking the location I made sure it was close enough to the miter saw that I could leave it plugged in while flipping it around. This connected to two outlets on the backside, where the power comes in via a male plug, strapped to the framing. This way I can bring an extension cord to the table wherever it ends up and then everything's powered.

Step 8: Finito!

Thanks for reading my first instructable! Feel free to ask questions in the comments and I'll do my best to answer.

https://www.instagram.com/craftytrev/

8 People Made This Project!

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60 Discussions

On the mitre saw half of the framework I see a support in the form of an "H" that is attached to one of the bottom frame pieces. I don't see that it attached to anything on the upper end near the work top. Am I missing something? Is it stable enough without being braced on the top end as well?

1 more answer

Right, that supports the backside of the table saw. Seems plenty sturdy, especially once the table saw is mounted.
But you could also run the vertical 2x4s up to the table top and attach it there or add horizontal bracing to a nearby 2x4. Mine is still plenty solid though.

Almost done with mine (pics to follow soon). Any chance you can share more details on how you wired up the boxes for electrical? Thanks in advance!!!

Wanted to share some pics of progress so far. Bottom and middle shelf surfacing still to come but using the tablesaw and miter saw on this has been a joy! One of the biggest decisions was the height. After making it a finished 40" height, I felt like I needed beefier casters. These are advertised for 220lbs each and bring the finished height to 42". Taller than I planned but I'm finding it quite comfortable for every use so far (I'm 6'2").

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I wanted this to fit into a particular spot in my garage so I was planning to do 5' x 3' but at the last minute decided to keep it 4' wide. I'm also using it as I go so I have a very "work in progress" look. First thing to do when I get home tonight (if it's still standing) is frame the base and then it's on to cutting out the end space and mounting the tablesaw. As others have said I'm a novice so having this project to practice on, whil building something I can build on, has been awesome. For example, used the top peice edge support as an opportunity to figure out how to use my pocket screw jig set. I may use more pocket screws on the job to support/straighten out the top (cheap CDX). Another last minute decision was on that mid frame which I almost fully sheeted with more CDX. Decided to hold off until the tablesaw is in so that sawdust can fall out into the driveway when I'm working outdoors, or maybe I'll drop in a plastic tub and put some sheathing below to contain it. More pics to come. Thanks for the inspiration.

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Great mobile workbench plans. How much lip overhang is there on the table top?. This is exactly what I have been looking for........ thanks for sharing it.

1 reply

thanks, mine has about 2" overhang all the way around, but you could have as much or as little as you'd like. on the backside I wish I'd given myself more like 4" because the vise I installed was too close to one of the vertical posts.

What would you guess how many 2x4's and 2x3's I should buy for this project?

2 replies

Great mobile workbench plans. How much lip overhang is there on the table top?. This is exactly what I have been looking for........ thanks for sharing it.

Working on this now! I just started woodworking about 6 months ago and decided a need a decent workbench before starting my next project. (OK, maybe before finishing the one I'm in the middle of). I think this will be just what I need. I'm planning on adding a router similar to what I found here. A couple of notes so far.

Casters. I chose poorly. I bought some hard rubber ones. The workbench slides on concrete even with the wheels locked. Back to the store, maybe rubber ones would be better. I'm glad I tried these early in the process.

Saw dust containment. On worry I have is about dust containment. It seems that everything underneath is going to be buried in sawdust. I'm thinking about shop vac attachment and/or closing off key spots with plywood to make clean up easier. Just wondering what your experience has been.

Any other "In hind sight..." ideas?

1 reply

Cool, I think my casters have a rubber coating on the outside but not sure. Bigger might be better for you, but price is going to climb quickly unfortunately. Yes the lower level collects a lot of sawdust. A shop vac attachment would probably work great, but I just push mine outside and then occasionally use my leaf blower to clean everything off. Works for me. Be sure to read through the other comments, a lot of people have mentioned the need to use electrical conduit that offers protection for the wiring, along with some other great tips. Be sure to post pics when you're done, thanks for reading!

So I am in the process of building this. Unfortunately my wonderful store I buy my lumber from is pumping out crap wood so I have been forced to stop till I can make the 'drive of shame' to a different lumber store.

The one thing I did differently is My son and I did the same inset for the other side and placed our thickness planer there. We found the height to the thickness planer the same so we just ripped a 2x4 in half and placed a runner all the way across the bottom. To provide some added support we added a 2x4 stop in the middle and attached it to the 2 sides.

Since the thickness planer is a wee bit heavier than the miter saw, we added are adding a scissor jack with a 4 point leveling bracket to the bottom and a jack to socket adapter. Once this is done we can raise and lower with my drill when needed. when not inuse, we lower and put a board over it. Once the finish project is done Ill post here as well.

Thank you for the inspiration! this project will make my projects and my woodworking instruction to my son 300Xs easier.

The one thing I did differently is

1 reply

That sounds great! Be sure to post a link to your pictures here when you're finished.

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ken820

1 year ago

Like it going to try something like myself

I love this. I just got the wood to start mine. My only change will be adding a diagonal board under the table saw to help direct the saw dust out from under the saw and storage area.

Good design and it is very easy for new woodworkers, and I used different type of plans for my customer, and one of the woodworking forum I download few different plans and I used for my customer and they like it, If anyone looking for different woodworking plans contact at ( lutherking1912@gmail.com )
I can share my plans

well done, I like it.