Introduction: Por-Table

In many projects that I have undertaken I find myself doing more and more site work.

With the inability to pack a whole shop and the unwillingness to buy thousand of dollars worth of portable table saws Miter saw stands etc… just to be put on a trailer to be set up and tore down every time I need them, I decided I would build my own worktable with the minimum tools I would need.

What I built can either be used mounted on the vehicle or taken off with the addition of some legs to be a free standing work table.

Also tho flat top allows me to haul large sheets of material on top and narrow material and tools below the installed table.

I was able to complete this project with some help in two full days were I learned and will share with you some mistakes and future improvements.

So lets get started!

P.S. bad timing and internet have restricted pictures. I will add more soon.

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Step 1: Materials and Tools

These are the parts that I bought. As with all DIY jobs you have the ability to add and take away whatever you want.

Material cost was around $250 USD.

In the future I would like to install a headache rack so that Material will not fly through the rear window in case of an accident.

I decided against building in my router but with the right material you can put one in.

One: 4'x8'x ¾" Plywood
One: 4'x8'x ½" Plywood
Six: 2"x8"x8' Board
Two: 2"x4"x8' Board
6 Saw Horse Brackets
4 Lag Eye Screw
3 1½" ½" Bolts and Nuts
2 Female Cord Ends
1 Male Cord End
2 Single Pole Light Switches
1 2-Switch Box
1 2-Switch Box Cover
10' 3-Strand Cord
2 1" #10x32 bolts and Washers
1 9" Restore Roller
2 Gallons Restore Deck Finish ( I just wanted to see If I could sand this and get a semi smooth yet weather proof table top. It works but probably not worth the step)
Circular saw
Box of ¾", 1 ½", and 2" Screws (Deck Screws are prefered)
3 Wire Nuts

Power Drill
Miter Saw
¾" and 1" Forstner Bits
Drill Index Set and Step Bits
Skill Saw
Saw Horses
Screwdriver Set

Speed Square


Step 2: Sizing the Bed

The dimensions of your bed will help determine what size and the amount of material you will use on your project.

I am installing this on my 2005 Dodge Dakota with a 57 ½" wide x 76 ½" long by 16 ¼" deep.

My work table is 96" long x 66 ½" wide with a depth of 3 ¾" (no tools installed and a 10" overall depth with the circular saw at its lowest.

Determine Table Width

First cut your 2"x8" boards to desired length. In my case 66 ½".

Next find your spacing. From the back I chose three boards spaced at 26" on center and the final board at 21" on center so as to not have the last board past the end of the bed rails.

Then lay the boards flush with one side and square with the spacing of your choosing on your ¾" plywood and secure with 1" screws.

Using your T-square you will be able to achieve square with your 2" x 8" on the plywood.

Once all board are fastened take some some time and lay out your design.

Ensure that none of the tools, boxes or other items will be trying to occupy the same space once they are mounted. Especially the saw horse legs.

{Plywood works for my projects since most field work is more for function than form. Use Formica topped board for a smoother finish}

Step 3: Tool Installation

Once you have decided on your tools and layout go ahead and mark your tool cutting path centerline and a rectangle with at least a two inch overlap on each side around your tool. If your line runs under a pre attached board remove all the screws but one and swing it out of the way.

These will be your cutting lines for tool insert for removing and adjusting your implements.

Using a 1" Forstner bit or paddle bit drill a hole on the center line where it intersects the outer cutting line for use as a finger hold for lifting the tool insert.

Insert your Jigsaw blade into this finger hold and cut out your insert.

Take the inserts and align the tools on the centerline you made earlier. For most tools you will be able to take your ¾" bit and drill through the insert where your blade will be inserted.

For the circular saw make a plunge cut on the lowest setting to mark your blade.

If possible remove the base plate of your tool once you have lined up and marked them on on your insert.

Mark any and all necessary hole that you will be using to attach the tools to your cutout.

Choose a small sturdy bit and drill through the center of these markings. On the top side of the board using a wide bit counter sink your hole so that any screws or bolts will not protrude past the top deck of your table.

Choose an appropriate sized bit (equal to or one size larger than your mounting bolt) and make a hole.

Once all holes are made mount your tool to its insert.

Final step: using some 1" x4 " board make some seats for your inserts to set on so that they don't fall through when you lay them in.

Step 4: Power

In this part you will take and wire in your two female plugs with about two feet worth of wire.

these will both attach to a separate light switch.

Each switch will then be wired into one long length of cord ending in a male plug that will bring power from your generator and control each tool separately.

Now wether you make your own trigger block or just zip tie your trigger in the on position always take care to have your boxed swathes off when plugging in tools to prevent unwanted startup.

(Wiring diagram will be added as soon as I find what I did with it.) Or a helpful electrician can wire it up for you.

Step 5: Legs and Tiedowns

For your legs when used as a stand alone table mount your sawhorse legs at four corners and in the middle with approx. 36" legs.

Depending on which ones you buy will determine how they mount.

I bought plastic ones that you can slip the legs into and tighten down with a wing nut.

I bolted this sawhorse through a 1' x 2" x 4" board. Counter sink the top side so that your bolt head will not interfere with mounting the board and sawhorse to your table underside.

Using a 4" wide U-bolt I straddled each of the corner sawhorse boards so that I will have tie-downs to secure the table to the bed of my truck.

Make sure these are appropriately located for your vehicles tie-down locations.

Legs can now be removed in section so you may slide your table into the bed of your truck and reinstalled if taken out.

Next I took Some 4" long lag eye screws and installed in four ends of my supporting 2" x 8" boards.

Pre-drill these with a drill bit about two sizes smaller than the lag diameter. Using a screwdriver through the eye your are able to gain much needed leverage for screwing in the the lag.

These will be used to tie down any material hauled on the worktable.

Step 6: Finishing

Last thing is to make a few tool pockets in the remaining holes of your work table.

You may choose to add lids to these in which I would suggest cabinet door Hidden Hinges. so nothing is protruding above your table.

Using 2" x 4" boards cut them 4 inches wider than the spacing between your 2" x 8" support boards. notch out a 2" by 1 ½" hole on each cut end of your boards so that the will fit snugly inside and flush with your other boards with a 2" tongue on the underside.

Pre-drill through this tongue and then secure with long screws.

do this twice to make two sides of a tool pocket. make sure the farthest out board will not be outside of the inside width dimension of the bed you are installing it in.

Now cut a 3 ½" wide by whatever width your tool pocket is and secure that between your other boards to make your third and fourth side.

Finally measure the outside dimension of the box you made and using a circular saw cut out the bottom panel and secure to the bottom to finish your tool pocket.0

Step 7: Done

If you want you can continue on from here and add more improvements. Unfortunately since I got in late on the game I have not uploaded all my pictures but they are coming soon.

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