Simple Mobile Workbench/Assembly Table

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About: I'm a woodworker/maker on YouTube

This is a simple bench to make and they're handy to have a few around the workshop. It's made using 2x4 (90mmx35mm) pine so it's easy to find and cheap. Unlike a lot of workbenches that I've seen, this doesn't use any plywood (the tops use MDF) and they're made using only the 2x4s and no "panels".

Watch the YouTube project video here: https://youtu.be/YSWguEzJSDk

Step 1: Making the Long Sides

To start I cut all my timber to length. The size of the bench is 1800mm by 900mm. I used these measurements to accomodate the MDF panels I'd use later to make the top surface.

The legs received a notch cut to allow the longs rails to lap over them.

To do this I set the circular saw cut depth to just short of the width of the timber. This meant the rails would sit slightly proud of the legs.

Then I made multiple cuts through the legs at the either end and in the middle.

Then I could use a hammer to knock out the timber and clean the notch up with a chisel.

I glued the rails into the legs and screwed them in place. The screws were really only there to clamp the 2 pieces together, the glue would do the work of locking the joint together. Using screws meant I could move on without waiting for the glue to dry.

By the end of it I had 2 long rail sections.

Step 2: Connecting the Short Rails

The next step was to join the 2 long rails to the 2 short rails.

I flipped the side over so I could start work on the underneath and screwed in 4 short rails.

Once these rails were in I used a ratchet strap to bring everything into square. This is done by making sure the 2 diagonals are the same length. The ratchet strap is used to pull to opposing corners into each other.

Then, to lock the frame in it's square position, I added 2 45 degree pieces. These were offcuts from the 2x4s and the ends were cut on 45 degree angles.

They didn't need to be any size in particular, but the longer the better.

These were glued and screwed into place.

Before flipping the bench over I added some casters. I would change these out for heavier duty casters later.

Then I flipped the bench over and started adding short rails to the top side. You can fill the gaps with as many offcuts as you have. The idea is to create a torsion box.

Once I was happy with the top, that there was enough support, I brought in the mdf panels.

Step 3: Add Shelves

I made this workbench knowing that I could add 3 600mmx900mm MDF panels to make up the top.

I started by screwing these into the top, making sure the screws were countersunk.

The middle shelf didn't need much strength, just enough to hold some tools. I added on long piece of timber through the centre and added an MDF sheet.

After the lowest shelf had an MDF panel added I broke all the corners with a sanding block.

And that was it, I could load it up with my tools.

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    11 Discussions

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    cheesie

    8 months ago

    really smart . could you possibly send me a run down of all the cut timber lengths? my next project i think :)

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    maxman

    8 months ago

    I wonder if this would work as an outdoor table using a weather-resistant top? Maybe galvanized sheet metal over OSB ?

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    paulbsa

    8 months ago

    What is your thinking for using MDF and not Plywood?

    2 replies
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    Robin Lewispaulbsa

    Reply 8 months ago

    In Australia plywood (or should I say good plywood) is really expensive compared to MDF. That's the only reason I went this route

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    paulbsaRobin Lewis

    Reply 8 months ago

    That makes sense. Thanks for the update. Nice design.

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    seamster

    8 months ago

    That's a good looking solid table. Nicely done!

    1 reply
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    allenwilson

    8 months ago

    Nice job. What was your reason for using three pdf panels on the top instead of a full sheet?

    1 reply
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    Robin Lewisallenwilson

    Reply 8 months ago

    Thank you. I have a really small car, it's easier for me to carry small sheets

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    hyperfocused72

    8 months ago

    Good idea to screw the tops down instead of gluing. Then you can replace them later on if you ever need to.

    1 reply