Workbench on Wheels

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After moving into a small flat recently I needed to find a way to store my tools and equipment and also have a working surface for things I don't want to put on my delicate desk. The solution had to be simple, stable and optically pleasing, since they're basically located in the living room.

So I designed a pair of small workbenches that are rested on swivel casters so they can be easily moved around the room when needed and put back to their corner when not in use.

I opted for a steel-oak-construction since I liked the mixture of the two materials and it also really helped getting a slim and less obstructive silhouette for the workbenches through the stiff steel legs.

Because most of the design was decided on whilst already building the workbenches, I don't really have any detailed plans but since the design is really simple I think one can clearly see from the following pictures how everything fits together.

Step 1: Materials

For the build of one of the workbenches I used the following materials:

  • 4x swivel caster wheels, diameter of the wheel: 50mm
  • 4x angled steel profile 30mm x 30mm, 5mm thickness
  • 4x aluminium bar 25mm x 25mm x 50mm
  • 8x M5 x 20mm countersunk brass screws
  • 4x M10 x 25mm screws
  • 3x 400mm x 500mm oak boards, 18mm thickness (I cut these out of a bigger board and used the "waste" for the drawers)
  • some countersunk brass wood screws, 4 x 50mm
  • drawer slides

I ordered the metal pieces already cut to length, the wood was cut with my hand-held circular saw.

Step 2: Leg Assembly

Unfortunately I don't have a welder, so I had to think of a different method of how to attach the wheels tightly to the legs. In the end I used a small aluminium bar that holds everything together with screw connections. All holes in the bar are threaded with a tap drill.

I had to knock of one of the edges of the bar with a file for it to sit snugly, as the steel profile has a slight radius in its inside corner.

Step 3: Construction of the Top "box"

The top compartment that holds the drawer is made of 18mm thick oak boards. All the edges that meet each other are connected by a 45 degree angle as to give a nice clean look at the outside edges. I also wanted the drawer to be "invisible" in its closed state, so its top edge is also inclined by 45 degrees.

The drawer was built out of some scrap pine wood I had laying around from some old shelves. It was more or less constructed on the go and with some eyeballing, so I don't have exact measurements. Anyways, the dimensions highly depend on the type of drawer slides one uses for the drawer.

The middle shelf you see in the pictures is secured to the edge profiles by a 50mm brass wood screw in each edge.

Step 4: And a Second One!

I was so satisfied with the outcome that I built a similar second one for my electronics testing equipment. It has the same dimensions, just the drawers are different. Since I needed a storage solution for a lot of small electronic components I opted for two drawers that are half of the height of the one from the other workbench.

Step 5: Some More Pictures...

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    4 Discussions

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    db9pz

    6 months ago

    this is an elegant solution for storing any delicate instruments, like the old Hameg osciloscope,... are you a HAM-radio operator? i like this, thinking about doing also a rack like this for my old, but reliable mesurment instruments. 73 de db9pz ( many greetings from me, db9pz ) ; Markus

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    MarcioWilges

    6 months ago on Introduction

    These remind me a lot about the little serving trays you can get from IKEA but of course because it's wood, it makes it look so much more elegant!

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    RJF

    6 months ago on Step 4

    Could have cut the angle iron at the bottom shelf, then mount casters to the lower shelf. Rather than stud casters, just buy the ones with a flat plate to mount the caster. I always like to up the caster to 3 or 4 inches which gives it a smooth roll and over comes any floor irregularities.