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Ultimate Mobile Woodworking Bench (UMWB) #1: Design

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Blog entry by Garry posted 275 days ago 4417 reads 15 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Ultimate Mobile Woodworking Bench (UMWB) series Part 2: Taking the plunge - Starting the project »

I’ve been thinking about this for a while. I’m a contract engineer so we have to move every few years. My shop is usually one side of a two car garage with makeshift shelves. I sometimes add some cheap cabinets but end up leaving them when we move. A good dust collection system is out of the questions so I usually do a lot of my work in the driveway. This means carry saw horses and plywood for makeshift benches and wheeling tools on rollers in and out. There are many trips back and forth for hand tools and supplies.

So here’s my proposal. One big rolling workstation that combines the table saw, router, work surface, drawers, cabinets, and a place to set up other tools like the miter saw or maybe a planer. With everything on one platform, there is little time spent running back and forth – all tools normally needed are handy. The design is modular so it can be disassembled for moving or modifications. The bottom platform and the work surface are torsion boxes.

Of course there are drawbacks. It’s heavy – 1200 to 1400 lbs. It needs a fairly level driveway – not that common.

What do you think? Is this a good idea or a hare-brained scheme? You can download the Sketchup model from the Sketchup Warehouse.

-- Garry, North Carolina woodworker and engineer - The journey you're preparing for has already begun.



12 comments so far

View SawdustSeamhead's profile

SawdustSeamhead

17 posts in 569 days


#1 posted 275 days ago

Garry, I think that it looks like a great idea. You’ve likely already seen this, as there are many similarities to what you’ve got planned, but I thought I’d share the following anyways.

Dubbed the “Ultimate Tool Stand,” I built one this spring for my shop (I’ll have to get some pictures of mine uploaded soon), as I had many of the same goals in mind as what you identified. It’s been a great addition to my shop, and I think what you’ve got planned will be very versatile and useful.

http://christophermerrill.net/ww/plans/UTS/Tool_Stand_1.html

Hope you can glean any ideas that can be tacked on to what you’re planning. Again, looks great! Good luck with the build, I’ll be looking forward to the finished product!

-- Jarred K.

View Stoli's profile

Stoli

44 posts in 1962 days


#2 posted 274 days ago

Looks like a version of the Paulk bench. The only possible issue I see is how close the saw and router table are to each other.

View Garry's profile

Garry

98 posts in 310 days


#3 posted 274 days ago

Stoli – Yes, I tried to incorporate many of the good ideas from Lumberjocks and others. The Paulk workbench makes a lot of sense to me. One big advantage is having a handy place for tool laydown without cluttering the workbench top.

I’m not sure I see the issue with the router placement. It’s the same as many others which mount the router in the table saw rails to be able to use the table saw fence for the router.

SawdustSeamhead – Thanks for the link and the encouragement. I hadn’t seen that workbench before. Lots of good ideas I can consider.

-- Garry, North Carolina woodworker and engineer - The journey you're preparing for has already begun.

View Garry's profile

Garry

98 posts in 310 days


#4 posted 274 days ago

You can see a brief video of the construction concept at http://youtu.be/rTpMnY6VDLw

-- Garry, North Carolina woodworker and engineer - The journey you're preparing for has already begun.

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

111999 posts in 2172 days


#5 posted 274 days ago

Very cool design.

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

View GOOD LUCK TO ALL's profile

GOOD LUCK TO ALL

418 posts in 322 days


#6 posted 274 days ago

Looks good. I’m a little concerned about the way the wheels fold to lower the bench to the ground. If I was looking at it right it seems that all the weight is on the hinge screws, so maybe I would look at that, it could be strong enough, IDK.
Also I downloaded the model. The file size is pretty big, (9859.67KB) the bigger the file the longer it takes to refresh and load.
You can cut the size more than half (4330.62KB) by purging unused items. Check it out.

Before you try it, look at “FILE” and you will see what the size is. Purge, save model, go back to File and see what the size dropped down to.

View Garry's profile

Garry

98 posts in 310 days


#7 posted 274 days ago

KevinJeffery – Thanks for the tip on reducing the file size for the Sketchup model. Done.

Good point about the loading on the hinge screws for the casters. Those hinges will have to be heavy duty as well as the fasteners (maybe use through bolts instead of screws). It might also be good to rout insets for the hinges to help take the load.

-- Garry, North Carolina woodworker and engineer - The journey you're preparing for has already begun.

View helluvawreck's profile

helluvawreck

15372 posts in 1461 days


#8 posted 274 days ago

As long as it has some real good casters with brakes I think that it can be a very good workable idea.

helluvawreck aka Charles
http://woodworkingexpo.wordpress.com

-- If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. Henry David Thoreau

View Garry's profile

Garry

98 posts in 310 days


#9 posted 274 days ago

Charles – Thanks for the encouragement. Yes, good casters will be crucial. It’s currently drawn with 5” x 2” heavy duty casters (rated 900 lb. each) with roller bearings. I’m considering going to 6” diameter wheels. My biggest worry is that it will be too hard to move but I’m fairly confident I can do it. Worst case, I take it apart and rebuild it as two separate mobile benches.

I don’t think I want to use brakes since this means the bench would always be on the casters with a potential to develop flat spots from long periods when not using it. Plus brakes are sometimes hard to access depending on which direction the wheel is pointed.

The idea as drawn is to use a bar to raise the bench on casters for transport, then lower it on substantial wooden feet for use. A bar could be inserted in the hole as shown below to lever the caster and bench. The spacer block would hinge into place to support the load on the caster or laid flat unload the caster and support the load on the foot.

-- Garry, North Carolina woodworker and engineer - The journey you're preparing for has already begun.

View SirFatty's profile

SirFatty

471 posts in 807 days


#10 posted 274 days ago

something similar here.

It’s a cool work surface!

-- Visit my blog at dave.spalla.com

View GOOD LUCK TO ALL's profile

GOOD LUCK TO ALL

418 posts in 322 days


#11 posted 274 days ago

What about a solid mounted caster with something like one of these

View Garry's profile

Garry

98 posts in 310 days


#12 posted 273 days ago

KevinJeffery,

Thanks for the Floor Lock idea. Four of those will work great. And I found a set of four for around $70 that should do the trick.

-- Garry, North Carolina woodworker and engineer - The journey you're preparing for has already begun.

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