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Ultimate Mobile Woodworking Bench (UMWB)

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Blog series by Garry updated 74 days ago 11 parts 19428 reads 28 comments total

Part 1: Design

278 days ago by Garry | 12 comments »

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 an...

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Part 2: Taking the plunge - Starting the project

276 days ago by Garry | 3 comments »

Actually, I started this project some weeks ago. I’ve been working on the design for a while. I recently bought a new table saw to incorporate into the UMWW. Besides wanting a decent quality saw, my requirements were 110 V and less than 15 amps so I could power it from a standard garage circuit and hybrid design with a small cabinet mounted on legs that could be removed. The candidates were the Ridgid R4512, Sears 21833 and the Grizzly GO661. The nearest HD with the Ridgid was 2 hours a...

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Part 3: Platform and Work surface

208 days ago by Garry | 2 comments »

So the UMWW is pretty well completed and I’ve been using it for a few weeks now. I’m very pleased with it and I’ll submit some posts to cover the construction. First I built the rolling platform torsion box. The 2×4s are acting as clamps while the glue sets up. The corners were cut away to reduce the height and reinforced with 2×8s to carry the wheel loads. The finished rolling platform: The Work surface torsion box was built using the rolli...

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Part 4: Cabinets and drawer boxes

207 days ago by Garry | 3 comments »

The cabinets support the work surface which is planned for a final height of 38-39” to fit me (I’m 6’3”). I left 1/4” for shimming to make sure it’s not above the table saw surface. The outside dimensions are 20”x 20” x21-3/4” tall. Plywood edges are exposed since I didn’t want to invest the time to trim them for a workbench. The drawers are designed to use the drawer bottom as the sliding surface after an idea I’ve seen her...

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Part 5: Mounting the table saw

207 days ago by Garry | 0 comments »

A few months ago I bought a hybrid saw so I could remove the legs to mount it on my mobile workbench. I built a box to support the saw and house a chute to channel the dust to the exhaust port. My original intention was to slope the front panel all the way back to the outlet so the chute that came with the saw wouldn’t work. During construction, I ended up with a square chute to get steeper angles and extended the suction pipe into it. I realized later that I could have saved some effor...

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Part 6: Electric power

207 days ago by Garry | 0 comments »

Being mobile, the table is dependent on power from a garage outlet so I installed a flexible line with a plug to connect the table’s electric system to a power cord. “Old work” boxes worked great and luckily the table cutouts were exactly the right size. The system is sized at 20 amps although it probably only needs 15 amps. I routinely start the tablesaw with the vacuum running with no trouble. I’ve only tripped the breaker or GFI once or twice when ripping some nasty...

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Part 7: Testing the dust separator

206 days ago by Garry | 1 comment »

I posted two projects related to the dust collection system designed into this mobile workbench. Click the links for the compact Thien dust separator and the rotary blast gates. The dust separator seemed extremely effective with almost no carryover to the vacuum. I was anxious test and document how effective, so I followed the example of some LJers and set up a test. I measured the contents of the dust separator bin and dumped it on the floor. I also swept up the shop floor which included ...

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Part 8: Final details for the UMWW

201 days ago by Garry | 1 comment »

Shims were cut to raise the table to ~1/16” below the tablesaw surface. Because of the gap required by the tablesaw fence, I sanded a shallow angle on the leading edge of the table to ensure work will slide smoothly onto the surface. My Bosch router table is 27” wide, the same dimension as the depth of the tablesaw. I drilled four holes in the fence rails and mounted it in a similar method. Then built a cabinet to fit under it and shimmed it as needed. I made...

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Part 9: Overall impressions of my Ultimate Mobile Woodworking Bench

200 days ago by Garry | 3 comments »

I have to say I’m very pleased with the UHWB. I started work on it a few months ago and it’s been usable for the last month and a half. These last two weeks on Christmas vacation gave me time to really focus and get it finished. After way too many years of makeshift garage workshops in rented houses, it feels great to have an organized workspace that I know I can take with me almost anywhere. I built a small bookcase for my wife’s craft room and it went very smoothly. Her...

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Part 10: Clamp pull-out drawer

176 days ago by Garry | 3 comments »

I decided to make a pull-out drawer for the ~7” gap between cabinets. I toyed with different uses and came up with clamp storage. This freed up two drawers for other uses. I need to find a decent way to make replaceable labels for the drawers.

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Part 11: Shop labels

74 days ago by Garry | 0 comments »

I finally got around to making the shop labels that I designed some time ago. They’re sized for standard business cards which can be hand lettered or printed. The wood strips have a 15 degree bevel and are spaced to hold the card with slight compression. It came out pretty well and has plenty of room for personal preference. Design showing label and spacer for installation: Installation with staples to hold it until the glue dries (push pins might be a better option): With labe...

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