Assembly/work bench

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Blog entry by LesB posted 09-05-2009 08:40 PM 2844 reads 3 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is an idea I have been working on for an assembly/work bench. I posted an earlier blog to see if I could get some ideas and feed back. This is the current status.
The overall design can be flexible in size and I have left the storage area under the top open for now but will add drawers, shelves, and cupboard doors in the final construction. The open shelves on the ends may be replaced with racks for small clamp storage but I used the small shelves on another work bench and found it handy for storing glue bottles and such. The cam action locks on the adjustable top are still a working idea. I don’t know whether I will build my own or look for some commercial ones. Rockwell has some that I may try; or I may just go with large screw knobs. Does anyone know of any sources for cam clamps or a similar and better idea?
The caster wheels are just symbolic representations as I did not want to go to the effort of drawing fancier ones that swivel and lock. I’m still working on my Sketchup skills and consider it a really steep learning curve.

I have put three views in here. The entire work bench, the top only, and a “wire” line view.
Before I start construction I will add all the detail dimensions for the components.

Any critiques or suggestions would be appreciated. I will most like start working on it next month.

-- Les B, Oregon

8 comments so far

View KayBee's profile


1083 posts in 3213 days

#1 posted 09-06-2009 01:24 AM

I didn’t see the first iteration but how are you adjusting the legs so the top is even? I think it would be very easy to have one corner 1/4-1/2 inch higher. Marking a scale on every leg would be faster than having to measure every time. Or drill a hole every 2-3 inches and put a pin through it. But I really like the idea of the adjustable top and the glue bottle shelf.

-- Karen - a little bit of stupid goes a long way

View Dr_Unix's profile


49 posts in 4089 days

#2 posted 09-06-2009 03:21 AM

Coincidentally, my first thought seeing your (beautiful) sketchup drawings was “could this table be built with fewer quick-release clamps for the legs?” The concern is how do you ensure all four corners are at the same height? or would it matter?

Nothing comes to mind right away, but there should be a way to tie at least 2 legs together at a time so you’d be down to only two adjustments.

View a1Jim's profile (online now)


117063 posts in 3544 days

#3 posted 09-06-2009 05:05 AM

I think it looks like a cool design, I guess the proof would be using it to see how it holds up.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View jack1's profile


2103 posts in 3994 days

#4 posted 09-06-2009 06:05 AM

If the cams don’t work out, you can always drill a series of evenly distance holes in the base and use a hefty pin in each leg to hold the top at the height you want. It looks like you have a lot of beef in the base to surround the legs on the top to be able to do this. Cool idea

-- jack -- ...measure once, curse twice!

View stefang's profile


15881 posts in 3301 days

#5 posted 09-06-2009 06:04 PM

I really think your concept looks great, but I think Jack’s idea might be the most practical way to accurately adjust the height. A twist on that idea might be to just let the bottom of the legs rest on top of the pins. That way you could just remove the top, set the pins to the desired height and then set the top in again and let gravity do the rest. This might work ok if the legs are a snug fit. Good luck with your project whatever you decide!

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View LesB's profile


1684 posts in 3410 days

#6 posted 09-07-2009 07:29 PM

Thanks for the input guys.
I had considered the problem of getting the top level and will mull the solution over a bit more. At the moment I would probably opt for putting index lines on the uprights. I’m concerned that with out the cams locks or screw clamping the top could move and be a bit wobbly to work on in the higher settings. If I made the sleeve the uprights are held in tight enough to prevent movement it would be difficult to raise and lower and could even jam in damp weather….not that we ever have that here in Oregon.

I was re-reading your comments and I had an epiphany. (don’t ask why I used that word and I had to look up the spelling). I can use pins to set the height and the cams or screw claps to secure it.

-- Les B, Oregon

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13345 posts in 3640 days

#7 posted 11-07-2009 05:07 PM

I like the design!

View 76winger's profile


151 posts in 3084 days

#8 posted 11-21-2009 06:39 AM

I would be concerned that it might be hard to raise up and down by yourself due to wieght and size making it awkward. accomodating some type of a jack in the middle of it might get around that issue however.

For maintaining a level top, I like the pin idea as well. Mainly because of fear that the sliders might let go when you least want them too, or just plain slip if you had something too heavy on it.

Otherwise it looks like a GREAT beginning to a super assembly bench!

-- Dave, See some of my creations at:

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