|Project by MT_Stringer||posted 06-04-2014 04:31 AM||3491 views||47 times favorited||23 comments|
Here is a new mobile workstation for my small workshop (one car garage). I have built a few cabinets and needed something lower than my worktable so I can assemble the cabinet carcases.
So, I got to thinking. And the more I thought about it, the more I wanted to build something I can use a lot and for different things. My original thoughts and plan have gone through several iterations, mostly in my head, and while I am asleep!
Listed below were my expectations:
- Adjustable height work table
- Lowest position to be used to assemble cabinets or other projects that are too tall to assemble on the work table
- Make it easy to adjust the height either when raising or lowering the top
- Set the height at a comfortable height for sanding operations.
- Build a sanding station to clamp onto the table (future project)
- Incorporate the design so the table can be positioned level with the work table (34 1/2 inches) to help support projects longer than 48 inches.
Table top size is 30×37 inches
Note: The table height at the lowest position is 28 inches. The highest position is about 39 inches. Thirty seven inches is just right for my comfort level when routing.
With the help and advice of my friend MobilePaul, I decided to build a frame using 2×4 premium studs from the big box store. I ripped off the round edges leaving 1 1/2×3 inch stock with which to build. Some glue, some screws and some pocket screws and a few clamps and I wound up with a nice sturdy frame.
The top portion consists of a similar frame attached to four legs. Each leg is simply two pieces of 3/4 inch Baltic Birch glued and screwed together. One side of each leg has a routed slot in it. I drilled and installed two 3/8 inch bolts for each leg. They are glued into the lower framework. I used the Gorilla glue and they are stuck like Chuck! Some fender washers and 3/8” knobs from Woodriver (Woodcraft) round out the adjustable part. Note: When prepping for final cuts before assembling the upper frame, I put several pieces of plastic (flexible cutting board) between the frame and each leg to force a little clearance, then cut my pieces and put them together.
The 3/4 inch top has an edge band around all four sides and filler strips underneath in between to edge and the frame. This provides 1 1/2 inch thick edges for clamps. I rounded off the corners and then cover the top with a piece of Formica.
To facilitate raising and lowering the table I bought a scissor jack from Harbor Freight. It is big, but I made the decision based on the fact that it came with a speed wrench and a hex head on the jack. I could hook up an impact wrench and get-after-it if I wanted to.
I mounted the jack on a couple of 2×6’s I had laying around. A couple of pieces of scrap 1/2 inch plywood filled in the open area on either side of the jack.
After some careful measuring to determine the jacks’ maximum height and it’s lowest position, I fabricated a “spacer” which is working out great. I made it using more short plywood cutoffs with pocket screws and screws and glue. The jack is bolted to the frame and the spacer is bolted to the jack. I didn’t attach the spacer to the top frame. Just no need to do it.
If you look closely at the top frame, you will see a couple of cross braces. They are attached with pocket screws only (no glue).
Table design – rev 1
So there I was admiring my work when it hit me- why not install a router plate on one end? The way the frame and cross members are placed, a router plate will fit nicely and be well supported. This a perfect opportunity to resolve some issues I have been dealing with. The opening in the Rockler plate is too small for my raised panel bit to fit through. So, I bought a Kreg plate pre-drilled for the Bosch 1617. It has a 3 9/16’s inch opening so the bit will fit. It also comes with a wrench for twist lock quick insert plate changes. This should work out well.
To protect the router, I will remove it and drop in a filler plate when I assemble a project.
Table design – rev 2
When I checked my email, I had received an email from Highland Woodworking. It just so happened they had the Triton 3 1/4 hp router on sale! So I ordered it and another Kreg plate predrilled for the Triton (including the hole for the height adjustment tool to fit through.
When I started this project, all I wanted was a shorter table for assembly work. Those plans have changed dramatically.
The dual router installation turned out nice. After routing the recessed lips and cut the remainder away, I installed some brass threaded inserts and 1/4 inch capscrews so I could level the plates.
Hope you like the pictures.
-- Handcrafted by Mike Henderson - Channelview, Texas