Red Oak Mobile Workbench

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Project by ToddTurner posted 10-18-2009 04:39 PM 3619 views 7 times favorited 17 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is my mobile workbench i made last year. Most of the materials came from scrap lumber from machine crates. It didn’t cost an arm and a leg, just a little portion of my finger. Actually, 25% of my right thumb.
I made the bench to my height. This means there is no bending over to work off of it. THis is the advantage of making your own, versus buying one. it is over 45 inches tall and wieghs in at over 450lbs. THis project taught me an aweful lot about fine woodworking compared to slap-it-together work. All of the 2 inch wide boards used on the sides and back are 3/8 thick and joined together with 3/16 dowels, 6 per piece. The doors are my first shot at frame and panel, and i must say they turned out perfect. I use an Excel spreadsheet to calculate the sizes and it worked great. The top is 2.5 inch thich solid red oak, with mirror finish epoxy. The Mirror Finish helped to make the top pefectly flat so glue-ups are better. I use a mat to protect it. I can’t stand the thought of a chisel coming near it. Oh, the casters you ask? These are made by Milwaukee and came off of the mobile accetyline cylinder cart they make. My bench doubles as a serving table at our backyard gatherings. The last phot is my buddy.
The last photo is the bench in action. I cant put my router table, planer, and other things on top and it is the perfect height. I drew the bench on Autocad at work (dont tell my boss!)

17 comments so far

View a1Jim's profile


117160 posts in 3632 days

#1 posted 10-18-2009 04:43 PM

Very nice work Todd

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View woodworm's profile


14468 posts in 3645 days

#2 posted 10-18-2009 04:46 PM

Great idea, great workbench, great save!

-- masrol, kuala lumpur, MY.

View cstrang's profile


1832 posts in 3223 days

#3 posted 10-18-2009 04:55 PM

Nice job!

-- A hammer dangling from a wall will bang and sound like work when the wind blows the right way.

View NBeener's profile


4816 posts in 3229 days

#4 posted 10-18-2009 05:29 PM

I love it.

How’d your thumb get munched … and … will it heal, fully?

In short (don’t need to spell out formulas for me <grin>), how’d you use Excel to calc sizes? I’m just trying to understand the process a bit better … particularly since I thought that things like Sketchup and autocad could generate those for you.

Also, you seem to be a man who appreciates horsepower. As a native Motor City boy … cheers!

-- -- Neil

View ToddTurner's profile


144 posts in 3378 days

#5 posted 10-18-2009 06:26 PM

Well, NB, on the back is a board with a very small knot that i wanted to keep. I like knots because they add personality to wood. While ripping this particular stock, (all safeties were on my saw) a piece of the knot flew out, hit me in the face and startled me. My kneejerk reaction was to push the board downward and my thumb slipped into the blade. OUCH! I think i made up a few new cusswords, not to mention gave the guys at work something to ridicule me about! The doctor in the ER said it would grow back. I asked him was i a man or a lizard! it did not grow back but healed over. AND you notice the wife’s GT huh?! Most women in their 40’s want luxury and quiet. Not my redhead. She wanted horsepower and straight exhaust! It can be heard for 2 miles away. And the truck pushes 500hp. I will email you my excel sheet for calculating dimensions.

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 3876 days

#6 posted 10-18-2009 06:30 PM

Todd, that is a nice bench that would be a welcome addition to any shop. Making it mobile was a good idea, as well. I like the finish that you put on it. I have never used mirror epoxy but will certainly have to look into it.

Nice job.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View huff's profile


2828 posts in 3340 days

#7 posted 10-18-2009 08:19 PM

Great bench, and I like the idea of making it higher then nomal. much easier to stand at and work. Very nice.

-- John @

View loupitou06's profile


137 posts in 3381 days

#8 posted 10-18-2009 08:24 PM

Sorry to hear about your thumb but I have a question about your last picture, what exactly do you use for planing. Is that a carrier that moves with the board for flattening wide boards ?

Thanks for sharing

-- 100 fois sur le metier remettez votre ouvrage

View ToddTurner's profile


144 posts in 3378 days

#9 posted 10-18-2009 08:47 PM

no its a dead conveyor

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13345 posts in 3728 days

#10 posted 10-18-2009 09:28 PM

Todd, thats a nice workbench.

View ToddTurner's profile


144 posts in 3378 days

#11 posted 10-18-2009 09:30 PM

I do greatly appreciate the comments and notes, guys. The 4th picture is a dead roller, aluminum conveyor. As with most of the planers of this style, a little push is sometimes needed.

View panther's profile


59 posts in 3298 days

#12 posted 10-19-2009 03:53 AM

wow very nice bench

-- you must live for something or die for nothing (rambo)

View jim1953's profile


2735 posts in 3896 days

#13 posted 10-19-2009 05:09 AM

Great Lookin Bench

-- Jim, Kentucky

View NBeener's profile


4816 posts in 3229 days

#14 posted 10-20-2009 03:18 AM


a) Thanks much for the worksheet. I’ll look at it asap.

b) Good luck with the thumb. I did one of those “Sheesh” + inhale like a hissing sound things when I read that. I can imagine how easily that could happen.

c) I’ve seen a couple of those ‘stangs. Beautiful! May she be safe and ticket free with it! I’ll keep you in mind if we ever choose to re-locate our house. I imagine your truck could hall the structure quite nicely ;-)

Heal fast!

-- -- Neil

View WistysWoodWorkingWonders's profile


12758 posts in 3211 days

#15 posted 03-10-2010 04:55 AM

nice work on your bench… wish I had some red oak to use up on shop benches.. most of mine are made from Spruce or Fir…

-- New Project = New Tool... it's just the way it is, don't fight it... :)

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