Mobile Workbench for shop with limited space

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Project by DohBoy posted 12-06-2009 05:04 AM 2778 views 1 time favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This mobile work bench is part of my new shop. It’s made out of a smattering of rift and 1/4-sawn white oak from some salvage beams from a remodel of our oak timberframe home that had nail holes and other issues rendering the wood less than desirable for furniture. Course, I still have 10 or so 3” x 8” x 4-6’ pieces of beautiful curly 1/4-sawn that I am going to use to make a morris chair over the holidays. That project post to come. Top is laminated from 1 1/2×1 1/2 pieces, about 25” x 32” (I forget exactly).

The undercarriage is from a medical device mfr I used to work for – they built ecg stress test treadmills which included carts with a computer and large display. Sadly for them and good for me, these, and a buncha medical grade heavy duty wheels (not on this cart) were rejected on incoming.

Mounted a small vise on one end as can be seen. Will be putting some holes in for bench dogs and may upgrade the vise at some point. But we’ll see how this works out. Oh, yeah, think maybe sometime I will build a tool cabinet (sanders, chisels, fasteners, etc….) to put underneath. Post that one too, when it comes to fruition.

Finished the top by rubbing in a buncha paste wax. Very easy to repair and protects well from glues and finishes.

Glad to be back in the shop!

-- I am an anal-retentive procrastinator. Is it a wonder my projects never get done?

6 comments so far

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

20594 posts in 3130 days

#1 posted 12-06-2009 03:15 PM

That is a very handy portable work bench! Necessity is the mother of invention. I’ll bet a lot of us work that way in our shops!
What I found is nice is to make the portable tables the same height as one of our tools that you need a long table for. They double as a support!

Good job. thanks for sharing it with us!!!!!!!!


-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View a1Jim's profile


117115 posts in 3602 days

#2 posted 12-06-2009 06:26 PM

neat Idea good Job

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View Derek Lyons's profile

Derek Lyons

584 posts in 3593 days

#3 posted 12-06-2009 06:43 PM

Salvage and recycling is always good… I’d be concerned about the narrow wheelbase myself.

-- Derek, Bremerton WA --

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13345 posts in 3698 days

#4 posted 12-06-2009 10:12 PM

Nice work!

View ratchet's profile


1391 posts in 3812 days

#5 posted 12-07-2009 02:27 AM

I like this small WB! Seems like you know how to add functionality to workshop projects. That’s a big key to success.
That said I also have a concern about the narrow stance of the base. It looks like those strechers bolt on. If so you might be able extend or make new ones that are wider.

Thanks for sharing.

View DohBoy's profile


31 posts in 3149 days

#6 posted 12-07-2009 03:45 PM

Hi, guys – WRT wheelbase, the perspective in the shots is a bit skewed. If you look at the underside shot of the top, there’s only like 10” of overhang relative to the base. Plus, once I get the cabinet built to go under the top which will be placed between the verts, the additional weight of that (all my drills, drill bits, chisels, sanders, router etc….) will remove any current concerns with stability.

Spent a lotta time thinking bout balance and the base with this one. As it sits currently, the oak top probably weighs 60+ lbs. The base is surprisingly heavy as well – i believe it is steel or iron, too heavy for alu. The cabinet I suspect will add another 100-150 lbs when fully loaded. The main reason for the overhang is that I wanted to be able to sit on a stool and get my legs under the work surface so as to get close to any fine hand work I am doing. Until the cabinet is installed, I will have to be careful of working on the ends of the top but otherwise, no issues.

Thanks for all the comments!


-- I am an anal-retentive procrastinator. Is it a wonder my projects never get done?

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