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Assembly Table

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Project by Lockwatcher posted 04-03-2011 09:24 PM 7829 views 42 times favorited 14 comments Add to Favorites Watch

NOTE: I built this back in October, and it has been featured on many of my projects (they were sitting on it!)...

This is my assembly table – pulled from the pages of Wood Magazine (March 2010). The top is about 4’ square (that’s a yardstick on the top in the second picture). It stands about 31” tall and is fantastic for building things on! I used to (just like most of us) build things on top of my table saw surface to give me a flat place to work. Not anymore…the top is two pieces of MDF built up as a torsion box (pictures 5 & 6). This does two things: 1) makes the surface very flat…and 2) makes the table very heavy. I edged the top with pine, and sealed it with polyurethane.

I used double locking casters (both the wheel and pivot lock) to make it more stable. I had tried cheaper Harbour Freight casters – I could still push the table around the shop – even with the wheels locked.

The frame elements are built using re-dimensioned contruction grade lumber (2×10’s cut down to size). This reduced warping, and was very inexpensive to build. I had a bit of waste, but most of the waste was knots or other bad areas. larger construction lumber (not 2×4’s) tend to be flatter (selectively) and cleaner (less knots) than a lot of the 2×4 lumber.

In my case I had the room to add this to my shop…if you are low on room, you could build just the top, and then use it on top of saw horses etc.

The design of this was the inspiration I needed for my Easy Shop Table series! You can also see it here in my Easy Shop Table Blog

-- Lockwatcher, Ohio, http://www.lockwatcher.com/





14 comments so far

View JL7's profile

JL7

7275 posts in 1655 days


#1 posted 04-03-2011 09:43 PM

Very nice – turned out great!

-- Jeff - I have not failed. I've just found 10,002 ways that won't work.

View Ken90712's profile

Ken90712

15102 posts in 1878 days


#2 posted 04-03-2011 09:57 PM

Great work on this table. Should serve you for many yrs.. Good-looking shop as well.

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View Lockwatcher's profile

Lockwatcher

84 posts in 1382 days


#3 posted 04-03-2011 11:48 PM

The casters I found came from a local place called Woodwerks (Columbus, Ohio). As you noted, they are not cheap ($11.25 each). When I first went looking for them, they had a bunch (10 or so) for $7.00 each – yep – bought them all.

They are a 5” caster that raise your item 6 1/4” off the floor. On the invoice, they are marked as “Steelex 5” Red Poly Swivel w/brake” – The part number from Woodwerks is “D2612”.

I did end up buying one set of Woodcraft casters, and they are almost identical…the key difference is the size of the mounting plate. On the Woodwerks the top plate is 3” x 3” – the Woodcraft plate is 3” x 3 3/4”. See the pictures below…

Above: The Woodcraft caster’s mounting plate was larger than my mounting area. Had to leave one screw out of the plate. Still plenty strong (I could have dropped in a small filler scrap)...

Below: The Woodwerks Steelex caster with the 3” x 3” mounting plate.

As for the Torsion Box:

The instructions were pretty good in the magazine. They had you lay a 4’ x 4’ sheet of MDF on sawhorses, then using some winding sticks or in my case some square aluminum channel, you shim the MDF till it is dead flat. You then use this surface to build your torsion box on. The inside of my torsion box is also MDF (1/2 inch). I also used torsion boxes in the construction of my Miter Saw Stand.

Thanks, Ken C

-- Lockwatcher, Ohio, http://www.lockwatcher.com/

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6664 posts in 2669 days


#4 posted 04-04-2011 01:44 AM

That’s a pretty serious assembly bench!

Looks like it would hold up a car with that construction method.

Lee

-- by Lee A. Jesberger http://www.prowoodworkingtips.com http://www.ezee-feed.com

View steliart's profile

steliart

1808 posts in 1378 days


#5 posted 04-04-2011 04:52 PM

Now that’s an excellent assably table
very well done

-- Stelios L.A. Stavrinides: - I am not so rich to buy cheap tools, but... necessity is the mother of inventions - http://www.steliart.com --

View rcflyer's profile

rcflyer

9 posts in 1595 days


#6 posted 04-04-2011 11:06 PM

Great looking table, and looks very strong. Getting ready to build a workbench, and due to space limitations am going to go will the double locking casters. Everybody has great projects on this site, and gives a person a lot of good ideas.

View Dave Pearce's profile

Dave Pearce

108 posts in 2362 days


#7 posted 04-05-2011 04:38 PM

I’ve had the fortune of seeing this table in person. If I had the room, this would be a must-have in my shop. Too often I’ve had to move a project off my workbench in order to work with more pieces. The only other table in my garage is a folding table, and that gets filled up with too much junk. A dedicated work surface like this would solve many problems.

Nice build Ken and about time you posted pictures of it!

-- http://www.pearcewoodworking.com

View brtech's profile

brtech

682 posts in 1612 days


#8 posted 04-05-2011 05:05 PM

Are the torsion box interior supports half U joints? Are they actually rounded, or did you square them off? Doesn’t look like they are full height toe nailed, as theWoodWhisper did his.

View Lockwatcher's profile

Lockwatcher

84 posts in 1382 days


#9 posted 04-06-2011 12:58 AM

The interior supports are made like this:

I first ripped many strips (too many!) 1” wide out of 1/2” MDF. The strips were than cut with a dado blade on the table saw, 1/2” wide slots – on a jig just like a box cutting jig. I ended up with a large stack that just lightly dropped over each other and were lightly glued together.

After building the torsion section, I drew lines between all the openings onto the MDF bottom. I than new where glue had to go. Put glue down, laid the top on it (no glue) and put most everything I could find to weight it down.

After the glue dried, I put glue on the top of the grid, and clamped it once again.

(Two of the sides had edging on it before the glue up of the torsion box)

Ken C.

-- Lockwatcher, Ohio, http://www.lockwatcher.com/

View Roger's profile

Roger

14859 posts in 1494 days


#10 posted 10-29-2012 12:49 PM

A very stout table. Nicely done

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Kentuk55@bellsouth.net

View scribble's profile

scribble

69 posts in 890 days


#11 posted 07-25-2014 11:00 PM

Here is one I am almost finished with, just need to wrap the top and seal it up.

-- If you can't read it Scribble wrote it!! “Experience is merely the name men gave to their mistakes.”

View Lockwatcher's profile

Lockwatcher

84 posts in 1382 days


#12 posted 07-26-2014 12:45 AM

Wow! Looks great…is that a bit taller to act as an outfeed table?

Your going to use the HECK out of that table (I use it like everyday)...

Lockwatcher

-- Lockwatcher, Ohio, http://www.lockwatcher.com/

View MerylL's profile

MerylL

13 posts in 61 days


#13 posted 09-01-2014 06:15 AM

I’ve viewed a few of these projects, and they look quite fascinating. What I am not seeing is “how to make them.” I’ve seen plans mentioned; am I assuming too much? Are these just to “show us your work” but not any instructions? Even without the instructions or plans, though, I am getting great ideas, so thanks everyone! (Just trying to figure out if I’m missing an obvious click/link.) Thanks all.

Hmm… edit: I’m reading it again and seeing more about how to build it. So I am probably not missing a link, but probably not reading carefully, at least for some. The bit about the aluminum still has me puzzled, but I guess I’ll figure it out eventually. This is a really sharp table!

{sigh} – Sorry… I went back to my good bud Google, and you can ignore all of the above, at least for this post. Well… ignore all the dumb questions. Retain all the good thanks! :-)

View Lockwatcher's profile

Lockwatcher

84 posts in 1382 days


#14 posted 09-01-2014 01:45 PM

This particular table was featured in Wood Magazine (2010)...other versions that I developed can be found here:

Easy Shop Table

The aluminum channel was used to simply give a super flat surface to do your glue-up of the top (two strips layed on a board and shimmed if needed till the “point” of the angle (facing up) was dead flat (otherwise, your top may not be flat (on a smaller table, this isn’t an issue)...being that you want a shop table with a flat top, this is the way to go (some people just use a big flat door to assemble it on)

Hope this helps!

Ken C / Lockwatcher

Hope this helps!

-- Lockwatcher, Ohio, http://www.lockwatcher.com/

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