|Project by Ron Stewart||posted 01-21-2013 03:53 AM||17800 views||53 times favorited||12 comments|
Here are some photos of a mobile workbench I just finished building. It’s built from yellow pine and birch plywood. Its overall dimensions are 72” wide, 24” deep, and 35” tall.
The top is a torsion box. The structural members are 2.5” x 1.5” cut from 2”x6” boards, and the panels are 3/4” birch plywood. The dog holes are spaced 6” apart and go all the way through the top (in case I ever decide to try holdfasts).
The base is an direct implementation of Christopher Schwarz's $175 Workbench, cut from 2”x8” boards and sized to fit my bench.
The caster system is also based on a pair of Schwarz blog posts, The Easiest Way to Make Your Bench Mobile and Mobile Base Mark II. I made my casters swing to the inside of the base when parked, and I used sliding patio door latches instead of luggage-style latches to lock the casters in the down position.
Because the bench wobbles depending on where I place it in my garage, I added levelers to the front legs to stabilize it. That works very well.
You’ve no doubt noticed that I didn’t install any vises. There are simple reasons for that. I have limited storage space in which for the bench when it’s not in use. My wife parks her car in front of this bench, and I didn’t want anyone to catch a hip on a face vise handle. I didn’t install a tail vise because I don’t have much room on either side. I have a Veritas surface vise and surface clamp (along with the usual F-clamps) for workholding. We’ll see how that goes when I actually start using the bench.
The board running across the front of the legs in one photo is sort of a planing beam. I’m not a hand-tool woodworker, so I won’t actual use it for planing. But I do envision using it to support panels vertically for edge banding and trimming.
I’m looking forward to using this bench, and I’m excited to have my first real bench. To date, I’ve been using a five-foot folding cafeteria table and a 25-year old Workmate (which I will continue to use and think I will always consider an extremely useful tool.)
I know from reading the forums here that there is a lot of interest in workbenches, and some amount of interest it making them mobile, so I plan to document the rationale, design, and construction of my bench in detail. In the past, I’ve put that sort of information on my personal web site. This time, I think I’ll try my hand at doing it in a series of blog posts here.
-- Ron Stewart