Mobile Workbench Project

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Project by BigBadBen posted 06-17-2013 02:47 PM 2444 views 6 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I have finished my new mobile workbench. With many thanks to the members of this site for providing guidance and ideas.

I began by using scrap lumber from a neighbors house remodel and glued up and planed down the structural base and top framing to 16/4 in size. I used a torsion box design for the verticle sides.

Mass and mobility were key design parameters. I used the casters from a $12 dolly from a big box store because the weight capacity was 1,200 lbs (and it only cost $12). I mounted them on the inside of the base frame with 3/8” clearance from the floor. See the picture of the base on my set-up table showing the clearance. I then made four fancy “shoes” that are 3/4” high and slip over each corner of the base frame. I use a small pry bar to raise each side when the bench is in place. This is very effective and stable.

I contemplated making the maple to myself, but ended up purchasing a 36” by 72” by 2-1/4” top from Global. I made the edging from a 12’ by 11” piece of 8/4 mahogany. Georgeous piece of wood! I purchased one 9” vise from Rockler and the end vise from Lee Valley. I’m very happy with both. I have a picture of the top in place prior to making the base cabinet. The “fancy shoes” are resting on the inside of this view, not in place.

I used the bench for a month or so prior to making the drawers. I used 3/4” MDF for the drawer carcass and 100 lbs. full pull drawer slides. The drawers are made od 3/4” ply front and backs with 1/2” maple ply sides. I used 1/2” maple ply to skin the enitre base and used maple trim to outline. The false drawer fronts were made of stain grade 3/4” soft wood. I stained them to look like mahogany, but I’m not thrilled with the results of the false fronts. Oh well.

All in all, this was a fun project and will provide many years of functional use. As with any project, you learn from it. The best feature is that it rolls out of the way when not in use.

Thanks again fellow Lumber Jocks for you input.



7 comments so far

View stefang's profile


15709 posts in 3206 days

#1 posted 06-17-2013 03:00 PM

Great build Ben. It is sure to serve you well and I would be surprised if you ever wanted another. I like the size too.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View helluvawreck's profile


29707 posts in 2738 days

#2 posted 06-17-2013 03:03 PM

That a great bench. Congratulations and welcome to Lumberjocks.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. Henry David Thoreau

View aussiedave's profile


3114 posts in 1696 days

#3 posted 06-17-2013 03:53 PM

Great looking bench Ben and solid too…Great job.

-- Dave.......If at first you don’t succeed redefine success....

View Sanding2day's profile


1008 posts in 1718 days

#4 posted 06-17-2013 04:04 PM

Nice looking bench… Great design and love the use of mahogany. This has become one of my favorite woods due to its use in a current project. Thanks for sharing…

-- Dan

View nuzzo's profile


64 posts in 2988 days

#5 posted 06-17-2013 04:40 PM

Ben, nice looking bench. This is exactly what I need for my garage/shop. Could actually use a couple of these. The plastic folding saw horses and 5/8” sheet of particle board is getting old quick.

View BigBadBen's profile


7 posts in 1948 days

#6 posted 06-17-2013 04:42 PM

Thanks for the comments. I appreciate the feedback.

View steliart's profile


2596 posts in 2560 days

#7 posted 06-18-2013 01:24 PM

very nice indeed !!!

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

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