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My Ultimate Mobile Woodworking Bench

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Project by Garry posted 99 days ago 4229 views 56 times favorited 34 comments Add to Favorites Watch
My Ultimate Mobile Woodworking Bench
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It was very interesting to see Drew's Ultimate Tablesaw Cabinet posted a few days ago. Apparently he and I were working on similar projects over the holiday break.

Here’s what I call my Ultimate Mobile Woodworking Bench. It’s based on the Paulk design and incorporates many ideas I picked from you LJs. It’s modular so it can be broken down into pieces when moving to the next house.

I have to say I’m very pleased with the UMWB. I started work on it a few months ago and it’s been usable for the last month and a half. These last two weeks on Christmas vacation gave me time to really focus and get it finished. After way too many years of makeshift garage workshops in rented houses, it feels great to have an organized workspace that I know I can take with me almost anywhere. I built a small bookcase for my wife’s craft room and it went very smoothly.

Here are my impressions so far with a series of walkaround pics below. If you want more details and to follow the build, check my UMWB blog and other postings. I’ll also answer any comments or emails.

Side view (with sled stored beside the tablesaw):

Size – The work surface is 48” x 76.5”. The max width of the tablesaw and router table is 52”, the overall length of the benchtop and tablesaw surface is 9’-2”. The fence extends another 14” for a total overall length of 10’-4”. The height is 38.5” or 39” (depending on when the floor locks are actuated) to suit my preference.

Convenience – The best part is having all my tools ready to hand in the drawers on the bench both for getting them out and putting them away. The big work surface gives room to move things out of the way when I need to push another piece through the saw. The cutouts in the side are great places to keep dust brushes, clamps, squares, and hand tools handy without being in the way.

Mobility – On the big 6” swivel casters, the table moves with a solid push on the smooth garage floor. It has some heft (I estimate 800 – 1000 lbs) so most tasks don’t require the floor locks. It sometimes takes a push crosswise to get the casters to swivel in the right direction. It works well in the driveway but takes a bit more effort due to the slight slope, dip and twist in the concrete. The torsion box frame is rigid enough that I have to shift it around to find the right location to get all four rollers on the ground and keep the table from rocking (but it’s so big, it’s hardly noticeable when it does).

Floor locks – I decided to use floor locks instead of wheel brakes since the brakes are often under the table where you can’t reach them. The floor locks individually have a little play in them but when they’re all engaged the table is rock solid. To get enough clearance for the uneven driveway, I had to raise the table by putting 1/2” plywood under the casters. I keep four pieces of 1/2” to put under the floor locks when I actuate them. I also had to extend the foot pad on the floor locks to make it easier to actuate them (lifting the table in the process).

Storage – There are lots for drawers for storage and I seem to have hit on the right mix of 2”, 4.5” and 7” deep drawers. There are still some options for hanging storage and spaces between the cabinets to be utilized. The only thing I don’t have designated space for is my power saw but that would only be needed for breaking down full sheets. With a folding infeed table, I wouldn’t be needing it anymore, so that will be one of my first projects.

Dust control – The compact dust separator works well even though powered only by a shop vacuum. The exhaust air manifold directs the suction to either the tablesaw, router cabinet or hose. The hose can be connected to the router fence or used as a typical vacuum hose for cleanup. A future upgrade would be to build a more powerful suction fan to replace the shop vac.

Electrical – There is an open outlet at either end, dedicated outlets for the tablesaw and router, and switched outlets for the vacuum and compressor. The tablesaw and router have safety paddle switches. The vacuum switch can be reached over the saw table but I have to remember to check the air manifold to make sure it’s aligned to the tablesaw.

Tablesaw – The bench works great as an outfeed table. The Shopfox W1410 fence is accurate and solid. An upgrade will be a folding infeed platform and a device to help lift a sheet of plywood up to the table.

Router – Luckily, the Bosch table I had could be used within the tablesaw fence rails. The router cabinet gives useful storage and is shimmed from below to make sure the wight doesn’t affect the fence rail alignment. Dust control can be connected to the cabinet and fence at the same time and seems to work fine.

Walkaround pics:
With the sled stowed on the side (left) of the tablesaw. Note the storage for push sticks, stop blocks and the router table fence.

The router table extension with cabinet. You can see the switches and outlet in a protected location at the end of the table.

Next to the router table is the exhaust air manifold, the dust separator, the rectangular Ridgid vacuum and the Makita MAC700 compressor. The 2-1/2” vacuum hose tucks away between the cabinets below the air manifold.

Opposite the tablesaw is another outlet and the plug for the power feed. The table overhangs about a foot giving a safe place to hang the air hose and opportunities for other storage as needed.

This side shows most of the storage drawers which are interchangeable so they can be rearranged as needed.

Tucked away to make room for the car but still very usable.

-- Garry, North Carolina woodworker and engineer - The journey you're preparing for has already begun.





34 comments so far

View fuigb's profile

fuigb

141 posts in 1456 days


#1 posted 99 days ago

Impressive.

Because you mention moving from house to house I will ask: will this beast fit on or up the ramp of a rental truck? Looks to be too wide for that, so is the plan to utilize a lift gate?

-- - Crud. Go tell your mother that I need a Band-aid.

View CalgaryGeoff's profile

CalgaryGeoff

913 posts in 981 days


#2 posted 99 days ago

Wow that is a beast of a project. Looks very well built and certainly functional. I use a similar design, and to keep the wheels from rolling around, I used 3/4” ply 5”x5” with a hole in the center for the castor wheel to sit on. Works great,

-- If you believe you can or can not do a thing, you are correct.

View CalgaryGeoff's profile

CalgaryGeoff

913 posts in 981 days


#3 posted 99 days ago

Wow that is a beast of a project. Looks very well built and certainly functional. I use a similar design, half sized though, and to keep the wheels from rolling around, I used 3/4” ply 5”x5” with a 2” hole in the center for the castor wheel to sit on. Works great.

-- If you believe you can or can not do a thing, you are correct.

View MasterSergeant's profile

MasterSergeant

1262 posts in 1187 days


#4 posted 98 days ago

Ultra congratulations on this impressive project!

-- Kelly, woodworker under construction

View aussiedave's profile

aussiedave

2751 posts in 323 days


#5 posted 98 days ago

Wow great looking work bench Garry, you did an awesome job…thanks for sharing.

-- Dave.......Keep calm and make more sawdust....

View Garry's profile

Garry

96 posts in 214 days


#6 posted 98 days ago

fuigb,

I think you missed “It’s modular so it can be broken down into pieces when moving to the next house.” I think it would take one afternoon to break it down into manageable parts that can be moved easily. There would be the two torsion boxes, four cabinets, the dust separator, the router table and cabinet, and the tablesaw with it’s base cabinet. As one piece it weighs about 1,000 lbs, and I can’t imagine a good way to lift it into a moving van or even a flatbed trailer.

-- Garry, North Carolina woodworker and engineer - The journey you're preparing for has already begun.

View mafe's profile

mafe

9231 posts in 1588 days


#7 posted 98 days ago

That’s one of the coolest workbenches I have ever seen.
Think I will call it a work station mere than a bench.
Really looks like a wonderful place to make projects.
Best thoughts,
Mads

-- Mad F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

View Matt in Franklin's profile

Matt in Franklin

155 posts in 111 days


#8 posted 98 days ago

impressive indeed! What is the primary material used to make that thing? Did you use 3/4” ply?

Also, it would have been useful to take a picture of the chassis before you “built it up”. I am curious as to what you are using to hold all that up and prevent sagging in the middle.

Great workstation!

-- I'm just a simple caveman

View HillbillyShooter's profile

HillbillyShooter

3845 posts in 791 days


#9 posted 98 days ago

That’s one ultimate shop improvement! Great project, nicely done.

-- John C. -- "Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples' liberty's teeth." George Washington

View DonB's profile

DonB

196 posts in 1191 days


#10 posted 98 days ago

Makes mine look whimpy. Really nice work, now get to work and make it dusty with fresh sawdust.

-- DonB

View bugz's profile

bugz

768 posts in 1163 days


#11 posted 98 days ago

Wow, that is a real cool set up. Very well built, every thing in it’s place.

-- Bob, Lewistown, Montana. Kindness is the Language the blind can see and deaf can hear. - Mark Twain

View jeff's profile

jeff

607 posts in 1964 days


#12 posted 98 days ago

what a fantastic build,you’re going to have fun with that…

-- Jeff,Tucson,Az.

View Woodwrecker's profile

Woodwrecker

3465 posts in 2074 days


#13 posted 98 days ago

Great work Garry.
I bet that will serve you well for a long time !
Very nice.

-- Three Rules of Work: Out of clutter find simplicity; From discord find harmony; In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity. Albert Einstein

View smitdog's profile

smitdog

72 posts in 604 days


#14 posted 98 days ago

This guy is jealous… That’s a seriously cool-looking, monstrous work station. I need some organization like that so my tools aren’t covering every flat surface I can see…

View TheCoolDad's profile

TheCoolDad

14 posts in 99 days


#15 posted 98 days ago

Great workbench! This really inspires me. I am currently working out of a 1-car garage which doubles as storage so do not have much space. I also have to do most of my cutting out in the driveway. I’ve been contemplating lately how I could make my work space better and this just may be the answer. Thank you for posting this!

showing 1 through 15 of 34 comments

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