Liftable Shop Cabinet Top

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Forum topic by Quailguy posted 09-17-2016 09:41 PM 349 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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33 posts in 610 days

09-17-2016 09:41 PM

I’m in the process of reorganizing my garage shop and want to add some specialized shop furniture. My first priority is an outfeed table for my table saw. My “idea” is to have roll around cabinets that will fit under my workbench ends when not in use, but can be positioned as outfeed tables. Due to height differences, I would need to be able to raise the tops of these cabinets to the same height as the table saw. Has anyone seen something like this where I can get some building ideas on how the lift might work? My shop is also used as a garage, so mobility and storage is important.

Thanks in advance

10 replies so far

View MadMark's profile


965 posts in 871 days

#1 posted 09-17-2016 10:52 PM

What is the height you need?


-- Madmark -

View Quailguy's profile


33 posts in 610 days

#2 posted 09-17-2016 11:49 PM

Space under the workbench is 33 1/2 inches, the top of the table saw is 34 3/4 inches. I want the cabinets to double as assembly tables as well.

View tool49's profile


6 posts in 169 days

#3 posted 09-18-2016 12:17 AM

This might sound silly but would it not be easier to raise your workbench an inch and a half?

If not, adding a couple of pullout shims under the top of those cabinets seems like the easy way. I’m thinking something along the lines of this:

22 minute mark-

So basically, you build 2 support under the top that when pulled lift the top the the exact height you need.

Simple, elegant and sturdy all rolled in a package :)

View TheTurtleCarpenter's profile


796 posts in 484 days

#4 posted 09-18-2016 01:00 AM

This is an older photo of my shop, as you can see on the right side is my roll around off feed table sitting under the bench. It is 34 1/2” tall and slips under the chopsaw bench.

-- "Tying shoelaces was way harder than learning to Whistle",,,,,member MWTCA area K. Kentucky

View clin's profile


485 posts in 414 days

#5 posted 09-18-2016 03:46 AM

I think trying to raise the cabinets tops, while certainly not impossible, sounds like a complex solution. I too would consider raising the workbench. Though you don’t want that to get uncomfortably high. But if you’re tall, maybe that bench is a little short anyway.

But if raising the tops of the cabinets is the plan, perhaps a scissor lift of some sort. Or more simply some apple boxes (simple boxes to raise something to a needed height) that you set on top of the cabinets. These could be built with a lip that fits the cabinet and therefore can’t slide off.

Heck if about 1 1/2” is what you need, couple of layers of plywood is all you would need. If that would be too heavy, then may just 1/2” plywood with some 1” thick bracing.

Or maybe just a second. loose top that can be lifted and rotated 180 degrees. With appropriate supports and recesses, I think you could make this sit flush in one orientation and raise it the needed amount in the other.

-- Clin

View Quailguy's profile


33 posts in 610 days

#6 posted 09-18-2016 04:35 AM

Raising the workbench won’t work, but your suggestions have opened the doors to some ideas I hadn’t thought of. Sometimes in my desire to build something out of the ordinary, I tend to overthink it. Thanks to all and when it comes together, I’ll post it.

View dhazelton's profile (online now)


2284 posts in 1715 days

#7 posted 09-18-2016 01:52 PM

I’d get a bunch of these and screw them to an appropriate thickness piece of material – put it on the table when you need it, take it off and hang it on the wall the rest of the time.

View muleskinner's profile


868 posts in 1855 days

#8 posted 09-18-2016 02:13 PM

How about a couple eccentrics on the bottom of the cabinets that you can actuate with your foot that raise the cabinet to your desired height?

-- Visualize whirled peas

View Ripper70's profile


108 posts in 327 days

#9 posted 09-18-2016 02:18 PM

I like dhazelton’s approach. Another could be using one of these push/pull clamps. If the stroke was 1 1/4” and each corner of the table had one of these you could essentially jack the table up the required amount. These come in a variety of shapes and sizes and a slight modification to the foot could make it an uncomplicated solution.

-- "You know, I'm such a great driver, it's incomprehensible that they took my license away." --Vince Ricardo

View JBrow's profile


743 posts in 338 days

#10 posted 09-18-2016 11:52 PM


A separate auxiliary top (the surface that functions as an outfeed surface) could be lifted and set atop the cart when it serves as an outfeed table and removed when the cart is to be stowed. The auxiliary top could be edge banded so that the edge banding registers on the cart. Some protruding dowel pins glued into the underside of the auxiliary top that mate to holes drilled in the cart could also be used (as an alternative to the edge banding) to register the auxiliary top and keep it from shifting around when used as an outfeed table. However, this solution requires lifting and stowing the auxiliary top when not in use.

Another idea is to incorporate a shop made offset pivot hinge could allow the auxiliary top to fold up and onto the sub-table of the roll around cart. If the auxiliary top is ¾” thick then some spacer blocks glued on the underside of the auxiliary top would bring the auxiliary top up to table saw height.

Pivot cleats attached to the opposite edges of the cart and positioned to set flush with the sub-top or top rails of the cart and extending beyond the back face of the cart would support the pivot points. The pivot cleats would have to extend beyond the end of the cart enough to prevent the auxiliary top from binding as it is rotated into position. A table top cleat glued to the underside of the auxiliary top would accept a bolt on which the auxiliary top would rotate.

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