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Wall Mounted Fold-up Woodworking Bench

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Forum topic by r33tc0w posted 02-21-2017 04:53 AM 1797 views 0 times favorited 22 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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r33tc0w

141 posts in 322 days


02-21-2017 04:53 AM

Topic tags/keywords: foldup workbench woodworking question

I’ve got a limited amount of space in a single car garage and I’m attempting to maximize workspace area so I can fit a shopsmith in. I’ve been researching a gajillion benches and have seen fold-up, and I’ve seen portable and I’ve seen woodworking benches but nothing that fits what I was looking for. The fold-up varieties haven’t been convincing enough in the stability arena. The dedicated benches where space isn’t an issue are great but not helpful in my quandary. And the portable, fold-up has the right idea, but its stability is still suspect for normal work tasks. So with all that said, looking for critique on the renderings for this bench and have a couple Qs:

- What sort of piano hinge do I need to source for this application? I’ve tried to understand load ratings with vertical loads and obviously, the thicker the better but I don’t want to go overkill. I think these specs should suffice, https://www.mcmaster.com/#1658a23/=16g1ie2, unless someone else as another recommendation

- That’s going to be a lot of weight slamming down. Any provision to help release the bench from an upright position? I’ve glanced over gas springs but I have no clue where to start or begin to calculate the force incurred on a spring – https://www.mcmaster.com/#gas-springs/=16g1jju

- Any sort of joinery I should consider to where the top connects to the leg assembly?
- Table height?
- Any design element I’m overlooking?

-- Matthew 13:53-58


22 replies so far

View papadan's profile

papadan

3584 posts in 3207 days


#1 posted 02-21-2017 06:16 AM

I’m not going to get into the design ideas with you, but can tell you that your bench will be used on 4 legs not 2 and the wall. You do not need a big heavy duty hinge for it. HD sells some piano hinges that will work just fine, or use a pair of 3” door hinges. As for gas shocks, you wont need them either. The bench will be supported by the wall when raised or lowered and will not be too heavy to handle.

View Mike_D_S's profile

Mike_D_S

328 posts in 2053 days


#2 posted 02-21-2017 01:09 PM

A couple of ideas/comments:

Lowering the bench: I agree that you should be concerned about the bench weight when raising, lowering. Since you have the dual goal of minimal storage space but also strength, the bench is expected to weight quite a bit. You don’t want to be trying to hold it up and walking backwards to lower it without some type of assistance or safety measure.

Option 1. A full size truck hood is fairly heavy and gas shocks for that application would probably help give a little support when lowering. They’re cheap enough to try.

Option 2: Install an tie down ring on the edge of the bench and on the wall, then use a small rope block and tackle to raise and lower the bench. Has the advantage that you never have to actually stand underneath the bench during raise/lower. Use a quick connect on the bench end and just let it hang against the wall when not in use. Add a mountain climbing safety catch (the kind you squeeze to let rope out) and you now have a easily controllable solution which is intrinsically safe. If you let go of the release for some reason, it’ll just lock and the bench will stay where it is.

Leg assembly:
Even though it’s tied to the wall, I think you’d want to consider racking. The folding legs essentially have zero racking resistance, so you might want to consider adding a diagonal brace(s) from the top of one leg set to the other or insuring the hinge mechanism is sturdy. You don’t want to work the wall mount loose over time.

I like the idea (you can check out my work table with folding tool stations in my blog), you just have a few special concerns to get a functional bench. I’ll be interested to see how it turns out.

Mike

-- No honey, that's not new, I've had that forever......

View dhazelton's profile

dhazelton

2611 posts in 2135 days


#3 posted 02-21-2017 02:08 PM

Your design looks like you plan on a VERY heavy unit. I would think just lifting it into place and pulling it down safely may be an issue.

View r33tc0w's profile

r33tc0w

141 posts in 322 days


#4 posted 02-21-2017 03:04 PM

Mike, thanks for the suggestions – I considered the rope method and figured i’d have to use this in addition to the gas springs anyways.

papadan, good call on the door hinges (i’ve got a bunch of these laying around I can use). My intentions are to fashion this bench for a larger space in the future.

-- Matthew 13:53-58

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Notw

597 posts in 1592 days


#5 posted 02-21-2017 04:00 PM

Here is a flip up workbench I did a while back, there is a 2×4 that runs along the wall that actually supports the weight of the back side of the bench, the hinges only come into play when raising and lowering the bench. I can tell you that this design will support well over 200lbs with no issue and all i used was standard gate hinges.

Click for details

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bondogaposis

4479 posts in 2189 days


#6 posted 02-21-2017 05:38 PM

That could be a death trap with out some serious thought into raising and lowering it and latching it to the wall when not in use. For one the forward edge of the bench will be over 90” from the floor when raised, not a real convenient for reaching a latch unless you are tall. Definitely you need some type of heavy duty positive fail proof latch to hold the thing up. What kind of measurement is 30 37/64”? I would round that a bit if it was my project.

-- Bondo Gaposis

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Smitty_Cabinetshop

14857 posts in 2457 days


#7 posted 02-21-2017 05:57 PM

It was just over the weekend, Bondo, that I found myself cutting a 2×4 to the precise length of 30 37/64”. Was it intentional? Uhm, sure, I guess so.

:-)

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive --

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Rick_M

10635 posts in 2218 days


#8 posted 02-21-2017 07:41 PM

Someone in the last six months built exactly this and I want to say used gas shocks. Sorry can’t remember who. The gas shocks for tonneau covers are inexpensive and probably about right. Treadmills also use shocks for counter balance.

If you plan on working with hand tools I wouldn’t depend on hinges alone, the back and forth will pull the screws out eventually.

-- http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/

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r33tc0w

141 posts in 322 days


#9 posted 02-21-2017 07:59 PM

lol the 30(37/64)” was sketchup (can never seem to nail down the right dimensions) – 30” is about the height I was considering. There is also a garage door track and stuff already mounted to the wall that I have to design around which is why this thing sits narrow end to the wall. Also fully aware of a death trap scenario. I started to design a track system that would drop the wall side of the table down to the floor and then fold up but that design also had stability issues so instead of that I ended up tearing out a built-in cabinet that I no longer needed to make room. I’m essentially making a drawbridge, wonder if I could program some sound effects as it lowers and raises XD

I think I might try to figure out some sort of locking mechanism like a deadbolt or pin I can engage while the table is down.

What about the leg pieces that stick into the table? Should I do a dove-tail like cut on it or will it be fine squared off?

-- Matthew 13:53-58

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dhazelton

2611 posts in 2135 days


#10 posted 02-21-2017 11:22 PM

You could add a couple of pulleys at the ceiling, add rope and weights (sort of the way old windows used sash weights to ease opening) to help with opening and closing. Unhook the ropes when it’s down so they aren’t in the way.

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r33tc0w

141 posts in 322 days


#11 posted 03-01-2017 11:12 PM

My FIL is suggesting I look in to Extira (http://www.extira.com) for the bench top – any one have any experience with this product?

-- Matthew 13:53-58

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r33tc0w

141 posts in 322 days


#12 posted 03-10-2017 04:06 AM

Need some further guidance on these leg joints. I’ve revised the bench-to-leg arms to beef up the joint but now I’m at a roadblock. What sort of hardware do I need for the pivot points and is there a removable contraption I can craft to lock the 2×4 legs to the benchtop arms to minimize/eliminate racking? I started going down a 2×1 route that could be slide in and out of a slot just underneath the pivots but I’m not sure this is the best solution. Thoughts?

-- Matthew 13:53-58

View Lazyman's profile

Lazyman

1506 posts in 1226 days


#13 posted 03-10-2017 04:23 AM

Probably not as beefy as your design but can see another idea for folding legs and wall mounting on the cover of Shopnotes issue #72

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

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r33tc0w

141 posts in 322 days


#14 posted 03-14-2017 08:45 PM

Iteration #4
I eliminated the back legs and instead made a support drop all the way to the wall. Figured this was easier, especially since I’m already attached across the width of the bench.

I’m thinking I’ll have to create a knuckle of some sort that attaches the 2 joint locks on either side of each leg and I’ll have to wedge it in place once it’s in lock position. I figured this would give me enough practice – my imagination can get me in trouble sometimes…

-- Matthew 13:53-58

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Rick_M

10635 posts in 2218 days


#15 posted 03-15-2017 12:17 AM

This reminds me of a swing top table I was designing where every solution presented a new problem. So I scrapped the idea and went with a hinge. I think the hang up here is the leg connection. Your folding design will be so bulky that you might as well have a fixed bench.

-- http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/

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