I have looked everywhere for a smaller, holding work surface, on wheels and have found nothing ... so, I did what many of you would do, make something without plans and with only testing and experimenting until it works ... and I must say, it was worth the time and effort.
Now I have a portable work surface that I can easily set up any where, that fulfills what I need without getting too complex ...
My main goal was to end up with a work surface about 3 feet square, but that would quickly and easily fold up into less than 20 inches in width, with wheels so I could easily move it in or out of the workshop depending on what I am working on, and still have a solid working surface that is flat, solid to work on and flexible to use.
I started off with a 3 foot square piece of Baltic Birch plywood that was half an inch thick ... and FLAT. Since I knew the height of the caster wheels and the top of the work surface all I needed to work out was the height of everything in between. This work area needs to be solid AND moveable, but still less than 20 inches in width in order to accommodate doorways and other parts of the building in moving it from one area to another. This would require some strong bracing, which I determined could also double as a landing spot for the top when it folded down.
I mentioned during the video that I was testing out a Ridge 10" Ridge Combo Blade available from one of my Affiliate Stores, Taylor Tools.
I quite like the blade, it's 40 tooth, full kerf, and laser cut blade and did a very good job of both cross cutting and ripping both natural and plywoods, and would be a blade I would recommend for many saws. You can read more about it here - https://lddy.no/1hy5t
I used a mixture of new and used lumber, and finally picking Pine for the uprights or legs while relying on cabinet grade 3/4" plywood for the base to fasten everything to, including the wheels.
Once again I relied on my Dowelmax jig to give very strong joints that would equal or surpass mortise and tenon and take less than a quarter of the time to make and be more accurate at the same time.
I started off makin the back leg assembly which was the full width of my plywood base. After the that leg assembly was made I fastened it to the plywood base also using dowels. The front leg assembly I made so when it folded, it could fit in between the back legs, which as it turned out was unnecessary because it only abuts to the the back legs. This was due to a design change I made part way through the build but either way did not affect the strength or stability of the work table.
Because of the "folding feature" and the fact that I used Pine (which is not renowned for wood strength) I decided to go with piano hinge rather than a couple of butt hinges which would have worked fine with a stronger wood. I just didn't trust the Pine to remain strong and true with only 2 hinges on the top, or the front folding leg assembly, but piano hinge, with multiple screw holes would solve that weakness.
It was a pretty easy assembly in the end with all the components coming to together as they should but I struggled with what to do to "lock in" the folding leg from accidently being knocked or bumped and everything on the table collapsing on to the floor. This would require some sort of a double locking system that would prevent the top of the table from being lifted up accidently, and / or prevent the folding front leg from being bumped so that the assembly would fall into it "at rest" location. It took me a couple of days to dream up this catch system, which now looks simple, and it is, but when you have nothing to go by, except and end result, it can take time to figure out the best solution .. but here it is in the picture below.
And below is the table in the collapsed position, easy to drop the table top down and easy to transport around the workshop and navigate around the machinery without too much fuss. This means I can move this table where ever I want, quickly and with less effort that even setting up a folding card table. I could have used one of these a long time ago ....
This was fun to make and a bit challenging but something I know I will get good use of ... I have an idea for something in the future too, so it will come in handy there as well .. stay tuned for more ;)
Copyright Colin Knecht
- - Taylor Tools Affiliate Store - https://lddy.no/18zkg