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How to Make a Folding Workbench

Folding WorkbenchThis solid workbench that folds up is a real must have for a handyman as he can easily fit a big work area into a small place. Plus it can be made in a day using simple hardware and just two sheets of plywood.

Any handyman needs a working table to spread things out while making repairs, working on a hobby or just to store tools. If you don’t have enough room to put a full-size permanent workbench but really need workspace this workbench is what you need. It provides large working area and is accessible from all sides. When opened it turns into a solid 4 x 7-ft. surface, when closed it fits into a small 4-ft. x 18-in. spot. Such compact folding workbench is ideal for the garage or basement.

Cut The PiecesStep1. Cut the Pieces

Take two sheets of 3/4-in.-thick birch plywood and cut all the pieces using a 40-tooth carbide blade or a 150- tooth plywood blade. After plywood pieces are cut, rip the 1/4-in. wide edge banding from 3/4-in. thick boards. Or consider purchasing it precut at a home center or lumberyard if you don’t have a table saw.

Assemble The PiecesStep 2. Assemble the Pieces

Apply carpenter’s glue and then nail the anti-rack shelf supports to the sides first, then align, glue and nail the top and bottom pieces to the sides. Use 6d finish nails. Make sure you let the assembly rest for an hour to let the glue dry before proceeding to the next step.

Attach The CastersStep 3. Attach the Casters

Turn the assembly upside down and align the caster bases with the outer edges of the bottom. Use 1-1/4 in. long lag screws on the outer edge and 1-1/4 in. carriage bolts with nuts and washers for the inner fasteners.

Nail the EdgingStep 4. Nail the Edging

Flip the bench onto the casters and begin gluing and nailing the 3/4-in. by 1/4- in. hardwood edging to the exposed plywood edges. Use 1-in. brads to attach the hardwood edging.

Step 5. Attach the Pipe Flanges

Attach the Pipe FlangesScrew the 3/4-in. pipe flanges onto 5-in. square reinforcing blocks that had been previously cut from scrap plywood. Apply glue and then screw the blocks to the underside of the front panels.

Step 6. Fasten the Piano Hinges

Fasten the Piano HingesFirst tip the bench onto its side and align each tip-up panel with the bench frame to make your 1-1/2 in. piano hinge fit. Align your screw holes perfectly with a center punch or a Vix bit.

Step 7. Close up of Center Punch

Step 8. Add the Cam Locks

Drill the holes for the cam locks into each panel for exact placement. The larger 1-1/8 in. dia. recess is only 1/4 in. deep and allows the lock to be hidden below the surface. The second 3/4-in. dia. hole goes through to the other side and supports the lock shaft.

Step 9. Open the Bench and Thread on the Legs

Twist the 3/4-in. threaded pipe onto the pipe flanges for a rock-solid kbench. Lock the casters in place when using the bench.

Step 10. Apply a Finish

Coat the wood with 3 coats of urethane varnish for more color and protection. To ensure a tough, attractive work surface you should first sand the whole bench with 150-grit sandpaper and use a power sander to knock down any high spots on the hardwood edging. Vacuum the dust, wipe the bench with a cloth and apply a finish. Wait a few days after the last coat of finish is applied before you start using the workbench.

For More Information: familyhandyman.com