ideas for adjustable height assembly/work bench

I'm thinking to build some sort of table, about 4' x 8', and thinking possibly to make the height adjustable. I've seen some plans using scissor jacks and some using a ratcheting latch of sorts. I'd like to keep the bottom clear so I can store sheets of plywood and then maybe a set of slim drawers to hold tools, clamps, etc. Maybe after I think (and write) about this I'll talk myself out of the idea of making the height adjustable. Perhaps just a simple X of 2x4's and another of say 2x10's with a plywood top would be "adjustable" enough. Scissor jacks seem to have about 10 to 16 inches of range, but how many "stops" is one really going to want? It seems like a couple of inches would not be that significant, so maybe 3.5", 7.5", and 11.5" would serve 90% of my needs. I'm also thinking to wire outlets around the perimeter as well.
Thoughts?
PS it was handy recently to have an old solid core door about 24" about the ground so my son could work in his 4H project. I doubt I'd build my cart (plan to put wheels on it) that low, so here is another case for adjustable height or just another set of X plywood panels?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Why does the height need to be adjustable? From the range provided, it seems like you'd be using the table as a workbench and not simply attempting to level it.
One commercial design I saw years ago used legs with holes and a pin to adjust the height and keep the legs in place. Building something out of wood wouldn't be too difficult. (And if you space the holes every 2" and provide a little more than 2" of leveling adjustment you can have any height between the minimum and maximum you want.)
Once it's loaded with tools and "stuff" you probably won't want to lift it to adjust it (and many adjustment methods will be difficult to operate.) A jack could still be used to lift the weight off the legs to make adjustments, though.
Puckdropper
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 8/8/2011 12:13 AM, Puckdropper wrote:

It is very often nice to use the bench as an assembly table and lower makes access to the top of the assembly easier to get to.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Mon, 08 Aug 2011 07:30:41 -0500, Leon wrote:

Yes, it would be nice. But adjustable legs, IME, tend to introduce a little instability due to the slop inherent in an adjustable joint. A real PITA for hand planing as an example.
The best I can come up with would be a lower leg, say a 4x4, with 1x4 extensions going up two opposite sides. The extensions should be drilled about every 2" and at least 12" of the upper leg (also drilled at 2") should be engaged at all times with at least 2 bolts at opposite ends of the overlap.
--
Intelligence is an experiment that failed - G. B. Shaw

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 8/8/2011 11:36 AM, Larry Blanchard wrote:

Have considered the wobble potential and especially with me also wanting the table to be mobile. I have played with the idea of screw jacks similar to how a planer raises and lowers its bed and or cutter head.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 8/7/2011 11:49 PM, kansascats wrote:

The only thing that has stopped me from making a featured work bench is that I want the height to be adjustable and I want it to be stable and mobile. ;~(
If you are considering storing full sheets on bottom the top is going to have to be larger than your 4'x 8' suggestion, That is going to be tough if you want to use 1 sheet for the top. Best easy solution would be to use 2 5'x5' sheets of BB plywood.
You probably want the height adjustment to be easy, you might have a lot of weight on the bench when you decide to raise or lower the bench, so a bottle or screw jack would afford you the luxury of height adjustment with out straining a body part. It would not be unusual to raise or lower the bench several time before removing the project and this would be especially true if the adjustment was easy. I would like mine to go down to maybe 20-24" and up to 36" high so the range you listed does not seem too limited although I would probably suggest 5-6 more inches.
That obliviously was not a solution so much as more to consider to help you decide which direction to go.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Kansascats,
I don't think that this is what you're looking for exactly, but it might give you some insight into what might work for you.
http://www.adjustabench.com /
You could always just go with a leg set, at about half the cost of a whole bench, but that may be overkill as well.
Hope this is of some help.
Peter.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

http://www.adjustabench.com for a store bought adjustable bench. Might give you some ideas.
R
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I started to build an adjustable bench that was featured in Woodcraft magazine about one or two years ago.
The adjustable part was a jack that raised a box supporting a winged top. I stopped after I thought it through that I'd have to find a place for it in my already crowded shop. I am now building a workbench that I found in Wood magazine that rolls over the table saw. That way, I'll have a place to assemble something without having rollout the saw.
If your still into an adjustable bench, look for the plans at Woodcraft's website.
Good luck.
MJ
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
all good info..
so far I'm still thinking to build something a tad over 4' x 8' so near the bottom I can store some plywood sheets (or maybe I just need to come-up with another solution to my stash -- I have a roll-around cart, but with 20 sheets there is not much rolling going to happen). That does make the choice of a top a challenge. I have been thinking to make the bottom 2/3rds or so ridgid -- room for the playwood, say 12" or so, and room for some drawers, maybe another 12". So the base would be around 30" high. I might need to make something a bit smaller so I can get down to a 24" "low-end" top. Then the "top" could be extended from 24" to say 40", but the stops do NOT need to be infinite. They would be in 3", 4" or maybe even 6" increments.
I dunno -- I'm sort of in the dreaming state of this idea right now..
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
"kansascats" wrote in message
I'm thinking to build some sort of table, about 4' x 8', and thinking possibly to make the height adjustable. I've seen some plans using scissor jacks and some using a ratcheting latch of sorts. I'd like to keep the bottom clear so I can store sheets of plywood and then maybe a set of slim drawers to hold tools, clamps, etc. Maybe after I think (and write) about this I'll talk myself out of the idea of making the height adjustable. Perhaps just a simple X of 2x4's and another of say 2x10's with a plywood top would be "adjustable" enough. Scissor jacks seem to have about 10 to 16 inches of range, but how many "stops" is one really going to want? It seems like a couple of inches would not be that significant, so maybe 3.5", 7.5", and 11.5" would serve 90% of my needs. I'm also thinking to wire outlets around the perimeter as well.
Reply - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Reply
How about threaded rod at the corners, with a sprocket on each and a light chain to drive them all up from a crank on one corner.
-- Jim in NC
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.