Work table design ideas?

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Should close escrow on a forclosure in a few days and need to build out my 2 car garage shop. Besides pulling in all my machinery and tools from all the various shops an other locations they currently live, I need to build a shop table.
I am going for a 4 x 8 flat surface. I'll build storage under it as needed and I will make sure it is movable. I am thinking of a derivation of this design. Anyone else have design ideas or input?
http://woodworking.about.com/od/shopequipmentsupplies/ss/portableTable.htm
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SonomaProducts.com wrote: ...

...
I'm not keen on the thin top that drawing shows -- my favorite shortcut for fixing that problem is the recycled or freight salvage type places looking for exterior solid-core slab doors. 3-0 or 3-6 standard height are normally almost giveaway and sizable places if you happen to have on close usually can find taller than 80" for offices or commercial. I found a pair of 3-8 x 8-0 solid core oak veneer exteriors for $10 ea that were unbored but had a couple gouge marks one side where bunged up by a forklift. These are heavy, though so support will need to be beefed up. But, they are solid enough they take hard knocks -- essentially the advantages of glued-up bench top w/o the hassle.
Sometimes you can find used/salvage/damage butcher block but usually not so large unless happen to have used restaurant equipment dealer--often they'll have tops that aren't suitable for kitchen use any longer at least w/o fully resurfacing that they don't want to do but a commercial shop w/ large sander can clean up quickly...
If you're space-limited for multiple work stations, I'd also consider making it as adjustable in height so it can do double duty as bench and assembly table.
$0.02, etc., ...
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Questions;
Does it need to be portable, lightweight and be moved around?
Or can it be heavy?
Any power requirements at the table? I often put in a power strip under one edge of workbenches I build.
Another suggestion is to use some kind of metal base. I mention this because I bought up some heavy duty metal bases at an industrial outlet. They were very strong and heavy. They all had electrical boxes built in and I wired them up. Not sure what is available where you are, but they worked well for me. All my old source are gone now though.
If I had to make a some workbenches in a hurry, I would still go to the metal legs. This probably wouldn't work for an outfeed table though. I have seen a couple benches made with the grizzly metal legs.
http://www.grizzly.com/catalog/2008/Main/271
And as you mentioned in another thread, hardboard top. Laminate works good too. I would attach it in a manner that it can be easily replaced. That way you don't need to be careful of it and the table becomes much more useful for many functions.
If you use the table for assembly or other work, it would be nice to have some drawers and cabinets underneat. And a rolling clamp rack nearby.
At leat have some kind of wood storage underneath.
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wow, expensive. Check out retail stores that are going out of business, too. I picked up some incredible industrial shelving at a local "Linens and Things." They are going under, nationwide. I remember them having those metal-legged display tables all over the place.
--

-MIKE-

"Playing is not something I do at night, it's my function in life"
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I know.
I remember paying $25 for something much bigger and heavier.
I used to haunt industrial surplus places back in the day. I remember some cast steel legs once. There were about ten of them. Each weighed almost a hundred lbs. a piece! They were too tall for any use for me. But the were gone when I went there a week later.
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"SonomaProducts.com" wrote:

Some things to consider:
Do you want a "work table" or a "storage surface"?
Have built a couple of work tables for use as fiberglass cutting tables (A roll of glass weighs about 250 lbs) using 2x6 frame and legs, double 1/2 CDX top and 1x4 diagonal bracing.
Basic brick out house construction.
The were built to take a beating, but would not have been worth a hoot if equipped /w/ casters.
Built a 4x8 runout table for table saw /w/ storage drawers underneath.
Would have req'd a fork lift to move it.
Built a table /w/ 1x4 framing and 1/4 hardboard top complete /w/ casters.
Worked well as a portable table.
Each one was unique and served the purpose for which they were designed.
They were all tables, but that was about it.
HTH
Lew
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I built one very similiar to this table from a plan I got from NYWS. I saw Norm build one on show. I like the feature/s where U can make it movable or immobile.
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Strong and flat. Remember you might want to clamp something down on it to flatten it or square something up.
If it must be movable - consider taking legs off.
If you don't go butcher block style, then consider multiple MDF or ply layers attached together.
Martin
Lew Hodgett wrote:

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"SonomaProducts.com" wrote

Been thinking about the same thing lately, but what I really need is an "assembly table", about 6' x 3', much lower to the ground than my work bench, say around 24" high, similar to your drawing, and on locking wheels, so if I have a large cabinet etc, on it I'll be able to move it around to work on it and/or just move it out of the way while I do something else.
AAMOF, in my current setup, I left room between my middle of the floor workbench, and wall bench/cabinets to house just such a critter. I'd like to do 4' x 8', but it would take up too much room in my current, but temporary, "2 car garage" location.
http://www.e-woodshop.net/shop.htm
I was thinking along the lines of a torsion box for the top, with 4' x 4" legs and 4 locking castors, as it needs to be solid and perfectly flat, for glue-ups and such, if need be.
Big things for me are 'flat' and 'mobile' ...
--
www.e-woodshop.net
Last update: 10/22/08
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Flat and mobile as Swing suggests, but what I did, was made 3 units 2 feet wide by 4 feet long boxes open one side, which, with removable pin barn-style hinges, can be made into a 2 x 12, 4 x 4 or 4 x 6 movable tables. The bottoms will have cabinet doors attached to them as well. I used casters that not only lock the wheels, but the caster itself vs the carcass as well. The casters were $ 7.00 apiece and each 'box' was made out of one 4x8 sheet of melamine clad 5/8" MDF which I bought for 9 bucks apiece.. (that was a drive-by gloat, btw) I can wheel 4 sheets of solid surface around the shop on one of them without effort... that is over 600 pounds plus whatever tools are stored inside.
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I have "evolved" to using casters with larger wheels (4-5", minimum) to make it less affected by objects it needs to roll over like power cords, gravel, damaged floors, etc. Along with this I will usually employ some sort of homemade levelers which lift the casters off of their rolling surfaces. Locking casters, even ones that lock the carriage swivel as well as the wheel have never provided the stability and solid feel I prefer, maybe I am just too rough with them. Most recently I have begun to provide a built-in mini bubble level, like a cheap string level. Put one level the long face and the other to set level to the short face of the table top. regards, Joe.
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I built a 4 X 8 table workbench. I am now taking it out because it is too big. If you are doing assembly on it, it is hard to reach across. Similar problems on the length. My next table will be about 30" X 72" . It will also free up a fair amount of space in my garage.
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Interesting point. All the pro shops I've worked in all have 4x8 tables but it makes sense to size it down for just the reasons you state. Honestly, about half the time someone else was using part of the table at the same time anyway so most projects can get by with a smaller table.
On Nov 12, 1:53pm, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

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Mine is 30" X 80" Sits on casters for mobility.
Max
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http://www.flickr.com/photos/mdinep/1955971776/in/set-72157603066528456/
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That's very close to the Norm designed work table...
http://www.newyankee.com/getproduct.php?0207
I built one and it is a VERY nice work surface...
I put laminate on mine....
SonomaProducts.com wrote:

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Pat Barber wrote:

Do you have any closer pics of the wheel assembly and how it works. I've been "wheeling" everything in the shop, lately.
--

-MIKE-

"Playing is not something I do at night, it's my function in life"
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SonomaProducts.com wrote:

It depends a lot on what you're going to be doing /on/ the shop table. I couple of years ago I built what had been intended as a panel cart - but since then it's been used at least as much as a sanding table and assembly table as a cart. It's movable, and when not in use doesn't take up much space...
http://www.iedu.com/DeSoto/Projects/PanelCart /
When I've wanted a solid top surface, I've thrown a 4x8 sheet of whatever was handy on top.
It would be fairly easy to add whatever storage configuration you might like under the side that tilts up, although I suspect that mobile storage might be a mixed blessing.
--
Morris Dovey
DeSoto Solar
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I built the one from the NYW. It is great, the mobile - not mobile feature is a must.
I made two mistakes I had to fix later. I made it from a 4 X 8 and it was to big for my shop. Also I made the mobile height the same height as my saw, planer. etc. I had to tweak the table so the non mobile height was on plane with all of my tools.
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"Swingman" wrote

Obviously that was 4" x 4" ... and, come to think of it, a hollow core door *is*, for all practical purposes, a torsion box ... and about the right size with 8" cut off.
... just a little melamine and we're there.
--
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Last update: 10/22/08
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