Do you really need a continuous 4x8 surface? If not, consider this...
I have a pair of identical tables. Each is 36" high, 12" deep and 48" wide.
They are simply built, four inch tray on bottom (I keep pipe clamps in
them), 4-2x4 legs attached to inside of tray sides and ends with carriage
bolts, 4" rails on all four sides at top of legs (more carriage bolts), ply
attached to rails, laminate on ply, all on casters. The 12" top overhangs
sides and ends by about 1 1/2 inches so I have something to clamp to.
I can put them mano to mano and have either a tabletop 12" x 96" or 24" x
48". I don't often do that, normally have them side by side but separated.
Easy to lay short stuff on it/them or spread them apart a bit for whatever
span I need. Great for clamping halflap joints (among others).
I like them a lot. The only thing I'd change - and I will one day - is to
make them so they could be laid down giving me low tables to use for tall
That is a great idea.
I build plyo boxes for weight trainers. They need to jump off boxes of
various heights. And that is exactly what I do. Instead of building three
separate boxes of different heights. I make a big box that can be turned on
its side for the three different heights.
I never thought of doing that in the shop. Probably because my shop is so
small. But it is a good idea.
Spent some time with SketchUp this evening, and some of the ideas here, and
here's what I've personally about decided to go with for an assembly table:
I'm feeling cheap, so the top will probably be a cut down 30" x 6' 8" hollow
core door, which I already have in storage, and with a laminate on the
surface. The rest is just tubafours.
Castors should put at just the right height for my purposes, it's narrow
enough to move around the existing workbench and out the door, and a 3"
overhang all around allows a clamping hold. I like the 30" width because you
can easily use cauls and the table edge to clamp across a work piece at that
width, and you can always throw a wider top on temporarily if necessary.
Just a suggestion. If for any reason you may want to hammer or apply any
kind of stress to the table surface, you could damage the casters. What I
have done was to use a wider board in each corner. That way If I needed it
solid, I could just lift it up and slid a block underneath. The caster would
then clear the floor and the table becomes very solid.
The castors in the drawing are symbolic, and although the ones I have will
hold up an elephant, you're right, few castors will provide the solidity
that a block of wood would, and the need may well arise.
Good idea ... thanks!
No problem, just passing on what I have seen a few shops in my time. I have
seen this idea with the blocks attached to the corners with nylon rope, so
they will not be misplaced. I have also seen this idea with a 2 X 4 under
the bench, clearly marked to prevent it from being poached for another
purpose, and just thrown under the end when needed.
Symbolic castors, eh?? It seems to me I bought a stereo rack once that had
"symbolic castors". They didn't work worth a damn. :)
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