Monday, August 29, 2016

4x4 Folding Workshop Table

Over the years my workshop tables have gone through many changes, and they've all been built with half-inch 2'x4' plywood, 2x4 studs...


...and used metal rigid ties with screws to hold them together.


I started off making one...


Then a second one shortly after.


Eventually I built a 3rd 6-foot table to hold spare wood and larger power tools.


But ultimately this table was disassembled when I found a nicer table a neighbor was getting rid of.  This table became my prep table.


About a year and a half later I gave the prep table away and built a nicer, new prep table without using the rigid ties.


I also had made an 8-foot table, but a table that long quickly began to sag from the lack of supports in the middle.


So it was disassembled when my first table saw broke.  Half of it became my new temporary table saw, using a circular saw...


...and the other half became my new router table.  Both of these new tables were made without using those pesky rigid ties.


When I finally got around to buying a new table saw, I converted the saw & router tables into a new workshop table that could hold the table saw.


I ultimately did not like this new table, so I made a cart for my new table saw...


...and the rest of the table became my new router table.


As time went on my original 2 workshop tables also had some changes.  I eventually changed the tops from plywood to MDF.  To protect the MDF top of my main work table from stuff like resin and Bondo, I made a roll-out protector that was held in place with magnets.


The other work table was converted into a table with a small shelf and storage underneath for my workshop benches.  I also removed all the rigid ties and held it together with pocket screws.


At this point I also began making smaller, more functional carts instead of keeping all my power tools on my work tables.  Most of these carts also have drawers to better hold my hand tools instead of keeping them in tool boxes.  I even made a wood storage cart instead of keeping scrap wood in large bins under each table.



And I also made numerous wall shelves to hold everything else.


Soooooooooo I figured it was time to change up my work tables a little once more.  This time I'll remove the router from one of the work tables and add a shelf to both that and my very first work table.


These 2 tables - which are each 2'x4' - will be connected with hinges...


...and fold into one large 4'x4' table.


So I took the tables apart, and removed all the rigid ties and reassembled with pocket holes.


I connected the 2 tables with some strong hinges.


And now they can fold out...


...and make one large table!


I also added and extra shelf to each table since I no longer need to keep large bins under each table...


...and I replaced the MDF tops with 3/4" plywood.


When the 2 tables are folded, 2 latches on the side hold it together.


Now it can move around without separating.


I even kept the roll-out protection paper...


...and magnet.  


For the bottom shelves I created some mounts for my pipe clamps...


...and my large bar clamps.  This is great since they were always just standing against the corner of my workshop.


I put my old tool boxes and other small stuff on the middle shelves.  I have so much storage in my workshop now that there's no more clutter on my work tables - which is a very good thing.


As for the top, I'll still use some of my bench dog clamps I made a while back, but...


I recently found these clamps - which are made for drill press tables.  But I think they can easily be modified for my new work tables.


I drilled 12 large holes in each table top (4 rows of 3).


The clamps fit into each hole and are tightened underneath the table top.  Then they can be adjusted to clamp on various thicknesses of wood.


Since there are 12 holes in each table top, the clamps can be moved to work with any size piece of wood.


I also drilled 2 holes into one of my workshop shelves so when the clamps are not in use, they can easily be stored there.


So there you have it - a brief history of my work tables.



This new table will continue to go on being one of the backbones of my work shop and my creations.

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