New Assembly Table


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I am going to build a new assemble table, right now i have an assembly table/work area/junk collector...So i finally decided its time to make a dedicated assembly table... The problem is I dont really know where to start...

 

I do know i want it fairly large, I want to be able to use it as an outfeed table for my table saw so i know it has to be 38 7/8" tall.. This will make it an 1/8" shorter than my benchtop table saw I have on a movable cart. Where I am not sure of is how long and wide it should be, i have a area in my shop that I want to put it and it is around 8ft x 10ft.  I know i am going to put casters on it so it can be moved if need be...

 

I was thinking of just using either 2x4's or 4x4's for the legs, but i have no idea what to use for the top, (plywood, mdf, etc) the same goes for the bottom as I would like to have a shelf for storage..

 

Have you guys found the bigger is better or does smaller tables seem to work just fine?  When Designing this should i have anything particular in mind? I would like to have a vice of some sorts to hold things in place as i may use this table for planing for other tasks....

 

All Advice Welcome

 

Thanks 

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I do not have a shop set up at my house right now but from my prior employment I liked these things. I liked four by eight. A full sheet would rest on the bench for layout etc. I suppose three by seven or some such would suffice to support a full sheet. I did a lot of layout on the table itself so I liked a top that can take a drawing or nails for string etc making me prefer ply. The bench was on wheels but you are after a specific height. I wonder about adjustable feet that can be adjusted out of the way of casters, so feet and casters. Two cents of mine, expecting more from others:-)

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My plan is to build one piece that will function as an out-feed table, work bench and assembly table.

I like the workbench G.S. Haydon built recently.  Simple (not to be confused with unintelligent), inexpensive to build, and most importantly highly functional. 

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I like that. I have to build my wife a work table for her new arts and craft "chateau" as she's dubbed it, so I'm gonna borrow some of your ideas. I had to build her a work area to keep her out of my shop.

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Norm built an assembly table. I believe it was made out of 1x's and plywood. It had fold up casters so you could roll it around  and then pull a rope to set the legs for a solid work table. I believe he used 1/4" luan ply for top layer on the work surface. He didn't fasten it down permanently so it could be replaced easily when it gets glue and finish on it.  You can probably find the plans on New Yankee Workshop.com I just looked it up. If your interested it plan  2. Item #0207 - Work Table Clamp Cart

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Craigslist......I find a ton of old computer desks (think office type furniture)   the nice thing about these is they come with drawers and a center opening.....So  I make a top out of mdf, or melamine, and fit it over he existing (usually laminate) top. Using shims if needed for flatness. The drawers hol my sand paper, sanders and pencils in the pencil drawer, along with layout tools. In the opening where your feet normally would go, I put a shop vac. I then normally put a vice on one side or and end, drill some dog holes and call it a day....I will post picts of one as soon as I can find them....

 

ShopMonger

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Dave,

 

Here is the assembly table I made for my shop. don't need wheels? Leave them off. Plywood frame took less than one sheet of 3/4 ply. I used two pcs of 3/4 mdf for top, with a replaceable piece of masonite over that. Top could be anything you like. My table is 40x80". Super simple legs are very solid and easy to make.

 

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Build a frame like a ladder and put a sheet of plywood on top, quick easy and as flat as the frame you build. The boards on the edges give you something to clamp things down to.

+1 If you are in a rush, this and Tom's method are some of the easiest. I used Steve's method when I needed long support for doing crown molding on the chop saw. Worked great. The addition of the plywood stiffens the frame immensely and even with 1x3 the assembly was crazy strong. I was able to also use it as temporary scaffolding B)

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Dave,

 

Here is the assembly table I made for my shop. don't need wheels? Leave them off. Plywood frame took less than one sheet of 3/4 ply. I used two pcs of 3/4 mdf for top, with a replaceable piece of masonite over that. Top could be anything you like. My table is 40x80". Super simple legs are very solid and easy to make.

Tom, that's just wrong.....you should be ashamed.....its CHRISTMAS AND YOU GO AND DO SOMETHING LIKE THIS...............that's a really nice table....in a spacious shop that looks so neat and orderly....and my shop looks like the Incredible Hulk grabbed it on either side and shook it.........it just ain't right to show us such things. Now I want to quit working and clean up except I may not work again until summer.  At least it would be straightened up! uh?

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Dave,

 

My big assembly table was built for building RC airplanes so it needed a really flat top. That is why the two sheets of MDF. The original photo was taken about 10 years ago. Here is a more recent photo that shows recent additions. The small table has just a single sheet of ply for the top and works fine.

 

Tim, Gotta keep the Hulk outta the shop. Merry Christmas!

 

 

 

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Tom: Nice table!

 

I just used 4x4's I had laying around made a skirt out of 2x4's for the top and bottom. Put a full sheet of 4x8 maple plywood on the top. 

 

What I like about using a full sheet is I've found I actually needed it to be that big for assembling certain stuff.

 

When you have beaten up the top and it's covered in paint and scratch measurements you can just unscrew it and flip it over. 

 

Let me see if I had a photo I can share. 

 

Update: I guess I don't really take too many photos of my assembly bench but I will offer this advice..

 

Built it however and the bench you want will come to you as you start using it. I did all kinds of research trying to find the perfect bench and ended up just making something sturdy and using it until I knew what I wanted. Funny thing I still pretty much use that same technique from the first one on all my others. I can have a bench built in 10 minutes. I'm attaching some photos of different angles of what i've got ( there are projects and mess in the way but you should be able to get the point. ) 

 

I have a couple different places I work from. I'm including some older ones from when I first built the bench also. Not trying to highlight the projects here. If you focus on the work bench you can see different stuff I've tacked on. 

 

My #1 favorite thing I've added was a little tool tray. Made it in 5 minutes and hung it on the side and I freaking love that thing. 

 

 

 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

I bought an assembly table top yesterday, at a salvage place called Community Forklift in Maryland.  I was in Maryland for a few days, and always stop by to see what they have.  They had a stack of bowling alley lanes.  There were some pieces cut a little over 7 feet long, and a little over 3 feet wide.  They had a whole stack of pieces 14 to 15 feet long.

 

I got the only piece that was nice and flat, with a Maple substrate.  Most had pine.  The substrate is laminated 1x3 Maple on edge with one large T&G.  Under that are sections of full 2x4 sleepers that the laminated wood is lagged to.  There are also cross pieces of 2x2 angle iron to keep it flat.  On top is a layer of the solid Phenolic, modern lane material like I made my router tables out of.  It's nice and flat, and probably weighs over 300 lbs.

 

They have a LOT more of it, but I don't think there are any more pieces with Maple.   4 bucks a square foot, and bring your own help to load it.

 

They also always have a lot of scraps of Granite, Marble, and Silestone countertops.  I got a nice 2x3 piece of some ugly Granite to make a top for a sharpening cabinet with for $58.

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I bought an assembly table top yesterday, at a salvage place called Community Forklift in Maryland.  I was in Maryland for a few days, and always stop by to see what they have.  They had a stack of bowling alley lanes.  There were some pieces cut a little over 7 feet long, and a little over 3 feet wide.  They had a whole stack of pieces 14 to 15 feet long.

 

I got the only piece that was nice and flat, with a Maple substrate.  Most had pine.  The substrate is laminated 1x3 Maple on edge with one large T&G.  Under that are sections of full 2x4 sleepers that the laminated wood is lagged to.  There are also cross pieces of 2x2 angle iron to keep it flat.  On top is a layer of the solid Phenolic, modern lane material like I made my router tables out of.  It's nice and flat, and probably weighs over 300 lbs.

 

They have a LOT more of it, but I don't think there are any more pieces with Maple.   4 bucks a square foot, and bring your own help to load it.

 

They also always have a lot of scraps of Granite, Marble, and Silestone countertops.  I got a nice 2x3 piece of some ugly Granite to make a top for a sharpening cabinet with for $58.

I hadn't even heard about that place. Thanks for the info Tom. I usually go to a non profit place up by me in Baltimore called Second Chance. they recycle buildings and have some awesome stuff, although some of it can be pricy there are a lot of good deals.

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I built a torsion box 4’ x 5’ and four inches thick with ¾”  MDF on top and bottom surfaces .  I trimmed it with maple and made maple legs.  The top is perfectly flat and level.  I sealed it with Polywipe and wax. It’s one of the most appreciated tools in my shop. Here's a photo while assembling a head board for our king sized bed

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