Folding Mobile Workbench - Video Tutorial

Tuesday, March 13, 2018 -
Learn how to make an easy folding mobile workbench from simple materials

*This post is sponsored by The Home Depot. I have been compensated for my time and provided with product or payment in exchange. All opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links. 

I have a problem friends. 

My shop (A.K.A. my half of the two car garage), is a disaster. I desperately need more storage and organization. My husband is a maker too (cars, not wood) and we are just running out of room! I've been dying for a mobile workbench that I can assemble my furniture on but I had no idea where I would store it. I started brainstorming and decided I could create a folding or collapsible workbench that could be stashed out of the way when not in use. 


I asked for suggestions on my Instagram stories, and I had some awesome advice! A new friend of mine directed me to the folding table base from an old issue of Popular Woodworking (check it out here). I based my plans on that design but encountered some problems. I made some much needed modifications and I'm really happy with how it turned out. 



Materials List:
  • (2) 3/4" x 24" x 48" plywood sheets
  • (4) 2 x 4 x 96"
  • (2) 1 x 3 x 96"
  • (1) 1 x 4 x 96"
  • (1) 2 x 2 x 96"




Tools list:

Cut List
  • (4) 2 x 4 @ 27"
  • (4) 2 x 4 @ 24"
  • (4) 2 x 4 @ 21"
  • (4) 1 x 3 @ 27" (notched on corners)
  • (4) 1 x 4 @ 20 1/8"
  • (2) 3/4" x 18" x 20-1/8"

If you follow my YouTube channel, you'll see I just dropped a new video detailing the whole build. 




1. Start with four, 2 x 4 x 27" legs.


2. Align 21" cross pieces between legs, flush to the top and bottom edge. Pre-drill and secure using 3" screws.


3. Place 24" top and bottom plates on either end of the legs. Pre-drill and secure with 3" screws.


4. Notch 1 x 3 mounting boards. Attach flush to the outside edge and secure using 2" wood screws.


5. Attach 1 x 4 x 20 1/8" support arms parallel to the mounting boards using utility hinges.


6. Cut two, 18" x 21-1/8" plywood panels using a circular saw or table saw. Lately, I've been using my new Brushless, 18V circular saw from Ryobi and it rocks!


Being right handed, I'm much more comfortable with a saw where the blade is on the left side. Unfortunately, they seem to be hard to find in a cordless saw. That's why it's my new go-to. 


Center the large, plywood support arm, perpendicular to mounting board. Attach using utility hinges.




7. Connect support arms together using medium duty strap hinges. 


8. Pre-drill and attach sash locks to the inside of each joint. 


9. To keep the worktop in place and to prevent movement, you'll want to add removable alignment dowels. Pre-drill 1/2" holes, 1" deep into each corner of the top plates. Insert dowels and allow to sit proud (above the surface) 1/2". 


Transfer the dowel locations to the underside of the plywood worktop, and drill 1/2' holes, 1/2" deep. When you drop the top in place, the dowels will keep it from sliding around. 

10. With the worktop in place, secure it to the frame using clamps. Cut 2 x 2 rails to fit snugly between end panels. Attach the rails to the underside of worktop using 2" screws. 



11. Remove the clamps and check to make sure the worktop is aligned on the dowels. 


12. Use 1-1/4" screws to attach 3" locking swivel casters in each corner of the workbench base.


Before you set up your new work space. Make sure to clean up! I've been using the Ryobi Devour, a cordless sweeper, and it sure makes post building clean up a much more pleasant task. I can sweep up my entire garage in minutes. It even picks up small off cuts! 


Now you're ready to work! 


Optionally, you can add hook an eye latches to the outside faces of each leg to hold the frame together when not in use. 



The best part of the detachable top is how easily it can be replaced. When the plywood gets worn, I can pick up another quarter sheet and drop it on. 


When not in use, the bench folds into an approximately 24" x 34" x 8" rectangle, which can fit into even a small, crowded garage like mine. 



Hooray for more work space! Like this idea? Pin the image below to save the idea for later. 


how to DIY tutorial wood easy workbench storage organization folding collapsible

9 comments

  1. Wow, fantastic space saver. Going to put this on my to-do list! Thanks for sharing. TM

    ReplyDelete
  2. I could not refrain from commenting. Perfectly written!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I can't believe no one has had anything to say about this project. I'm relatively new to reading your site and figured out quickly you are highly skilled. I wish I could do half of what you accomplish. I am keeping this workbench in my list of items I would like to have. It looks great and is a very practical piece. Thanks for taking your time to post these projects with instructions too.

    ReplyDelete
  4. great build and tutorial- I like your modifications. Looking forward to building this for my garage

    ReplyDelete
  5. Excellent modifications to the original plan. Also an excellent article to go with the video. I'm now a subscriber. Nice work.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Planning to change the dimensions a bit, but on my immediate to-do list.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Great work bench but the hammer hanging on the edge makes me cringe. Looks like an accident waiting to happen and you in soft shoes!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Wow this is great! and I might make a version for bbq portable kitchen area too

    ReplyDelete
  9. Like this. I'm getting into space saving. This could work for me.

    ReplyDelete

Powered by Blogger.