Hello friendly workshopers,
I have been looking for ideas to build a compact and neat workbench in the garage that is already crammed with things. Google search brings up pictures of few foldable ones.
Some of the online tutorials use piano hinges attached to MDF / wooden slabs, and have one or two legs attached to the board on a hinge as well.
Wondering if anyone has built a foldable work bench in their garage and could share pictures if any.
I’ve have come across this picture on a google search and looks great! Wondering if anyone could reverse engineer this pic and suggest how something similar could be built?
I would love to know too. I have some old doors that i have been considering using as the fold down bench/ or even just a table.
The reverse engineer of that project is that it is a proprietary hinge system sold for that purpose. It's basically a huge locking stay and not really something you could make out of metal yourself.
I know of the type you have seen with the legs attached to the board. They work sufficiently but you might like to add an extra block next to the leg which a bolt or two can pass through. I've attached a render of a simple and functional design below. @pats6182 has made a very neat and similar Folding workbench which you might like to check out too. While you're considering projects why not check out our Top 10 most popular garage and shed projects for some inspiration.
I was going to build this work bench but I have been focused on woodturning to get it underway. I have completed the conversion from imperial to metric but not sure where I have put them. The top you can use some bench top from Bunnings
to keep the top in place while working on it place the top in place make sure it is even all round drill 4 bowel holes evenly spaced through the top into part B. This will be your alignment each time you put the top on hope this helps
Just found the conversion for the measurement
You can make it as long as you want or as heigh as you want
That's pretty much how I would approach it. Although I would use Tee hinges for the leg attachment, and magnetic catches to hold the legs up while folding.
A great source of bench tops are "desk returns" these are attachments to a desk to make it L shaped. You will find these very cheap at used office furniture re-sellers, they have very little resale value (unless you have the matching desk) I picked up some roiling file cabinets at a closing down sale, and they had 20 of these returns in the corner- the guy said take as many as you want, I grabbed 2 (not much space in the trailer) 900 x 1800 x 40mm thick solid chipboard! Auction houses & refurbishers are dumping these all the time, just take a big phillips with you to undo the camlocks so you can flatpack them.
Thanks for all your responses!
@evjay That sounds like a great idea using old doors as a workbench.
Thanks for taking time to provide that render. It is very helpful to understand the mechanics behind a folding table. I am thinking of a design where when not used, it stores downwards, so I could have a pegboard for tools like the one in the picture. I’ll continue my research with this information.
I liked the idea of a table that can be folded and moved to a corner when not being used. I haven’t even considered this before. Thank you for sharing the same.
@SalBay Thanks for that great tip about desk returns. I had no clue about them. I’ll look around.
@Neo19 No problem, happy to help. The desk returns I had yielded 3 pieces of 40mm thick particleboard.
top 900 x 1800
back 800 x 1600
end 800 x 600
The other useful things that are often available at used office furniture auctions are
mobile filing cabinets, these are about 600high, 500wide and 600deep, with castors, they either have 3 drawers or 1 drawer and a suspension file drawer,they can wheeled out of the way when not requred, and have a small top to put tools etc on. Very useful in the home office, and in the shed.
card files, these are used to store 3" x 4" cards , obsolete with computer data storage. typically 3/4 filing cabinet size (900hx500wx600d) and have 6 metal drawings (some are wider). simply fit castors to the base, and it's a mobile tool box.
"already crammed with things"
My shed became so crammed I created workbenches outside between trees with plenty of shade. The car now happily lives under a carport.
When it rains - I go inside and watch Netflix, read a book or log onto Bunnings Workshop. 😁
Just a suggestion.
If I were building that I would start with a timber rail attached to the wall. Attach 2 verticals, same size timber, 150 in from each end. The length of uprights should be about 100mm less than width of benchtop. Make 2 right angle triangle supports, (same size timber) one leg same length as upright pieces & the top arm 50mm shorter than the bench top width. Attach these to the uprights with hinges, so these supports can fold away inwards against the wall, under the horizontal rail. Fit the benchtop using strong hinges so that the bottom of bench top aligns with bottom of the rail. When you swing the trangular supports out, you can attach blocks underneath, no longer than 100mm from the outer edge of the bench, for the supports to stop at. (The block will sit under the uprights when the bench is folded down.) It would be a good idea to fit some suitcase clips, or similar to keep the supports in place against the positioning blocks when in use.
The outdoor benches remind me of my childhood - the start to my DIY interests. The family used to rent a small house, no garage, so my dad built a heavy duty outdoor bench, where I learnt useful things, such as; a vice can squash your fingers, keep your fingers back from the saw cut, etc. I also learned how to de-rust tools, after those many times when we (the kids) accidentally left a tool box out in the rain. You triggered good memories of solving DIY type problems - in the great outdoors.