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Add a Moving Workbench For Versatility

I’m used to working from big benches, not massive ones, just long ones and ones that are 3-feet across. In my beginnings at school they were silly little things but when I went to work, on the first day, I was given the corner of a long bench with a very old Record vise. P1030015Of course for most a large bench is a luxury of space and size combined and one I can’t really afford for a few reasons. Actually, not many people can do that either. The fact is that every void gets filled, in my experience, most often with non essentials and working my bench sizing out for practical efficiency has been made simple by my not having a big bench. I rely now on the two moving benches I made a couple of years back. These two make my worklife really work effectively. P1030016I can add one to the length if needed and the other one can go on the opposite side for extra width. When I laid the floor joists down on top of a slate bed in the workshop I built it for solidity and that was mainly for smooth flowing camera work. It’s very rock solid. I also beefed up under where the bench area would be and I am glad I did because even with the extra it still bounces slightly when filming. Of course the camera exaggerates everything. Anyway, the carts hold tool boxes and tools, projects worked on or in progress.P1030020 But the extensions they provide are really handy for larger projects and because they’re identical heights to one another they also sit side by side or end to end for wider or longer issues. The omni-directional wheels work great and are lockable too.  I also like them for photography work and that’s mostly why they’re painted the colour they are. See the clamp holder too. That makes for quick access and good storage too. That’s the reason for the drop down desk as well. I can place the auxiliary workbench tight to the well if or as needed.P1030021

Whereas it is true that the two auxiliary benches don’t take up less space than a large single bench, they offer me versatility. I move them in and out to task and the diversely different tasks I encounter in the everyday life of a workman like me.P1030017

11 Comments

  1. nvmepeter on 6 February 2015 at 12:59 am

    A query, I have several times read mention of the “drop down desk “.
    Can anybody enlighten me as to what Paul is referring to please? Many thanks in advance .Peter



  2. rroselavy on 6 February 2015 at 1:20 am

    I believe Paul is referring to the small hinged board on the back of his bench that acts as a computer desk when it is propped in the up position.

    See photo of this on Paul’s past blog entry:

    https://paulsellers.com/2015/01/take-a-break-reflect-walk-and-then-rest/



    • nvmepeter on 6 February 2015 at 2:16 am

      Ta Muchly, I have seen a picture of that. Didn’t know by name, ta for your responce. Cheers Peter



  3. Bruce Ward on 6 February 2015 at 2:28 am

    The movable benches sound like a good idea. do they have wheels or castors for moving about, and if they do, how does that affect the overall mass for working. I have been thinking about fitting some form of castors to my bench, possibly with a retraction mechanism. I am also making a bench for a son-in-law who is very short of space. He will frequently have to move the bench outside to work, so castors would be almost essential.



    • Paul Sellers on 6 February 2015 at 4:01 am

      These have all-way swivel castors that lock off but they are not intended for normal bench work but support only really.



    • Rusty on 6 February 2015 at 3:08 pm

      Hi Bruce,
      Check out the hinged wheels from popular woodworking. See the link:
      http://www.popularwoodworking.com/workbenches/schwarz-workbenches/the-easiest-way-to-make-your-bench-mobile
      The wheels are attached to a hinged board that flipps under the legs when you need to move it and flip away when you need the legs on the ground.
      Please note some where out there there is another video of this bench where the hit something and the wheels flip out from underneath and the bench lands back on the floor. The solution is to add a clasp sliding lock to the opposite side from the hinges.
      I found the link to the clasp idea. See the link:
      http://www.popularwoodworking.com/workbenches/schwarz-workbenches/mobile-base-mark-ii



      • bruceward51 on 9 February 2015 at 5:15 am

        Thanks Rusty – I had not seen that one. But I like Paul’s solution in his next post and was able to find a similar product here in Australia – so I am giving that a go.



    • Paul Sellers on 6 February 2015 at 9:14 pm

      I just did a blog on this Bruce.



  4. Peter Compton on 6 February 2015 at 4:11 am

    It was a year ago I came across Paul’s site and the workbench series. At the time I though, Why do I need such a big bench? I had a full sheet 2.4 x 1.8mt x 20mm ply, so I made a version of Paul’s bench. And then of course I needed extra room for some of the bigger projects. Again I noticed Paul’s wheel in / out bench.. and have since copied. Even when watching the project in progress, I see these little extras and think… That’s a good Idea. So great Paul. Glad you decided ‘NOT’ to retire. I get a lot of enjoyment from watching you work



  5. Terry Pullen on 6 February 2015 at 1:53 pm

    Last year I tried Paul’s idea for setting the vise away from the bench face. I have used workbenches for 50 years without thinking of that little detail and now I will never go back to a flush mounted vise. The secondary mobile bench is another great idea I will probably adopt in the near future.
    Just yesterday I received a video in my email highlighting a huge fancy bench with a full width end vice, the kind with dual connected handles. The bench had all kinds of Festool attachments and doodads. I laughed all the way through the video thinking what a waste of time.



    • Paul Sellers on 6 February 2015 at 9:17 pm

      The funny thing is that you don’t need tog get hung up on a flush edge vises or protruding vises , just add a strip of wood the width of the vise temporarily with double sided tape or a couple of screws. In a few days you would understand the difference and then choose, or, you can add the piece whenever you want and have the flush edge. Best of both worlds if the one has a best at all.



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