Saturday Morning Workshop: Folding Mobile Workbench

Build this handy mobile workbench that folds up to only 7 in. You only need two hours, some 2x4s, 3/4-in. plywood and 8’ of 1x4.

Introduction

Want a mobile workbench with a sizable work area that folds up to only 7 in. thick? The materials to make the one shown here cost about $100 at home centers. Or, build it any size that suits your home shop by adjusting the frame sizes to accommodate the folding parts.

Tools Required

  1. Drill/driver
  2. Jigsaw
  3. Miter saw
  4. Table saw or Circular saw

Materials Required

  1. 1-3/4" Construction screws
  2. 1x3 Pine
  3. 2x4 Pine (30')
  4. 3" Construction screws
  5. 3" locking swivel casters (4)
  6. 3” Butt hinges (8)
  7. 4' x 8' sheet of 3/4" plywood
  8. 5" strap hinges (4)
  9. Hook-and-eye latches (2)
  10. Wood glue

Cutting List

Project Plans

Folding Mobile Workbench

Project step-by-step (7)

Step 1

Create the end frames

Folding Mobile Workbench 1

Fasten the frame rails (A) to the frame stiles (B) with glue and screws. Attach the fixed supports (C) to the interior face of the stiles.

Step 2

Notch and attach mounting strips

Folding Mobile Workbench 2

Folding Mobile Workbench 3

Rip the 1x3 to 2-in. wide on the table saw and crosscut to the length stated in the Cutting List. Cut a 1-in. deep x 3-1/3-in. wide notch at both ends  with the jigsaw of the 2-in. wide boards to create the mounting strips (D). Glue and screw the mounting strips to the inside face of the frame stiles (B). Learn some essential jigsaw tips here.

Step 3

Mount the folding supports

Folding Mobile Workbench 4

Set a 2x4 under the ends of the folding support arms for alignment. Attach the folding support arms (E) to the mounting strips (D) using butt hinges and screws. The support arms should fold flat against the frame rails (A).  Flip the frame over and repeat the process with the folding support panels (F), using a 3/4-in. plywood scrap against the support arms for alignment.

Step 4

Join the two frames

Folding Mobile Workbench 4Folding Mobile Workbench 5

Open the support arms and panels. Clamp the unfolded support parts together. Position the strap hinges on the connecting pieces, holding them in place with tape while you screw them on.

Step 5

Attach the latches

Folding Mobile Workbench 4Folding Mobile Workbench 6

Close and clamp the assembly. Screw in the hook-and-eye latches to the outer faces of the frame stiles (B). Remove the clamps and open the assembly.

Step 6

Make the bench top

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Screw the top rails (H) to the bench top (G) 5-in. from the ends of the bench top.

Step 7

Fasten the casters

Folding Mobile Workbench 4Folding Mobile Workbench 8

With the bench folded, screw the casters to the frame rails (A). Be sure to offset the casters so that they don’t bump into each other when they swivel. Ready for your next project? Check out how to build a fold-up workbench for your home shop.