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Tools & Hardware

How To Build a Mobile Outfeed and Assembly Table: PART 1

 

As I slowly work on projects and build up my basement workshop having a dedicated place to work becomes more and more important. So, I decided now was the perfect time to start a (yet another) project I’ve wanted to do for a long while now. Building my own workbench that is set up specifically for my needs and available space.

The frame of the bench I built here is inspired from a design by Casey Reeves. The frame he put together is simple and exceptionally strong when joined. That’s one of the most fun aspects of a project like a workbench. There are so many designs and features out there it’s a real joy to put your own twist on those elements you like.

Below are the steps and design I took to accomplish this. Like many projects feel free to alter this as needed to fit your specific uses. With all that being said let’s get started.

 

TOOLS:

Table Saw

Miter Saw

Circular Saw

Jig Saw

Drill

Router

Power Sander

Kreg Jig

Rubber Mallet

T-Square

Speed Square

Clamps

Tape Measure

Pencil

 

MATERIALS:

2 – ¾”x4’x8’ Sheets Cabinet grade Plywood

1 – ¾”x4’x8’ Sheet Red Oak Plywood (Can be substituted with MDF, Melamine, ETC)

2 – 2”x6”x8’ Pine

6 – 2”x4”x8’ Pine

2 – 12” Heavy Duty Folding Shelf Brackets (OPTIONAL)

4 – 3” Swivel Castors with Brake

2pks – 36” T-Track (2pk)

2 – T-Track Intersection Kit           (Purchase as many as you want or need)

2 – Hold Down Clamps                   (Purchase as many as you want or need)

2 ½” Kreg Screws                             (For pocket screw joining 1 ½” thick material)

GRK #8 1 ¼” Cabinet Screws

GRK #8 2 ½” Cabinet Screws

#8 1” Flat Head Wood Screws

220 Grit Sandpaper

Dust Mask or Respirator

Danish Oil

Lint Free Towels

Painters Tape

Wood Glue

 

CUT LIST:

2” x 4” x 8’

                4 – 4’ 9”                               Frame Side

                6 – 2’ 6”                               Frame Cross Support

                4 – 2’ 6 5/8”                       Table Leg

2” x 6” x 8’

                4 – 2’ 6 5/8”                       Table Leg

                2 – 2’ 6 5/8”                       Wing Brace (OPTIONAL)

¾” x 4’ x 8’ Red Oak

                1 – 3’ x 5’                             Top Shelf Upper

                1 – 12” x 5’                          Wing Upper (OPTIONAL)

¾” x 4” x 8’ Cabinet Grade

                1 – 3’ x 5’                             Top Shelf Lower

                1 – 12” x 5’                          Wing Lower (OPTIONAL)

                1 – 33” x 4’ 9”                     Bottom Shelf

                2 – 3’ x 22 7/8”                   Shelf Back

                6 – 33” x 5 ½”                     Shelves

 

NOTE: I DON’T OWN A TRUCK SO GETTING PLYWOOD SHEETS HOME CAN BE TROUBLESOME. HOME DEPOT OFFERS LOAD AND GO TRUCK RENTALS AS WELL AS IN STORE CUTTING. I HAD MY PLYWOOD SHEETS CUT AT THE STORE. THIS MADE IT POSSIBLE TO FIT THE PLYWOOD IN MY JEEP WITHOUT ISSUE.

 

CUT GUIDE: GRAY AREAS ARE NOT USED FOR THIS BUILD

 

STEP 1                   BUILD THE LEGS

Drill four pocket holes into each of the four 2x4’s. Once all the pocket holes are drilled place one 2x4 and one 2x6 together. Working one set at a time, apply glue along the mating surface of the 2x4 and clamp it to the 2x6.

 

Drive in pocket screws to complete the leg assembly. Repeat for the other three legs.


 

STEP 2                   BUILD THE FRAMES

For the frame drill two pocket holes into each end of the cross supports. The frame is assembled as shown below. Make sure to apply glue the joints before driving the screws. Add the center support last making sure you check the frame for square.

 

The Upper and Lower frame are Identical. Repeat this step to create the second frame. You will now have four legs and two frames completed.

 


STEP 3                   ASSEMBLE THE TABLE FRAME

The upper and lower frames are flush with the top and bottom of the legs. Attach the legs to the frames by driving 2 ½” screws through the leg assemblies and into the frame.

 

Attach the lower frame first and place the lower shelf into place. I forgot to place the shelf at this point and had to awkwardly wiggle it into place after the fact. Secure with 1 ¼” screws.

The final portion of this step is to attach the upper fame and then flip the entire unit over and add the castors with the 2 ½” cabinet screws. Make sure the lock release clears the table legs.

 


STEP 4                   ATTACH THE TOP SHELF

The top shelf is made up of two ¾” sheets of plywood. The lower sheet is attached to the legs and upper frame with 2 ½” screws. Make sure to recess the screw heads.

The top sheet is attached to the lower sheet from below with 1 ¼” screws. The sheets are not glued together so that the top sheet can be removed if it were to get damaged or if my needs change. It’s a simple bit of future proofing that can save a lot of headache down the road.

 

 


STEP 5                   ROUTE THE T-TRACK SLOTS

The T-Tracks need a slot routed into the surface of the table in which to sit. The slot needs to be exactly ¾” wide with a depth of 3/8” to insure a tight and flush fit.


I used a ¾” straight bit in multiple shallow passes to cut the channels, adjusting the depth slightly deeper each pass. This helps take some of the load off of the router and lessons the chance of it “jumping”.

Speaking of jumping a friend of mine suggested setting up a double fence. One fence serves as the guide while the other is set just a hair wider than the router base. This corridor keeps the router in check but isn’t so tight that it causes binding. If you use the double fence slide the (powered off) router back and forth a few times to confirm it can move freely.

 

Because the tracks will intersect be sure to use a speed square to confirm that all intersections are at 90° to one another when setting the fences.

 

 


NOTE: Due to space constraints Part 2 is continued in the reply below.

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Posted 2019-05-24T18:32:58+0000  by Chris_HD_ATL Chris_HD_ATL
 


NOTE: IF YOU DON’T WANT A TABLE WING SKIP TO STEP 7


STEP 6                   TABLE WING (OPTIONAL)

The table wing is an add-on I wanted specifically for doing pocket joinery. My work area isn’t huge and multifunctional space is a must. I can affix my stationary Kreg jig to the wing and fold it up when I need it and down when I don’t. The main benefit being not having to find a space to set it up each time. The wing also increases the usable surface area of the table from 15sq ft to 20sq ft.

The first step is to attach the 2x6 wing braces. I spaced the braces inward from each table leg 9 ½” driving into place with 2 ½” screws, two at the top and two at the bottom.



Attach the upper and lower wing plywood just as you did with the table top. Sandwiching the two together with screws from beneath.


I wanted the wing to be as close to level with the table top as possible. To do this I brought it inline with the table top using some scrap plywood and clamps as a support. I used a couple of pennies as a spacer between the table and wing to make sure the release for the folding brackets would operate properly.


You can now place the folding brackets into place using a clamp to help hold them in place while you drive in 1 ¼” cabinet screws. Make sure the folding release action works properly and adjust as needed.

 

NOTE: MY FOLDING BRACKETS DIDN’T SHOW UP QUITE IN TIME. I LUCKILY HAD SOME 16” VERSIONS LYING AROUND FOR A DIFFERENT PROJECT, SO I USED THOSE. THIS REQUIRED EXTENDING THE DEPTH OF THE WING. THAT IS WHY MY TABLE WING LOOKS SLIGHTLY PATCHED TOGETHER.

 


STEP 7                   STORAGE SHELVES

To create the area that will form the shelves simply place the back panels in place and drive screws through the panel and into the table legs. I used six screws per panel. Repeat for the opposite end of the table.


I used the remaining plywood to create shelves for the storage area. The spacing of the shelves is up to you. Secure with pocket screws.



 

STEP 8                   FINISHING THE TABLE TOP

Sand the table top and wing smooth with 220grit sandpaper. Clear all dust well using either tack cloth or compressed air. Apply Danish oil to the surface according to manufacturer directions. As a final touch I also applied three coats of wipe on polyurethane to the top. I made sure during applying the polyurethane to keep the t-track channels clear.

 

I haven’t decided if I’m going to paint or stain the frame of the table so for now I’m leaving it as is. I did give it a cursory sanding to knock out any milling marks and soften the surface a bit.


 

STEP 9                   INSTALLING THE T-TRACK

The installation of the t-track is pretty straight forward. I started by installing the intersection kits. I used a cut down scrap of wood and a rubber mallet to align and bed them into place. Predrill and use the 1” wood screws to lock them in place.


The t-track is made of aluminum and soft enough to be cut with a miter saw or by hand with a hacksaw. Measure and cut the sections as needed, fitting them into place carefully again with the wood scrap and mallet. Secure with 1” screws making sure to predrill.

 

 


STEP 10                 WRAPPING THINGS UP

At this point the table is complete. There are already a number of other little touches I’m thinking of adding and I’m sure they’ll be more as I begin to use it regularly. Some of the things I’d like to add include tool holders, drill holsters made from PVC, a brown paper roller and a power strip.

  

  


This was a really great design challenge and learning experience for me and I’m super excited with how it turned out. As always, I hope you enjoyed this project and that it’s helpful in some way. If you have any ideas for additions or things that can be improved upon for next time be sure to leave a comment below. I hope this helps.

 

Cheers,

Chris

Posted 2019-05-24T18:41:40+0000  by Chris_HD_ATL
Hwy Chris,

What a great project and so well executed, with great detail and instructions, your giving me the bug to get my shop organized and updated. Keep the projects coming!

Mike
Posted 2019-05-30T18:45:51+0000  by Mike_HD_OC
Great job Chris,

A project that is well planned out and executed like this will last a life time. I love the hold downs and the placement will work for just about every possible project. Simple and easy to reach storage is a must have on a workbench. 
I believe you really nailed it on this one Chris. 

I think a tour and play date in your new shop is a must on my next trip to your neck of the woods.  

Great job!! I cant wait to see your next project. 
Posted 2019-06-07T15:56:57+0000  by Christine_HD_OC
 
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