Adjustable Height Assembly Table?

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SawBuck

New User
Lonnie
I built an assembly table top for the shop back in January, but I never got around to building a base for it. I just can't seem to settle on the type of base I should build. I've gotten by on some OSB knock downs until now.

I have found myself raising the surface height with 2x4's stacked between the top and the base. I would like to be able to readily raise and lower the height when I need to, and to make the table more stable. Have any of you incorporated a height adjustment into your work tables or benches? I need some ideas for a more permanent solution.

Thanks!
Lonnie​
 

gdoebs

New User
Geoff
I'm looking to build one too. I was thinking about one similar to the Sawmill Creek post but I want mine on casters (small shop, got to be able to move it). I've seen Alan's before. I need to look at it again.

Sawbuck, what are the dimensions of your top?
 
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Alan in Little Washington

Alan Schaffter
Corporate Member
For anyone thinking about using my design(s), first check out the videos showing the mechanism in action:

Adjustable Height Assembly Table

Adjustable Height Woodworking Bench

Notes: The assembly table with adjustable legs and torsion box top was featured in a detailed, two part "how to" article in the Dec/Jan 2009/2010 issue of American Woodworker magazine.

The ratchet assemblies were incredibly easy to build, though they may not look it. Parts were just hardwood and basic home center hardware.

I modified my original design when I built the woodworking bench and believe the new one results in a more stable base.

I added wheels to my assembly table, but it is no longer as stable as I would like because unlike the table in the photo below that I built for the article, my own table (in the background in the second photo) does not have diagonal braces. With braces it may be ok.



 

SawBuck

New User
Lonnie
I'm looking to build one too. I was thinking about one similar to the Sawmill Creek post but I want mine on casters (small shop, got to be able to move it). I've seen Alan's before. I need to look at it again.

Sawbuck, what are the dimensions of your top?

My top is 48" x 72"
 

SawBuck

New User
Lonnie
I am very impressed with your ratchet design Alan. I let me subscription to AW expire before your article was published. :embaresse I'll have to order a copy from their website.


For anyone thinking about using my design(s), first check out the videos showing the mechanism in action:

Adjustable Height Assembly Table

Adjustable Height Woodworking Bench


Notes: The assembly table with adjustable legs and torsion box top was featured in a detailed, two part "how to" article in the Dec/Jan 2009/2010 issue of American Woodworker magazine.

The ratchet assemblies were incredibly easy to build, though they may not look it. Parts were just hardwood and basic home center hardware.

I modified my original design when I built the woodworking bench and believe the new one results in a more stable base.

I added wheels to my assembly table, but it is no longer as stable as I would like because unlike the table in the photo below that I built for the article, my own table does not have diagonal braces. With braces it may be ok.



 

Ben325e

New User
Ben
I bought a hospital bed from ECU's surplus center for $1.00. Welded steel frame with a hand crank at one end that adjusts the height.

Edit: I suppose I should add that I took everything off except the steel head and footboards in addition to the steel beams connecting the two. The headboard and footboard are the same height, and the top is attached to these. Also has four or five inch locking casters.
 

pviser

New User
paul
This post is interesting... In my view, a good assembly table has to be rock solid and motionless. To design in adjustability (without sacrificing rigidity) certainly requires some elegant engineering ideas such as those already posted. My preference would be to forget trying to combine adjustability and rigidity on such a large structure, and just get a small steel foot-operated hydraulic scissor lift table for those operations where height adjustment is particularly useful. Just MHO...
 

Alan in Little Washington

Alan Schaffter
Corporate Member
I don't know, I would think a scissor, with its single point of support would not be very stable unless it is incredibly robust- steel bends and flexes. My woodworking bench is rock solid with four points of support, and the larger and heavier the top the more stable it becomes.
 

BWhitney

Bruce
Corporate Member
What a shame that you aren't closer. I have been procrastinating about posting my electrically operated table on CL to see what I could get out of it, but would be willing to give it to a fellow NCWW member for picking it up since I don't have room in my shop for it. The table adjusts 12 inches in height (20" to 32" without modification). As you can see, it also has some limited storage in the single cabinet and two drawers.

 

pviser

New User
paul
In response to Alan's response about the scissor, he (and perhaps others) may have misunderstood my suggestion: My own humble opinion is to have a solid non-adjustable work table (ideally lower and in addition to a bench which would be at a higher level), and a SEPARATE scissor table for finishing or other operations in which the perfect height is more important than rigidity. Yes, that adds up to two or three tables which could be a problem if space is at a particular premium. My own shop has two rigid and absolutely flat tables of differing heights, but a friend of mine loves his scissor table for asasembly and finishing.
 
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