How to Improve the Performance of a Folding Workbench

I like creating with my arms. I particularly get pleasure from creating helpful objects out of wooden. Sadly, my self-designed and self-built storage 6 X Three foot workbench tends to change into suffering from miscellaneous “stuff”, and I discover myself at my wit’s finish making an attempt to construct tasks on a chunk of plywood strung throughout two folding sawhorses. Not very best, I’ll agree. I do recognize the comfort of with the ability to take down and put away the elements of my makeshift working floor. What I do not like is that the working floor will not be that steady and requires a separate set of clamps to carry the working prime to the sawhorses.     clamps lowes

Casting about for one thing extra strong than a hunk of plywood and a few adjustable clamps, I discovered there are a selection of folding workbenches in the marketplace from producers like Worx, Black and Decker, and offered at locations like House Depot, Lowes, and Harbor Freight. Their costs are various, however all of them have related options. I particularly like benches that fold flat, are simply saved, have built-in adjustable “vises”, and may carry average hundreds.

After researching the assorted choices, I settled on a reasonable folding workbench from Harbor Freight.

After researching the assorted choices, I settled on a reasonable folding workbench from Harbor Freight. Value was a figuring out issue. You may see what I lastly purchased by following the hyperlink embedded under within the Useful resource part under.

The folding workbench comes as a package. The essential components are preassembled. I needed to mount the 2 hand crank assemblies to the 2 fiberboard work floor, then mount the legs and their stiffening cross members that additionally double as software stations. Meeting went shortly; I solely wanted to produce a Philips head screwdriver.

Sadly, the completed workbench does not fold fully flat. However the workbench does perform as I desired: it is a sturdy, moveable workbench that I can simply carry round the home or out into the again yard to train my woodworking prowess. Including just a few further velocity clamps and a conveyable carpenter’s 6″ vise, and I am good to go (my first venture was to make and fasten two ¼” wood dealing with items to that 6″ carpenter’s vise’s steel jaws).

Upon trying on the workbench’s building, it got here to me that with just a few minor modifications, this workbench could possibly be materially improved. And that is what prompted me to write down this “How To” article to doc what I did to my workbench.

There are 5 areas on that workbench that, with some minor rework, will materially enhance its efficiency and doubtless prolong its working life. None of those ideas are essential, and even essential for the informal consumer. None of those ideas are difficult to implement, however I discover that they may in all probability be definitely worth the effort as time passes.

Space #1: The “fold-flat” characteristic.

When this workbench is assembled in line with the instructions, when folded, the handles lay pointing down the legs in the direction of the ground. By reversing the way in which the legs are mounted (precisely reversed from the set up directions), the handles now are on prime of the folded bench, level away from the legs, and the legs do certainly fully fold flat! A straightforward repair.

Space #2: The hand-crank clamp lead screw adjustment.

I seen that the board that is mounted to the hand-cranked lead screw that makes the work floor boards perform as a built-in vise, was free, and flopped round because the handles had been cranked. To treatment this, I used a wrench to tighten the crank shaft attachment on the moveable work floor in order that there was much less play because the unit is cranked. Do not over tighten, or the board will not transfer in any respect!

Space #3: The hand cranked lead screw sheet steel finish clamp assist.

Every of the hand crank lead screws goes via an finish plate that is bent from the leg assist sheet steel. In case you look carefully, you may discover that the lead screw plate is secured to the sidewalls by two sheet steel “ears” and two small dimples within the sidewalls. That appears like a possible supply of failure downstream: nothing prevents the sidewalls from separating and permitting the crank to change into free. My repair? Easy: I put in a clamping and securing bolt via the sidewalls simply behind the tip plate. To safe the sideplates and stopping them from spreading aside, about 1 inch from the tip plate, I drilled a ¼” clearance gap via the 2 sideplates (that additionally mount the legs) and put a 1 ½ inch lengthy, ¼ -20 bolt with a washer and a locknut. Tightening the locknut makes the endplate securely clamped to the sidewall plates; it will stop any tendency for that endplate holding the leadscrew and cranking handles from coming free over time.

Space #4: Lowering friction.

The meeting directions had me utilizing a bolt, two washers, and a locknut on every leg to carry it in place. Drawback is, that implies that the legs will put on on the sideplates. Not a good suggestion. I purchased eight extra flat chrome steel washers and slipped these washers in between the legs and the sidepanels. Now the legs will put on on the washers as an alternative of the sideplates. This makes the leg securing meeting encompass the bolt head, washer, sideplate, washer, leg, washer, different sideplate, washer, then the locknut. So every of the legs now has Four washers: two washers on the skin of the aspect panels, and two washers to maintain the leg from rubbing on the sidewall immediately. Once more, do not overtighten, or the workbench will not fold up.