If there’s one thing in your workshop that you can’t live without, it’s a mobile workbench. This tutorial will teach you how to build your workbench with wheels out of recycled or reused materials.
The mobile workbench is one of the core elements found in every workshop. It can be used to store your power tools, as a surface for your projects, cutting, filing, and more. And building a customised workbench is the best way to guarantee you’ll make the best possible use of it. If you’re also able to build with recycled or used materials, then you can save some money as well.
Tools and equipment
To make a simple workbench with wheels, you’ll need the following tools and equipment:
- Mitre saw
- Angle grinder
- Multifunction tools
- Drill driver
- Nail gun
- Circular saw
- Dowelling jig
- 10 wooden boards measuring 2000x680x21 mm, 2 posts measuring 200x100x100 mm and 1 plank measuring 1800×750 mm
- Wood glue
- Double-sided tape
- 4 mounting brackets
- 6 braked castors
- Multi-socket power strip
Cost, duration and difficulty level
The cost of making a workbench depends on the wood you are able to recycle or reuse. For this example, we used recycled and reused materials, as well as pallet boards.
We spent around £55. If you buy the wood, the cost will increase to around £110. You’ll find all the necessary tools and materials on ManoMano’s online shop.
For this project, you will need to have some experience using power tools. That’s why we’ve categorised the difficulty level as “medium”. It’s perfect for DIY enthusiasts who would like to take on a new challenge.
To build this workbench, you’ll need a full day’s work. If the wood you are recycling is in poor condition, it could take a bit longer. That’s what happened to us when we were completing the project.
How to make a customised mobile workbench
The main advantage of making your own workbench with wheels is that you can customise it:
- You can adapt the width and depth to your workspace or workshop.
- You can also ensure the tabletop is the right height to prevent straining your back or joints when standing for long periods.
- Don’t forget that the ideal workbench height depends on the type of work you’ll be doing:
For precision work, we recommend building it at the height of 110 to 94 cm. This is the size commonly used for building packaging stations.
- For projects that require considerable strength, choose between 93 and 86 cm in terms of height.
- Finally, we recommend between 85 and 71 cm for work that requires considerable strength and/or cutting tools that must be attached to the surface of the workbench.
For this example, we took the size of the person who would be using the workbench the most, as well as the recommendations given above. As a result, we built a workbench with a height of 76 cm. Here are the steps we followed to complete this project.
1. Cut the posts
The first step involves cutting the posts needed to build the mobile workbench’s legs. We wanted our work area to be 180 cm wide, so we cut 6 legs measuring 63 cm each: 2 legs for each end and 2 for the middle. We used the mitre saw for this part of the project, as we had to make several cuts due to the size of the posts we used (10 cm square posts).
2. Grind and sand the wood
We recycled some wood that was intended for use as posts. As it was in poor condition, we decided to grind down the wood first using the grinder and a sanding disc. Keep in mind that this step will produce a lot of dust. We recommend protecting both your airways and your eyes.
Despite the extra time and effort required, this added step is well worth it: it will not only reveal the wood’s natural beauty but will make it look like new as well.
3. Build the frame for your mobile workbench
The next step involves building a stable and durable frame for your workbench. To do this, you’ll need to attach the 6 legs to the boards so that they are recessed.
- Use the circular saw to cut several parallel grooves at the end of each post: cut to a depth that equals the thickness of the boards (2.1 cm) and cut the width to equal that of the boards (6.8 cm), as seen in the photos.
- Remove the area of wood you’ve just scored with a multifunctional tool. You can also use a woodworking gouge for this step.
- Bear in mind that, for the corner legs, you’ll need to reduce the wood on 2 of the 4 sides;
- Cut 4 boards measuring 1.6 m wide, 2 measuring 54 cm, 5 measuring 36 cm and 19 measuring 44 cm;
- Use a dowelling jig to screw the wooden frame to the inside lower part of the workbench;
- Nail the boards to the lower part of the frame to make shelves.
In the photos provided here, you can see how the workbench was put together following the steps described above.
Next, turn the frame over and attach the braked castors or wheels. As this solid workbench is somewhat heavy, wheels will provide greater mobility and freedom of movement.
4. Add the work surface to your bench
In order to build the work surface for our workbench, we reused a door whose lower and upper parts were somewhat damaged. To ensure we used only the part that was in good condition, we cut the door using the circular saw. Finally, we glued and nailed a plywood strip to the cut sides.
For increased stability, we used metal mounting brackets to attach it to the lower part of the workbench.
5. Attach your mobile workbench accessories
The final step involves attaching practical accessories onto your mobile workbench. To begin, attach a vice onto one side of the work surface using screws. On the sides, you can attach a power strip using duct tape.
If you’ve followed the steps described above, then your mobile workbench with wheels is now complete! You are ready to begin work on all of those DIY projects you’ve been planning.
Did you enjoy this article on how to build your own mobile workbench? Why not learn how to build your own office desk or even our buying guide on tool storage! Are you building our own mobile workshop? Share your finished results with us on Instagram using the the #mymanomanoway, #manomanouk and #youvegotthis hashtags!