If you’re a motorhead it’s in your blood to always be building, tinkering, and improving upon mechanical things. Eastwood product manager Mark R. is no different, but he likes to take things to the extreme sometimes. Recently Mark built a new garage and was building the shop with new work benches that allowed him to maximize the usable space he had in shop. After building a gauntlet of nice long, narrow benches around the perimeter of the shop Mark realized he needed to build something he could use in the center of the shop or even in the driveway when working on a project. Easy enough, build a lockable rolling workbench right? Nope.. not Mark, he wanted something he could move and would still be sturdy enough he could work on without it moving. This is where the “low rider”, pneumatically actuated workbench came to fruition.
Mark started by framing out the table using 2″X2″X1/4″ steel angle iron and welding each corner together using a new prototype Eastwood 250 amp MIG welder.
Once he had the top frame built and squared up he moved on to adding the legs to the table. He used a piece of angle to keep the legs square and straight. and started connecting the bottom base to the legs.
With the parts coming together Mark was ready to customize the table so it would lift and drop with shop air. He started by welding two wheels to the lower cross braces on the ends of the tables. He then got tubing that would slide into the legs of the table and cut a slot in the legs so that when the inner tubing was welded to the cross brace with wheels the entire wheeled brace could raise and lower in the tubing.
Now that the wheeled braces could raise and lower, Mark needed to add a method to easily raise and lower the table when he wanted to move it. He utilized a set of Speedaire # 6X383A air cylinders that have a 2” diameter bore with a 6” stroke. These pneumatic cylinders are rated at 750lbs each and can easily lift a work bench when filled with compressed air. Mark positioned them in the center of the braces, drilled a hole, and welded a nut to the brace so the threaded end of the piston could be adjusted so the cylinder was using its entire stroke. The last step for mounting the cylinder was to weld an upper brace above the cylinder so that it could be bolted into the table and replaced if it ever fails.
Once the entire frame was welded together Mark plumbed the air lines into a Tee fitting with a ball valve to easily air the table up and down. He then fit up a long piece of threaded rod that could be used to level out the table. To finish up the bracing and supports he welded up some angle iron to put a shelf about 1/2″ below the top for small tools and a large shelf at the bottom for larger tools and supplies. Before final assembly Mark used 2k aerosol primer to seal up the bare metal.
On the top he installed 3/8″ plate steel and capped it with 1/2″ HDPE for a non-mar work surface. Once the table was fully assembled holes were drilled in the corners to securely bolt a vice, english wheel, shrinker stretcher, metal brake, etc down. The final table dimensions are 4’x 4’ x 33-1/8″. The finish touch was to paint the bench white to match the rest of Mark’s “operating room clean” workshop. This entire table was fairly inexpensive with the materials only costing $150 minus the air cylinders.
Here you can see a finished shot of the table to the right of the table supporting the mill/lathe. It is just the right size to move around the shop for working on all sides, and small enough to tuck away against the wall when not in use. Thanks for sharing the pictures and process Mark!