Easy to build rolling workbench for power tools.
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Having a rolling workbench comes in handy in a variety of situations but it's especially great for mounting heavy power tools to. If you have any heavy power tools like a sanding station, drill press, or miter saw (see Ryobi 10 Inch Compound Miter Saw Review) then this is a great bench for those items.
You'll be able to mount the tools down so they're safe and secure, get them at a comfortable working height, and easily roll them out when needed and away when they're not. Follow along and you'll see how easy it is to make your own rolling table. My design calls for a four foot long by two foot deep table top but you can adjust this design to fit almost any size. For a non-rolling bench see our DIY Workbench You Can Build For Under $100.
Materials NeededThe materials needed for this project should be easy to find at any home improvement store. We'll be making this bench out of 2x4 lumber but you could certainly use 2x6 lumber if you wanted something beefier. For most, 2x4's will be fine.
In terms of building you'll need some tools as well. I highly recommend a miter saw for straight cuts (see Ryobi 10 Inch Compound Miter Saw Review). A corded or cordless drill with philips bit as well as a small (1/8" is good) bit for pre-drilling holes is recommended.
- 6 of 2"x4"x8' lumber
- 1 of 2'x4' MDF with 1/2" thickness
- 1 of 2'x4' MDF with 3/4" thickness
- Box (1lb) of 2.5" screws (deck screws work well)
- Tube of Liquid Nails
- 4 of 4" caster wheels. I'd reccomend 2 that lock and 2 that don't.
- 16 of 3" lag bolts
- Paint / Shellac (optional)
Step 1: Cut Some Wood
The easiest way to achieve what you see in the photo above is to start cutting! Make sure you know how to use your tools and follow all safety procedures (including the use of safety glasses).
Tip 1 - Anytime you're cutting a piece of wood, be sure to square up the end you're starting on. Do this by putting it in your miter saw and cutting a small slice (1/8" or so) off the end. Now you'll know it's perfectly square.
Tip 2 - Mark a single cut at a time, make the cut, then mark the next cut. Do this rather than marking several cuts on a board at once which won't come out correct since the width of your saw blade can screw things up down the line.
We now need the follow pieces cut from your 2x4 lumber:
- 2 pieces 46" long
- 2 pieces 43" long
- 4 pieces 19" long
- 2 pieces 22" long
- 2 pieces 16" long
- 4 pieces 30" long
- 4 pieces 20" long
- 4 pieces 3" long
Step 2: Top Assembly
Working on the ground or a table (like our DIY Workbench You Can Build For Under $100), make a rectangle out of the two 46" pieces and two of the 19" pieces. The two 19" pieces will go inside the longer pieces, giving the box a total length of 46". These all need to be glued together with the Liquid Nails (which I'll refer to simply as glue from now on) and then screwed with two screws going into each corner. It's best to pre-drill your holes with a 1/8" bit.
Take a minute to make sure your rectangle is, in fact, a rectangle rather than a skewed trapezoid. Not sure how to do that? Then read How To Square Up Framed Boxes.
Step 3: Add Inner Legs
Working with the bench upside down at this point, use the four 30" pieces and assemble your legs. These go on the inside corners with a little glue and a couple of screws. Make sure they're snug in the corners and kept straight and square. Clamp pieces if needed as you go to make screwing easier.
Step 4: Add Outer Leg Tops
To make this bench sturdy, each leg is made of two 2x4's. We now need to add in the outer leg pieces which starts with the four 20" pieces. Assemble as shown in the photo above using glue and a few screws in each.
Step 5: Add Bottom Runners
We'll now add the two 43" pieces onto the front and back of the bench, right on top of the 20" pieces we added in Step 4. Glue and screw them in place as usual, making sure things are square and straight as you go.
Step 6: Add Out Leg Bottoms
On each of the four legs, add in the 3" pieces which get glued and screwed in place. The four legs are now complete but the bench still needs supports added in.
Step 7: Add Supports
The top (which is upside down still) needs to get two of the 19" pieces placed in as horizontal supports. Place these as show
Then, add in the 16" and 22" support pieces. These run between the front and back legs and help make it strong and sturdy. As shown in the closeup image above, you're basically going to glue and screw a 16" and 22" 2x4 together, then attach that assembly to the bench.
Step 8: Add Wheels
This is a good time to add in your caster wheels. The 4" variety work well and roll smoothly over most surfaces and can handle the weight of the table and tools well. I put the two lock casters in the front of the table and the non-lock casters in the back. Screw them in with the lag bolts you bought (pre-drill with the 1/8" bit even if the bolts don't require it to be safe).
Step 9: Finishing Up
Flip the cart over and paint it if you want. If you do paint, just before the paint sets up you may want to line the tops of the 2x4's with wax paper before putting on the surface tops. The tacky paint will hold the paper in place. This will make it easy to remove the MDF top later, which you will want to do when things get beat up enough. Otherwise the paint will stick to those surfaces over the years.
Now apply your tops. I went with 3/4" MDF for the main top because it's cheap and comes in pre-cut 24" x 48" pieces I can fit in my car without buying a full sheet. I allowed the top to overhang 1" all around.
For the bottom shelf I cut it to fit with a jig saw, without any overhang.
If you're using MDF, you'll want to coat the MDF in something since MDF will soak up even a single drop of water and warp the surface. I went with several coats of Shellac which brushes on easily and creates a fairly durable and water resistant surface that should last for years of abuse.
Mount your tools and you're done! You now have a workbench you can easily rollout and use as needed which also allows you to more easily confine the mess that power tools tend to make.
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