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A website about how I set up my old, small, two-car garage for metal fabrication, carpentry and automotive work.

A Pair of Fold-Down Benches

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You might think the tour is done. The only thing on the left side of the garage is a parking space and another fire extinguisher.

This movie will show you that there are still a few things going on:



The wall next to where the car parks has two benches that fold up and out of the way most of the time. But when the car is out, they can fold down as work surfaces #8 and #9. (What are #1 through #7? The curved crossmember table, the counter around the sink, the compliance bench, the main bench, the Swiss Army table, the center Island, and the suspended table.)

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Here they are, both stowed away. The woodworking table was the first one I made. It has legs that come down at an angle, which allows the table to go down even when the car is parked there (although just barely).

The wood table has holes drilled into it so I can attach my router table. It’s also great for using a chop saw for either wood or metal.

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Wood Magazine featured the design in a 2011 issue. Here’s their exploded view of how to build it.

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Now that it’s been put in a magazine, let me confess the one kind of stupid thing about the design. I put the little ‘chocks’ at the floor line so the legs couldn’t slide sideways. It works, but those chocks catch sawdust and are also something of an eyesore. All I needed to do was to make a crossmember between the two legs. I could have notched the inside of the legs and run a 1x4 about midway up. This would keep the two legs parallel and make it virtually impossible to kick a leg out from underneath.

The table takes the idea of doubling up 3/4” plywood and in a way that allows one 4x8 sheet to make a bench top that’s wider than 24”. I have the doubled area only cover the part of the bench where you’d actually be applying a lot of force. The edge closes to where you stand is only 3/4” thick, but that allowed me to make the overall depth of the top 28”.

I’ve jumped up and down on it. It’s pretty strong.

The welding table is even stronger. It’s only 1/8” thick steel sheet, but it’s framed with 1/4” thick 2” L-stock. The legs are 1/4” thick square tubing, and the weight of the table makes it virtually impossible to knock a leg out. There are T-shaped steel tops where the legs meet the top surface. I also have a big magnet in there so that the legs snap into position as you lower the table top.

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By allowing the top of the folded-up table to come out a few inches when its stowed, I gained enough space to make hooks for a lot of my welding clamps and vise grips. It’s nice to have all this stuff out of sight when I’m not using it, although I’ll admit that sometimes it’s a pain to need one clamp back there and have to lower the table down to get it.

Welding can cause fires, so I covered the exposed parts of the wall with aluminum flashing and then painted them to match the walls.

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There’s an attic fan in the ceiling up above the welding table.

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Next: The Hydraulic Lift