Adjustable Height Workbench Design – How and Why – Updated!

How the Adjustable Height Workbench Works

I designed the Adjustable Height Workbench in 2007. In about 2010 I uploaded an incredibly simple YouTube video showing how it operates. That first video is incredibly out of date, and my today’s standards it is almost unwatchable. I’ve planned to update my Workbench video for some time now, but it never rose to the top of the list of things to do. Recently, I realized just how many active woodworkers have never heard of my workbench, much less that I offer a set of workbench plans showing exactly how to build one. Anyway, I finally updated that video and this is the result. I am very interested to know what you think of the new video. Of course I am always interested to know your thoughts on the bench itself, so please leave a comment or send me an email!

How the bench works is basically pretty simple

There are two scissors jacks. The first one is used to raise and lower the bench height.  The second one is used to pick the bench up off the floor and on to the mobile base.

The first one is an regular automotive jack.  For this one, I have had very good luck with jacks from older full size General Motors trucks, Chevy Blazers, Pick Ups, Suburbans, etc.  Jacks from newer trucks are probably OK, but I have not personally tested them.

Scissors Jack for Adjustable Height Workbench

Scissors Jack from Full Size Chevy Blazer that I use to Adjust the Bench Height

 

Originally, I used a smaller automotive jack for the mobile base.  That worked “OK”, but the bench was a bit tippy when I moved it around.  Then I discovered Motorcycle Jacks!

Motorcycle jack to lift workbench up off the floor and on to the mobile base

A Motorcycle Jack offers a very wide and stable platform for the mobile base

Ah, but Why an Adjustable Height Workbench?

I adjust the height of my bench at least 3-4 times during construction of each and every project that I make.

I adjust it high for most work, especially machine work, like when I am routing the edge of a board.

I adjust is even higher for detail work, like when I am doing marquetry or veneer work.

But, I like it low when working with hand tools, especially when I am planing a board.

And, I like it even lower when I am doing assembly work; during glue ups, when assembling pieces, for finishing, and anytime I am working with something large and bulky.

Being able to adjust the bench height is just all around more ergonomic and easier on my back!

An adjustable height bench is always at the perfect height, for EVERY member of your family.

The Mobile Base is the Icing on the Cake

Being able to EASILY move my bench around is truly a luxury and I am so glad that I included that in the design!