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Ken’s Mobile Torsion Box Assembly Table

Ken GewantPlainview, NYAdded on August 10, 2015

I am a semi-retired periodontist on Long Island, New York, with a fledgling custom furniture business called Ken Gewant Woodworks. For many years, I had been using an old 3’ X 5’ formica kitchen table top on a couple of saw horses as an assembly table in my basement workshop. I was inspired to build a new, larger mobile torsion box assembly table after seeing Marc’s post, and Len’s table, as well. A ¼-scale foam board model helped in working out the details of the design. The 3” thick torsion box top is made of ½” No Added Urea Formaldehyde (NAUF) MDF skins, with the same MDF used for the internal webbing. This was a great excuse to buy my first compressor and a Grex Green Buddy brad nailer. I used ½” thick hard maple for the edging of the top, which is 40” wide and 64” long. The table top is 32” from the floor.

The base rests on 4” heavy duty casters (from Rockler), two fixed and two swiveling/lockable, in a “shopping cart” arrangement. The base is constructed of ¾” (actually, 18mm) Baltic birch plywood, attached with 1½” #8 Spax screws. I used size “0” biscuits and glue to attach the 4 dividers to the center panel. This created 6 storage bays, each of which will comfortably fit the footprint of a Festool Systainer (I have long wish list of Festool stuff!). I used 18”, full extension Accuride drawer slides (# 7432) to attach the ½” (12mm) Baltic birch plywood drawers to the base. I also made adjustable ½” plywood shelves at the top of each of the 6 bays for additional storage. The drawers each have a ½” maple false front, and the shelves have solid maple on the front edge for strength and good looks.

The base components, drawers, and shelves were pre-finished with 4 coats of shellac before final assembly. I used 6 coats of Minwax Wipe-on Poly satin to finish the top. The top was attached to the base with 24 Spax screws inserted up through the long horizontal cleats. In a few years, I can just unscrew the top, flip it over, patch the screw holes with a little wood putty, and voila, I’ll have a fresh work surface! All in all, I am extremely happy with my new mobile torsion box assembly table. It is extremely solid, with loads of usable on-board storage, and is more than flat enough for all practical purposes. Thank you, Marc, for your inspiration and great web site.

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