Outdoor work bench ideas
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  1. #1

    Outdoor work bench ideas

    I could greatly benefit from an outdoor workbench for metal fabrication and general woodwork stuff. I have no space for a workshop inside and only ever make or repair things outdoors anyway.

    I was wondering if anyone would like to participate in generating some ideas?

    I have a very particular brief, which is that the work bench (be it in one or multiple pieces) should function as an ordinary piece of garden furniture or be folded flat against a wall when not in use, and be corrosion resistant enough to be outdoors permanently.

    In terms of metal fabrication work, the bench can be quite small. Holes for bench dogs/clamps would be nice. I can live without a vice.

    However for wood work I would really appreciate something I can cut down 4x8 sheet material on using my track saw. I hate using the flimsy aluminium track and having to clamp it onto combinations of workmate type benches and saw horse and still being awkward. It would be amazing to have something that can properly support a 4x8 sheet and run the track saw, possibly with a slot built into the table for the saw or something the track can really lock into quickly.

    I have a good source of cheap Casters and sack truck/wheelbarrow type wheels if anyone thinks a rolling unit is a good idea.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Location
    Roatan island
    Posts
    267

    Re: Outdoor work bench ideas

    What you're asking for is a bulked up version of a cheap folding table. Problem is that once its bulked up it is now also a bit heavy and do to size, cumbersome. If it has wheels you also need wheel locks so it's stable while you're putting forces against the table.

    Have you considered the scaffolds that come in pieces that you can rapidly assemble into a fairly stable relatively flat work surface? You get to put the flat surface, usually meant to stand on, at varying heights from near ground level to about 6' up. Northerntool.com has several and I own a pair of their units. They're solidly built and easy to store. The powder coat is the rust preventative, but I doubt it's meant to be out in foul weather permanently.
    To my knowledge, I own:
    50% of all the plasma cutters,
    33% of all the TIG welders and
    20% of all the MIG welders on the island.

    I own 1 of each.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    BC CANADA
    Posts
    17

    Re: Outdoor work bench ideas

    I think RoatanBill is talking about a baker scaffold, most of them have 5 foot high ends that would be in the way for ripping plywood but home depot has one with the ends in 2 pieces https://www.homedepot.com/p/MetalTec...SCMT/305947855 that allow you to use it as a bench
    Throw a sheet of plywood on top and you have 4x8 work surface, put a piece of polystyrene on top as a sacrificial surface to protect the table and saw blade for the track saw ( I use a 3' x 7' piece of foam as this give me clearance for clamps )

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Posts
    303

    Re: Outdoor work bench ideas

    Maybe this centipede work system. Holds up to 1500 lbs and folds up when not in use

    https://www.amazon.com/Centipede-Too.../dp/B00T8ABQIS

  5. #5

    Re: Outdoor work bench ideas

    Quote Originally Posted by Dee_veloper View Post
    Maybe this centipede work system. Holds up to 1500 lbs and folds up when not in use

    https://www.amazon.com/Centipede-Too.../dp/B00T8ABQIS
    Thanks for showing me this. This item has not arrived in the UK yet and I certainly hadn't seen it, although I may have seen similar stuff used for pop up displays at exhibitions.
    It looks plausible to make something similar, this branded version is made of extremely poor materials so it would be difficult to make anything worse. It is clearly the shape with multiple uprights and heaps of triangles that makes it strong.

  6. #6

    Re: Outdoor work bench ideas

    Quote Originally Posted by Eloewen View Post
    I think RoatanBill is talking about a baker scaffold, most of them have 5 foot high ends that would be in the way for ripping plywood but home depot has one with the ends in 2 pieces https://www.homedepot.com/p/MetalTec...SCMT/305947855 that allow you to use it as a bench
    Throw a sheet of plywood on top and you have 4x8 work surface, put a piece of polystyrene on top as a sacrificial surface to protect the table and saw blade for the track saw ( I use a 3' x 7' piece of foam as this give me clearance for clamps )
    This looks like a great product! again not something available over here yet, but a perfectly suitable thing to attempt making as I become competent in fabrication and welding.

  7. #7

    Re: Outdoor work bench ideas

    Quote Originally Posted by RoatanBill View Post
    What you're asking for is a bulked up version of a cheap folding table. Problem is that once its bulked up it is now also a bit heavy and do to size, cumbersome. If it has wheels you also need wheel locks so it's stable while you're putting forces against the table.
    I have a very good supply of casters and inflatable wheelbarrow/sack truck type wheels. This would be the easiest thing to source.
    Casters have brakes built in and inflatable wheels can be rigid braked by drilling a hole through the steel of wheel and pushing a rod through.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Bilbao, Spain
    Posts
    812

    Re: Outdoor work bench ideas

    Quote Originally Posted by treefondler View Post
    I have a very good supply of casters and inflatable wheelbarrow/sack truck type wheels. This would be the easiest thing to source.
    Casters have brakes built in and inflatable wheels can be rigid braked by drilling a hole through the steel of wheel and pushing a rod through.
    Beware, those wheels (even the foam filled / solid core ones) take a set if sit loaded for a long time. It happened to me with a BBQ. Then they don't roll nearly as nicely. I am trying to source solid nylon wheels, even if it means a shaky ride from where it sits now to where it is going to be used.

    Mikel

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Location
    Roatan island
    Posts
    267

    Re: Outdoor work bench ideas

    I've gotten dozens of casters from https://www.surpluscenter.com/ .
    I typically buy 6" rated for 300lbs no matter what the actual load will be to avoid getting a flat spot if they sit loaded for too long. They also sell solid steel wheel casters meant for industrial machinery weighing tons. Their supply varies as it is a surplus outlet, but the quality of the product is great. I've never gotten a used castor or tire/wheel.
    To my knowledge, I own:
    50% of all the plasma cutters,
    33% of all the TIG welders and
    20% of all the MIG welders on the island.

    I own 1 of each.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Dalton, GA
    Posts
    1,619

    Re: Outdoor work bench ideas

    A vertical panel saw against an outside wall would solve your plywood cutting problem.

    Is the outdoor area concrete or dirt? That makes a difference.
    Burt
    _____________________
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    Miller 375 Plasma Cutter
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