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  These days many people live in townhouses or flats and do not have a garage or other place to work. But even if you have no particular place you can still do a lot of worthwhile projects using this working surface which can easily be stowed under a bed or in a cupboard.


Place the working surface on a table and clamp it with two G-clamps. Do not forget to put pieces of scrap wood between the jaws of the G-clamp to protect the bottom of the table and the top of the working surface.

One could also place the working surface on the top of two 3-step stepladders. This makes for a more comfortable working height.

Material needed:

Buy all wood PAR (Planed All Round).
  • A piece of wood as long as the table you intend using or as long as space permits if you are using stepladders, about 500 to 600 mm wide and not thinner than 6 mm to form the base.
    Three-ply wood is ideal but a piece of 9 mm chipboard is easier to find and cheaper. Do not make this base too heavy. Remember it has to be moved before and after every job you do.

  • A piece of wood no thinner than 20 mm and 200 mm wide of the same length as the base to act as the working surface.

  • A piece of wood 20 mm thick and about 50 mm wide to act as a batten to prevent the working surface from sliding forwards.

  • A piece of wood 20 mm x 20 mm to form the tool well which will allow you to have small tools under the work piece without them falling off the opposite edge of the table.

  • A piece of wood  20 mm x 150 mm x 150 mm with an equal "V" notch cut into it to act as a stop when planing or to hold a work piece in place.

  • Screws and/or nails

  • Glue

Tools required:
  • Hammer

  • Screwdriver

  • Cross cut saw (if you did not have the wood "cut to size" by your supplier)

  1. Line up the front edges of the base and the working surface and glue and screw or nail in place from the bottom of the base. Avoid nail or screw heads on the working surface as this may damage sharp tools such as planes and chisels.

  2. Fit the front batten by gluing and screwing or nailing it to the front of the base and work surface leveling the top of the batten with the top of the work surface.

  3. Screw or nail the "V"-notched piece of wood to one end of the working surface. On the left hand side if you are right handed and on the right hand side if you are left handed. Screwing is better should you ever want to remove the stop.

  4. Glue and screw or nail the tool well batten to the back end of the base.

If you do not want to use G-clamps on the stepladders you can screw a batten the thickness of the top step and length the width of the inside of the top step, at each end of the base at a distance from the front which will allow for the overhang of the top step. To this screw another piece of wood the same length as the batten and the width of the top step. Then simply slide the stepladders under the base into the brackets thus formed.

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