Quick Shop-Built Fabricating Stands

A laminate shop owner describes his quick-to-make workstands made with scraps of panel material, cut to size and slotted to interlock. December 30, 2007

I want some recommendations on what other solid surface fabricators were using for fabrication tables (sizes, wood or metal, stationary or rollabout). We have several wood 4x8 tables and some wood 8x2 rollabout carts, but are getting ready to replace some of them. My employees are all over the place on what they prefer, so I thought I would turn to some outside input.

Forum Responses
(Laminate and Solid Surface Forum)
From contributor A:
We use a 3 x 8 steel table that is bolted to the floor so you can push on it for seaming and trimming small tops. For fabrication stands we use x stands made out of particleboard, two identical pieces that slip together with a half lap. They are usually taken apart and stacked after use so the floor can be swept. It only takes ten or fifteen seconds to reassemble, they are dirt cheap, and can be positioned for the odd shaped parts. A sheet of damaged plywood or particleboard will make three pair, maybe ten minutes to cut them out. The only downside is that small tops tend to get pushed around if there isn't enough mass, so we hook or clamp them on the steel table for routing edges or belt sanding edges.

From contributor K:
What contributor A said. We also have X's that are 10" high for working on tables (easier on back).

From contributor D:
The x stands sound like a great idea. Could I get a little more info on making them?

From contributor A:
Piece of cake. We chop up junk sheets into 32" x 24" pieces, then set up a table saw for half the width of the panel, minus one half the thickness of the sheet stock. It doesn't have to be very tight, even sloppy will work just fine. Cut half way through the panel, flip the panel and cut the other side, leaving a 16.5" long x 3/4" wide groove. If you use particleboard, just snap the scrap out and turn one piece upside down and slide another into it. If your worst hand can't make ten in twenty minutes, fire the guy and start looking for more help.

Tight isn't the way to go - easier to move around, but hard to assemble and disassemble and stack. We have a ten thousand foot shop, but it can still get crowded if you don't put stuff away.

I have some out of particleboard that are ten years old, at least. One or two snapped and we shot a cleat on. Very cheap and sturdy. We use them for temp assembly tables, even chop saw bases when it isn't worth bringing the folding saw stands.