Originally Posted by GearHeadGrrrl
So that's the sorry reality- we're not training enough welders, machinists, etc. so if you want something fabbed in the future you'll need to do it yourself.
Yep. First world countries are that way, every one wants that phd/management job with the money to match. Few people realize the simple joy of some jobs that adds much to the money paid. Some of these kind of jobs are now paying very well due to the lack of supply e.g. plumbers.
You'd be better off in a third world country for getting jobs done.
If you want a movable bench - make it the same height as your main work bench, that way you can slide things from one to the other rather than lift. Best if everything is about the same height for that reason.
New stuff vs Old... I think you need a good deal of knowledge about the old stuff (costs of servicing it to get it working well, where to get parts and the amount of time). If you don't have that then new is probably better - even if it is now 'throw away' manufacture.
Good luck with making the parts;
take your time, particularly in the planning stage. Think it through, saves a lot of time. Oh making cardboard model and fit that first before going to metal... Sounds like you have most of that covered with other peoples input.
consider the first one a prototype - use it to improve the second one.