Bike Project Build Table

Discussion in 'Some Assembly Required' started by JagLite, Sep 30, 2014.

  1. JagLite

    JagLite Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2010
    Oddometer:
    9,901
    Location:
    Anchorage Alaska
    I built a work table to be able to have my bike project at a good height a few years ago and it worked out well and I still use it.

    However, I wanted two more so I could have all three project bikes available to work on so I designed a lighter, cheaper, and easier to build work table.

    Now that I have started using them and I am very happy with how they turned out I wanted to post pictures to give other shed builders some ideas.

    Starting with the finished picture so if you aren't interested you won't have to skim through the boring build stuff. :1drink

    [​IMG]

    In that picture you can see the new tables and also the original design.
    The new ones have a storage shelf so I can keep all the parts for that project right under it.

    The original table was shorter (too short really) and lower.
    It was built ridiculously strong and is very heavy.
    (I could support a car on it)

    The new tables are simple to build and inexpensive to build.
    Just one sheet of plywood and seven 2x3's (8'), some glue and screws to put it together.

    An elevated bike build table makes everything SO much easier and more comfortable to work on.

    If you don't have one, and I see that many don't, consider building your own.

    Or buy the $300 Harbor Freight table...

    Still with me?

    Here is the plans I drew up:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    This was what worked for me, the height and length can easily be changed of course.

    I didn't take many construction pictures and they go together quickly since they are very simple.

    Step one:
    Hit up the home improvement store and pick up (8) 2"x3" x 8'-0".
    You can use 2"x4" for more strength but that will make the vertical room of the shelf smaller, will cost more, and will be heavier.
    For that matter you could use 2"x6" studs for a super heavy table.

    Buy the sheet of plywood and if possible have them rip it into two pieces full length.
    Home Depot, Lowe's, and others will make a nice straight cut for free on their panel saw.
    The two pieces now make the wider top and the narrower shelf.
    Cut the end off the shelf piece of plywood as shown.

    Then it is just a matter of cutting the 2x3's to length and screwing everything together.

    Do NOT nail it together.

    You can get by with nailing the plywood to the rails and cross braces but screws are much better.

    I glued all the joints and the cross braces.

    [​IMG]

    I built the top and shelf first and then put the posts on the underside of the top:

    [​IMG]

    Yes, I used a framing square to make sure the posts were straight.

    I then clamped blocks on the four corner posts to support the shelf while I screwed it in place.

    I built the second one at the same time, and on top of the first one :D
    [​IMG]

    You may notice that I didn't put the center cross brace under the shelf.
    I stood on the shelf once it was framed with the 2x3's and it didn't deflect so I left the brace out.
    I used 3/4" plywood for strength, if you used thinner plywood you may need more cross bracing to support the shelf and the top.

    When the tables were all screwed up I filled the holes, cracks, gaps and everything with wood filler.

    After that dried I took my belt sander to the edges to make them neater and I rounded the corners of the top some in case I walk into them.

    [​IMG]

    Hmmm, no pictures of them filled and sanded.
    Use your imagination. :1drink

    They are now ready to use...
    If you like the unfinished look.
    I don't, so I paint everything.

    First: two coats of Killz primer:

    [​IMG]

    Then two coats of red on the legs and shelf, two coats of white on the top.

    [​IMG]

    I also painted the top of my old build table white to match the new ones.
    It had been hammered silver on top but I wanted a cleaner look to make it easier to find small bolts, screws, and tools...

    [​IMG]

    Some rearranging of the shop to put the build table where I want them:

    [​IMG]

    I bought some wheel chocks on Craig's List some time back so I bolted them down:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    There is about 3 feet between each build table so that I can easily work on either side of every project.
    I have floor mats for standing or kneeling, and roller stools I sit on for most work.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    So, how do I get the bike up that high you ask? :scratch

    [​IMG]

    Simple loading ramp, light, strong, and it hangs on the wall.
    I use the ramp to load my dirt bikes on the trailer so I already had it.
    The (used) ramp cost more than the materials to build the tables...

    OK, but my shop isn't wide enough to load a heavy bike on the ramp that way, so....

    [​IMG]

    I designed the table so that I could roll my floor jack (or atv jack) under the ends to lift and pull them.

    I could drag them around but that is not very easy so I use my snow machine rollers (Costco)

    [​IMG]

    I just jack the end up an inch and slip the rollers under the side rails.

    I can also put the rollers on both ends and roll the table anywhere I want, turn it end for end, move it out for more access, etc.

    [​IMG]

    I don't leave the rollers under the tables since they roll so easily it would be too difficult to work on the bike.
    I store them at the wall end upside down so they don't roll around.

    [​IMG]

    I can now work on all three projects at the same time, work on the engine rebuild bench, and sit down in my "thinking chair".
    I also have my four current ride bikes ready to roll out and ride away.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    If you would like your own build table and have any questions I will be happy to answer them.

    We bought this old house last year and I have spent most of my time remodeling.
    Now I can focus on the shop with new work benches, new cabinets, new flooring, and painting the walls and ceiling.
    :ricky
    #1
    busa1300, SloSolo2, OzCRU and 19 others like this.
  2. dbarale

    dbarale Squiddly slow

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2008
    Oddometer:
    2,967
    Location:
    Western NC
    Can I move in and live in your shop? I won't bother the dog...
    #2
    SloSolo2, CROSSBOLT, kpinvt and 2 others like this.
  3. JonW

    JonW Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2009
    Oddometer:
    162
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    +1

    Great work as ever!
    #3
    JagLite likes this.
  4. villageidiot

    villageidiot Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2010
    Oddometer:
    16,852
    Location:
    Orange County, CA
    great job.... other than the tops, any chance you have a cut length list?
    #4
    JagLite likes this.
  5. bk brkr baker

    bk brkr baker Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2006
    Oddometer:
    11,977
    Location:
    The Bluegrass
    Is that a sidecar frame up on the shelf in front of the Cobra front end ?
    And when does that build recomence ?
    #5
    SloSolo2, JeepDawg and JagLite like this.
  6. JagLite

    JagLite Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2010
    Oddometer:
    9,901
    Location:
    Anchorage Alaska
    Easy :1drink

    3/4" Plywood (1) sheet cut to:

    (1) 2'-3" x 8'-0"
    (1) 1'-9" x 7'-9"


    (8) 2"x3"x8'-0" pieces cut to:

    (2) 8'-0" top side rails
    (2) 7'-9" shelf side rails
    (5) 2'-0" top ends & braces
    (3) 1'-6" shelf ends (& center brace if desired)
    (4) 2'-0" corner posts
    (2) 1'-9" mid-posts

    I should mention that I put the shelf end 2x3's flat instead of vertical to give more room for the jack while having the shelf as low as possible (for my jack height)
    #6
  7. MrPopples

    MrPopples Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2012
    Oddometer:
    312
    Location:
    Stinky cheese country
    [​IMG]

    camouflage dog :lol3

    great build ;)

    now, get back to do amazing stuff ... like the AJS DR650 :)
    #7
    JagLite likes this.
  8. JagLite

    JagLite Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2010
    Oddometer:
    9,901
    Location:
    Anchorage Alaska
    That's a great idea!

    Actually, it is the frame for my Formula SAE autocross race car I started about 6 years ago when I was competing regularly.

    I designed it and welded up the main frame and gathered all the parts to complete it, including 3 sport bike engines.
    That project was put on hold when I bought a totaled diesel pusher motorhome at an insurance auction and rebuilt it.

    For me to finish a major project like that, or building a house, I put all my available free time into it to get it done.
    So, no autocross, no race car work, no playtime.
    For 3 years. :cry

    While rebuilding the motorhome I stumbled on this website, and the rest is history.
    I went from being without a bike for several years (I bought a Miata) to owning, uhhhh, currently 14.
    Although 5 are parts bikes and 5 are project bikes waiting their turn.

    Oops, I forgot the one I recently bought on eBay in Florida that is being shipped to my brothers house in northern California.
    I will fly down in June and ride it up, finally making the trip on a bike.


    i only went to one autocross event this season and while it is great fun, it just takes too much of my limited precious time.
    It worked out to TEN hours away from home for EIGHT minutes of track time.
    (12 runs @ 42 seconds each)

    I could have ridden several bikes for two hours each and still had time to work in the shop.

    I should put all the race car parts together with the engines and sell it as a "race car kit" :evil
    #8
    SloSolo2 and MGV8 like this.
  9. Baroquenride

    Baroquenride Everyone dies, but not everyone truly lives.

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2011
    Oddometer:
    5,497
    Location:
    Clark Co, Wa
    That is awesome! I'm saving this and may build one of these in the future.
    #9
    JagLite likes this.
  10. JagLite

    JagLite Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2010
    Oddometer:
    9,901
    Location:
    Anchorage Alaska
    I am glad you like it. :D

    It is so handy to have the bike up off the ground to work on.
    I used my atv jack all the time building the street tracker since my Rickman was on the build table.
    I looked at other DIY build tables but didn't like any of them for my use.

    This design is cheap, quick to build, strong, and relatively light.
    It can stand on end for storage when not in use too.
    Still, it isn't small but it sure is nice to have for bike work.

    Since I am now 30 for the second time :eek1 (60? how'd that happen?) I don't bend as well as I used to.
    I find sitting on a mechanic stool much more enjoyable for working.
    #10
  11. sailah

    sailah Lampin' it

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2005
    Oddometer:
    7,563
    Location:
    Turning expensive metal into scrap
    That's nice. I agree with working at height I finally got a lift table after years of crawling around on the floor. That shit gets old quick.
    #11
    JagLite likes this.
  12. Bronco638

    Bronco638 Nobody Home

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2004
    Oddometer:
    6,337
    Location:
    Notorious EGV
    OK, so tell us the story about the Cobra nose and how it got on your wall.

    Also, do I see an XR250R lurking in the background of some of those pictures (next to an XR600?)?

    BTW, kudos for having uni-strut "in stock", as it were...
    #12
    JagLite likes this.
  13. JagLite

    JagLite Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2010
    Oddometer:
    9,901
    Location:
    Anchorage Alaska
    I wanted to build a Cobra kit for many years (like so many others) but I could never save enough money for the kit AND the shipping ($$$).
    When I would get close something always came up that I had to use that money for.
    Doctors, hospitals, car repairs...

    When Factory Five offered the unfinished nose kit as wall art I bought it since that is going to be as close as I can get to building the car.
    The kit comes with the lights and turn signals, I added the oil cooler and painted it to look used with rock chips, scrapes, and aluminum showing.
    (aluminum paint that is)

    Bikes are much less expensive (the ones I buy anyway) and sooooo much easier to work on.

    Currently in the shop pictures are:
    Rickman with Triumph TR6C engine to be rebuilt this winter on the engine bench
    AJS (DR) 650 street tracker
    RM 85 (no engine)
    XR80
    XR200
    DR650
    TW200

    Winter projects are:
    Rickman: Triumph engine rebuild and final assembly
    V-Strom 650: new suspension, wheels (spokes), tank, seat, fenders, lights, etc.
    HonZuki: RM 250 frame, RM 85 wheels (17/14) & suspension, XR 200 engine.
    Street legal ultralight (low speed) trail bike for serious single track.

    I hope to finish the Rickman this winter, the other projects will take two winters at least.
    Summer is for riding. :D

    I can only spend a total of 10 hours per week in the shop (at best) so things take a long time to get finished.

    I do try to do something each day for at least one project to keep moving forward.
    Yesterday, after work I stopped at True Value to buy a few fender washers to cut in half and weld into the street tracker muffler.

    Then I spent my 2 hours of evening work time painting the fence I installed this summer. :cry
    #13
  14. TwinDuro

    TwinDuro Befuddled Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2007
    Oddometer:
    528
    Location:
    Pac Nor-Wet, WA
    Fantastic thread Mr. JagLite, thanks for putting it together! :clap

    I've been thinking about build/lift tables for awhile now, and like your design: simple, strong, light and practical.

    I couldn't pull the trigger on a Harbor Freight or other lift table because the weight scared me off; I'm always needing to move things around my small shop, and the idea of moving a near 300 pound steel table every month or so, didn't sound like fun, even on wheels. I also need two tables (as you mentioned, there's never just _one_ project, ha ha), which tips the budget a little too far off the deep end...

    These will work perfect! I also have the exact same ramp as you, so I'm set... I can't wait. Time to run to the 'Depot.
    #14
    JagLite likes this.
  15. JagLite

    JagLite Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2010
    Oddometer:
    9,901
    Location:
    Anchorage Alaska
    The weight of a metal bike lift is another good point.
    I ruled one out for me because of the cost of shipping it to Alaska costs more than the lift.

    But moving a heavy lift table around your shop is no small thing!
    With a bike on it would be much more difficult.

    I have never used a lift so I don't know how handy it would be to be able to adjust the height.


    Yesterday I added eye bolts to the end of the tables to be able to strap the bikes down.
    The wheel chocks don't hold the bikes very well by themselves.
    Something about the bikes not weighing enough.

    [​IMG]
    #15
  16. roger123

    roger123 Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2007
    Oddometer:
    2,535
    Location:
    VA Beach, VA
    Very nice job, looks great. Love the Cobra nose, my dream car as well.
    #16
    JagLite likes this.
  17. Dan V.

    Dan V. Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2013
    Oddometer:
    1,190
    Location:
    West Michigan
    Have used a couple of similar designed tables for years. I built a ramp out of 2x4's and plywood - it has "sides" on it to keep the wheels in the ramp when pushing scoots up and down. The sides are needed because I usually work alone. At the table end, it has the alum plates that are sold to make ramps out of 2x8's - found them cheap at Menard's, a big box home center. The ramp is heavy, but I built it out of leftover wood so it was cheap:rofl.

    I would suggest using Spax construction lags and screws to bolt it all together - much stronger and cheaper than lag bolts and drywall screws.

    When I need to move them, loaded or not, I slip the good ol' HF furniture dollys under the legs and away they go!

    Nice shop you have there!
    #17
    JagLite likes this.
  18. JagLite

    JagLite Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2010
    Oddometer:
    9,901
    Location:
    Anchorage Alaska
    Thanks!

    Yes, Spax screws are excellent and I have some on hand but only 6" and I use the gold, course thread screws for everything and always have lots of them in an assortment of lengths.

    Good suggestion for someone who needs to buy screws is to find Spax products.
    I have only seen them in one store up here so I don't know how easy they are to find elsewhere.
    i am sure they are available online too.

    I have used a 2x6 with 1x4 side guide/stiffeners for 30 years at least.
    Cheap, but heavy and they need something at the top end to keep them from sliding off.
    That's another good suggestion to use the ramp ends sold in many stores.

    I found my aluminum loading ramp on CL used (cheap) and love how light it is.
    However, a wood ramp certainly keeps the cost down!
    Thanks for mentioning that.
    #18
  19. kenstone

    kenstone worn out

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2013
    Oddometer:
    2,005
    Location:
    Boysee
    I like your table design
    I use a ratchet strap over the tire to hold the bike to my lift table chock.
    It doesn't compress the forks and allows handlebar removal, etc.
    [​IMG]
    :lol3
    #19
    JagLite likes this.
  20. JagLite

    JagLite Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2010
    Oddometer:
    9,901
    Location:
    Anchorage Alaska
    Thanks Kenstone!

    I like your way much better.
    I will change my straps today. :clap
    #20