VOTE: General Purpose Work Tables

I’d like to propose we build 5 tables per the attached sketch. I suggest 2 with steel tops for the metal shop, and 3 with MDF tops for general Hive13 use (assembly, workspace, etc.; 1 in Fab Lab, 2 in main area).

Construction will be welded 2" x 2" steel tube frame. Casters will be swivel machine casters with leveling stops so the tables can be wheeled around and then leveled on feet for stability while working.

These will be heavy, sturdy tables able to withstand significant abuse, and the tops will be replaceable to account for wear and tear. While 2" steel tube is more expensive than some other constructions, having a sturdy stable work surface is WELL worth the increase in cost. I have not been able to identify a comparable pre-built work table.

Per request, one of the welding tables will be ~28" sitting work height for more precise TIG work instead of the 36" counter height I propose for the others and will have the shelf shifted all the way to the back so the table can stay against the wall to allow space for a chair.

Total cost I priced out for all five tables would be $1298 (cost breakdown below). To account for any odds and ends, in process improvements, shipping, etc. I propose the vote be for $1600.

qty length extended length
top sides 2 65 130 in
top ends 2 29 58 in
top supports 2 29 58 in
legs 4 31 124 in
bottom ends 2 29 58 in
bottom supports 2 20 40 in
bottom sides 2 65 130 in
598 in
49.833333 ft

price price weight weight
MDF Steel lb. lb.
Steel Tube $ 97.90 $ 97.90 130 130
Top $ 20.72 $ 159.75 54 184
MDF Shelf $ 10.36 $ 10.36 36 36
Casters $75.00 $ 75.00 9 9
Total $ 203.98 $ 343.01 229 359

Price Qty Total
Steel Top $ 343.01 2 $ 686.02
MDF Top $ 203.98 3 $ 611.94
Total $ 1,297.96

The in-person voting for this proposal will be at the 12/18/2018 meeting. If the vote is passed, I would expect to have the tables built by the end of January.


Kevin McLeod
Woodworking Warden

I understand the use of metal tables being used in the Metalworking, but out in the main area? Would there be a cheaper way to make these. 2x4’s for an example. Even Companies like Thingergy uses purely wood workbenches.


2x4s are very high in moisture and tend to distort after assembly as they dry. This leads to massive distortion. If you want an example, look at the top of the woodworking workbench, it has ~1/2" of distortion in it.

The metal tables will be easier to build, more durable and long lasting, and easier to adapt to other uses over time.

They could be built from good quality 3/4" plywood, but I don't know if you have priced that recently, it would likely be the same price as these metal tables.

I have not, but if costs would be equal then I dont see a difference for how we make them, I am just curious on the costs.

Reminder: this vote is for tomorrow’s meeting.


Kevin McLeod

I don’t think this would add much to the cost, but I would think the wood shop/general use table tops would be better with two layers of 3/4" MDF,
with the upper layer attached for easy replacement, e.g., bolted in 6 or 8 places.


I can get on board with that, I'll adjust the design for two layers MDF. Tops will be attached with screws from below with washers and oversized holes to allow for expansion and contraction with humidity and temperature.

Three more sheets of MDF will only add $60-75, will fall within the vote.

Won’t be at meeting, vote yes. Bravo.

I ad my questions answered, but forgot to vote. I vote yes.

I’m likely unable to attend tonight’s meeting due to illness, so I’ll enter a yes vote here.

  • Ry

Yes from me, sorry I am just getting back at it after much needed downtime from the surgeries.

Vote yes

YES vote

Vote passed.

I’ll be ordering the steel first week of January so that I don’t have to schedule around holiday business.

If anyone has requests for design tweeks or added features that may provide additional versatility/function please let me know. if it’s something likely to get widespread use and won’t break the budget we can likely work it in.


Kevin M.
Woodworking Warden

If you need help picking up materials holler.

I’m planning on buying the steel through work and loading up our flatbed to bring it over. I’ll certainly need help unloading though, those steel tops will be heavy.

FYI, the steel for the worktables is ordered.

I’m going to need help from ~two people when it gets delivered to my work. The tube is coming in at 24 ft. lengths, so I’ll need to work through my cutlist before hauling it to Hive13. We have two horizontal bandsaws I can use, but i’ll need someone to help me lift and maneuver the 24’ sections one afternoon next week. Any volunteers? The location is Federal Equipment Company on River Rd. (50 west) in Cincy (it will show up on google maps).



Let me check my work schedule on Monday.

Would it be helpful to bring the carbide chop saw?


Thanks, let me know!

Yeah, the cold cut saw may actually be easier and quicker than the bandsaws.