Portable/Knockdown Tool Stand- 3 or 4 Legs? - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 8 Old 04-08-2012, 08:33 PM Thread Starter
Senior Member
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 203
View minuteman62-64's Photo Album My Photos
Portable/Knockdown Tool Stand- 3 or 4 Legs?

I'm planning a stand that will be used for a variety of small power tools - grinder, oscillating spindle/belt sander, small router table, etc. Because of space limitations I'm going to make it with either fold-up or knock down legs. My question is: how many legs?

Since it will be set up in different locations in my garage, and then taken down and put away, I'm thinking a 3 leg arrangement would be easier to level and easier to put away. However, I don't want something that will be prone to tip over when in use.

Any thoughts or pros and cons of 3 vs. 4 legs?

I currently use one of those portable work bench/vise thingies (like the old "Workmate"), but it sets the business part of the tools too high in most cases. My current thinking is to get one of the cheapo HF versions of this portable bench, take the top off and mount it on my own, shorter and removable/foldable legs.
minuteman62-64 is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #2 of 8 Old 04-08-2012, 08:56 PM
where's my table saw?
woodnthings's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: SE, Michigan
Posts: 27,324
View woodnthings's Photo Album My Photos
3 legs won't wobble, 4 will

But 3 legged benches, stools, tables etc are a bit weird. JMO
The Jawhorse is one of them and get good reviews:
http://www.amazon.com/Rockwell-RK9000-Jawhorse/dp/B0018MRUN4The weight has to be centered over the legs for maximum support. It will tend to pivot on one leg if lateral or side force is applied.
I use something similar to this in pairs: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0000DCYZA?tag=exprtradcomp72-20&camp=14573&creative=327641&linkCode=as1&creativeASIN=B0000DCYZA&adid=1Y4PV43WHANHQQPKHWMV&&ref-refURL=http%3A%2F%2Fportable-work-bench.org%2Fcategory%2Fstanley-workmate%2F

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)
woodnthings is online now  
post #3 of 8 Old 04-08-2012, 09:25 PM
Old School
cabinetman's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: So. Florida
Posts: 24,027
View cabinetman's Photo Album My Photos
I would use 4 legs and install adjusters on the bottom of the legs. They can be as simple as a "T" nut and a threaded adjuster like this.

cabinetman is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #4 of 8 Old 04-08-2012, 10:24 PM Thread Starter
Senior Member
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 203
View minuteman62-64's Photo Album My Photos
"Portable Clamping Workbench." Those are the words I was struggling to come up with. That's what I use now, that is too high. What I envision ending up with is a portable clamping workbench, with adjustable legs to take the top as much as 18 inches lower than with the factory version.

I see the potential problem of pivoting on one leg of a three leg setup. Although I've spent many hours staring through a pretty stable transit mounted on a tripod, not a quadrapod :) .

Four legs, with adjustable feet, would work - I could make each pair of legs as a modified "A" frame shape that would detach to be hung or propped against the wall when not in use.
minuteman62-64 is offline  
post #5 of 8 Old 04-08-2012, 11:26 PM
Senior Member
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Oklahoma
Posts: 298
View mveach's Photo Album My Photos
And unless you need the top to be perfectly level with the world, you only need one leg to adjust. just make sure it will adjust shorter than the other three as well as longer. The three legs will self stabilize. Then the other just needs to be adjusted until it is stable.

mveach is offline  
post #6 of 8 Old 04-09-2012, 04:43 AM
Really underground garage
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: mnts of Va
Posts: 2,552
View BWSmith's Photo Album My Photos
Study old trestle tables.....might spark an idea?BW

Those who say it cannot be done shouldn't interrupt the people doing it.
BWSmith is offline  
post #7 of 8 Old 04-09-2012, 05:52 PM
The New Guy
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Down south, where the food is good.
Posts: 1,200
View Itchytoe's Photo Album My Photos
More legs makes it more stable, but harder to get set up and level. Fewer legs is easier to set up, but is less stable. It's a trade-off and you just have to figure out what works for you.

2 legs is possible if the legs are wide enough, but it will be very easy to tip over, so I wouldn't advise it.

3 legs will not wobble when put down on something uneven. They will however be more prone to being pushed over than a 4 leg table, so if you're going to twist and push and pull on things on this table, 3 legs may not be for you.

4 legs will wobble if you put it down on something uneven. You'll have to have some way to level it out. Once it is leveled out, it will be more stable. The longer set up time may not be something you're interested in since you're looking for portability.

5 legs will be more stable than 4, but again, harder to set up and get level.

6 legs, more stable than 5...

7, more stable than 6...
Itchytoe is offline  
post #8 of 8 Old 01-20-2013, 04:02 PM Thread Starter
Senior Member
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 203
View minuteman62-64's Photo Album My Photos
Here's where I am at this time. (1) collapsed 4-legged stand; (2) assembled stand; and, (3) stand with spindle sander mounted on salvaged "Work Mate" clone clamp top - table set at height of adjacent work bench.

Construction of 3/4" plywood scraps (mostly oak veneer from old project) making liberal use of "L" sections pocket screwed/glued together. I plan to add adjustable legs (again, 3/4" plywood "L" sections) to provide for raising the surface for other tools, including a router table.

Strength seems OK - supported my (200+ lbs.) weight standing on top. So far stability not an issue - the tolerance necessary to allow the sections to slip together seems to provide enough flexibility to account for slight floor uneveness. The adjustable legs will allow for correcting any problems that do show up.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	DCP_0681.jpg
Views:	348
Size:	82.7 KB
ID:	60272  

Click image for larger version

Name:	DCP_0679.jpg
Views:	379
Size:	100.6 KB
ID:	60274  

Attached Images
minuteman62-64 is offline  

Quick Reply

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
DIY portable miter saw stand? Yeti Tips, Tricks, & Homemade Jigs 6 06-10-2014 08:53 AM
Just bought RIDGID R4510-10" Portable Table Saw With Stand Bearcreek Power Tools & Machinery 7 02-05-2012 07:07 AM
portable electric tool parts? vinnypatternmaker Power Tools & Machinery 3 01-18-2012 01:59 PM
portable miter saw stand hotrod351 Tool Reviews 0 04-30-2011 09:03 AM
Starting to dislike Knockdown Furniture garryswf Off Topic 3 12-04-2009 09:18 AM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome