Saturday, June 3, 2017

How to Make a Scissor Lift Table

Tables are handy for any workshop and having a scissor lift table is even better. Here I will show you a simple way to make your own lift table.

It can be used for  tools when you need a special height, or  as tool tray and adjusted to the level you are working with so tools are easy to reach. And don't forget it works nice as a computer desk.

Of course you can make it any size you want, and if you make it larger it will hold more weight, and then you can sit on it.


    Top and Bottom

For the top and bottom I used a piece of  5/8th inch mahogany.  The pieces are cut to  13 by 20 inches. This is a good size since it will fit a laptop computer which are average  14x16 inches.

  Top Frame  


The tablesaw and single blade are used to make a dado cut for cutting part of the frame. A stop block and miter gauge are used. Once the fence is set to the right distance you can just  chip away until you get the size dado cut.

A hole is drilled in the center through one of the end pieces,  this will be for the  threaded rod. 

The frame is ready to be put together. Some glue and a couple of brad nails will do the trick. One of the top boards will be screwed on top which will make it even stronger. 

This piece will fit inside the frame and support one side of the cross brace. The notch is for clearance for the threaded rod.

Cross Bracing
Hardwood should be used for the cross bracing if you want it stronger.  I decided to use spruce since this table is a prototype and test table. I will still keep and use it for  lifting light objects. 


My miter gauge and  stop block  were used to cut the braces 15  1/2". This way goes very fast and very accurate.

After the cross brace pieces were cut to the exact length the ends were cut round using the bandsaw. They were then clamped together and brought over to the belt sander.  This does a very nice job and because when clamped they sand more uniform. 


                                The braces were reclamped and this time a hole was drilled down the center for the bolt.

I should have used carriage bolts but did not have any so I used regular bolts. I used the end of my table saw top  that has a small hole in it then hammered the bolt flush into the wood.

After all the holes were drilled in the braces I used screws to attach everything together. The screws are temporary, I use this method to make sure everything lines up and moves correctly. If any changes are needed the holes can be enlarged and small changes can still be made to give me a perfect fit.

Threaded Rod

A 1/2 inch threaded rod was cut to 21 inches.  To do this I used My Angle Grinder. I am getting a lot of use from this grinder holder and it works so simple.

A small metal plate is screwed on one end, this will be for the threaded rod so it does not dig into the wood. To lubricate you can add a small drop of oil to the end of the threaded rod.

The cross braces are now attached to the frame, again I am using screws, this way if I need to make any adjustment I can do so. Everything lined up on my first try so now larger nuts and bolts can be used. 

The last thing was to put on the top panel, this was put on with a couple of screws. This will make is easy if it ever has to be taken apart.

The drill was put on the threaded rod and the table was raised and lowered with ease.
I tried a computer,  belt sander and other tools, everything lowered and raised with ease. There is a bit of wobble but that is not a problem.  


What a fun project for the workshop. Making different sizes or a very  large one  would be very a good idea. I know there are many other uses for it in the shop. For now I will use this one mainly as a computer desk.  

I like the tool tray idea when you work at different levels the lift table can be adjusted to keep your tools close and at your fingertips.

What else do you think it can be used for? 

See Also:


Wood clipboard                           Drill jig                                  Small computer stand



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    • 4” diameter steel pipe
    • 4” diameter steel plate
    • 2”x4” lumber
    • 1/4” thick steel plate
    • 1/4” thick plywood
    • 2”x4” steel angle
    • 2”x4” steel channel
    • 2”x4” steel tubing
    • 2”x4” steel bar
    • 4” steel nuts and bolts
    • 4” steel washers
    • 4” steel screws
    • 4” steel lag bolts
    • 4” steel hinges
    • Drill
    • Circular saw
    • Angle grinder
    • File
    • Tape measure