Adaptive Workbench

This was my biggest project to date, and was for a company called Quality of Life Plus, a non-profit org that helps disabled veterans get into hobbies and things that they otherwise couldn’t. It pairs engineering students with those in need to hopefully help out. So I was put on a team and I got to work with a disabled vet who wanted to make a workbench for woodworking. Since I do a bit of woodworking myself, I was immediately drawn into the project. I really poured myself into it, and tried my absolute best to cater to his needs with a real product.

First, after doing a good amount of research and requirement building, I set out to do the CAD work for what I was going to make.

In this CAD model, you can see there is a black phenolic tabletop. There is blue t-track for work holding with clamps and other common woodworking equipment that mates with T-tracks. The gray inverted L shaped object is a davit crane attached to a base. This base engages with a piece of angle iron under the table shelf to keep it from turning over. It can lift 125 lbs of woodworking goods from the floor to the table surface. The holes in the tabletop are for a router, router lift, and router fence, which are all typical features of a router table. The real magic of this table comes from the legs. The legs can move the table surface from wheelchair height to standing height, the main challenge of the project. It can do so with up to over 600 lbs of weight on top and maintain level lifting, even if the loading is not evenly distributed. We got the legs from Progressive Desk, which makes a good product and multiple controller options to go with it. I asked the veteran to choose his preference of controller, and we started building.

This is the CNC machine at a local sign shop that allowed the use of their CNC machine to cut the phenolic.

And finally, here it is being displayed before shipment at the college design day where all of the students showed off their projects.

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