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Different tasks sometimes require different work heights. One solution is to use a lift table like this one from Southworth to turn your workbench into a variable-height workstation. You can use it on top of the bench or build into the top so it’s flush with the surface, depending on your needs.

Operated by a cordless drill with a 1/4″ hex drive from either side of the lift, you can position the lift-tool anywhere between 3-1/2″ to 17-3/4″ above the work surface. The drill operates a precision screw jack that drives the scissors mechanism to raise and lower the platform. The lift is self-locking so it remains where you stop.

Southworth makes the lift from high-strength aluminum so it weighs only 32 lbs. but can raise and lower up to 300 lbs. The work surface is slotted to help secure loads. A non-marring ABS overlay which fits over either the top or the bottom is included with the lift. The Southworth’s lift-tool lists for $475 and you can get it for about $480 shipped from Amazon.

Lift-Tool [Southworth]
Via Amazon [What’s This?]

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7 Responses to Workbench Lift

  1. Jaxx says:

    Tut wheres the cheap HF version that we can mount on a skateboard and use to drop a gearbox and all sorts of other bodges.

  2. heywood says:

    @Jaxx…tut where’s your old vehicle jack and some welding skills? it’s not really super difficult to make one of these I would imagine if you had some machinist skills.

  3. Chaim says:

    Seriously, does anyone know of a good lift that is not powered by a drill, but has the precision height adjustment that it could be used as a workbench?

  4. Cameron Watt says:

    If your shop has a dirt floor you could dig a hole in front of your workbench to stand in. 😉

    A fellow I know claimed to have a friend who welded a metal tabletop onto an unused in-ground type car hoist. That would make a fine adjustable bench.

    I’ve never felt the need for an adjustable bench. How about making a plywood box however high you want that you can use on occasions when your bench is too low.

    For a little adjustability, how about a pair of blocks with a rectangular cross-section? If they were each whatever length you needed and maybe 6 x 12 inches then you could lay them so they stood either 6 or 12 inches tall, and span them with a plank.

    By the way: The concept could be used for a simple sort of scaffold. Make two plywood boxes with three different dimensions…say 12″ x 18″ x 24″ that you could stand at whatever height you want and span with a plank. I stole the idea from somebody else so feel free to steal it from me.

  5. TomP says:


    Go to IKEA and search for their powered legs for workbenches. Expensive ($500US as I recall), but they work great.

    I used them to build my latest workbench. Why is an adjustable workbench nice? Comfort. I can sit at the bench, or I can stand. It’s all about comfort.


  6. Shopmonger says:

    Chaim Say ‘
    look at mcmaster carr or other machinist suppliers. they use these in mold making shops all the time to roll around the molds. They are easy to adjust to make exact level with different work surfaces, because you cannot lift the mold you must be able to “Slide” it across..


  7. lens42 says:

    @ TomP – I did an IKEA search and could find no such thing. Are you sure you meant IKEA? They don’t usually make heavy duty shop items.

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