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Lack of space often leads to imagining ingenious solutions. As the transformation of these school tables into practical machine supports!

Text and Photos C. Petitjean

Practical advice

Be careful not to install machines that can move the center of gravity too high, resulting in a risk of tipping under certain conditions. This is the case, in particular, column drills with their engine located at the highest point.
The bolts of Ø 10 mm for fixing the wheels can be advantageously replaced by threaded rods of the same diameter, cut to the desired length and soldered directly to the washer cap each foot of the frame.

Space saving and mobility

Do-it-yourselfers know this: the place is always counted in a workshop. Especially when considering the acquisition of new machines: between the table saw, the small wood combination, the mini band saw, the grinding drum and the radial saw... The circulation quickly becomes problematic in a space crowded. Hence the idea of ​​making mobile supports, from tubular frames of school tables, solid and stable.

A simple and solid design

The tubular frames make excellent legs. The main advantage of this metal structure is the simplicity of its design (all connection points are welded). Two symmetrical hoops 32 mm in external diameter are connected at the level of the feet by two spacers (narrower diameter tubes than the hoops) and at the top by two angles; the latter serving as a support for fixing the wooden tray.
● The standard dimensions are: 73 cm high (without the tray), 41 cm deep, 63 cm (single table) or 123 cm (double table) width. The steel tubes have an internal diameter of 28 mm.

Verification of welding points

We find this school furniture (now declassified) in many networks: sales depots, Emmaus communities... But also some scrap dealers or even waste. It is also present on the internet via the many auction sites (40 E around the unit).
● The two offices found have a base in good condition. But a careful examination of the welds is not to be neglected. A crack (weak point of this type of chassis) can compromise the solidity of the future support. It is therefore necessary to take care to recover legs without breakage. When the exam is finished, the trays are quickly separated from the chassis. Simply remove the fixing screws that connect the trays to the brackets.

Easy adaptation

The transformation of chassis into machine supports presents no difficulty. The feet are cut to the desired length taking into account the height of the casters so that the working position is comfortable. A Ø 32 mm steel washer is welded to the end of each leg. It is crossed in its center by a bolt of Ø 10 mm (length 25 mm) which makes it possible to fix the rollers.
● Choose large enough (Ø 10 cm), the casters allow to easily move the supports. In the interests of safety (and precision when working on machines), they are equipped with a locking device.
● The finish is left to the free imagination of the collectors. Here the tubes are stripped, then covered with layers of paint.

Draw the cut mark

Draw the cut mark

Trace the circular cut mark accurately and use a hacksaw rather than a grinder. Then cut the feet carefully to put them at the same length.

Solder bolts and washers

Solder bolts and washers

The heads of Ø 10 mm bolts are welded (solder or solder) on flat washers Ø 32 mm. No need to load, just fasten the bolt to the washer.

Assemble the washers to the feet

Assemble the washers to the feet

Weld each washer on one foot, bolt thread out. To strengthen the assembly, add two solder spots to the end of the struts connecting the feet.

Remove the rust and paint

Remove the rust and paint

Sand the oxidized parts to remove rust before applying two coats of a glycerophthalic paint of your choice over the entire structure.

Block assembly

Block assembly

Engage the caster pin on the bolt and secure the assembly with a nut of 16. If the spanner is not suitable, remove the wheel axle to pass a pipe wrench.

Ensure a wide seat

Ensure a wide seat

Before installing the circular saw, two V-irons are welded to the existing angles, ensuring a wider seat. Then holes are made for the passage of the bolts.

Fix the original tray

Fix the original tray

The original tray is reassembled on the frame intended for the small combined wood. Fixing is carried out with bolts screwed under the machine. The registration requires precision.

Add shelf or drawer

Add shelf or drawer

It is easy to add a low shelf coming to rest on the two spacers (drilled for the passage of the fixing screws). A drawer can still take place under the shelf.


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