Jeffeb3 Low Rider Table (Expandable Torsion Box)

I like my table for the low rider, so I’m documenting it separately to help anyone who is interested.

[attachment file=33748]

** I would call this “BETA”, because I’m the only one that’s made it, and I haven’t tried connecting the second or third parts yet **


  • Very flat
  • Screws can clamp work down to the thick spoil board
  • Expandable ** Not tested yet, but I’m confident it will work.

Minimum Tools:

  • Table saw
  • Drill/screw gun
  • Flat surface as large as each box


  • 3/4" Plywood for the frame and the spoil board
  • 1/4" plywood for the top and bottom skin of each box
  • 1 1/2" or 2" screws to assemble the frame
  • Nails or staples to attach the top and bottom skins.
  • Wood glue or construction adhesive (construction adhesive is probably better)

Useful extra tools:

  • Circular saw to cut down to rough size from sheets
  • Router with flush trim bit (The DeWalt will work, and you can make a jig if you don’t want to buy a bit) to trim the skin to size.

Rough instructions:

  • Cut the 3/4" sheet of plywood down to manageable sizes. I used a circular saw for this, and IIRC, I made them 9.5" wide or so.
  • Rip the smaller pieces into the width of the frame. I used 3", but if I were to do it again, I’d make it 2.5" to allow thicker 1/4" skins.
  • Crosscut those to size. I build the boxes 60" long and 32" wide, and I plan to make 3, and make some “ears” to extend the length to a full sheet. For my box, I made 2x 60" and 5x30.5".
  • Before I assembled the table, I made all 6x60" pieces and I drilled holes through them for dowels and 5/16" bolts. I numbered them too, so I could be sure that they fit their neighbors. It will be hard to drill these accurately after the box is assembled.
  • Cut the top and bottom skins. I did this very roughly, but I made sure one corner was square. I actually used the factory edge for that corner.
  • Assemble the frame on a very flat surface. My workbench is a solid core door, so it is very flat. You’ll need glue, screws, nails and a drill, so maybe you could do the assembly on a flat public bench or something. A garage floor might work. In this step, you’ll put glue on the end of the 30.5" pieces and predrill for screws. The important parts of this step are to make sure the edges of the small frame pieces are flush to the top and bottom of the longer rails, and they are the same distance along the edge.
  • Attach the top. This is where you’ll make sure the frame is completely square. Use glue and nails or staples. Flip over and attach the bottom. After the glue dries, trim the top and bottom skin to size with the router. It should be pretty obvious how flat and straight this table is.
  • Attach a spoil board to the top. I drilled and screwed it in from the top, countersinking a little bit. I made sure to not put any screws where the wheels travel, by drilling 2" in from the edge. Now you can use your table. My spoil board is 60"x48" and it hangs over the edge of the torsion table. The Low Rider cart will just drive off the edge, being supported by the upper wheels. It seems to be fine with that.

To extend the size ** I haven’t done this yet:

  • build more table pieces.
  • remove the original spoil board.
  • cut some holes in the bottom skin to get a hand in to secure the 5/16" bolts.
  • Glue dowels in the table to help with original alignment.
  • I would put the whole thing on some sawhorses and 2x4s, Use the dowels to align two boxes, and then use 5/16" bolts to tighten them together. If the surface isn’t flush, then make the dowel or screw holes larger, and use some clamps to get it flush, then tighten the 5/16" bolts.
  • Install a larger spoil board (This could be several smaller pieces, but make sure the wheels have a smooth, flush place to travel).

I was finding the entire cart was shifting side to side, so I ripped some 3/4"x3/4" strips of plywood to keep the wheels on track. I just screwed them down near the edges, and that helped with my specific problem. They won’t interfere with the bit, because they are close to the edge.

Norm will explain it:

My photos album with lots of photos:

Talking about the initial design, but I changed it to have the frame pieces 15" apart, evenly spaced:


Please leave questions in here, and I’ll answer them, and maybe edit this post to include that information.

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needs more pictures. I demand you build a second one fully documenting each step.

Reported as spam.

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I laughed so hard I snorted. I feel like I am encouraging bad behavior.

Wow! I remember watching that show when it was new!

Speaking of. One of my friends(forum mod) DM’d me on twitter today. I guess someone didn’t like my reply. :rolleyes: The next guy left a lmgtfy link!

Kiddy’s are sensitive.

so… is that a ‘no’ on those extra pictures?

You know you are old when staring at a black box (unloaded video) with the headline: “Norm will explain it:” and instantly know that it is Norm Abram…

I often find myself with my hand on the power button thinking, “Before we use any power tools, let’s talk about shop safety…”. My dad would always watch that on the weekends (((“It’s my TV. If you want one, go to college and buy one yourself”))). He would usually “rest his eyes”, but I would still watch it. My only complaint is that he always has an infinite amount of space and high-quality tools. I don’t think I’m that old though, but maybe I am…

@David, Didn’t you see the album at the end? I have a bunch of photos. Sometime I will make those other two boxes, and then I can do more with step-by-step in mind. I think someone else would actually have to try it before I put in that kind of effort though.

My dad sat down and talked to Norm many moons ago when he was speaking at Ohio State. He said they have 2 sets of every tool you see. The one he uses on the show, and one for his personal shop at home. They also usually do each project 3 times. One to work out the bugs, the one you see on the show, and one for home, if his wife wanted one.

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