Magic Bench, Almost
Keter’s Folding Work Table goes from flat storage to a solid working surface in just a few seconds
One item that really comes in handy while on the road is a workbench. Motorhome owners are tinkerers by nature and trying to work projects on a picnic bench or on the ground is not exactly most do-it-yourselfers’ idea of good conditions. Dragging along a folding table is helpful, but most are too big and not rated to handle much weight, nor are they very stable. After discovering Keter’s Folding Work Table by accident while in an RV park in Yuma, Arizona, I had one on order the next day.
To say this work table is clever is an understatement. In its folded state it takes up only 33.5 by 21.7 inches of space and being less than 4.5 inches high, makes it easy to slip into just about any storage compartment. To operate, you simply grab the ends of the table, release two latches with your thumbs and presto, the legs fall to the ground and the table is erected — all in just a few seconds. A flip-up divider is then locked in place to make the table solid and you’re ready to tackle projects on a workbench that’s nearly 30 inches off the ground. A yellow indicator in the top of the table rotates to inform the user that the workbench is ready to use. The table weighs around 30 pounds, so it’s fairly easy to handle, after finding the right position for your hands while preparing the table for unfolding. Once you do it a few times, the process becomes much more natural.
Closing the workbench is almost as easy as opening. After the yellow indicator button is released, the divider is folded to the bottom shelf, the hinges on the sides are gently pushed toward the center and the user simply pulls up the bottom shelf to meet the top. While the legs fold during this process, gravity keeps them from locking in place securely, so it’s best to store the workbench with top down to keep from wrestling with the legs when sliding in and out of the storage compartment.
The bench is much more than just a flat surface to work on. Included are two 12-inch quick clamps that will hold items, such as wood, in place for cutting or drilling, etc. These convenient clamps can be used in a horizontal or vertical position and store in the bottom shelf when not in use. Two tracks built into the tabletop lock the clamps in place for horizontal use; strategic slots allow the clamps to be positioned to hold taller items. The clamps, which use a trigger-type mechanism for tightening, hold project materials securely and in optimum angles.
Amazingly, the table is designed to handle up to 1,000 pounds, which we were a little leery about from the outset, but after working a few projects we soon became believers, although we didn’t load it to maximum capacity.
Keter, a company that originates in Israel and is a worldwide manufacturer of plastic outdoor, storage and tool products, builds the Folding Work Table out of polypropylene, which is inherently durable and tough. Polypropylene is resistant to many chemicals and solvents and will not rot, dent or peel. Generally, build quality is good and any damage will likely come from mishandling, like drilling and sawing through materials placed on the bench. Cleanup requires only a damp cloth.
We found the best price for the Keter Folding Work Table online for $79. It can also be found in some home improvement stores. The workbench comes with a two-year warranty. By the way, this product also makes a nice table for serving food.