Setting Up Shop: The Best Work Table Ever

industrial shop table

This industrial shop table is the best work table I have ever had. It is tall, sturdy, and has enough room underneath for great storage. My work stool and garbage pail add to the industrial style. (Photos by Bob Farley)

Continuing the resolution to get organized in the new year, I am straightening up my work table. After years of stooping over a regular-height table to cut out fabric projects, and hurting my back in the process, I finally got wise and bought an industrial shop table with a storage shelf underneath. Adjustable steel legs allowed me to raise the table up to a height of 35 inches, and adding casters to the feet gave me two extra inches. For a 5’11″ girl, having a 37-inch-high work table is fantastic. The Uline shipping supply company’s catalog calls the table a packing table but I call it the smartest purchase I have ever made! All of my piping rolls fit on the storage shelf along with my muslin scrap box, my home sewing machine, and, a couple of storage bins fit below the shelf allowing me to keep things stored neatly and out of the way while I work.

storage bins next to industrial shop table

The legs of the table are heavy-duty and adjustable. Adding casters gives a little extra height and adds to the ease of moving the table for cleaning behind.

I chose a 36″ x 72″ grey laminate tabletop to stand up to the abuse from my scissors as I cut out fabric on a daily basis, but tabletops are available in other materials including stainless steel. The workspace is just deep enough for me to roll out a chair cushion’s width of fabric and long enough for the fabric roll plus my measuring tape, scissors, and pin box. When I work on smaller projects, I pull up a stool and work. I can measure, cut, and pin all projects on the table and my back never gets bent out of shape.

industrial work table top

A laminate tabletop with bullnose edging is a nice smooth surface for rolling out fabric, and it is sturdy enough to stand up to abuse from scissors as I cut fabric daily.

Do you have a favorite work table that you think might rival mine? Tell me about it in the comments!

To see more of my creative work space, see the photo gallery below.

8 Responses

  1. Pat says:

    OMG! I'm so happy I found this post by Googling Industrial design studios. So far, I've only found industrial looking furniture that is way over priced for my budget of Ikea which tends to be too flimsy. I want it for aesthetics but most importantly.. I need it for all the reasons you mentioned above. Thank-you, thank-you, thank-you for posting this!

  2. MarcioWilges says:

    That's a wonderful idea! I'm not very tall, but obviously a work table at a more accommodating height would definitely be in order in my garage right now. When you say you get back aches from moving around over a table that's too short, I can tell you that I know exactly what you mean!

  3. Trish S. says:

    Wow! I am so happy my Google search for "sturdy craft sewing table" brought me to your page! I've been searching for an upgrade from my dining room table for months. This is the absolute best idea ever! And decently priced too! Thanks again!!

  4. MakerCity says:

    Great idea! The casters on the uline website have a 6.5" mounting height. Where did you find 2" high casters?

  5. Joy says:

    I don't have anything at all like that for one reason i just moved into my own house & have very little of anything much less a table to use for projects but i will one day You can count on that and when i do i will indeed post a picture of it! It will be awesome i promise!

    • Beth says:

      we all dream of that perfect area. It a dream we all hope to achieve someday. My Mom's took half the basement and Dad was moved to a closet size area for his tools, the other 3/8 of the basement was the playroom. It was a great place to learn the craft for me and my daughters from my ever patient Mom.

  6. Beth says:

    my Mom's cutting table was awesome. She took the kitchen cabinets down to the basement. Like you she added casters on it. Used the drawers for marking paper, and other necessary project must have. baskets inside the doors kept scrap and new fabric neat and organized. The top was 4 x 8 flooring with laminate top and yard sticks imbedded in it. To top to off.. … She rolled it out from the wall so she could walk around it and reach it all for cutting. Repurposed a chest for laces, threads, elastics, scissors and patterns. Overhead lights for cutting and kids play room off to the side so she could keep an eye on the happenings. I still have wooden ironing board and sleeve boards. Wish I had this myself.

  7. love the industrial work-height table! My own work table is steel and has huge casters and built-in drawers and I found at a thrift store for less than $20. It's been wheeled with me to 3 different studios now and I'm attached. A good table is an essential!


About Michelle Reynolds 


I’m a slipcover maker who refuses to fill the trash with the cutaway bits of designer fabrics, so I strive to make use of every scrap. I live with my ...

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