Our DREAM Mobile Workshop Is Happening!

Huge news…Lark United Trailers has agreed to help us build the ultimate mobile workshop from scratch! This is obviously very exciting, but we also want to make sure we think of everything possible BEFORE they start construction.

If you could build your dream mobile workshop, what features would you include? How would you organize it? How would you modify the trailer itself to be more comfortable to work in?

Reddit Post:
https://www.reddit.com/r/DIY/comments/4ivceo/what_would_your_dream_mobile_workshop_look_like/

Link to Sketchup and PDF files:
http://www.mikeandlauren.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/Trailer-Files.zip

Lark United: http://www.larkunited.com/

One thought on “Our DREAM Mobile Workshop Is Happening!

  1. Ryland

    Hi, I’ve been following your videos for a while, and I really admire what you guys are doing. A few things jumped out at me in this trailer project that I think you should consider.

    1. Trailers like this are typically designed for storage and transport, not working/living space. Temperature control and ventilation should be VERY high on your priority list. Look at increasing the insulation (especially on the roof), and adding a sizable ventilation/exhaust fan and/or a decent HVAC unit, ideally both. You need to be able to either keep the space conditioned while working with it closed up, or have a fan with enough CFM to create a continuous flow of air through the space while the doors and windows are open. Having a large exhaust fan may also allow you to decrease the size/complexity of any dust collection systems.

    2. Ensure that the trailer (and RV’s) electrical systems can cope with the amount of power it will be drawing. Running 2+ power tools, dust collection, tool battery chargers, cameras and computers, and a fan or A/C all at the same time would be enough to trip a normal 15 amp residential circuit. Make sure yours can cope. Also, FIRE EXTINGUISHERS. One at each end of the trailer on a wall that’s easily accessible.

    3. Modularity is your friend in a small space. Design as much of your equipment to be easily movable as possible. That will also require a means to easily secure them for transit. Get tie-downs EVERYWHERE. If it was my trailer, I’d also install several steel rails with pre-drilled holes running the length of the trailer which would be bolted directly to the frame. These can be used to hard-mount equipment to the trailer, yet still be easily moved just by removing a few bolts. If you drill and tap them for a common screw size (ie 3/8″-16 UNC) then you could mount the rails flush with the interior boards, and then bolt your cabinets directly to the wall/floor. Just remember, for mounting and securing purposes, the frame of the trailer is structural, the plywood panel walls ARE NOT.

    4. Roll-out awnings (like your RV probably has) the length of the trailer on at least one, ideally both sides would double or triple your usable space for all but the worst weather.

    5. Wood (or any heavy item) storage should be as low and close to centerline as possible. You can use the ceiling for light item mounting and storage (Dust or HVAC ducts, Wiring, ladders or long/light stock, ect.) but remember that these trailers are not designed to carry weight that high up, especially while travelling. Most of these trailers probably have a 300-500 lb load limit for the roof structure under static conditions (not moving). April Wilkerson did a video about an A-frame lumber cart she uses in her shop which I think could work quite well for your purposes. Bolt/tie it down in the centerline of your trailer for transport, then wheel it out under the awning when you want to use the shop. You could then also use the lumber weight to fine-tune the weight distribution of the trailer for more or less tongue-weight to improve towing characteristics.

    6. Stabilizing jacks. I should have put this higher up on the list, cause it’s important. You should have jacks at all 4 corners of the trailer you can deploy when you want to work in it. You don’t want the trailer to shift because you moved or someone else stepped into the trailer while you’re using the table saw or any other power tool. Jacks are also important if you are loading things like vehicles into the back of the trailer, or if the land you need to park on is not completely level.

    A few other less important notes: You may find a winch helpful for loading heavy items into the trailer (assuming you have a rear ramp). Also be aware that anything you build or store in the trailer is going to experience a lot of vibration during travel. Typical plywood screw-and-glue construction will eventually shake itself to pieces if heavily loaded, and you may have to tune/re-calibrate things like the table saw on a fairly regular basis. Also pay special attention to the drill-press or radial arm saw if you have them. Those machines have heavy components on cantilever posts with very high centers of gravity, they will need very secure mounts, and anything you can do to reduce the movement of the heads is worth doing.

    This is a lot longer than I expected it to be, but I’m really excited to see what you guys come up with. Good Luck!
    Sincerely,
    Ryland

    Reply

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