Any wise words on building a torsion box? / XXL BuildLog

Just got the XXL expansion delivered today. Any wise words on building a torsion box for this thing?

Bigger than I had thought. The red ruler is the size of the normal SO3 rail.

1 Like

Usually woodweb has a useful article on this sort of stuff:

I’m pretty sure Winston Moy has a video (but not finding it now).

A couple of folks shared details of their setups:


First off, it’ll be big. Mine was a just shy of 48x48 and I used 3 sheets of 1/2" MDF. Torsion boxes are pretty straight forward, you can make all the internal slats half-lapped or cut each to short size and toe nail it in. I would just try to make sure the whole thing is square before gluing and screwing it together. Despite my attempts to keep it square, mine was out by just a little an required a few extra steps when assembling it into the overall enclosure. Here’s mine if it can be of any help.


Take your time and make it flat. If you have a table saw, that is most likely your flattest surface in your shop. Use plenty of glue. The woodwhisperer has a couple of videos about making torsion top tables.

I try to purchase MDF from lumber/cabinet shop suppliers rather than the box store, I find it to be higher quality. If you are going to nail or staple the MDF (staples offer more holding than nails in MDF) , I would recommend using 3/4 material for the verticals, more forgiving than 1/2" when fastening.

I used unistrut to span my narrower bench until I made an enclosure, and moved the machine and unistrut into the enclosure and all has been well.


You don’t need to use 1/2" material for the box ribs. I have an assembly table I use for furniture building that is a 3/4" top, 1/2" bottom and sides and I used 1/4" hardboard for the ribs. If everything is straight and flush it’ll be just as strong and half the weight.

Hello All, I just got done drawing this. Hoping this works well. I’m going to turn this thread into kind of a build log.

The Job Layout PDF maximizes the material cut. Kerf of blade is set to 1/8". The drawing is the fusion drawing with part list for marking off what has been cut.

Job Layout.Pdf (186.0 KB)
torsion box Drawing v12.pdf (163.7 KB)

If I measured right the milled uprights should fit perfectly. Wish me luck :slight_smile:


I love your enclosure!

Just checked out your enclosure, it’s got more room than my house. terrific, BUT the best part has got to be your work bench, now that is the most and best of any I’ve even seen. You have to love it. Same way as when I was at my buddy’s (former black ops) house shooting and he let me fire his, I took one shot and handed it back to him, he asked “like it?” I smiled, giggled a little and said “I got to have a smoke, oohh she is so sweet !” Just like that bench. The enclosure is amazing but us old timers always see the bench before we see whats on it. Jude
I vote yes to your posting your build of that enclosure.
Looking at your bench build now, thanks a,lot.

1 Like

Thanks, man! Do you think I should post it to the whole community?


Thanks, I do love it and it was so much fun to build and now use. You can see more of it if you want from a post I did about it a few years ago.


ABSOLUTELY AMAZING! shouting intended. I do have many Mjolnirs in my shop but none as magnificent as your’s. Great accessories also, nice doe’s foot. Thanks for the post. I need a bigger shop but that has always been the first project when I do build the next shop. That is indeed the sweetest bench I’ve ever seen and I’ve wanted to build that same bench for many years. Roubo and Roy Underhill are legends.


Yep-er, Absolutely, Unequivocally, With out a doubt, Most certainly, Obviously, Definitely, Clearly, Immediately, Yes, and I think that might be a good thing to do!

ja, po, wè, نعم, ayo, beli, awo, bai, Так (tak), ha, wah, hoon, da, ya, Да, hoke te / hman te, sí, v, 对, iè / sì, ano, jes, jah, é, io, kyllä, oui, se, yan / vais / vaer, ki / diakh, 'ae,ken, हाँ, igen, hai / éé, eh, cha (female) / baht (male), yego, ney (old form) / yea (current form). ere / bele. doy (very formal) / tiao (formal) / euh (coll.), men leo (that’s it) / dai (it’s possible), sic, sci, taip, да (da), iva, aem. За / Тийм), veire, vethe, òc, о, bale (polite) / âre (slang),tak, sim, ova, आम्। (ām), eja / giai / si. aye / [ repetition of the verb ].ano,
yo, ndiyo, opo / oo, e, ஒம் (om) ou ஆம் (aam), aye, avunu, ใช่ (chaï) / ค่ะ (kha) - woman speaking / ครับ (khrap) - evet, ben / o-o / y-y (colloquial), han-ji, ydw, waaw, beni, yebo, and don’tcha know!

Please! " That is the sweetest bench I have ever seen."

1 Like

You forgot “hai” (Japanese). Thanks for the positive feedback! I was talking about posting the enclosure (which I just posted) but I figure the bench is a little off-topic of the forums. Here’s a link to check it out elsewhere though.

1 Like

I followed the link and saved the page-beautiful work!..thanks! I liked the enclosure too-especially the door for larger materials! You have some great skills and insights! I am still working on my shop-converting a jalousie porch-and sorting out workflow to get the right tools in the right place to get busy-so seeing things that are useful and beautiful is inspiring-thanks for that!

Here’s a link to the Sketchup models of both the bench and the enclosure. Feel free to use them!

1 Like

Can’t wait for the scrabble game with the kids now…if I can remember all that…and in the famous words of Phil Rizzutto “Holy Cow !!”

Here are some photos of a box outfeed table I built. Even lighter weight with all the holes, but not sure how well that would work for you.


That is great and inspirational work too! With a plenum built in!

1 Like

Here is the final product.


That is seriously cool-off the hinge-but not!