Tricks of the Trade: Use Car Jacks in the Shop to Lift & Level

By Bill Wells
Page 12

I have long used my car’s scissor jack for house and shop projects including lifting a settled deck and leveling workbenches. And when I needed to install a new set of cabinets in my shop, I realized that a pair of these jacks would be perfect for positioning and leveling them.

I picked up a second scissor jack and clamped both to a scrap piece of 3⁄4″ stock to provide stability. I also blocked them up so the scissor extension was sufficient to lift the cabinets into position. The arrangement at left shows the jacks on my workbench, securely holding the cabinets. I can easily raise and level the cabinets with just a few turns on the jacks. I now use these whenever I install cabinets.

The benefit of a scissor jack is that it is strong, lifts smoothly and can be precisely adjusted. And you won’t strain your back hefting heavy cabinets. You can pick up a used jack or two at an auto salvage yard for a very reasonable price.

Tricks online: We post tricks from the past and film videos of some Tricks of the Trade in use in our shop. They’re available online, free. Visit to read and watch.

From the October 2012 issue #199
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