Tricks of the Trade: Use Car Jacks in the Shop to Lift & Level
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 popularwoodworking.com/tricks to read and watch.
From the October 2012 issue #199
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