True confession time: While I’m not deathly afraid of heights, I’m not crazy about working high off the ground. If there’s a lofty job to be done that I can’t sucker someone else into doing, and it will require working way up high (say, over three feet) for more than a short while, it’s time to set up some scaffolding. Fortunately, I rarely take on projects where I’ll need a scaffold. The rest of the time, the scaffolding sits around, taking up space, and in the case of my full-size scaffolding, sitting outside slowly rusting. A big truck recently dropped off a Metaltech ScaffoldBench for us to play with, and it’s a whole ‘nother animal. Finally, my scaffolding can WORK for a living between gigs!
The Metaltech ScaffoldBench is billed as a four-in-one workhorse. Job One for the Metaltech ScaffoldBench is working as a Baker-style scaffold, with a 12’ reach and an 1,100-lb. capacity. It’s compatible with other major brands of Baker type scaffolding, and can be stacked to get you way up high – higher than I’M going to go.
For the 99% of the time I’m NOT working from a scaffold, it steps up and serves as a utility cart to move tools and materials from my truck to the job site, or into the shop. It has rugged locking casters that can go four-wheeling across parking lots and hard-packed job site dirt.
Even more useful from my point of view is its ability to serve as a workbench on wheels. Workbench space is something I never seem to have enough of, and in between scaffolding gigs, I now have another work surface.
And that brings us to the next genius use: The Metaltech ScaffoldBench can quickly transform into a mobile miter saw bench, with rails that will hold a miter saw, planer or table saw. Still want more? The unit also comes with sturdy wire-rack shelving that can be installed above or below the platform.
We’ll take a look at the features and build quality of the Metaltech ScaffoldBench, along with the assembly process. Here’s a list of the specs and features, followed by an elevating video from Metaltech:
• Assembled dimensions (WxDxH): 74.75 x 29.75 x 75 in. (189.9 x 75.6 x 190.5 cm)
• Package dimensions (WxDxH): 75.75 x 30 x 7 in. (192.4 x 76.2 x 17.8 cm)
• Weight: 174 lbs. (79 kg.)
• Load capacity: Scaffolding: 1,100 lbs. (500 kg). Combined weight of user + materials
Storage rack: 200 lbs. (90.7 kg.) distributed weight
• Working heights: From 27 to 73 in. (69 to 185 cm). 2 in. (5 cm) increment adjustable heights
• Reach: 12 ft (3.7 m). Stackable up to 3 units high for 24 ft (7.4 m) reach
• Casters: 5 in. (13 cm) Double locking heavy duty
• No-tool assembly
• Multiple units can be stacked for working at higher levels (use optional guardrails and outriggers for safety)
• Compatible with most other brands on the market such as: Werner, Biljax, Buffalo, UST and Metaltech
• Standards: OSHA (29 cfr pt. 1926), ANSI (A10.8), CSA (S269.2)
• Warranty: 1 year
Some Assembly Required – But Leave The Tools Behind
If you have the Metaltech ScaffoldBench delivered, don’t waste time looking for the brown UPS truck. The box with the scaffold weighs 162 lbs., and it comes strapped to a pallet, meaning you’ve got a roughly 200-pound temporary speed bump in your driveway. In the interest of being able to walk upright again, I opened up the box, loaded lots of yellow parts into my truck, and gave them a ride to my shop. Everything was very well packaged and secured inside the packaging.
All the components of the Metaltech ScaffoldBench are very robust. The instructions are written in the universal language: Pictures. Diagrams, actually. They’re actually pretty well done, and not too hard to figure out, even for an old fart with diminished mental capacity such as myself.
Assembly starts by inserting the casters into the bottom of the end sections. Next, the side supports clip into place. They’re very beefy, with 45-degree bracing for strength and support. They can be located anywhere along the height of the scaffold uprights, in increments of 2”.
At this point, it’s ready for the platform. Everything fit perfectly, with no tools needed, and all removable parts get secured with a spring-loaded locking pin. Total assembly time was only a few minutes, and will be even faster in the future, since I won’t need to refer to the pictures…
The wire storage rack can go wherever you want, either below the scaffold plank or way up high. After installing the shelving side supports, the wire shelving sections hook in on one edge, and then drop down and slide into holes on the other side. I installed mine at the bottom of the unit, as a spot to store tools and supplies.
The plank drops in and sits on an angle bracket along both long edges, and there’s a rotating clamp to lock each edge down. The platform is very solid and stable – a fact you’ll appreciate when you’re standing on it, several feet off the floor. It’s also very heavy; I got it into position and removed it several times by myself, but it’s a bit awkward, and would be much easier to maneuver with a helper. Once I had it in place the first time, I was ready to get up in the air!
The Metaltech ScaffoldBench In Scaffold Mode
Once it was all assembled, I rolled the Metaltech ScaffoldBench over to the wall. The casters are big, heavy-duty units, and the scaffold rolls smoothly and easily when the brakes are released. The casters have a foot brake that’s easy to lock and unlock with your toe, and which holds the wheels very solidly in place.
In the spirit of “Trust, but verify,” I started out with the platform on the lower level. To make it easier to climb up, I left one of the upper end pieces off. The upper end sections are very easy to install and remove. Just press in the locking button, and they slide on or off in just a couple of seconds.
Once on board at the stratospheric height of around 30”, I gave the platform on the Metaltech ScaffoldBench a little torture test. I jumped around on it, shimmied and stomped my feet, and generally banged around in a way that probably would have gotten me committed, if anyone had been watching. The platform didn’t budge, and felt totally unfazed by my 200+ pounds bouncing around on it. This makes sense, since the unit is constructed of metal-reinforced plywood, and rated at being able to support 1,100 pounds. Next time, I can even bring a passel of tools – and four friends.
According to the manufacturer, the Metaltech ScaffoldBench can be stacked up to three levels high, for a 24-foot high reach. Sadly, I only had two sections, so I made the best of it. I attached the other upper end piece, and wrestled the platform into position a couple of notches down from the top. It could have gone higher, but my shop has a 12’ ceiling, and I didn’t want to bang my head on the ceiling joists.
I clambered up, and spent some time moving around on the upper platform. Again, it felt very stable and secure. If I was going to be spending a lot of time at that height, or even higher, I would want to add some stability, though. This can be done a couple of ways; Metaltech offers optional outriggers, which lend stability to the bottom of the scaffold. For the upper end, the Metaltech ScaffoldBench comes with a pair of anti-tip clips. They can be screwed to wall framing, and have clips that fit into the holes in the scaffold’s uprights. An optional guardrail is also available, which would be an excellent idea for working way up yonder.
Back Down To Earth: The Metaltech ScaffoldBench Gets Benched
With the climbing portion of the festivities safely out of the way, I removed the upper ends and relocated the platform onto the lower section. The platform on the Metaltech ScaffoldBench is nice and smooth, with the exception of where a few rounded bolt heads protrude slightly. It makes a nice-sized mobile work table for doing parts assembly or other small projects. It’s also a nice space for going over blueprints or other documents. Pictorial assembly instructions, for instance.
The Metaltech ScaffoldBench has way more potential than that, though. It comes with everything you need to set it up as a sturdy rolling miter saw stand. To start the process, undo the retaining clips at the edges of the platform, and flip it over, so the surface with the rails is on top. The Metaltech ScaffoldBench comes with four brackets. Two of them get attached to the bottom of your miter saw; the long slots in the brackets make them compatible with almost any saw. They even provide the mounting bolts, with wing nuts – again, no tools!
Once the saw is mounted on the brackets, they hook over the rear rail and drop down onto the front rail. (Since my saw weighs over 70 lbs., I actually set the brackets onto the rails first, then set the saw on them and bolted it together). The saw can be slid along the rails from one end to the other, and locked into position anywhere along the way with a tensioning knob and locking lever.
The Metaltech ScaffoldBench also comes with two adjustable supports. They can be attached to the other two brackets, and installed on each side of your miter saw. They can be positioned up or down to support your material. The designers also showed some nice attention to detail by putting a ledge on one side of each support. This allows you to raise the support up and use the ledge side as a stop for making repeated cuts of the same length.
We also received two of the optional support rollers, which can be attached to either or both ends of the Metaltech ScaffoldBench. They also require no tools to assemble, and go together quickly, with the help of the pictographs. They’re very fast to install onto the Metaltech ScaffoldBench when you need extended support for longer pieces.
Although the rail side of the platform is billed as a miter saw stand, there’s no reason you couldn’t attach any portable tool that has bolt-down capability. It would be a very handy place to put a compact jobsite table saw, for example, especially with the optional rollers attached. I plan to use it for my “portable” planer; weighing in at a sturdy 92 lbs., it’s a bit of a chore for me to lug around, but easy peasy for the Metaltech ScaffoldBench.
The Metaltech ScaffoldBench Schleps The Big Stuff
Occasionally, I’ll come to a jobsite – or home – with a pickup load of heavy stuff. Like a box full of scaffolding, for example. If the Metaltech ScaffoldBench isn’t otherwise occupied, it serves as a very capable utility cart. With its ability to haul over a half-ton of weight, it could easily be used to move a stack of drywall, lumber, paving stones, or whatever else you need to get from point A to point B. Or even point C.
To make it easy to maneuver, just leave the platform at the lower level, and the upright end attached to one end. That makes it easy to steer, and the big wheels will have your “stuff” relocated much more quickly and painlessly than schlepping it in one piece at a time.
Stow It With the Metaltech ScaffoldBench
Finally, we reach the most mundane use of the Metaltech ScaffoldBench: Heavy-duty storage. Just because it’s mundane, though, doesn’t make it less useful. Storage space is another thing I never seem to have enough of, and the ability to put a huge amount of weight on one shelf (the platform) makes it a great place to stow several heavy items.
The unit comes with one wire shelf, capable of supporting up to 200 lbs., and additional shelves are available as accessories. The ability to adjust the height of the shelves in 2” increments gives you great flexibility.
Ready To Roll To Greater Heights?
When I learned the Metaltech ScaffoldBench was on its way, I was skeptical, thinking it sounded a bit gimmicky. After seeing the quality, and having the opportunity to try it out in its various configurations, I’m a convert. The Metaltech ScaffoldBench is a very well made and solid scaffolding unit, and will serve very nicely when I need a Baker-style scaffold.
More importantly, when I’m NOT clambering around way up in the air, I have a tool that will be in constant use, rather than one that I need to find storage space for. It will temporarily be used as a workbench, after which I’ll be bolting down my planer for an upcoming project. Meanwhile, the shelving below the platform will serve as welcome storage space.
The Metaltech ScaffoldBench comes with everything you need to use it as a scaffold, workbench, and miter saw stand. Metaltech also offers numerous accessories to make it even more useful – and safer. If the scaffold will be in one place for an extended period, or on uneven surfaces like stairs, base plates or leveling jacks can be substituted for the casters. To add stability, 14” and 46” long outriggers with wheels are available. A guardrail system can help you feel warm and fuzzy when you’re way up high, and a platform with a trap door can make it easier getting up and down.
Other options, including additional shelves and support rollers, are also available. You can check them out, and get more information from the Metaltech web site. The Metaltech ScaffoldBench is covered by a one-year warranty, and you get 90 risk-free days to roll it around, climb on it, cover it with sawdust, and pile stuff on it. The Metaltech ScaffoldBench is available exclusively at the Home Depot for around $325. Got a lot of work to do? Have twice the fun with the two-pack, for around $560.
Buy the Metaltech ScaffoldBench from the Home Depot:
Buy the two-pack MetalTech ScaffoldBench from the Home Depot:
Buy a two-pack of support rollers for the MetalTech ScaffoldBench from the Home Depot: