I have a Porta-Mate 7000, so had already added the Portamate mounts to all of my benchtop tools. It worked great except I was still having to transfer tools on and off the Portamate more frequently than I cared to. When I added DC to the miter saw itself and a DC funnel behind it, it begged to be left intact.
I looked into purchasing just the mounting rail (available for about $100) so I could keep the miter saw and clamps in place on the original, then use the second for the other tools. Good idea, but I have no more wall space in my shop… NONE.
While this is going on, I had never used the rolling metal base that came with mt HF dust collector (since mine is mounted in the closet with the the separator and vents to the outside). I had put the base together with the metal plate upside down so the “lip” was up, then had put a few items on it beneath my work table. Okay, pretty handy to keep them out of the way but easy to roll out and grab one to put it on the Portamate. Again, I was doing this all too often. I found myself doing things differently just to keep from having to swap them out on the rail. I want to be able to use any of these tools RIGHT NOW when I need them.
I recently had one of our “I don’t need to buy that, because I can make one” moments regarding the Portamate mounting rail. So, instead of dropping a Ben Franklin on a machined aluminum rail, I carefully measured the dimensions and made one 12 footer out of pine 2×8.
It had to have eight passes through the table saw… first with the blade at 22 1/2 degrees (top and bottom of both sides), then the tips at 45 degrees (top and bottom of both sides) to exactly match the metal original.
I next cut the long wooden rail into individual lengths for each of the tools. I painted them the same color orange as the mounts that attach to them.
About then was when the idea to use the DC rolling base as the platform for a rolling island hit me.
The two pieces of 3/4” birch were glued together with five biscuits to make the top with 6” overhang all around the framed cart. A second course of 3/4” birch was added all around beneath that overhang perimeter glued and screwed from the bottom.
The top was placed and screwed down into the framing. Next, the tools were “dry fitted” to determine where/how I wanted their location… the requirement being that I can stand in front of any of these tools and use them normally without any interference from the adjacent tools.
When satisfied, the 2x perches and the orange rails were glued and screwed to the top, followed by mounting the tools and adjusting them forward into the desired position.
A 12’ piece of select pine 1×4 was ripped in half, then routed a ledged roundover profile to use as the trim around the top’s edge. Miters were made and then the trim was attached with glue and brads.
Finally, two 2×4’s were screwed together to make an almost 4×4 (3” x 3 1/2”), then cut to length so that when mounted would pass beneath a standard door height. A sized hole was cut into the top so that the post had to be malleted down through top to reach and rest on the metal base.
That’s where is is tonight. Hopefully you’re wondering what the post is for about now. ;=)
I am far from finished, so check back for updates if you’re interested. Coming up is some electrical, some DC provisions, some paneling of the base, finishing of the base and top, and lighting.
-- If you're going to stir the pot, think BIG spoon or SMALL boat paddle. David Grimes, Georgia