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Rolling Island for Benchtop (small) Tools... An exercise in Ad Lib and Repurpose *COMPLETED*

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Blog entry by David Grimes posted 08-07-2011 09:14 AM 2452 reads 1 time favorited 22 comments Add to Favorites Watch

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



22 comments so far

View CharlieM1958's profile

CharlieM1958

15706 posts in 2903 days


#1 posted 08-07-2011 03:20 PM

I really like what you’ve done here. Very space-efficient.

I’m starting to be real suspicious of you, though. Your walls are not covered with dust, the floor is spotless, your tools are clean…. you’re not really a woodworker, are you? Did one of our wives send you here to infiltrate us and find out what we’re doing on our computers late at night???

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View Don W's profile

Don W

15206 posts in 1252 days


#2 posted 08-07-2011 03:27 PM

David, you do have one fine looking shop there. I love the “I don’t need to buy that, because I can make one” moments. Nice.

-- Master hand plane hoarder. - http://timetestedtools.com

View Grandpa's profile

Grandpa

3178 posts in 1360 days


#3 posted 08-08-2011 04:15 AM

I know….You hired someone to clean that shop didn’t you??

View David Grimes's profile

David Grimes

2072 posts in 1325 days


#4 posted 08-08-2011 08:28 AM

LOL

Thanks for the “clean shop comments”. I have said on here before that I put everything away at the end of each phase, my dust collection does just that (and very very well), and 2-3 times a week I open the garage door and blow all the fine dust out with the C3 blower in just a couple of minutes.

@CharlieM1958, When contacted by the wives group, it all fell apart when payment terms could not be reached. I mean, I’ll walk a mile for a camel, but that’s about it. ;=)

You mean to tell me you don’t have the Cokin “dust filter” on your camera that does for dust in photos what Polarized does for glare ??? ;=)

@Grandpa, Hiring someone to clean my personal shop would be irrefutable proof of decadence, which is the 8th deadly sin that got lost because one of the translators was a fricking pig and was so ashamed that he ate it (which was gluttony and so he’s burning in hell after all). ;=)

If you catch me with any coin, it would be because I didn’t spend it on what I have time to do myself. The only things I have paid to have done in my personal shop were the bore through the brick wall for the DC (my partner Jerry on a Saturday) and the acid etch and A/B Epoxy coating on the floor (again weekend work).

I would love to have a 30×30 separate shop but time, location and justification are all against me.

-- If you're going to stir the pot, think BIG spoon or SMALL boat paddle. David Grimes, Georgia

View mafe's profile

mafe

9554 posts in 1774 days


#5 posted 08-08-2011 02:47 PM

That is clever.
I have a really small workshop so I have stuff to learn here.
Best thoughts,
Mads

-- Mad F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

View David Grimes's profile

David Grimes

2072 posts in 1325 days


#6 posted 08-08-2011 09:04 PM

@Mafe, I don’t know about the clever. It kind of fell together. I saw a project on here where someone surrounded their shop post/column with a workstation like this, but can’t find it again to give credit for the seed that it planted. I am wishing I was working on it now, but it will wait until after this work work, although I hear it calling. ;=)

Best to you,

DG

-- If you're going to stir the pot, think BIG spoon or SMALL boat paddle. David Grimes, Georgia

View mafe's profile

mafe

9554 posts in 1774 days


#7 posted 08-08-2011 09:23 PM

;-)

-- Mad F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

View Grandpa's profile

Grandpa

3178 posts in 1360 days


#8 posted 08-09-2011 05:28 AM

Is your shop in the garage or a part of the house. Glad we got the pics the day the shop was cleaned. My shop has more dust than the Sahara….A messy owner is the problem. This summer it has just been too hot to care. We are about 14 days in a 110 deg+ run of temps and about 40 or more of 100 deg + temps. I don’t care a bit.
BTW after all the harrassment….the project looks good.

View David Grimes's profile

David Grimes

2072 posts in 1325 days


#9 posted 08-09-2011 07:29 AM

@Grandpa, I had a three car garage, then put a wall and door between bays 2 and 3.

Hot as hell here in SW Georgia, too. Heat index 115 most days and HUMID. N’orleans humid !

Hey, that ain’t harassment. When people stop pokin’ each other with little limbs now and then is when somethings wrong. :=)

-- If you're going to stir the pot, think BIG spoon or SMALL boat paddle. David Grimes, Georgia

View David Grimes's profile

David Grimes

2072 posts in 1325 days


#10 posted 08-11-2011 10:06 AM

Update Thursday Aug. 11th:

Got three of the sides on. Fourth side ready to go on after I make provisions for the power strip and lighting on the post. 1 1/2 inch hole bored into the top for the wires feed grommet.

-- If you're going to stir the pot, think BIG spoon or SMALL boat paddle. David Grimes, Georgia

View David Grimes's profile

David Grimes

2072 posts in 1325 days


#11 posted 08-14-2011 09:57 AM

Update Saturday Aug. 14th:

Lighting (100 watt CFL bulbs in $6 desk lamps) and power strip installed to the post. Painting of edge and lower skirting complete. Outside corner trim painted and affixed. Stained (Minwax Dark Walnut) and lacquered (Deft) the top.

I also plan to hang my table saw and router sleds beneath the overhang on the sides.

Should finish tomorrow.


-- If you're going to stir the pot, think BIG spoon or SMALL boat paddle. David Grimes, Georgia

View David Grimes's profile

David Grimes

2072 posts in 1325 days


#12 posted 08-15-2011 05:11 AM

Update Sunday Aug. 15th:

Complete for now. All of the tools have the 2 1/2” DC feeds, so I just need to add a hose through the wall with 10 feet available to hook to whichever of the machines I am using on this table. Rockler hose is on order.

Cost:
Metal Base with Castors: Leftover from HF DC = $0
Framing Lumber = Drops + 1 12 ft 2×8 = $7
Lights: 2 @ $6 plus tax = $13
Power Strip: HD = $7
Birch Top: Drops = $0
Select Pine Edge: 1×4 8ft. = $11
Side panels: gov’t crate salvage 4 each = $8
Paint: White and Black quarts of Glidden Gel Enamel = $35 (lots left for future projects)
Primer: On hand = $0
Stain: On Hand = $0
Lacquer: Deft can = $6
Desk Grommet: Lowes = $3
Rail Lumber: 2×8 12 ft = $12
Orange Paint: Spray can = $5
GRAND TOTAL: $ 107 +/-

-- If you're going to stir the pot, think BIG spoon or SMALL boat paddle. David Grimes, Georgia

View Don W's profile

Don W

15206 posts in 1252 days


#13 posted 08-15-2011 05:24 AM

damn it Dave! do you photo shop your pictures to get rid of sawdust? I can clean for a month of Sundays and you’d still pick out sawdust in mine.

Why do you need thportabilityty? Do you move this equipment to job site or just in the shop?

-- Master hand plane hoarder. - http://timetestedtools.com

View Grandpa's profile

Grandpa

3178 posts in 1360 days


#14 posted 08-15-2011 05:38 AM

I like it and I especially like the Oklahoma State University colors you used. Didn’t even know you were a fan!!!LOL

View David Grimes's profile

David Grimes

2072 posts in 1325 days


#15 posted 08-15-2011 05:48 AM

@DonW, just in the shop. This will stay on the automotive side (not in the shop bay) until needed, then just roll around the wall, hook to DC and use… then roll back. My shop was too crowded for these things to stay in here. Jointer/Planer is about to get mobile base for the same reason.

@Grandpa, LOL at the Okie colors. I didn’t know they had a team? ;=) Must not be in the SEC, I guess. ;;

-- If you're going to stir the pot, think BIG spoon or SMALL boat paddle. David Grimes, Georgia

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