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Unisaw Torsion Box Fence Table

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Blog series by Ger21 updated 06-22-2010 02:28 AM 9 parts 23943 reads 27 comments total

Part 1: Building the box

01-18-2010 07:05 PM by Ger21 | 3 comments »

My old fence extension table was just a piece of 3/4” MDF with plastic laminate on top. 8+ years with a PC7518 hanging from it put a pretty good sag in it. I reinforced it with some 1×6 poplar, but that was a temporary fix. Since it’s my main router table, I need something extremely flat, so I can do precision work with it. The plan is to build a torsion box table. I’ll be using the existing steel angle at the Unifence and outfeed table to support the front and back. Th...

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Part 2: End Grain Veneer Top (or "What did I get myself into")

01-25-2010 12:31 AM by Ger21 | 2 comments »

I mentioned in the previous entry, my intent to use an 1/8” endgrain veneer on the table top. Rather than dive in head first (and break my neck), I thought it might be a god idea to make a small sample to test the viablility of this. I cut a few pieces of endgrain birch, and glued them up on some scrap Extira. A few days ago, I applied the epoxy, pouring it on, and warming it with a heat gun to thin it, and allow better penetration, as the goal is to have it fully penetrated and bond...

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Part 3: Finishing the top

03-17-2010 02:33 AM by Ger21 | 3 comments »

It’s been a while since I started on this, but was busy with my new job. But the weather forced me back into action. We’re having an unseasonably warm spring. 8 inches of snow melted in a few days, then rain, and 50°-60° temps. And a huge amount of humidity. I went out in the garage the other day, and was terrified to see the pieces that I ad already glued down loose on the torsion box. The humidity had expanded them so much that they were popping loose, actually tearing the s...

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Part 4: Endgrain is hard to sand.

03-21-2010 05:18 PM by Ger21 | 3 comments »

After thoroughly sealing the bottom and sides of the torsion box with a quart of polyurethane, it was time to surface the top flat. When I placed my 4 ft level on the bottom, it appeared to be flat to within < 1/64”. But for some reason, it appeared the top top had a slightly larger crown along it’s length, maybe 1/32” or so. So I lowered the bit to the surface, and started cutting just enough to not miss any spots. At first I was getting what appeared to be a very rough ...

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Part 5: 7 coats of polyurethane and counting.....

03-30-2010 01:51 AM by Ger21 | 1 comment »

The day after my last post, I routed the rabbitt around the edge, and glued in the Bubinga border. I used a block plane and scraper to get it even with the rest of the top. I gave up on sanding out the tool marks from the surfacing operation, thinking the polyurethane would make them disappear. Almost, but not quite. From what I’ve seen, it appears that the epoxy didn’t actually seal the end grain, it just ran right through it. I applied the first coat of polyurethane very ...

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Part 6: Almost ready to mount

04-10-2010 03:41 PM by Ger21 | 5 comments »

I lost count, but I think I have now applied about 12 coats of polyurethane. Nearly 1/2 gallon. After about 7 coats, the endgrain finally stopped soaking it in. So at that point, I basically had a 3/32” thick “plastic” top, as hard as a butcher block. Which is exactly what I wanted. I tried to put the poly on as thick as possible, sanding down all the high spots between coats. After the 7 coats, I realized it wasn’t as flat as I’d like, as I was sanding th...

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Part 7: Installed

04-27-2010 03:48 AM by Ger21 | 2 comments »

Got the top installed yesterday. Not happy with the finish, though. But it’ll work. I could have saved a tremendouns amount of time by finishing with epoxy only. Two coats would have probably done it. As it is, i just keep sanding through in spots. But you can’t really tell. First time I moved the fence, though, the plastic pad the fence slides on scratched it up, due to 15 years of debris embedded in the nylon. So, I took it off, chucked it in the lathe and faced it up ...

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Part 8: New Router Fence

06-03-2010 01:32 AM by Ger21 | 2 comments »

Been a little while, but I’m still working on this. I built this thing in order to get a very precise and flexible tool. So I needed a new fence to attach to my Incra Ultra. I wanted to be able to mount accessories and auxiliary fences. I went with Baltic Birch, as I have a ton of smaller pieces. I CNC’d the front and back plates, with dado’s and holes for t-nuts. T-Nuts on both sides for attaching auxiliary fences, and T-Nut’s for mounting to the Incra. Also have a...

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Part 9: Router Mounted

06-22-2010 02:28 AM by Ger21 | 6 comments »

As usual, all my projects take far longer than they should. But, I finally got my phenolic plates epoxied and CNC routed a couple of them. They’re a full 3/4” thick, and very rigid. I probably didn’t need 10 leveling screws, as the plate doesn’t seem to flex. But this one only has a 690 in it. When I do the 7518, maybe it’ll have a little bit of flex. But, I doubt it. I’d never seen the Incra leveling system before, but decided to go this route after rea...

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