Tablesaw Workstation #12: Danger - I may actually finish this thing

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Blog entry by JohninSD posted 11-19-2009 04:51 AM 3001 reads 0 times favorited 0 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 11: New Toy and Rough Cutting the Laminate Part 12 of Tablesaw Workstation series Part 13: The End is in Sight (I Think) »

These last two days have been eventful. Got the laminate glued onto the tops and got the aluminum angle cut to length and cut the end pieces to support the tops, installed the cleats on them, and screwed them to the workstation. The laminate was glued on with Weldwood Original Contact Cement – the smelly, flammable stuff. They do make a non-flammable, water clean up contact cement now but I think that if it worked as well as the original they wouldn’t make the original any more, would they? The instructions say to keep the cement and the workpieces at 65F or warmer for 24 hours before and 72 hours after gluing so I brought everything in the house. It’s winter in San Diego, which means that my garage may get down below 65F overnight, not much, but some. Here’s a pic of the left top piece after laminating and trimming with the Bosch.

Left Top

And here’s a pic of the right top piece and the laminate after brushing on the glue.

Right Top

I use the “J” roller in the picture to roll the laminate until it stops “crackling” – that seems to ensure that it’s glued down tightly with no air bubbles. It takes quite a bit of pressure. The left top piece is made of MDF and the right one is fir plywood. I found one advantage of using plywood is that it only takes one coat of contact cement. The MDF needed two. Both sides came out flat (and heavy) so other than the extra coat of cement on the MDF the material choice seems to be a tossup. I did encounter one snag in the process, nothing to do with woodworking but rather to do with paying attention. I had purchased a new pint of contact cement on the way to the grocery store the day before I glued the laminate. When the first pint ran out I looked for the new one and it was nowhere to be found in the garage or the front hall where I had left the work pieces and the glue overnight to warm up. After checking my truck, my motorcycle, and the garage and front hall repeatedly I finally thought to look in the kitchen cabinet where I normally stow canned goods. Sure enough, there it was, surrounded by cans of soup. Running on autopilot, I had put the can of glue with the other cans. Maybe I shouldn’t combine grocery trips with trips to the hardware store.

On the right end of the workstation are 3 drawers. The top one looked like ot would be susceptible to dust intrusion when the router table is in use so I added an “awning” of MDF above it. It’s 3/4” by 1/2” with the front top edge rounded over, attached with glue and brads. Here’s a pic.


The tops will be supported on one side by aluminum angle bolted to the cast iron table top and on the other side by MDF panels with oak cleats. I cut the aluminum angle to length and cut the MDF panels and oak cleats to size. The panel for the left end is 1/16” shorter than the 2 panels for the right end as the MDF top is 1/16” thicker than the plywood one. This adjustment will ensure that the two top pieces end up at the same height, flush with the cast iron. This picture shows the aluminum pieces cut to length along with the fancy machine I used to cut them.


And here’s a picture of the MDF panels screwed to the right end of the workstation with the cleats ready to accept the top.


And a pic of the left end.

Left end

Next step is to drill the aluminum pieces for the bolts and screws. Manana.

-- John

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