Storage area for my tablesaw safety devices

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Blog entry by Marty Backe posted 04-16-2012 03:47 AM 9734 reads 2 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I was preparing to locate some of my push blocks and feather boards in a drawer when it occurred to me that there was space on my overhead blade guard arm for a storage container. Rather than putting these items in a drawer, which would take more effort to access, I instead built this storage tray.

Here is a short video that provides an overview of the tray.

I built this with available supplies that I had on hand. The bottom is made from 1/2 inch plywood and the rest is built with 1/8 inch MDF. Since the tray isn’t very large and everything is attached with a combination of glue and pins (using my pin nailer), it’s very rigid. If I used plywood for all of the construction, the unit would have weighed much more than it does.

Since the plywood had some slight warp, I decided to attach 1-1/2 inch strips of plywood along the bottom. This made for a very rigid structure and made the plywood absolutely flat. I attached the strips using biscuits, more for their alignment ability than any strength that they provide.

With the foundation of the tray built, it was time to attach the feet to the bottom of the tray. These were cut from some 1 inch poplar.

I then took them to the drill press to cut part of a circle on each piece The curve will be the part that rests on the 2 inch tube of the tablesaw overhead support.

I cut the corners off to give them a little flare.

And after adding a chamfer on all of the edges, the supports were finished

I simply glued the pieces to the underside of the tray. Even for shop stuff, I like symmetry in all that I do. As shown here, I used a couple pieces of wood to act as spacers while I positioned the clamps. Using spacers guarantees that both supports will be located the same distance from the edges of the tray.

The tray is attached to the overhead arm with some pipe clamps that I spray painted with flat black paint. I also painted the lag bolts.

In preparation for installing the tray, I drilled the four holes in the supports and pre-tapped them by inserting and removing a lag screw.

Now it was on to cutting and installing all of the 1/8 inch MDF side pieces. They’re attached with glue and my pin nailer.

I know, it’s heresy to use a plane on MDF (or plywood), but I use a block plane for this all of the time (the blade is easy enough to sharpen). Here I’m taking the edge off of all the MDF pieces.

On to the rectangular resting places for my two shop made feather boards. This area was built-up with a bunch of small 1/4 inch pieces of MDF, glued and pin nailed.

Here’s how the feather boards will be stored

Now I install the bits of MDF that surround the rectangular recesses

Finally, I made this attachment that will take four dowels. The dowels are angled at 35 degrees so that when the tray is attached to the tablesaw, at a 25 degree slope, the dowels will still have a bit of an uphill tilt, helping to prevent the other feather boards from sliding off.

Here I’m gluing the block to the front of the tray. The 1/4 inch piece of MDF with the two clamps is only serving as a stop to hold the block in position while I glue and nail it in place.

Here’s the tray, nearly complete, with a test dowel in place.

Finally, I fill all of the small holes from the pin nailer.

Three coats of flat black (to match the other components of my tablesaw) were applied to all of the surfaces.

Then I cut the four dowels and chamfered their ends with a file

And here’s the final product, installed, stocked, and ready for use

9 comments so far

View MNWOODWORKER's profile


105 posts in 3789 days

#1 posted 04-16-2012 04:50 AM

Looks great. I have a horizontal pullout in my cabinet under my saw that I store mine in. Makes a big difference when it comes to my saftey because if it’s close I am much more likely to use it.

View redryder's profile


2393 posts in 3305 days

#2 posted 04-16-2012 07:18 AM

I think I have the same collection of odds and ends on my table saw. You have come up with a good idea to keep them organized. Nice photos….................

-- mike...............

View steliart's profile


2851 posts in 2892 days

#3 posted 04-16-2012 07:34 AM

Very nice idea and well build, also excellent presentation.
Thanks for sharing

-- Stelios L.A. Stavrinides: - I am not so rich to buy cheap tools, but... necessity is the mother of inventions !!!

View eddie's profile


8565 posts in 2817 days

#4 posted 04-16-2012 11:35 PM

great idea always looking for some thing as such when i get ready to use my saw ,have do this great post.

-- Jesus Is Alright with me

View RetiredCoastie's profile


999 posts in 3386 days

#5 posted 04-18-2012 04:16 PM

That’s a great Idea and well executed. It puts everything in easy reach. Thanks for posting!

-- Proud Supporter of Homes For Our Troops

View Ken Fitzpatrick's profile

Ken Fitzpatrick

376 posts in 4227 days

#6 posted 04-20-2012 02:48 AM

Thanks for posting. What a great idea. Most important is if the safety devices are out in the open and easily accessible, they will be used.


-- • "I have noticed that nothing I have never said ever did me any harm."....... Calvin Coolidge

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 3319 days

#7 posted 04-23-2012 09:04 PM

like the idea of using the arm for the safty-tray :-)

one but though :-) it cuold have been build lighter by using only plywood
you can get ply down to 0,4mm~(1/64) if you want
but thats for another blog :-)

thanks for sharing


View Marty Backe's profile

Marty Backe

251 posts in 2975 days

#8 posted 04-24-2012 04:53 AM

I can imagine the challenge of working with 1/64th inch plywood! You are correct that the disadvantage of my build was it’s overall weight. But in the context of the strength of the arm that it was attached to, the weight isn’t a consideration. Thanks for your comments.

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 3319 days

#9 posted 04-24-2012 07:17 PM

yah you don´t work on it with the forrestsaw or tablesaw …. LOL

tablesaw not quite right there …. there is tablesaws small enoff to use 1inch blades :-))))
usealy when people cut with mashiney on it they willl use a scrollsaw
I use exatoknife and the finest razorsaw 52 teeth per inch
its used in the modeling world …. manytimes to strenghen a piece of balsa
its amizing how much it can hold up to when making such a sandwich construction
and still ceeping the low waight

take care

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