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