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DeWalt PowerShop Build #2: A Basic Framework

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Blog entry by Smitty_Cabinetshop posted 03-25-2014 12:08 PM 1112 reads 0 times favorited 39 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: Why? What? Where? How? When? Part 2 of DeWalt PowerShop Build series Part 3: More Pieces, More Progress »

“Where there is wood, there is a way.” LJ Stef, 13 Nov 2013

Did my buddy Stef actually say that? Maybe, maybe not, but when he was faced with making a solid walnut countertop and sweating details, those words just might have been on his mind. At the start of the project, I’m thinking the same thing. My ‘way’ is pretty straightforward, except where it’s not. As in, let’s discuss the DW102 in context of what I’m actually wanting to build.

The DW102 is symmetrical to the left and right of the saw and the work surface extends roughly 2 1/2’ to either side of the saw blade. I’d like more cabinet space – one cubby will be filled with a shop vac, for example – and would like to target rips of (at least) 8’ material and have support of the stuff all the way through the cut. What makes 8’ significant? Because as I learned already with this build, I do not currently have an effective way to break down sheet goods in my shop. An integrated RAS cabinet / workstation will get me where I want to be and further reduce the chance my table saw will ever find it’s way back into my shopspace. So the first big mod to this build is to double the cabinet space to the right of the saw. Easy peasy. BTW, here’s a rough graphic I did a few weeks ago depicting the finished wall cabinet when all is said and done:

There are three ‘sections’ to the cabinet shown above (despite there being four arrows, ignore those), and from right to left I am committed to building the first two. The last oddball likely won’t be done, but was envisioned to hold my King-Seely (Craftsman) shaper. I don’t think that one is gonna happen, mostly because the shaper is an absolute beast and the cabinet it’s on works fine.

The middle bench in the graphic above is definitely different from the DW102 in the number of drawers it holds, of course. I’m looking forward to the drawer builds, but also don’t want to get ahead of myself too much in the meantime.

The second major mod to the DW102 is height. The publication calls for a finished benchtop at 36” off the floor. That’s too much for me, and matches no other surface in my shop. The assembly bench and Roubo-type bench are each 34”. That makes 34” the right number, and that will be attained by shortening the each rib’s vertical pieces. What is a rib? Glad you asked. Take another look at the piece of drawing pictured above and read on.

Ribs, Anyone? A quick check of DW102 reveals a cut list along with a measured drawing and several exploded views of construction details. What it doesn’t have is instructions, e.g. Fold Flap A into Slot B. The cabinet I build is not an absolute copy of DW102 either, so I can’t simply cut parts and assemble. I needed to set the core dimensions of the cabinet and build a frame that the rest of the parts would fit. That frame consists of a series of vertical ‘ribs’ connected at set intervals via a pair of horizontal struts. The ribs are made from 1x stock, the struts from 2×4s.

The vertical length of the front and back rib pieces plus the thickness of the benchtop determines the height of the completed cabinet. I want that final dimension to come out closer to 34” high vs. 36”, but with the same depth as DW102, so the vertical pieces of the ribs must be modified from what’s called for. Speaking of DW102, ribs define either side of the two sub-assembly cabinets that sit to the left and right of the RAS. I’ll double width the right-side sub-assembly and that means one additional rib. Time to measure, mark and cut some 1x stock and build a rack of (five) ribs!

To build a rib, there are a pair of vertical 1×6 and a pair of horizontal 1×3 ¾ pieces needed. I ripped on the table saw and cross-cut each piece with sawbench an old and pitted, 24” panel saw of a finer file pattern. A pair of bench hooks, holdfasts and a backsaw helped with the shorter dimensions.

The pieces were marked per the DW102 as they piled up.

I’m not changing the depth from the drawing, so the front-to-back rib pieces were cut to the sizes called out on DW102. And once all the pieces were cut for each of the five ribs I could actually put some pieces together. Each rib was assembled with glue and drywall screws, checking for square almost constantly; this is not the time to go out of square.

The ribs are simple rectangles, right? Nope. There are reliefs cut into them for toe-kicks, reliefs for benchtop ‘doublers’ along the front, and out-right notches front and back for the horizontal struts. The toe-kick and doubler cuts were straight forward enough…

but the strut cuts could use a bit of a deep dive as they’re key to the overall integrity of the workbench. I actually cut them with a 16” Cincinnati Saw Company sash saw prior to assembly, and verified the dimension by making a simple jig from scrap 2×4 material.

Cut the sides, knock out the waste with a couple whacks of a chisel.

With ribs and struts ready to go, it was time for a dry-fit. Here’s proof there is some actual progress being made:

At least the thing is now standing on it’s own.

I know it’s not much, but shop time is getting severely crunched these days. Next post will concentrate on rails for the shelves as well as bottoms for the cabinet out of plywood (GASP!). Until then, as always, thanks for looking.

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive



39 comments so far

View Don W's profile

Don W

15030 posts in 1223 days


#1 posted 03-25-2014 12:16 PM

looking pretty good Smitty. My shop time is almost zero, so I’m gonna need to live vicariously through you for a while. I spent my weekend getting next years firewood ready. It’s not nearly as much fun as woodworking but still working with wood I guess.

I think galoot points go up when you cross cut 2×4s by hand when making a “RAS” cabinet. Just satin!

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

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile

Smitty_Cabinetshop

9916 posts in 1274 days


#2 posted 03-25-2014 12:23 PM

Don, if you base next year’s wood needs on this winter passed, you’ll be cutting until September… Yuck. :-)

The frame isn’t a looker just yet, but it’s certainly interesting from a construction standpoint. And I have some jack plane use in mind when it gets glued and screwed together. Everything seen in the last pic will be covered though, so ‘meh’ to aesthetics. And yes, using hand saws quite a bit; five different ones so far. Love it.

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive

View theoldfart's profile

theoldfart

4246 posts in 1106 days


#3 posted 03-25-2014 12:28 PM

Smitty, it is my intention to make a more modest version of what your building. It will be for my mitre box a well as for my bench top drill press. So, watching your build with great interest.

-- "Aged flatus, I heard that some one has already blown out your mortise." THE Surgeon ……………………………………. Kevin

View Don W's profile

Don W

15030 posts in 1223 days


#4 posted 03-25-2014 12:29 PM

Yea, I had about 3 cord of slab wood slated for next year that went this year. I believe I’ve burnt more this year then I ever have. I like to be 2 years ahead and I’m a bit behind.

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

View chrisstef's profile

chrisstef

10846 posts in 1661 days


#5 posted 03-25-2014 12:31 PM

Staying true to your style Smitty this cabinet is gonna be sweet and most importantly functional to your shop and the way you work. It seems like since you installed that new floor you’ve got a vision and youre locked in on making your shop work for you. Keep on buddy!

-- "there aren’t many hand tools as awe-inspiring as the #8 jointer. I mean, it just reeks of cast iron heft and hubris" - Smitty

View lateralus819's profile

lateralus819

1395 posts in 545 days


#6 posted 03-25-2014 01:47 PM

Nice job Smitty. Curious how you rip boards now?

-- Never confuse mistakes with failure. Kevin

View Mauricio's profile

Mauricio

6819 posts in 1807 days


#7 posted 03-25-2014 01:51 PM

This is a fun build to watch.

I’m especially interested in how you are building the bones of the cabinets out of pine. As you know I have been using a lot of home center pine lately, Its way more fun to work than plywood.

You dont see modern plans using the stuff like you are doing. Kind of a refreshing blast from the past.

-- Mauricio - Woodstock, GA - "Confusion is the Womb of Learning, with utter conviction being it's Tomb" Prof. T.O. Nitsch

View terryR's profile

terryR

3112 posts in 964 days


#8 posted 03-25-2014 02:17 PM

Progress looks great, Smitty. Thanks for sharing all you!

There’s certainly some new joinery going on with this build…

-- tr ...see one, do one, teach one...

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile

Smitty_Cabinetshop

9916 posts in 1274 days


#9 posted 03-25-2014 02:19 PM

Thanks for the comments and for following along, all!

- Ripping is done either on the tablesaw (in the space on the other side of the partition wall is where that tool has lived since the floor went in) or on the RAS. Plywood can be ripped up to 25” wide on the DeWalt, and I really like the way it cuts vs the TS; balancing sheet goods to rip isn’t my idea of fun, I’d rather slide along the DeWalt’s fence and get ‘er done that way. IF the blade guard and pawl are adjusted properly, risk of kickback is effectively mitigated.

- Those pine 1x boards moved like crazy when I got them in my shop. Had to clamp them together in an attempt to keep them stable. Good thing they’re getting cut up! But they’re a lot of fun to handsaw, I agree.

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive

View JayT's profile

JayT

2277 posts in 866 days


#10 posted 03-25-2014 02:23 PM

Off and running, Smitty. That cabinet is going to look great in your shop. At least until I come steal it. :-P

-- "The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public's money." Alexis de Tocqueville, 1835

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile

Smitty_Cabinetshop

9916 posts in 1274 days


#11 posted 03-25-2014 04:24 PM

It’s gonna be a bear to move, JayT. Just sayin’...

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive

View Mauricio's profile

Mauricio

6819 posts in 1807 days


#12 posted 03-25-2014 05:11 PM

I’ve only used the 1 bys for mattress supports so movement want a big issue.
Might even help add more spring! :-)

with 2×6’s if you pick through the stacks and find the ones with a lot of rift/qartersawn grain they are pretty stable.

The wood isn’t always straight but it is also more flexible. Imperfections can usually be pulled straight by other components as well as the weight the furniture will carry. Especially in this case where it will hold a saw.

-- Mauricio - Woodstock, GA - "Confusion is the Womb of Learning, with utter conviction being it's Tomb" Prof. T.O. Nitsch

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile

Smitty_Cabinetshop

9916 posts in 1274 days


#13 posted 03-25-2014 06:40 PM

I’m counting on a couple pieces ‘going straight’ once they are matched up and fastened with some others. Hope that’s not misplaced trust, but I’m pretty confident.

Kevin, not sure you should be watching this build for anything other than entertainment. And it might prove a bit thin at delivering that as well, you never know. :-)

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive

View theoldfart's profile

theoldfart

4246 posts in 1106 days


#14 posted 03-25-2014 06:59 PM

Ah Obi Wan, I have faith in you. No warranties expressed or implied.

-- "Aged flatus, I heard that some one has already blown out your mortise." THE Surgeon ……………………………………. Kevin

View Freakazoid's profile

Freakazoid

42 posts in 1434 days


#15 posted 03-25-2014 09:09 PM

Smitty, I am glad to see the blog.

The build pictures are great, way better than the construction drawing. I remember seeing your blog entry last year and deciding that this would be my next project.

Sadly, I am still working on the same project I was last year – it shall be known as the endless tablesaw outfeed / assembly table (because of the duration of this project, not because of anything else that can be dreamed up).

So it is still my next project, but I really don’t know when it will start, just that it will start. When will it finish? Oh boy….

-- I can complicate anything

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