Workshop Make-Over #3: Table Saw update: Pt 1

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Blog entry by Tony posted 07-04-2007 09:12 PM 5193 reads 1 time favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 2: Current Shop Layout Part 3 of Workshop Make-Over series Part 4: Outfeed Table »

I am very happy with my DELTA – 36-L3B Left-tilt UNISAW – I changed the Motor last year (was a 220 V 60Hz, 3 HP) to a 3 phase, 50Hz, 400V, 4HP Motor, this is documented on my website if you are interested ( ). What I was not happy with was the out-feed table and the Table to the Right of the Saw. Both of these products were Delta, but over the last 3 years they have become twisted and warped, to such a point that it was becoming dangerous to use them.

I decided that a new side table that would remain FLAT and true is what I needed – As I also needed an assembly table (NO SPACE) I looked at the idea of combining the two. Thanks to an article on the “The Wood Whisperer” ( ) Mark showed how to make Torsion Box (T-Box) Table top. I knew that T-Boxes were remarkably strong and stable, so I decided to proceed in producing my own Version.

I have decided to replace both the Out-Feed Table and the Table to Right of the saw with T-Boxes. The first to be built will the Table to the Right. I decided to increase the width to 1220mm (4’) and the Length to 2m (76 ¾”)
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This shows the level base that all the work is undertake from. I did not have any 4×2s, so I utilized so 5×1 the edges were jointed and then ripped. To keep the boards in place, i just used some off-cuts which are stapled together to make this quite rigid frame.

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The base was leveled using a 1.8m spirit level and the Wixey angle gauge. The leveling was undertaken using shims – which were Hot Glued to the frame and the tables. (A sharp tap with a mallet breaks the glue free at the end of the operation)

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One of the two skins is placed on top of the frame – as can be seen, it is not very flat.

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To overcome several problems, I covered the ply with a plastic sheet (stops the glue from sticking), I staples the sheet through the ply to frame. This held the plastic in Place and flattened the plywood. The photograph also shows all the parts, pre cut before the beginning of the operation.

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The Layout and Plan – The material for the outer frame is fir, the matrix inside and the skins are 9.5 mm (3/8”) plywood, the spacing of the matrix is 137mm (5.4”), with an adjustment at one side and one end

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Cutting List

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The outer frame is assembled, with Glue, Staples and held in place for an hour with clamps and square blocks.

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The Matrix is finished – The clamps were used to hold the frame steady – to stop it “creeping” during assembly.

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The skin is placed on top the matrix (no glue yet) and the outside of the skin is marked where the staples are going to be placed. I do not have a big dry wall square like Mark, so I used a good old fashioned chalk line.

The skin is removed; a bead of glue is placed on every edge of the matrix. The skin is carefully repositioned aligning the marks you made earlier and stapled together. I use staples instead of brads, as they have a greater holing power, plus you have t chances of getting at least one of the legs into the matrix.

Leave this the first halve to set for an hour and then remove the – half finished T-Box. Remove the plastic sheet and the skin from the base (DO NOT DISTURB the base). Remove any of the stables from the second skin.

Now just repeat what you did earlier to the first skin. I left mine over night to cure fully and then in the morning a used a flush trimming bit in a router to tidy up the sides and ends.

I then dismantled the base and removed the hot glue from the work surfaces with a sharp chisel.

So this is as far as I have got with this part of the Make-over. Friday I hope to have the T-Box fitted to the Table saw, and be starting on the second of my T-Boxes for the out-feed table.

-- Tony - All things are possible, just some things are more difficult than others! - SKYPE: Heron2005 (

11 comments so far

View mot's profile


4911 posts in 4066 days

#1 posted 07-04-2007 10:05 PM


-- You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation. (Plato)

View Don's profile


2603 posts in 4206 days

#2 posted 07-04-2007 11:25 PM

Most interesting, Tony.

-- CanuckDon "I just love small wooden boxes!"

View Bob Babcock's profile

Bob Babcock

1809 posts in 4115 days

#3 posted 07-05-2007 03:28 AM

What a great torsion box table Tony. Immense, huge, stupendous…it’s the size of my whole shop almost….:)

-- Bob

View jrlwoodworks's profile


16 posts in 4022 days

#4 posted 07-05-2007 03:29 AM

looks great

-- jrlwoodworks

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6859 posts in 4009 days

#5 posted 07-05-2007 03:51 AM

Hi Tony;

Great job on this project.

If you want an easy way to handle sheet goods, check out my other site.


-- by Lee A. Jesberger

View TheGravedigger's profile


963 posts in 4053 days

#6 posted 07-05-2007 03:51 AM

Approximately how much does this tabletop weigh?

-- Robert - Visit my woodworking blog:

View Bob #2's profile

Bob #2

3809 posts in 4051 days

#7 posted 07-05-2007 05:04 AM

Good idea Tony.
One question:
How are you going to accomodate for the guide runners on say, your cutoff jig if the skin is only 3/8” ?
Wont the slots go right through the top?
Or is this not for the out feed table?


-- A mind, like a home, is furnished by its owner

View Karson's profile (online now)


35126 posts in 4430 days

#8 posted 07-05-2007 05:34 AM

Nice looking assembly table

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware soon moving to Virginia †

View David's profile


1969 posts in 4168 days

#9 posted 07-05-2007 09:03 PM

Tony – Again, great job. I am really enjoying following your shop series. Fascinating. Thank you for the great details.


View Tony's profile


986 posts in 4059 days

#10 posted 07-05-2007 10:33 PM

Robert – I am not sure how much it will weigh when finished, but based on the fact that a 8×4 sheet of 3/8 ply weighs about 24lb – I estimate it currently weighs about 56lb. + NAILS & Glue. I can easily lift it, only its dimensions make it difficult to hold aloft.

Bob – The T-Box described is for the right table, the out feed table will be in the next episodes. Watch the next part, when all will be revealed (IF IT WORKS!!), I had taken the proble out the outfeed into account problem into account.

-- Tony - All things are possible, just some things are more difficult than others! - SKYPE: Heron2005 (

View Bob #2's profile

Bob #2

3809 posts in 4051 days

#11 posted 07-05-2007 10:51 PM

Thanks Tony,
I got it now.
I am still dislexic when it comes to left tilt saws.

Everything seems backwards. (... that doesn’t mean I don’t waaaaant one! ) <g>


-- A mind, like a home, is furnished by its owner

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