Table Saw Mobile Workstation #3: Finally cutting some wood

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Blog entry by Greg Wurst posted 05-07-2008 06:14 PM 10375 reads 5 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 2: Measuring, Cutting Diagrams, and Material Lists Part 3 of Table Saw Mobile Workstation series Part 4: Construction is moving along.. »

Having a busy schedule and a 2 yr old does not lend itself to significant shop time. I finally took a couple half days and got some work done. Working out of my garage with a requirement that cars have to go back in at the end of the day limits the amount of work I can bite-off at any one time. My intention was to get the birch ply first and build the chassis, then go back for the MDF and build the drawers, doors, top and back. However, when I get to the local HD they have one delaminated piece of birch play, so MDF first it is.

On the first day I clear-out the cars and setup the ‘ol table saw:

After cutting the sheet goods down to a manageable size with a circular saw, I was able to cut the various parts I needed from the 1/2” and 3/4” MDF, along with the 2×4’s for the bottom:

A well layed-out cutting diagram really helps minimize waste and extra cuts. That combined with an accurate fence allowed me to plow-through the material in a couple hours and get the garage cleaned-up. As always, I have scrap left over and I probably kept about half of it for future use:

The next day I decided to assemble as much of the MDF pieces as I could before I went to get the plywood and cut the chassis pieces. So, out comes one of my favorite jigs of all time – The pocket hole jig:

This is the first time I’ve tried pocket screws with 1/2” material, and my opinion is it’s workable but has its limitations. The screws are designed for joining 1/2” material, but they will not rest flush under any circumstances. The heads are always slightly proud of the surface. I have sufficient space around the drawers that this won’t be a problem, but it’s something to think about if you’re designing anything with close tolerances. If I tried to drill the holes deeper to bury the heads the screws would poke-out the other side of my test material. Also. with MDF I needed to set the clutch setting on my drill to 2 to keep from overdriving the screws. The drawers are sturdy, and with the bottom/side mount rails I am confident they will be fine:

Once I finished assembling the drawers I went to another HD to get the birch ply. They had plenty, but it was some of the lousiest ply I have seen. Of course, it was the Chinese stuff and it looked like it had been standing in water on the edges. There was even mold growing on the ends! I managed to find 2 decent pieces of “classic” birch ply I could use (regular 3/4” birch was $39.95 nd “classic” was $34.95 – not sure what the difference was”. Time was running-out, so I cut the sheet goods down to size with the circular saw again and then took them to the table saw to finish. I stacked everything in the corner so I could get the cars in the garage (Thank goodness I have that 4 ft extension on the garage!):

This last picture is just proof you can get 2 cars and 2 motorcycles in a garage and still be able to occasionally use it as a workshop if you don’t mind cleaning-up at the end of the day:

Hopefully I’ll find time to do some more assembly here in the next couple days.

-- You're a unique and special person, just like everyone else.

4 comments so far

View GaryK's profile


10262 posts in 3954 days

#1 posted 05-07-2008 06:16 PM

Sounds like you need to build a separate shop!

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View Greg Wurst's profile

Greg Wurst

794 posts in 3799 days

#2 posted 05-07-2008 06:24 PM

If I had more than 1/4 of an acre I’d have a separate shop. I do have a small one in the basement, but sheet goods have to be at least cut-up in the garage.

-- You're a unique and special person, just like everyone else.

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 3788 days

#3 posted 05-07-2008 07:52 PM

This is looking pretty good.

I can empathize with you about parking in the garage. I used to have to do that with my truck but as I added more tools and an assembly bench I couldn’t get my truck in there any longer. Now is just sits outside. But it was a challenge to fit it into the garage and have to arrange my tools so that I would be able to open the door when I got it parked.

Thanks for the post.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View teenagewoodworker's profile


2727 posts in 3734 days

#4 posted 05-26-2008 04:21 PM

looking good, small shops are hard to work with. my shop is about 10 by maybe 15 of workable area so all sheet goods need to be cut outside before being brought in. i’m looking to make a movable stand like this to save space in my shop as the table saw takes up the whole thing! thanks for the post.

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