My Updated sculpting/downdraft table

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Project by longgone posted 08-22-2014 04:54 AM 4203 views 23 times favorited 23 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I have been using the same table for sculpting that I built several years ago ( Pictured in the last photo) and the more I used it the more I have ideas about how I needed to make improvements. The old one was thrown together rather quickly because at that time I was not sure exactly what features I needed.
The clamping mechanism was a makeshift rig with squeeze clamps that seemed to get in the way a lot.

When I saw the new Rockler clamps I realized they would work perfect for what I needed. They can hold the work at any angle and apply pressure without the need of squeeze clamps…I cut some blocks to add additional height to two of them and lined the faces that come into contact with the wood box with a piece of leather. This helps to protect the wood during clamping and also provides better grip stability… I ordered 4 of them and started building the new table. However, Rockler got a little sneaky and made this to work with 5/16 T track instead of the 1/4” T track. I had 4 pieces of Rockler 1/4” T track already that were never used before and had planned to use them…not so…I had to piece this track together with what 5/16 track I had on hand. The T track in had that was from Rockler was deeper than their new track so I had to cut 1/8” filler strips to compensate for their difference.

This table is only 3” deep as opposed to the old one that was 7” deep. I made the top out of 3/4 Baltic birch ply with 2 pieces laminated together for the top to get it to 1 1/2” thick. The sides are 1/2 BB ply.
The frame that it sits on is a welding table that is adjustable from level to 45 degrees and makes working at any angle very convenient.
It is hooked up to my dust collector on the bottom through a 90 degree port and also has a “Y” connector that allows me to use a 2 1/2” hose to clean the floor and surrounding areas.
Works like a dream…..!

23 comments so far

View exelectrician's profile


2326 posts in 1700 days

#1 posted 08-22-2014 05:55 AM

I always wondered how you held those wonderful sculpted boxes – Now I know, thanks. Nice build you did on this.

-- Love thy neighbour as thyself

View shipwright's profile


6781 posts in 2070 days

#2 posted 08-22-2014 06:08 AM

That looks like what we would have called “the clear rig” back on the Fraser River.
Just what you need to make your work and breathing easier.

Very well thought out.

-- Paul M ..............If God wanted us to have fiberglas boats he would have given us fibrerglas trees.

View Hawaiilad's profile


2798 posts in 2293 days

#3 posted 08-22-2014 08:27 AM

And all this time I thought you held the box in one hand and the grinder in the other. Great table Greg

-- Larry in Hawaii,

View Blackie_'s profile


4371 posts in 1785 days

#4 posted 08-22-2014 10:33 AM

Always a good thing to make life eaiser, very nice Greg.

-- Randy - If I'm not on LJ's then I'm making Saw Dust. Please feel free to visit my store location at

View HillbillyShooter's profile


5741 posts in 1565 days

#5 posted 08-22-2014 12:43 PM

Well thought out design and nice,sturdy build. Thanks for the info on the new Rockler clamps.

-- John C. -- "Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples' liberty's teeth." George Washington

View hoss12992's profile


3713 posts in 1165 days

#6 posted 08-22-2014 01:27 PM

Very well thought out design, and I really like the features that you added in. Great job

-- The Old Rednek Workshop

View doubleDD's profile


4594 posts in 1316 days

#7 posted 08-22-2014 02:07 PM

Great design and features. Rockler may be calling you for the design.

-- Dave, Downers Grove, Il. -------- When you run out of ideas, start building your dreams.

View waho6o9's profile (online now)


6826 posts in 1849 days

#8 posted 08-22-2014 03:34 PM

Excellent design!

View cajunpen's profile


14562 posts in 3338 days

#9 posted 08-22-2014 04:09 PM

Well done Greg – you make a “Coonass” proud :-)

-- Bill - "Suit yourself and let the rest be pleased."

View kiefer's profile


4545 posts in 1939 days

#10 posted 08-22-2014 04:18 PM

That is a nice improvment ,keep working at it to catch more dust .

-- Kiefer 松

View grizzman's profile


7694 posts in 2576 days

#11 posted 08-22-2014 04:43 PM

what a great tool to enable you to sculpt as you please, a very nice design and im sure one that makes you happy as you dont have to worry about holding your subject, just grind away…

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

View neverenougftackle's profile


195 posts in 1119 days

#12 posted 08-22-2014 05:32 PM

I think I’ll wait for the third addition,,,,,for guy’s like yourself. There is still GOING to be a better way, and a #3. It just inhearent. :-)

Nice job and good thinking on you part, Greg. thanks for taking the time to share !!!

View longgone's profile


5688 posts in 2581 days

#13 posted 08-22-2014 06:11 PM

Thanks everyone….this is definitely an improvement and the test was in using it for several hours creating this cocobolo box.
I am very satisfied with the results and performance so far and hope a third design is not necessary…but ya’ never know…It is set up in a 6ft x 8ft section of my shop that I enclosed a few years ago to help contain the dust.

The dust collection hooked up to this plus the three squirrel cage filters mounted in the walls and using a dust mask make it quite dust free for my lungs….I sorta like them being clean.

View longgone's profile


5688 posts in 2581 days

#14 posted 08-22-2014 06:18 PM

And all this time I thought you held the box in one hand and the grinder in the other. Great table Greg

- Hawaiilad

I did that on my first box and quickly realized that I needed two hands to do it right… I tried several different options…including my workbench vise, a Rockwell Jawhorse and using double sided tape and a piece of plywood.
One thing I quickly realized is that is must be carved on an adjustable angle surface…then there was the dust problem to solve…that is sorta how it evolved

View longgone's profile


5688 posts in 2581 days

#15 posted 08-22-2014 06:22 PM

Great design and features. Rockler may be calling you for the design.

- doubleDD

It is nothing special as far as design goes…similar to a table top for the pocket hole jigs combined with a lot of holes drilled in it. What makes it work for my needs is the ability to adjust the angle of the top.

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