|Project by ErsatzTom||posted 12-28-2007 10:18 AM||39751 views||22 times favorited||33 comments|
Since I’m on a very tight budget and I needed to buy pretty much everything, I spent as little as I could on a tablesaw so that I can replace it as soon as possible with a clear conscience but still at least attempt to get started while I wait for a better saw. I picked up a used Ryobi bench top for $40. It wasn’t much a bargin. To make it more useful and to give myself a starter shop project, I decided to implement Norm’s Table Saw Station (#9908). I built it, or tried to build it, pretty much as specified in the plan but I did add a pair of rulers (more on this later) to the front and back of the top so that I could align the auxiliary fence without wanting kick the whole thing over. Or pout a little.
As a first project, I suppose it could have gone worse but I made some pretty major errors. Here are two just for fun:
First off, below you can see where I misaligned one of the rulers in the table top by 1.5” initially and had to correct it. I read the position off the wrong edge of the framing square. Yeah, thats not embarrassing. Or irritating. Nope. Anyway, I had to peel it up, move it over an inch and a half, find the part of the ruler I had previously cut off, and try to align both pieces so that they were both correct. That is why there is a, uh, hmm, decorative gap in the ruler. My job of squaring up the end of the router cut groove the ruler is recessed into is no picnic either.
My biggest error by far was how I managed the glue up and it lead to some pretty ugly consequences. The main body of the table is composed of 1) the top, with dados for the back and two side pieces, 2) a plywood bottom reinforced with half-lapped 2×4s and with a dado for the middle side piece, and 3) the back and two side pieces all of which fit into the table top dados, but only one of which goes into a dado in the bottom. The back and right side piece attach to the sides of the 2×4 frame. So here is where I screwed up, I should have started the glue up by getting all three pieces into the dados in the top. The bottom only has one dado. The fit of the other two pieces has a TON of wiggle room. However, I was sort of putting things together as I got pieces completed and I put off the top because I was a little intimidated by cutting up the big 3/4 melamine sheet and getting all the dados and cutouts in it correct. Stupid, right? Anyway, I attached the side and back pieces to the bottom and then later attached the top. Problem was it didn’t really fit. I had to exert a lot of clamping pressure to get the thing together and as a result the whole top is sort of bent where the back joins up. You can see in the following picture how much out of alignment the tablesaw is from the outfeed side of the station.
Despite its many problems, this station has made my pathetic tablesaw do a lot of things it otherwise could never do. I now have a reasonable amount of side feed and outfeed support. Instead of being limited to 11” of rip I now have about 40” using the auxiliary fence. Plus the saw horses came out pretty good!
However, nothing can make up for the undersized, un-t’d miter slots, the truly sad (and more than a little dangerous) miter gauge, or the fence. Oh, and by the way, if you’re out there Norm, you have my sincerest apologies. ;)
-- Tom, Southwest Florida