|Project by SWM||posted 02-04-2011 06:50 AM||4379 views||5 times favorited||12 comments|
Finally! My tablesaw project is complete and put back together. I have drooled over the 50” tablesaw fences for years. Unfortunately, the saw only included the 30” rails when I found it on Craigslist early this year. I finally found the 50” rails & supports for a decent price, but I couldn’t justify the $400 that they wanted for the PM issued workbench extension (Melamine laminate workbench? Junk I say). So I debated for weeks if I wanted to build my own melamine copy or something a little more involved.
Not suprisingly, I also picked up a copy of Chris Swartz’s excellent book on Workbench design about the same time (fantastic book for novice or expert I think). He’s a real function over form kind of guy, which I really like, but I digress….The first few chapters of the book was all the convincing that I need to begin my journey down the quest of the perfect workbench. No, this table extension table with a quick release vise is not the perfect bench. Far from it actually. But it did provide an opportunity for several first in my woodworking journey. This was my first glue-up of large panels (30.5” x 40”) and the inevitable flattening of said large panel by hand (thank you Woodriver #6). All in all I figured that this project served an immediate need (ts extension table) and would push me a little closer to the obligatory traditional workbench in my future. I’m taking baby steps here guys and gals!
Workbench top is primarily constructed of laminated Southern Yellow Pine with 1” Red Oak trim on front and vise sides. Boy, did that SYP move after the initial rip cuts! The stock had been in my shop for months, but it bowed tremendously once I ripped the 2×8’s down to 2.5”. I let it sit for a few days after an initial run at the jointer. Sure enough it moved again. Actually had to joint/plane/flatten these boards three times in some cases! Final thickness came in around 2 inches, which was actualy 5/16 less than I’d planned. But who’s counting right? I added a few support 2x’s below the top just for good measure.
I finished with the tung oil based “Waterlox”, which I picked up at Woodcraft. The can says to use use 4 coats on soft wood, which I was little skeptical. The first 2 coats seemed to disappear overnight. But the shine really came out with the 3rd and 4th coat. I knocked down the final coat with a 1200 grit finishing pad and applied a light coat of furniture paste for good measure.
Despite the Mr. Swartz’s aversion to quick release face vises, I purchased the Jorgensen 10” vise from Amazon. Again, I thought that it fit the immediate need of this project and would probably serve as useful ancillary vice in the future. So far it has performed admirabbly, with no real problems in fit or function.
As always, thanks for looking and let me know if you see something I could have done better.
-- Working on a retirement hobby, only 30 more years to practice!