|Project by Minion||posted 12-06-2011 09:38 PM||8413 views||24 times favorited||17 comments|
Recently I have gotten into cabinetry and decorative box making with an emphasis on precision, so I decided that it was time to bench my PC dovetail jig, clamps, and all other devices I used to use for handheld routing, and build a table that would make certain tasks a lot easier, and other tasks more precise. Building this table was the first real piece of furniture I have ever made, and it provided LOTS of lessons in planning, tooling, and assembling.
I made the decision early to spend my money on the top (Rockler HPL), the fence (INCRA LS 17) and the lift (INCRA Mast-R-Lift II for Rockler tables made by JessEM), and let the chips fall where they may as far as other expenses went. So needless to say this was about a two month long project, during which I made parts as I had time, and money to do so.
The entire cabinet is made of poplar, which I know isn’t the prettiest of woods, or the hardest of the hardwoods, but structurally it is sound, and I managed to make sure all of the good looking grain was showing. The drawer fronts are also made of poplar, but all out of one board, so they all match. I haven’t decided to finish it quite yet because I have yet to see poplar finished in a light color well, so I may just leave it bare (unless any of you know how to get a Tung Oiled Maple look). I really don’t want to turn it green to any extent, which is what I have found happens when you finish poplar with oil, even if only slightly.
There are a couple features besides the drawers, that I made special for my needs. You may notice the outfeed tables/INCRA extension. I began to realize that I do quite a range of work, and need a larger surface, so decided to make outfeed tables that are trimmed to hide the leveling structure underneath. Both of the tables float on four bolts so that they can be leveled and adjusted throughout the year to account for table movement.
The other special feature is the dust collection. I absolutely love the Mast-R-Lift II, INCRA edition with the steel insert plate, however I couldn’t figure out how to get under the table dust collection effectively. I finally figured out that, using Rockler’s under the table dust collection system, I could cut into the plastic rim of the fixture, and insert magnets that would stick to the bottom of the insert plate. It adds about 10 seconds to the process of changing a bit, but in my opinion, totally worth it!
I have gotten to use it for about a week now, and I am very happy with it.