|Project by OldRick||posted 11-12-2013 01:23 AM||1428 views||4 times favorited||11 comments|
Well, I finally did my first project. And here are some pictures of my endeavor. Since this is my first ever post, I hope it comes out right with the pictures. If not, will one of you please enlighten me so I don’t have to get my teenage daughter to show me how to live in the world of the future?
As a left hander, that means I tend to be lacking in the artistic creativeness department. So I make up for this by over achieving in my two favorite areas of “substantial” and “useful”. I like things that are made to last a long time even under strenuous circumstances. And, since my shop is limited in size, I like things that are multi functional. Hence, my first project…a drill press table. Thanks to information I read from woodworkers all over the internet (and what my budget dictated) I chose the Porter Cable floor standing drill press from Lowes. Seemed solidly built and practical.
But, as we all know, drill presses come with a tiny metal table that is not conducive to woodworking. But what to do? My poor right brain was saying “you need something, Rich” but my creative side was saying “I got nothing but we got the money, just buy the Woodpeckers table and be done with it”. The latter thought didn’t appeal to me too much because if I just purchase what I need then I’m really not a woodworker and how am I ever going to learn. Seemed reasonable.
So, since part of my ambition is to learn to make cabinets (and I recently purchased the Kreg pocket hole system) I thought what better place to start than a small project made from 3/4 Birch plywood. The same material I am thinking of using for making cabinets. And to make it more multi purpose, I will not build just a 3/4 inch thick flat table, I will add height so I can store my forstner bits and stuff that one uses with a drill press.
So, after scanning Lumberjocks and other sites, I found a design. I don’t remember who or where it came from but it was green and had pull out extension wings for extra support. “That looks cool” thought my left brain. But my other brain won out with the thought of “maybe instead of trying to make something that moves you might want to see if you can make something that is straight, square, and solid first” Good points for a noob.
So here is what I came up with.
It’s 18 inched deep by 24 inches wide by 5 inches tall. The top is 2 boards thick to give solid flat support for pretty much anything I can think of that might need a hole drilled in it around my house. I also decided to use T-track for things like a fence and hold downs but after making the dadoes for the tracks so they would be flush with the surface, there didn’t seem to be much material left for support. And I also liked the idea of having changeable inserts under the bit. Actually, I loved this idea as it’s like always having a new table all the time. But, again, being a woodworking noob, I didn’t have the skills to do anything but cut all the way through the top layer and then drop in the insert and let it rest on the under layer.
I started with only the two outside T-tracks and spaced them quite far apart so as to add stability to the fence. But then I realized that it might be a good idea to have some track closer in for hold downs to add to stability to the part when it is under the stress of the torque of the tool. (See, I got that right brain stuff down pretty good I think.)
The fence is made from three pieces of 3/4 glued together. The front piece has the T-track for the stop which is coincidentally the same size as the inserts under the bit so everything gets cut at once when I need new. The hold downs for the fence are just a small dado in each of the two pieces so a 1/4 inch bolt can pass through. With the fence being 2 and 1/4 inch thick, it is a nice solid backing surface for the work piece.
And as you can see, the depth of the table fits my forstner bit box perfectly and still have storage room for inserts and hold downs and drill press stuff. I used pocket holes for attaching the depth spacers to the bottom and then attached the top using counter sunk deck screws that go through both of the top thicknesses so in case something bad happens to the top layer with the T-tracks, I can change it out entirely and still have the support layer under it for a template.
Just ignore the color. I had a can of stain and I wanted to see how well the plywood would take it. I’m not impressed. But I will remember this when I finally start making cabinets for my house.
So, there it is, my first project. And I am reasonably happy as it is indeed solid as a rock, functional, and yes, it is straight and square. I tested it’s strength by drilling a 2 inch hole through a 4×4 and the table never budged. All in all, a great learning experience that has me confident that I can do more and better. And thank you one and all for sharing your ideas, designs, and experiences so us noobs can get started. You have saved me from having to hear my wife say “So…how much did that Woodpeckers table set us back, you old poop!”
Thanks for reading my story!