|Project by MHarper90||posted 02-10-2014 03:19 AM||8042 views||49 times favorited||21 comments|
So this is my first attempt at a torsion box design. I’ve seen them all over LJ and have been itching to build one.
I am in my last 3 weeks of civilian carpentry employment before I go Active Duty with the Navy as a Nuke for at least six years, so I definitely don’t need one for myself (yet). I asked the Site and Facilities Manager at the summer camp I work at if he could fund the materials, I would build it in my time off in an effort to give back to this ministry. This would upgrade us from the old warped plywood table someone had quickly thrown together several years ago.
There’s not a lot of hidden secrets to this thing aside from the concealed torsion box framing. I used 2×4’s and 2×6’s for the base frame, and the torsion box is made of 3/4” MDF with a 3/16” hardboard top and 3/4” oak edging on three sides. The final dimensions for the table top + oak edging was 4’-3/4” x 7’-1/8”. This utilized the full width of the available wood, and matched the exact length of the table saw and extension table.
I was very careful to set up a perfectly flat scenario to build the torsion box on, and I also joined the edge of all of the 2×4’s that support the table top and the lower shelf (the shelf is not a torsion box…just a piece of MDF). After testing the table with a long level, I am confident that it is 100% flat (and should stay that way!).
I routed two miter slots which I painted “safety red” to stand out and also to match the SawStop color theme. I also sealed the entire table, including the hardboard top, with two coats of high gloss polyurethane. This table will be used by a lot of different camp staff, so durability was something I really took into consideration with the finish and the oak edging. At nearly 500 pounds, I think this table is beefy enough to stand up to the use it will get. I just hope that nobody drills holes in it!
You can see in one of the pictures that I had to cut a slot in the table to accept the angle iron that runs the length of the back-side of the table saw. Also, I left a portion of the bottom of the table shallower than the rest to accommodate for an access door that swings open on the saw. And I left a cubby in the base frame for the Shop Vac (used with the router table when the JessEm fence is installed). Lastly, I used 700 lb capacity leveling legs to accommodate for the inconsistent hardwood floor on the 2nd level of the old barn we work out of.
This table was long overdue and I’ll be sad to leave it behind in a few weeks, but now the boss wants a 2nd, smaller table, on casters so that it’ll roll around the shop. I guess I better get going!