Taking inspiration from zzzzdoc, tedth66, Jeremy Greiner, and others (here, here, and here), I am setting out on a mission to create a Table Saw Station for my SawStop Contractor saw. The reasons for the project are similar to theirs: I need more storage space in my small shop, I’d like a robust stand for the saw that’s easy to move around, and their’s look really cool! I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about this and many hours mocking up ideas and dimensions in SketchUp. I have not actually cut a piece of wood for the project yet. This is partly because I want to make sure I’ve got the design right, and because, being in school, I don’t have a lot of $$ to spare.
I will have to build this in phases, so each completed section will need to stand on it’s own for some time. I want to start with the mobile base, followed quickly by main cabinet upon which the saw rests. Later, I will add more cabinets for storage and an integrated router table on the right. A cabinet on the left of the main cabinet is something I’d like but am not quite sure yet. Later, I want a short, fixed out-feed table (maybe 12-14”) integrated into the whole contraption. (I plan to use another workbench for long out-feed support when necessary, thus, no flip-down support needed.) A few spanners in the works, however; I need it to be able to come apart in some fashion as I am a renter and will probably have to move it a couple of times before my wife and I can buy a house (still have to finish school!). Also, the way the saw sits in my (rented) garage now I don’t have access to the right side of the table, hence, putting a router there would be useless now. I want to put a router in the left extension wing for the moment. This build will come after the main cabinet build.
I’ve included some pics of the SketchUp drawing here. This has gone through many iterations! I spent (too much) time creating a SketchUp rendering of the saw itself to help with proportions, and because I think SketchUp is fun. As you can see, I didn’t render the motor, and I don’t think I will as I think at my current skill level it will take too much time and I can get most of what I need with what I’ve done so far.
Here’s some more views of the SketchUp rendering:
From the left:
Looking underneath at the base. It is a torsion box with skins on top and bottom.
And the base without the bottom skin to see the ribs:
And a view of the back:
I’m not sure how to post the SketchUp file itself here, which I’d be willing to do. If someone knows of a way to do that, please instruct me. I’m willing to simply send the file to anyone who’s interested.
Here’s some explanations of the design.
1) I made the mobile base deeper (from from front to back) than others have. The stock base is 27” deep. I don’t think others have made their bases that deep. I figured SawStop had some reason to make the base that deep and I’m gonna go with that. My base is actually 28” deep. It’s also longer, extending to the left of the saw. I did this to accommodate a future cabinet on that side.
2) I decided to put a skin on both sides of the torsion box. I know others have not done that, but I’ve never seen a torsion box with only one skin before. I figure it will be stronger with two. I’m also using 3” wide ¾ ply for the ribs. This makes materials easy: just cutting everything from ply. I do worry about the weight, however. As I mentioned before, I will have to move this probably a few times before it finds it’s final resting (working) place. While I plan to take the whole contraption apart in pieces, this base may still be fairly heavy. I do tend to overbuild: would rather have it too strong than not strong enough. I thought perhaps I could go with ½” ply for the whole base, which may still be strong enough (save a few bucks, too).
3) I put an extra layer of ply where the casters attach to the base. Not sure if this is necessary (I don’t think anyone else did that) but again, my tendency to err on building strong leads me to this. Maybe that’s too much, though.
Here’s some questions I pose to the LJ community, especially those who have attempted this build (i.e. zzzzdoc, tedh66, Jeremey Greiner: you out there?):
1) Should I bolt the saw to the cabinet? I’m not sure any of you guys did, as a couple of you related experiences of the saw tipping to the right. You guys have 52” rails though – mine are 36”. I prefer the idea of bolting the saw to the cabinet as that is where the stress will be when moving the beast around.
2) What are the dimensions of the opening underneath the saw? I, like you, want to make sure that the cabinet does not get in the way of tilting the saw.
3) Dust collection: here, I have a problem. I don’t have a dust collector. I have a shop-vac with cyclone attached (you can see it here. Not sure if that would even be worth trying to hook up. In the (distant) future I plan to buy a “real” dust collector (Oneida class, 6” ducts), so I want to plan that into the design of the cabinet. In the meantime, I need a stop-gap solution. Did any of you hook up the dust collection to the dust shroud? Or did you just close up the box and hook the collector hose to that?
4) Should I make the mobile base out of ½” ply?
5) What things do you like about your design and what would you change?
This build is going to take some time, but hopefully you guys can send me your input. I figure I’ve only got one chance to build this; I don’t think I’ll want to go through the time and money to build it again. And if I get it right, it will be with me for a long time!
Thanks for looking, and I’m looking forward to anyone’s input!