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Table saw and router center - ladder frame or torsion box?

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Forum topic by NIS240SHU posted 04-20-2014 03:10 PM 4185 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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NIS240SHU

8 posts in 986 days


04-20-2014 03:10 PM

Hey everyone,

I’ve been lurking here for a while, but I think this is my first post.

I’ve got a single car garage and I want to combine my Ridgid TS3650 contractor saw and my router table. Wood Magazine had a design in their “2008 Best-Ever Workshops” issue.

For the mobile base, they use a slab of MDF with casters on the corners, then (4) maple 1×4s distributed across the length with end caps of the same wood, glued and screwed together. This frame is attached to the underside of the MDF to act as a stiffener/support.

I was thinking that this setup may twist and throw off the alignment of the tables above.

The other option I came up with is to do a torsion box similar to what Marc at TheWoodWhisperer has shown.

With either option, I’m limited to about 4” from the bottom of the MDF platform because of the 4” casters that have a total height of 5”.

Am I overthinking this? My garage floor is relatively smooth so the racking may not be an issue. I think the torsion box may also be cheaper because I could use plywood for the inner structure and MDF for the outer skin, rather than expensive maple.

What do you think? I can’t wait any longer. Six years is more than enough time to think about it. :)

Thanks,

Helder


9 replies so far

View NiteWalker's profile

NiteWalker

2735 posts in 2042 days


#1 posted 04-20-2014 03:55 PM

Either option will work fine, so to save cash I’d do the torsion box.

-- He who dies with the most tools... dies with the emptiest wallet.

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NIS240SHU

8 posts in 986 days


#2 posted 04-22-2014 05:42 PM

Thanks, NiteWalker.

Do you think the torsion box will still do it’s job when it only has 2 1/2” of height to make the grid?

4” below the wheels minus (-) the lower layer of MDF 3/4” leaves me with about 2 1/2” before it’s too close to the ground.

Anybody else have any suggestions?

Thanks,

Helder

View MrRon's profile

MrRon

3926 posts in 2708 days


#3 posted 04-22-2014 07:27 PM

In my opinion, a torsion box would not be put to good use. Torsion boxes are used to provide a flat uniform surface. The only areas that need to be strong are the edges where the loads will be transferred. A base constructed of MDF or plywood over a 2×4 frame is more than adequate.

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NIS240SHU

8 posts in 986 days


#4 posted 04-22-2014 08:18 PM

That’s not a bad idea, Ron.

2x lumber is certainly cheaper than the maple they call for in the plans.

I could rip a 2×6 to final width after jointing the opposite edge.

Helder

View NiteWalker's profile

NiteWalker

2735 posts in 2042 days


#5 posted 04-22-2014 10:01 PM

Ron, another advantage of torsion boxes is stiffness. It’s why airplane wings and some other structural components use it.

The 2×4 frame will work too, for maximum stiffness, just make sure to use a few long frame members instead of just the outside.

-- He who dies with the most tools... dies with the emptiest wallet.

View BikerDad's profile

BikerDad

284 posts in 3066 days


#6 posted 04-22-2014 11:26 PM

One consideration on using 2×4s, i.e. construction lumber. Make sure it’s dry. Not construction dry, but furniture dry, otherwise you may be facing some twisting/racking issues.

-- I'm happier than a tornado in a trailer park! Grace & Peace.

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NiteWalker

2735 posts in 2042 days


#7 posted 04-23-2014 06:08 AM

Once it’s all glued and screwed together, it’s not going anywhere. ;-)

-- He who dies with the most tools... dies with the emptiest wallet.

View HorizontalMike's profile

HorizontalMike

7152 posts in 2379 days


#8 posted 04-23-2014 11:33 AM

FWIW, a torsion box will resist warping due to humidity changes better than ply, MDF, 2×4 pine, etc. I have even had sheets of ply warp on me on the way home from the big box store, just because of the angle of the tailgate it was secured to. IMO, go torsion.

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

View NIS240SHU's profile

NIS240SHU

8 posts in 986 days


#9 posted 04-23-2014 07:03 PM

To clarify, the plans do call for multiple strips across the length of the mobile base.

Ron, I do like the idea of 2x lumber for the base, though I’ll have to see if I can measure how much moisture is in the KD studs I recently bought for another project. Thanks for the pointer, BikerDad.

The reason I may go with the torsion box is not necessarily for strength, but for stiffness. I don’t want the top of the saw/routing center to rack as I roll it around the garage.

What I really need to do is get into the shop and just do something!

Thanks for all the help. If you come up with some other tips, I’m all ears (eyes?).

Helder

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