torsion assembly table build question

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Forum topic by scribble posted 07-18-2014 01:09 AM 1223 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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186 posts in 2223 days

07-18-2014 01:09 AM

Topic tags/keywords: clamp tablesaw blade joining milling

I am looking to build an assembly/outfeed table in a torsion box design. I am going to use 1/2” mdf for the entire table 11/2” tall grid work and then going to wrap the table in either maple or oak.

The question I have is all the youtube ones I have seen being built dont\’t really talk about attaching the skins. I am going to use the top and bottom skins as the building platform. I am think I understand correctly that you attach the outer frame to the lower skin as well as the grid and just glue the pieces to each other and also nail or pin the grid pieces to each other. Once the grid is complete and secued to the lower skin I pull the upper skin and run glue over every top section of the grid and frame and clamp the top skin on till dried.
Do you suggest any nails or countersunk screws for attaching either skin ??

-- If you can't read it Scribble wrote it!! “Experience is merely the name men gave to their mistakes.”

5 replies so far

View NiteWalker's profile


2737 posts in 2600 days

#1 posted 07-18-2014 02:22 AM

If you’re in a rush.
Otherwise, the glue should be ok.
IIRC when david marks did his, he used brad nails to attach the skins.

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

View timbertailor's profile


1594 posts in 1447 days

#2 posted 07-18-2014 02:25 AM

I am a little more anal in my approach.

Whatever is going on top, is what I am going to set on a flat surface like a table saw, then all my torsion runners, then the base. Glue and clamps are all you need. By clamping everything down in this order to a known flat surface, the torsion box should dry up with a perfectly flat top.

I cut ALL my runners at the same time to make sure they are the same height.

I see a lot of people going to a lot of trouble with vertical and horizontal runners. I guess I would go to all that trouble for a very large or long surface with an extreme amount of weight but with today’s glues and a properly designed box, it is not going to flex a bit, in either axis so I just run them in one direction, a little closer together to make it much easier.

See photos in my router table project for more details.

-- Brad, Texas,

View skatefriday's profile


418 posts in 1505 days

#3 posted 07-18-2014 03:37 AM

The wood whisperer did a youtube video on a torsion box a while back. Someday I think I’ll make it. Google should be able to find it for you.

View Sawdust4Blood's profile


405 posts in 3044 days

#4 posted 07-18-2014 09:30 AM

When I built mine, I glued the top and bottom surface to the grid using brads to secure the surfaces to the grid while the glue dried. Then I screwed hardboard to on top of the MDF surfaces so I would have a sacrificial surface that could be replaced as it got beat up over time.

-- Greg, Severn MD

View benchbuilder's profile


284 posts in 2473 days

#5 posted 07-18-2014 11:00 AM

Hi scribble, as i remember, you only clamp your grid to the bottom and then add the top to the grid with glue and brads. When this is all dry you roll it over and remove the what was the bottom skin and then add your glue to the grid and than put the skin on the glue and grid and use brads. This is an easier method and enssures your grid is in full contact with both skins. I dont believe i would use the hard board as its too thin and cuts through too easy. But a good 3/4” layer of sanded ply and only screwed down with some nice brass screws should make you a nice heavy thick and flat surface. I believe this is how it was done on wood works. You can see the old shows by googling wood woks on the net. Good luck with your project.

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