|Forum topic by Mark A. DeCou||posted 01-07-2007 03:53 AM||4174 views||1 time favorited||8 replies|
01-07-2007 03:53 AM
I have been wishing for a bigger surface around my table saw so that I could cut big sheets of plywood, long pieces of hardwood, and have extra room to work on when my workbench is covered up.
I have a small shop, 22’x32’, and it is cram packed with stuff. Anything I add to my shop has to be mobile, foldable, or storable. I use my old barn for storage of things not currently in use, but for my table saw, I needed to be able to easily add extension room to the table quickly and easily..
I have been using those pesky rollers-on-a-stand for several years now, but just when I am in a bind and need the stand to do it’s job, it falls over, or rolls my material at a slight angle pulling it away, or into, the saw fence.
If I am cutting thin plywood material that is flimsy, it is sort of like a Circus Act to get it to hit the top of the roller stand, while keeping the sheet against the rip fence. I usually have to have three different roller-stands set up to accomodate the flexible material, and since I’m not too flexible, or fast, I normally have trouble, and at least one roller stand will fall over at just the wrong time. So, after a lot problems, I don’t trust those pesky, look like they ought to work, roller-stands.
The photos below show the design I came up with. I couldn’t tell you whether it was an original idea, or not. I do so much reading, that I may have seen something like it before. But, if I did, I am not conscious of it.
I didn’t really have any set dimensions, just adapted the table to what I had in material scraps, and hardware laying around the shop. I didn’t have to buy anything to make it, and it used up some stuff that I have been unable to throw away for sure. I have some “pack-rat” in my ancestry somewhere.
I used 3/16” thick peg board, as it was left over from a short little project I did for the church. More on that in another blog entry.
Here is another view of the Half-Folded table. The two halves are held together with an old piano hinge left over from a project I did in 1997 (whew, glad I finally used it).:
The legs swing up into the table frame like a small card-table would do, and so they are out of the way when the two sides of the table top are folded together.
Here is another view showing how the table legs fold up into the frame. I used a carriage bolt to hold the legs in place, and tightened the nut enough to make the hinging of the legs a little stiff. This helps with keeping them were they are to be while I am folding, or unfolding the table.
If I had ordered hareware material for this project, I could have purchased a set of those card-table folding leg hardware kits available in several different catalogs. Or, if I had an old card-table laying around in storage, I could have torn it apart and used it’s legs. (But, then, I would just have to figure what to do with the cardtable top, as it would be too good to throw away for sure).
Because the whole rig is mounted securely to the table saw, it is very stable, surprisingly so.
The two halves are held together with an old piano hinge left over from a project I did in 1997 (whew, glad I finally used it).:
I figure over time, I may see another, better way to do it, and will redo it, but for now, this is the way it works. I used some little hooks to hold the folded halves together when they are hanging down not being used.
I didn’t really have a working plan, or sketch of what I was going to build, just some scrap pieces, and a concept. As I started putting the concept into action, I had to adapt as I dug through all of my salvaged hardware and hinges, and bolts and such, and finally came upon an idea to make it work.
The Half-Folding setup was just an accident, as I noticed when I was getting the legs adjusted, that if I would just add a swing out gusset under the table, I could make it work in that position. It was fun, to figure it out by accident that way.
I was pretty excited today when I had the whole rig up and running, and I adjusted everything so that the table is flat with the top of the saw. I started on it late last night and worked until about 2:30 am when I realized that I was so tired I wasn’t doing anything, and headed to bed. I started again this morning about 10:00 am, and finished it a little while after lunch.
I walked into the house to share my new joy with my loving wife, and begged her to come out to the shop and see my new engineering feat. However, I should have known better, because before I had the whole thing demonstrated, she got mad, and said, ”you tell those lumberjocks I have one for the ‘You might be married…’ list that if your husband spends hours piddling around in the shop engineering tables like this and you can’t get him to finish up the kitchen remodeling that he started 5.5 years ago, .....you might be married to a lumberjock.”
Then, she stomped back to the house. I assured her in a loving, kind voice, as she was walking away that I would definitely add that “one” to the “list.”
Those old unfinished projects are not good for marriage relations. I really need to get that Kitchen finished!
Have a great night,
It was hard for my wife and I to push the sheet through the saw, without one of us getting ahead, or behind the other (maybe this has a deeper meaning in life).
As for the roller stands, as I mentioned above, one of them always fell down. I have used the table extension for a couple of weeks now, and wonder how I managed before without it.
Because my shop is so small, I have to fold up the table to enter, or exit the walk-in door to the shop. If I had a bigger shop, I would just build a permanent table, but for a small shop, this folding capability has been very handy.
This photo may show the best use of the table though. My two children like to visit me in the shop a lot, and we are always fighting for the same table/bench space. Here, my son demonstrates that he can pull up the table, swing out the support arm, and sit down making a nice place for his snack cup, drink, and toy tractor.
Thanks for your comments, and if you have questions, please let me know,
-- Mark DeCou - American Contemporary Craft Artisan - www.decoustudio.com