Sunday, February 6, 2011

A New Assembly Table

In March of 2009 Marc and I attended a Greene and Greene woodworking class at William Ng's school of Woodworking in California taught by Darrell Peart, you'll remember this from my post of March 12, 2009. During that class I saw some really nice outfeed tables that the school had constructed on their tablesaws. I liked the look of them quite a bit and the utility was astounding. I've been using a shopmade outfeed table attached to the back of my saw and a separate assembly table, I had the idea to combine the two into one table saving valuable shop space while adding much needed storage space.
I started with the idea of one long 12 inch wide cabinet that runs 6 feet long, in the front I used two 24 inch cabinets and added a 24 inch space with drawers in the middle.
I used 3/4 inch domestic Birch plywood for cabinets and drawers and base frame but used the back face of the plywood because I found it to be more visually appealing once finished. The base frame is 2 inches smaller than the cabinets and has heavy duty levelers at the corners. I edged the cabinets with 3/4 x 1/4 inch strips of walnut left over from a previous project. I secured the cabinets to the base and to the back cabinet and added a 24 inch floor where the drawers will go.
Once the cabinets were leveled I placed a sheet of 3/4 inch plywood cut down to 84 inches on top of them and secured it to the cabinets with screws. This effectively made all the cabinets into one strong unit. On top of the plywood I secured a sheet of MDF covered with melanine. I trimmed this flush to the plywood top with a flush trim bit on my router then edged it with 3/4 x 2 inch walnut glued and brad nailed in place.
I made drawers out of 3/4 inch ply with 1/2 inch bottoms and installed them with full pull out heavy duty slides. I hung the doors for the cabinets using European hinges then cut shelves for them and installed shelf pins to allow for adjustment. I created pulls for the cabinets and drawers using Walnut in the shop and screwed them in place.
The table is finished with Arm-R-Seal inside and out and looks fantastic in the shop. I routed two 3/4 x 3/8 inch slots in the table to allow the miter gauge and crosscut sled to travel beyond the edge of the saw. Other than the added storage the real upside is that I now have 3 extra feet of floor space in my shop and maybe I will stop slamming my hip into the corner of the tablesaw.

"Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought."
John F. Kennedy