Sunday, April 27, 2014

Table Saw Outfeed Support

It's been some time since I've posted. I'm now working full time as an employee of a company that I worked at as a contractor for 2.5 years before they hired me. We write software that controls and collects data from devices we manufacture for the law enforcement industry. We're very busy, gearing up for a release in early May, so my time in the shop has been limited.

In addition, last fall my primary home computer suffered a hard drive failure, in which I lost all of the plans I had drawn up for various projects. So I'm back at square one.

I have completed much of the reorganization work I had planned for the shop. I've rearranged everything and found that I don't like where my work table / "workbench" is. Plus it's become an unorganized mess to hold stuff until I find it a home. Yes, I am in desperate need of more storage!

In addition, I can't rip a full sheet of plywood on my table saw without setting up roller stands. Even then, they don't do a good job of supporting the stock. The outfeed support table that came with my 22124 table saw is OK but it's inadequate for some jobs, too.

So I posted a question on the WoodNet Woodworking forum, asking for input on dimensions for a good table saw outfeed support table. I got to see a lot of different ideas from a lot of very created people.

After thinking about it for a while, I sat down with SketchUp and came up with this:

As you can see, the base is two open storage cabinets and a router cabinet that returns so you use the router from the side. The router plate opening in the top is sized for my Woodpeckers router plate. The top features a set or rollers that I intend to make out of 1 1/2" PVC tubing, just like ones that Norm Abram made for his outfeed support. The top itself is 25" deep; the rollers, when extended to full extension, will increase the depth to 49", which should be able to support 8' long stock while it is being ripped without it falling off.

I will probably start this after we finish some household maintenance items and my office releases our next version. I will post about it in the coming weeks.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Shop Reorganization

Well, it's been a while since I've posted anything. The truth is that I was out of work for 22 months, starting in November, 2008. I finally got a job in August, 2010. After I finished building the pulpit, I didn't do any woodworking, except for a few pine wood derby cars for my son.

In the interim, I did manage to collect a few more tools. As a result, everything new, plus a few tools that I owned before I was layed off & never put away, accumulated on top of my temporary work table. The items accumulated include:

  • A Rikon mini lathe, which I bought about 3 weeks before I was layed off as a Christmas gift from my family to me for Christmas, 2008;
  • Some chisels and other turning tools for the lathe which were given to me by the good folks on WoodNet.
  • A 6" variable speed grinder, attached to a shop-make version of King Heiple's turning tool sharpening jig.
  • The Delta tenoning jig that I bought to make the tenons for the pulpit.
  • A ceramic heater to try to beat the winter cold.

Plus a pile of other stuff.

There are some projects I want to work. I want to build a Roubo workbench, and I need to make a new coffee table for our family room. I've posted about these projects in the past. And a former coworker at the job I got in August, 2010 has commissioned me to build a pair of speaker stands for his Dahlquist speakers. I finally realized that I have to reorganize my shop and build more storage if I'm ever going to get back to woodworking.

I began a process of reorganizing the shop using SketchUp. I first draw a model of my garage with no ceiling. I then went into the SketchUp 3D Warehouse & found models of tools that matched my own tools as closely as possible. And I even found a model of the Roubo bench.

I started designing wall mounted storage. I quickly realized the cabinet I was building was humungus and unwieldly, so I went online & found a plan for a wall hung cabinet on that featured the use of pegboard. I bought & downloaded the plans and built a SketchUp model of the cabinet. I then designed a wall-hung router table cabinet.

For the lathe, I bought & downloaded a lathe station plan from I built a SketchUp model of that, too. Finally, I played around the the placement of everything until I came up with a placement that seems to work, at least on paper. Here's the plan I came up with:

As you can see, my bandsaw will sit between the door to the family room & my clamp rack. The temporary work table will be replaced with a Roubo bench and will go in the rear left-hand corner. The pegboard wall hung tool cabinet will hang over the Roubo. My drill press is in the rear right-hand corner. The wall hung router table is next, followed by my cross cut sled, auxilliary / tall fence, and blade storage. My table saw is as close to the center of the shop as I can place it, and my thickness planer and jointer are closest to the door. Finally, the lathe station is on the other side of the door to the family room.

My plan is to build the lathe station first. This will get the lathe & all of its related things off of the work table. With all that space freed up, I can put away anything on the work table I find that has escaped my notice and then rearrange things to be in their places on the plan. I can then build the other storage later in the year.

What do you think of my plan? Do you have any ideas for other changes I should make?

Next time: Building a Lathe a Home

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Change in Plans

I'm going to start building the coffee table soon. But first, I have to put away a ton of stuff that has accumulated in the shop in the almost 2 years since I finished building the pulpit.

In 2009, I created a post on WoodNet's Off Topic forum descrying my lack of funds for doing woodworking. I had all this free ime on my hands but couldn't afford to buy any wood to make anything. In addition, I had bought a Rikon Mini Lathe 3 weeks before I was layed off from my job and I didn't have any turning tools Lathes, drills, and routers are all alike in that the tool by itself isn't much good without the accessories, after all!

Much to my surprise & gratitude, the guys on WoodNet rallied & sent me about 70 bd ft of quarter sawn red oak and 6 or so different turning chisels and a number of other turning tools, like a pen mandrel and other things for making pens. I really don't know what all of the tools I was sent are called; I'm going to have to spend some time researching it.

So I went into the shop today & cleaned the dirt off of the table saw top that had accumulated & began putting things away. Then it hit me: I have no where to put the turning tools, and a lot of the clutter on my "bench" / temporary work table is the turning stuff.

So after I finished cleaning the tablesaw & spraying on a new coat of T9, I sat down with SketchUp & whipped up the drawing at the right.

The whole thing will be made from scraps of plywood I have left over from my previous projects. The whole thing stands about 30" tall and is 19 1/2" wide. The inside width is 18".

The 6 chisels I have, plus the roughing gouge & spindle gouge I bought a few months ago will be stored in the upper area. leaning back against the ribbed strip at the top. There's a 1/2" tall lip attached to the front of the shelf to keep the bottoms of the turning tools from sliding off of the shelf. The handles of my tools are all about 1 3/4" in diameter at their widest points, so I alloted 2" of width for each one. There will be room for a couple more gouges once I've got my existing tools in it.

I'll store the pen mandrel and other turning related stuff that isn't a gouge or chisel in the drawer. The drawer has through dovetails front & back. The front, back & sides will be made from 1/2" solid wood. It's about 4" tall & 5" deep. I thought about making 2 drawers & I may do that in the end. An 18' wide drawer may be a little unweildy.

The cabinet will be mounted to the wall using some screws. One day, I hope to replace the shelves on the walls with a bunch of french cleats & make cabinets & other tool holders to mount to them. I will turn this into a french cleat mount at that time.

I'm going to make a simple board with 3 pegs for hanging up extension cords, too, but that is too simple a project to show. It will just be 1 piece of 3/4" poplar 2" tall & 32" wide with 3 1/2" diameter dowels 7" long sticking out of it at a 15 degree angle. The pegs will mounted on 14" centers. That way I can get my extension cords out of drawers & hanging on the wall. Then I can put other stuff away.

Thursday, June 24, 2010


No, I didn't fall off the face of the planet. I'm taking a course on .NET programming, and it's eating up most of my time. It's like going to work every day -- the class starts each day at 9 am, ends at 5 pm, with 15 minute breaks in the morning & afternoon & an hour for lunch, Monday through Friday. I had more free time in the course of a day when I was actually working.

I will do a post on the coffee table, but right now, I'm stretched pretty thin:

  • In addition to this class, I'm in the honors program, which means I have to tutor my fellow students for 10 hours a week. I have one student I'm tutoring and it's going well, but this does take time away from other interests
  • I have to take a Microsoft certification exam next Wednesday, and I haven't taken any practice tests yet.
  • I have to prepare a special project and present that to my class near the end of the class. I know what I want to do, just haven't had time to do any work on it
  • My wife & kids expect me to be available for them, too. Luckily, summer vacation has started & the need for help with homework isn't there till September. But they do expect other things of me.
  • I'm busy in my church & have things I owe to them that I have been putting off.

So I'll get to the coffee table, I just don't know when. And I really do want to get started. I even cleaned my table saw's top & put Boeshield T-9 on it last weekend!

So that's all for now. More later, when I can breathe & think wood.