Tuesday, July 14, 2009

My first workbench and cuts with the table saw.

With a new table saw I of course wanted to start cutting with it right away, what better way to do that then to make an outfeed table for it? I decided to make a hybrid outfeed table/workbench to save on some room in the shop, although I am not cramped yet I think I will be satisfied with the bench.

Every woodworker wants something different that fits their needs. I knew that I wanted a good outfeed table and I also needed a workbench I started looking online for different ideas. I found a good video done by the Wood Whisperer about an outfeed table built from 3/4" plywood. I really liked the table and I was going to build that at first before I decided to make it a multifunctional table.

I wanted a good heavy table with a vice and maybe some bench dogs, I wanted to be able to clamp things to it, and I wanted it to be stout, sturdy and flat. So I changed the WW's outfeed table design a bit and added a 4" overhang on three sides of the table and about a 9" overhang on one side for a vice. I wanted to table good and heavy so I decided to put two pieces of plywood on the top instead of one and then a piece of hardboard on top of it.

So I went to Lowe's and purchased three sheets of 3/4" birch plywood for about $42 a piece, talk about expensive! I brought them to the shop and planned on starting the bench the following day. That evening I was talking with the engineer at my mother's truss manufacturing company and he suggested that I just use some "1 by" pine instead of the expensive plywood for the framing. Also, I had been debating using MDF on the top instead of plywood to save on a few bucks. So this is the way I went, a bench built out of "1 by" pine and MDF.

The difference in price was a pretty good bit. The three pieces of MDF were $78 total compared to the $126 plywood sheets. I had enough pine scrap on hand to build the frame and then some. Overall it was much cheaper and now I have three sheets of nice birch plywood in the shop.

I didn't have much 1x4 pine to use for the framing but I had plenty of 1x10 and 1x12 pine boards that were old and warped to the point that they were unusable as a large piece. When I ripped the pine boards down to size they warp wasn't noticeable. This turned out good because I was forced to rip all the boards down on my new table saw!

Anyways, I cut all the boards for the framing to length before I began assembling the frame, which didn't take long. I got the frame glued, tacked, and screwed together and it is pretty sturdy.

I did get one piece of the MDF top cut but not attached to the frame yet. I was by myself so I was unable to cut it on the tablesaw by myself so I used my Dewalt skill saw and a long metal ruler as a guide. It was the first time I had used a guide to cut sheet goods and it worked surprisingly well.

1 comment:

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