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Thread: Torsion Beams - Assembly "Table"

  1. #1
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    Torsion Beams - Assembly "Table"

    Like many of you I do not have the room for a large dedicated assembly table. My main solution for this is my knockdown assembly table which will handle items up to about the size of large dresser or a small wardrobe. My current project is larger.

    I used to assemble these larger items at a height of zero (on the floor) or at a height of about 3 feet (on other work surfaces). This is doable but, sometimes awkward and neither I nor my back like moving these things as they gain weight while sub-assemblies move toward completion.

    I have seen smaller torsion boxes and I-beams used in various configurations. These 60” versions are close cousins to a version in American Woodworker #148. The size is a good fit in my shop. I hope they will allow safe support of larger items while not hogging the entire open work area while I cobble parts together into a finished piece.

    I use the same work area to assemble things that I do to breakdown sheetgoods. A quick SketchUp drawing makes sure I will get all the pieces broken out in one go. I don’t want to forget something and have to move things out of the way again to breakdown more material.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    ***> NOTE; dimensions of filler block is incorrect in the above pic. <***

    I use the foam insulation to elevate the material and cut it with a circ saw of a jig saw. For MDF I prefer the jigsaw since it is nearly as quick as the circ saw and creates a lot less spoil.

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    I mark the service tempered hardboard with the same white pencils I use to mark other dark woods. It is surprising how little sawdust is left behind by Bosch’s very basic little dust fittings for the 1591 saw.

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    I can now easily maneuver the smaller pieces of sheet material and rip parts to width at the tablesaw. To make things more comfortable to move around I add an 1/8” roundover to the top and bottom skins, all edges.

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    I add grooves for the service tempered hardboard to glue into. I use featherbords to assure things stay controlled and as accurate as possible.

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    To be continued . . . .
    Last edited by glenn bradley; 02-22-2013 at 04:17 AM.
    Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
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  2. #2
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    You were too quick for me Darren ;-)

    I test on some scrap to get the filler block dimensions just right and then use the sled to make a bunch.

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    I dry assemble one of the beams and use it as a reference surface to glue up the other. I covered the dry fit beam with plastic as this is one of those assemblies where I want to be sure I get decent squeeze out.

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    Tomorrow after work I will use the glued up beam as a reference for gluing up the second beam. If it all works out I will make a second use of the base of my knock down assembly table like so:

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    Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
    - Arthur C. Clarke

  3. #3
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    I moved it to keep your posts together...
    Darren

    To a small child, the perfect granddad is unafraid of big dogs and fierce storms but absolutely terrified of the word “boo.” – Robert Brault

  4. #4
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    I have to make a set of those collapsable assembly tables. This is great Glenn.
    Programmer - An organism that turns coffee into software.
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  5. #5
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    Very cool Glenn saw a article by one of the pros in Fine Woodworking where this is all the guy uses for his workbench. Slightly bigger ones than those you built.
    cheers

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Darren Wright View Post


    I moved it to keep your posts together...
    Doh! Was I so eager to share that I started the thread in the wrong place!?! Dork!

    Thanks Darren
    Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
    - Arthur C. Clarke

  7. #7
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    hey glenn, i used your idea of the collapsible supports for the first dresser but i made a top for it that allowed me to store the collapsed pieces in it..worked great might be better than just the rails your using.. to me a complete flat surface is better than a set of rails to support the piece more area to put tools and not have the piece fall off one edge while working on it..
    If in Doubt, Build it Stout!
    One hand washes the other!
    Don't put off today till tomorrow!

  8. #8
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    Well i think there is a great deal of merit being able to clamp to the rails. Larry check out this fine woodworking article. I dont have membership but you can see how this guy uses this concept in the images . The whole article is here i have it in a magazine.
    cheers

  9. #9
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    rob as for clamping the piece your right, the rails are better as they show in the pics, i was referring to the piece setting on just rails and work being done to it say screwing a piece in place and the project being pushed of one of the rails where as on a top you got more surface area to slide on there again maybe a clamp would be better even in that solution..
    If in Doubt, Build it Stout!
    One hand washes the other!
    Don't put off today till tomorrow!

  10. #10
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    I am working in a use of the existing fixtures on the knock down table that will clamp the rails to the base parts hopefully forming a rigid platform. I very much agree that you want a safe and solid structure when you go to fitting drawers, adding back panels and the other wrestling about we do with larger pieces. I should be able to show some pics of my first pass at what is percolating in my head sometime this evening.

    Working on previous pieces on the knock down assembly table I have had the article I was working on clamped down to it. The last thing you want is for 180lbs and $400 worth of walnut to come crashing down to the shop floor while you're fitting a back panel
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Clamped to table.JPG  
    Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
    - Arthur C. Clarke

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