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Thread: Mobile Tablesaw Workstation...

  1. #1
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    Nov 2006
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    Mobile Tablesaw Workstation...

    Photo album of my Mobile Tablesaw Worksation.
    Built this two years ago, and it has proven itself in my shop





    In my quest for more and better storage, I have long dreamt about all the empty "wasted" space that is under and around my table saw.

    One option would be to build a rolling cart that occupies the space under the wing of the saw. That would be a good solution if my table saw stayed in one place. However, in my compact shop everything is on wheels, and gets moved regularly. Therefore, every time I move the saw I would also have to move an under-wing cabinet.



    Every other design I’ve seen online for some sort of a tablesaw workstation involves removing the legs/base of the saw and mounting the top onto a rolling cabinet. (Try a google search for "mobile tablesaw cabinet" or "tablesaw workstation" or similar to see what I mean.)

    The problem I have with those designs is that you are committing yourself to the specific table saw that you are custom fitting into the cabinet. I like my saw, but I do hope to someday replace it with a better model. A cabinet saw, for instance, would not work with most designs.

    So I worked to come up with a different design that did NOT require modifying the saw in any way.


    Step one, was to measure my saw and the space under it.
    Note my tablesaw is a left-tilt unit. This means that the blade-tilt control wheel is on the right side of the saw, so I have to leave space for easy access to that wheel.

    I also worked to limit myself to JUST the existing footprint of the saw. I did not want it to take up any MORE space in my compact shop.



    As pictured at the top, I came up with a modular four piece design. There are three cabinet units, and the base unit.

    The base unit is a four-wheeled wooden platform with a few critical features. The platform has been lowered, to keep the table saw as close as possible to it's original height. My shop has a fairly smooth floor, so the base is designed with just 1/2” of floor clearance. It’s a simple design with L-shaped 2x4 sides and a plywood base.

    (I found a similar design to this years ago online, and have used it for many years under my 6” jointer)



    Here is the base shortly after it was built. I immediately slid the saw into position to make sure it worked, and then used the saw in that position as I built the rest of the modules and fitted them around the saw.



    I prefer drawers for my storage. Here I used standard drawer slides for easy use. These are large drawers, twenty-four inches deep, by nineteen inches wide, and they provide a lot of storage.


    The middle cabinet is fairly narrow, and not very tall, so I designed it to be one large drawer. This provides a place to store all my saw blades close at hand. In order to maximize the space in this narrow cabinet, the drawer slides are omitted. Instead, the drawer bottom is made wider than the drawer itself, and rides in dados cut into the side of the cabinet.


    The previous photo doesn't show it well, so here is a sketch showing the inside of that drawer. There is a divider in the back, and in the front a pair of notched boards to hold several sawblades in a stair-step fashion.


    On my saw, the space on the left is very narrow -- only nine inches wide. Still, it is very deep, so there was also room for a cabinet there. I considered making this a cabinet with doors that opened to the left side. That would be a viable alternative. In the end, I preferred drawers for my storage.

    In order to maximize the space in the drawers, I again opted to forgo drawer slides. I followed the same approach with the middle cabinet, using dados in the side of the cabinet where the drawer bottoms slide.


    CONTINUED…
    There's usually more than one way to do it...
    www.wordsnwood.com ........ facebook.com/wordsnwood

  2. #2
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    CONTINUED…

    A few more photos of the whole thing:






    All told, over 10.5 cubic feet (1/3 cubic meter) of mobile storage.
    All the modules are held in place with a few screws, so if I ever need to move out of my basement shop, it can come apart. Or if I ever need to change it, or fix it, or swap the saw, it can come apart and go back together fairly easily.

    Lots more verbiage on my website if you are interested.
    I’m sorry, but I did NOT take any “build” photos of this project.
    There's usually more than one way to do it...
    www.wordsnwood.com ........ facebook.com/wordsnwood

  3. #3
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    Thanks for sharing Art! I'm in the planing stages of a new workstation and this gives me lots of ideas. I watched your video on the website too, well done!
    A man is rich in proportion to the number of things he can afford to let alone. -Henry David Thoreau
    My Website


  4. #4
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    Holy Cow Art! That thing is a work of Art! (Pun, sadly, I must say, intendend)
    Programmer - An organism that turns coffee into software.
    If all your friends are exactly like you, What an un-interesting life it must be.
    "A door is what a dog is perpetually on the wrong side of" Ogden Nash


  5. #5
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    Very nice, and well thought out. Thanks for posting the photos, Art.

    Quote Originally Posted by Brent Dowell View Post
    ... That thing is a work of Art! (Pun, sadly, I must say, intendend)
    C'mon, admit it. You've been waiting months to say that.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

    workingwoods.com

  6. #6
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    That's slick Art. Well done.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vaughn McMillan View Post
    C'mon, admit it. You've been waiting months to say that.
    I'll try the Veal... you're here til Thursday, right?
    There's usually more than one way to do it...
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  8. #8
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    That rig is awesome Art. Really well thought out and I really dig the blade storage.
    Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
    - Arthur C. Clarke

  9. #9
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    Art are those Lee Valley casters? How have they handled the weight of that unit given you have a couple of years into it. I am thinking with all the draws packed.

    Anyone care to hazard a guess as to what the weight of that unit is ?

    Very nice unit Art you really have me thinking of doing something similar. I have a mobile base under my saw but have long wanted to use the space next to it. Issue that has prevented this was having the mobile base in the first place and height. I really like how you have not raised the saw much. I could probably even get away with lower given the base of my "contractor" saw is a cabinet.

    Thanks for posting this.
    cheers

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob Keeble View Post
    Art are those Lee Valley casters? How have they handled the weight of that unit given you have a couple of years into it. I am thinking with all the draws packed.

    Anyone care to hazard a guess as to what the weight of that unit is ?
    Rob, Yup, they are LV - 00K21.30 -- each is rated at 100kg / 220lbs, so a total of 400kg/880lbs

    I honestly don't know the exact weight of my saw. Back in 2002 when I bought it I did a mini-review on my website and noted that it weighs 300lbs. I just googled to double check and found another review which stated it is 225 lbs plus the fence + rails. So I'm comfortable with the 300lb value. Now that I think about it, I'm pretty sure that I looked all this up two years ago when I was designing it, to make sure I bought the right rated castors.

    So that leaves 500lbs for the rest of the unit. I know plywood is heavy, but not that heavy! I have no way of actually weighing it, short of taking the drawers out one by one and putting them on my bathroom scale, so I *think* I am well under the 800 lb mark, but I don't know how much. I use the biggest drawer for drop cloths - bulky, but practically weightless. I also store sandpaper in the thinner drawers, again, not too heavy. That was on purpose. I purposely put lighter stuff in those drawers, knowing that weight limit is an issue, but also not wanting to have to push it around all the time.

    It does take a bit of effort to get it moving. However, since I have a small shop, I never need to move it more than about 5ft to angle it or spin it for a certain cut.

    At the time of designing, I considered six wheels, just for a belt-n-suspenders approach, however the issue of how to attach the central wheels and still maintain the low-clearance, was a challenge. Also there was my design goal of making it modular so that the saw could slide out, and the cabinets come off. So I went with four, after double checking ratings and weights.

    In hindsight... I'm thinking that I could have maybe designed in a 2x4 cross piece under the middle drawer unit, and put a pair of castors underneath it... You could still slide the saw out then, and the cabinet would maybe just bee a touch higher to clear things. Hmm, I'd have to think on that.
    There's usually more than one way to do it...
    www.wordsnwood.com ........ facebook.com/wordsnwood

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