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PostPosted: Sun Apr 30, 2017 8:10 pm 
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Decided to build a sturdy workbench, specifically to take my chop saw and saw table.
The saw table often fails to get used as it is so difficult with large materials ….trestle supports often topple. By having a decent width of table and a long outfeed support of the bench top … should make things a lot easier.
Basic shape is similar to : http://tinyurl.com/k556y8z

The top will be 2 sheets of ¾” MDF. I’ll edge it with some hardwood (1/2” thick or similar) to prevent MDF damage.
Frame is built and finished size is 91” x 41” …. I used 4x2 for the rails and for the ‘legs’ used a 6x2” and 4x2” joined in an L shape with biscuit jointing.
Invested in a KEG pocket hole jig (HD variant) for fixing all the 4x2” together – impressed with that jointing method – really pulls joints together.

In the link given it shows the top as flush with support frame … wondering whether it might be better to have it overhang a bit … make it easier for clamping.
I did see one design on line that showed a 5” overhang …. http://tinyurl.com/lkcrd2w
That might be too much .. maybe 2” overhang is enough.
Anybody built a similar bench – any thoughts?

Also on fitting the top …. Think the approach is screw down first sheet with csk screws into frame …. Sturdy fixing. The glue 2nd sheet to first with PVA. Avoids any screws in the top.
Unless anybody sees flawed logic on this.


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PostPosted: Mon May 01, 2017 8:24 am 
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Very American! Personally I just think that is designed for an American 2-car garage and wastes a lot of space. It might also make it difficult to rapidly swap between the table saw and the chop saw, something I find very necessary on some jobs. A couple of extra thoughts: first off, are you aware that to length rip an 8 x 4 foot sheet of MDF or ply you'll need an area of 18 feet in length x 6 feet wide (assuming a couple of feet for yourself to stand in whilst making the cut)? And secondly, will you be able to rig-up a crown guard on top of the riving knife of your saw when it is in the table? If you don't it can be pretty dangerous.

TBH a more compact way to break-down sheet materials (which only requires about 10 x 6 feet space) is to build a support table (basically two trestles with 4 or so 3 x 2 CLS pieces of 7 feet length on top, edge wise) and make-up a panel cutting guide as Somapop did. In a British context this has the advantage of being readily put away and taking up far less space. For proper rip sawing (I have a DW745 for use on site) it can be useful and safer to rig-up a run-off table, but that only needs to be about 2 to 3 feet wide x 6 feet long and hooked over the bac of the table saw (again, demountable).

Attachment:
Trestles with Supports 001 01.jpg
Trestles with Supports 001 01.jpg [ 305.34 KiB | Viewed 1120 times ]

Above: Stanley trestles with two CLS battens installed to support a sheet material workbench top. With three of four battens installed it is possible to beak-down 8 x 4 feet sheets easily
Below: Festool saw in use on the trestles

Attachment:
Festool TS55 with Metabo ASR2025 001 01.jpg
Festool TS55 with Metabo ASR2025 001 01.jpg [ 350.99 KiB | Viewed 1120 times ]



Above: Before I had a Festool or Hilti rail saw I used to use a set-up not dissimilar to this. Using a saw this way is far safer for breaking down 8 x 4feet sheets of plywood and takes up far less space than a saw table. The main thing is to ensure that you are working in a standing position and that the materials are fully supported when making your cuts (ith thanks to Colin for supplying the link)

For chop saws right and left hand extension tables make life much easier, but they normally need to be only 12 to 16in wide. Alternatively a one piece mitre saw support which can be put-up quickly on trestles has its uses if you have the space. A smaller version could be made which would be useful if you weren't cutting stuff over 6 or 7 feet in length. These types of support allows you to add flip-over stops and a back fence/measuring rule for repeat cutting, too - a big bonus

Attachment:
Mitre Saw Extension Wings 001 01.jpg
Mitre Saw Extension Wings 001 01.jpg [ 19.14 KiB | Viewed 1120 times ]

Above: Mitre saw supported on Workmate with home-made, fold-away extension wings from Popular Woodwoking (USA). Not dissimilar to the way that the Festool Kapex mitre saw extensions work
Below: One piece mitre saw workstation by Gary Katz from This Is Carpentry. Katz is a talented carpenter who has written a number of books on second finish/trim carpentry aimed at pros and is well respected in the USA

Attachment:
Mitre Saw Table by Gary Katz 001 01.jpg
Mitre Saw Table by Gary Katz 001 01.jpg [ 136.75 KiB | Viewed 1120 times ]

Attachment:
Mitre Saw Table by Gary Katz 002 01.jpg
Mitre Saw Table by Gary Katz 002 01.jpg [ 34.7 KiB | Viewed 1120 times ]

Above: Gary Katz's variation on the first example above. Note the adjustable legs and flip stops

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OK, I'm an "old school" chippie, so please don't ask me to do a bodge job - I didn't bring my horse today and in any case you don't seem to have a hitching rail!



For this message the author Job and Knock has received gratitude : BrettGH
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PostPosted: Mon May 01, 2017 9:59 am 
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Thanks for the pictures & comments ... but I have built the base frame already. To answer one of your comments ... I have Triple garage ... so no problem with size.
Currently have separate compound mitre saw, saw table, router table.
Use these with roller support trestles on long lengths ... but not easy when solo.


Chop saw can be removed (or inverted) when not in use ... and a blank plate then makes top of bench large area for work.

This will give me a large flat area - level with top plates of saws ... plus it will have my cyclonic extractor fitted underneath, as well as a lot of additional storage area.
Also allows a place to keep and use my bandsaw and belt/disc sander.
Always struggling for somewhere to keep them and to use them.

Being on castors I can also take it outside if required.


I am aware and do agree with you about issue cutting 8x4 sheets and have a sheet ripping guide that I use with my hand held circular saw.

In any event as mentioned frame is built, all I am looking for is advice on the top.


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PostPosted: Mon May 01, 2017 3:00 pm 
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OK, then, but my opinions about mitre saws are unchanged. In general I feel that a roller support is about as useful with a mitre saw or a router table as a chocolate fireguard - hence the suggestions about building a mitre saw station separate item. As it happens a lot of hobbyist roller stands suffer from being just too light - a site solution is to drop a couple of bags of sand over the feet (works a treat) although making up a plywood box, dropping the leg of the stand in and then filling with concrete or Postcrete is also pretty effective. Not as good as the old-style all cast-iron jobbies we used to have in workshops, but a great improvement. My bias against using stands like that with mitre saws, though, is based on well more than 20 years trade experience using mitre saws in both shops and on site - and an extension which can accommodate flip stops for repeatability wins hands down for both accuracy and repeatability. As it happens I'm also a complete sceptic when it comes to router tables as well - great for small scale projects but often completely useless on the bigger stuff - in those instances you are often better off freehanding the router out of the table. TBH I think a lot of this nonesense I read on American sites about the "need" to have a router table (and the supposed superiority of fixed base routers) comes from the USA weekend warriors - the trade pros I've met in the USA have a very different perspective.

Turning to the top of your bench, MDF is very soft, liable to absorb moisture from the atmosphere and it just won't wear well at all. Plywood will be far stiffer and a sheet of backing laminate (the cheap brown stuff used in bar fitting) applied top and bottom (necessary to balance the "pull" of the adhesive) will not only be more durable, but will provide a far superior sliding surface, too. I'd suggest hardwood lipping first then laminating with a 45 degree bevelled edge in this case. With the appropriate sub-frame it should be possible to make the top from either a single piece of 19mm, 22mm or 25mm hardwood (WBP) plywood because of this additional stiffness. I'd secure the top using cleats and screws or turnbuckles screwed into the underside or alternatively recessed screw cups and screws through the top. That way you can remove it should the need ever arise. You'll still have the issue of getting fast accurate rips on it, though, and you'll soon get fed up of manhandling 50kg sheets of MDF across a table saw, I can tell you. BTW, do you intend to replace the saw's rip fence?

Our Yankee cousins tend to promote this type of all-in-one affair to allow them to break-down sheet stock using an undersized table saw, be a mitre saw workstation and act as a bench - I'm not so sure about this because it is inherently harder work and takes more space to pass a sheet of material over a table saw than it is to do primary break-down in other ways. It also takes a far more robust rip fence than most small table saws possess. When it comes to ripping solid wood width isn't all that necessary - but a sufficiently long run-off table is a must (see also HSE WIS16).

And a last point to make about jigs and accessories; you really don't need a Kreg jig to build a frame, just a drill/countersink bit and a cordless screwdriver. Using a Kreg jig is just overkill

Good luck

P.S I did build myself something along these lines when I had my second house about 35 years ago. When the bench was the right height for the saw table it was too low for use as a workbench and gave me tremendous back ache. It lived out in a massive greenhouse at the back of the house and was so succesful that I removed the saw (an Elu flip saw - I built a fold-away run-off for it and reverted to doing my primary braeking down using a home-made guide and a rip saw) and the router from it somewhere around week 4 or so and then recycled the parts into other workshop projects

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OK, I'm an "old school" chippie, so please don't ask me to do a bodge job - I didn't bring my horse today and in any case you don't seem to have a hitching rail!


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PostPosted: Mon May 01, 2017 4:35 pm 
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>In general I feel that a roller support is about as useful with a mitre saw or a router table as a chocolate fireguard

Agree on that - this is one of reasons for building this bench.

I used free hand routers for a lot of work ... especially on long lengths - but find my router table really good for accurate work ... and I would never use a raising bit free hand. Each has their uses.

Very happy with the KREG tool - accurate repeatable pockets every time - for me it was a good buy .... the Keg screws really pull the joints very tight.

My worktop will be 2 x sheets of 3/4" MDF - alreday bought.

Seen several articles about treating with 2 coats of linseed oil - then 2 wipe coats of polyurethane varnish ... fully seals the surface.
I did consider moisture resistant board - but too expensive for me.
Will edge the top sheets with 10mm hardwood to prevent damage.

One thing I do like about US is that they have really good solid saw tables at a fraction of the price we pay ....... nice if you can afford.


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PostPosted: Mon May 01, 2017 9:41 pm 
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Framing isn't normally held together using pockets - in pure carpentry terms it is cheaper and stronger to directly screw together. As for the MDF, MR would have been far superior and BLO is no substitute for laminate as a means of protection. Similarly bare MDF will have very poor wear characteristics on a rip saw outfeed table, although with very light use it might be OK for a while.

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OK, I'm an "old school" chippie, so please don't ask me to do a bodge job - I didn't bring my horse today and in any case you don't seem to have a hitching rail!


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PostPosted: Tue May 02, 2017 2:47 pm 
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>Framing isn't normally held together using pockets - in pure carpentry terms it is cheaper and stronger to directly screw together.


Depends on what you want to do .... Mortice & Tennon be nice, but too much work, through screws would look untidy .. unless counterbored & pelleted.
I saw many project videos where KREG jig used .. and decided to try one .... very impressed how tight they pull the joints ... the flat head against counterbore pocket hole gives very high pull together forces .... and no showing of holes or screws on outside.
However personal choice.

Agree MDF is not the only choice ..... laminate faced birch ply would be nice - just cost prohibitive.
1.5" thick MDF is going to to sturdy & flat - I will seal surface.
It ws much cheaper than any other 1.5" thick option


For me where saw table is used once or twice a month it should last fine ... DIY use.


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PostPosted: Tue May 02, 2017 7:49 pm 
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Argonaut wrote:
>Framing isn't normally held together using pockets - in pure carpentry terms it is cheaper and stronger to directly screw together.

Depends on what you want to do ....

Not really. I'm a trade joiner with more than half a lifetime in the trade, so I can tell you from experience that for framing a pocket screw driven at an angle is not as strong as an appropriately sized screw drilled, countersunk and fixed through. Yes, I have had a Kreg jig a few (probaly 20) years for very specialised purposes - but I do withit it for most tasks because it isn't needed. And pelleting in softwood? Rarely if ever - softwood framing tends to be functional, rather than for show, and in those instances 5 x 100s or 6 x 100s are stronger than the Kreg screws. M&Ts - not too much work if you know how, it just takes practice. Most of the time these days I'd tend to use a Domino instead, though, because it's really fast, extremely strong and very accurate.

Argonaut wrote:
Agree MDF is not the only choice ..... laminate faced birch ply would be nice - just cost prohibitive.
1.5" thick MDF is going to to sturdy & flat - I will seal surface.
It ws much cheaper than any other 1.5" thick option

I didn't say birch plywood. I said hardwood plywood - not the same thing at all. And the point about hardwood plywood is that it is far more rigid than MDF of a similar or greater thickness and better able to support itself. So a single 22mm or even an 18mm sheet of the right sort of ply with appropriiate framing beneath will be strong, flat and rigid as well as better able to withstand the humidity of the British atmosphere - a lot better than MDF. Being lighter it will tend to sag less - a problem with MDF, especially when the atmosphere ges to it. Adding two layers of laminate to ply will stiffen it further and imnprove the wear characteristics, although even without the laminate hardwood plywood has far better wear characteristics than MDF. Cost? We currently get 22mm HW plywood at about the same price as 2 to 2.5 sheets of 18mm MR-MDF. I install a lot of MDF. In the wrong environment it can turn into blotting paper

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OK, I'm an "old school" chippie, so please don't ask me to do a bodge job - I didn't bring my horse today and in any case you don't seem to have a hitching rail!


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PostPosted: Tue May 02, 2017 11:35 pm 
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Sorry don't agree with your comment on the KREG fixing .... yes a through fixing is stronger (maybe) but as i mentioned I did not want screw heads on show - KREG fixings all hidden ... and even if you don't like them ... I have found them immensely strong - the flat head pulls up joint extremely tight.
However it's your view on KREG and you are entitled to it.

I didn't mean to imply you had mentioned Birch ply ... I was just stating 'I' could have used that - just too expensive.
Same I could have used marine ply or phenolic faced ply - plenty of options... just went with material I found used in the great majority of projects on-line.

In any event as mentioned - I have bought the MDF .. so subject is moot.
I will be sealing the MDF and it will only be used indoors - so for me I mitigating the risk.

I use a trade timber yard .. and 1" hardwood Ply was far too expensive for me .... the 18mm MDF was only £14.50 per sheet.

For my occasional use it will be fine.

As it happens had a really good idea from one guy .... considering putting a sheet of hardboard on top.
That can be easily & simply replaced should face get damaged. Held in place by the hardwood edging and maybe some double sided tape.


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