The Blog for GW Pens

A peek at what we make

In the Beginning…


I’ve been faced with a small problem for a while now. My current shop set up doesn’t have a dedicated space for my miter saw, and worse yet, it doesn’t even really have a temporary space for it. I’ve resorted to using the table saw to support it, as you can see in the first picture.

Initial Problem: I use a Teflon spray to coat the beds of my tools. This means the table saw is nice and slippery- great for sliding wood into the blade. Bad for setting a miter saw on top of and proceeding to use it there. Aside from the possibility of scratching the table saw bed, this is just bad mojo. The miter saw regularly slides around as I am trying to use it, since the table saw doesn’t allow for it to easily be clamped down.

Secondary Problem: In the background of the first picture, and shown more clearly in the second picture, is my router and router table. The router table has short metal legs, which are bolted to some MDF boards, which in turn are clamped to a pair of sawhorses. This not only makes getting my sawhorses out to use a bit of a task, it also takes up more space than it actually needs. I don’t use the router as often as I use the miter saw.

The Solution: The miter saw will soon have a table, approximately 10 feet long, to call it’s home. Some 2×4’s, some 3/4″ plywood for the saw, some 1/2″ plywood for shelves and some hardboard for the tops. The hardboard is fairly slick, so lumber will move along it nicely as it slides across the bed of the miter saw, which will be flanked by a 4 foot table on each side.

IMG_0322The router table will be removed from the little metal legs it uses currently. With some piano hinge and a couple of hydraulic arms, I will attach it to the rear of one of those 4 foot ‘wings’. When not in use, it will rest folded down. When ready for action, the hydraulic arms will be extended and locked in place.

“But John,” you say. “What kind of problems are you going to run into that you haven’t thought about?”

Good question! And if I knew, I wouldn’t run into them. Of course this is exactly what goes through everybody’s mind whenever they are trying something new. I’ve built workstations before, but the whole hydraulic arm thing will be interesting. Maybe it will wobble? Maybe it won’t be able to support the downward pressure? Maybe even something I haven’t come up with a ‘maybe’ for?

I’ll be documenting the progress for all to see, so stay tuned!

PS- If anybody can name the wood that was being cut in the first shot, I’ll give you a shout out on twitter 🙂


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This entry was posted on July 7, 2009 by and tagged , .
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