Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Mobilising the Table Saw Bench

This is not original to me. I saw it on the New Yankee Workshop, and Norm got it from some set-building place he visited. It works well.

Wheels in the "down" position
 The wheels are mounted on the rail that is hinged to the lower side rail.

A block is hinged to the leg. This block locks the wheels in the down position so that the bench can be wheeled around the workshop.

Wheels up!
In the second picture the wheels are unlocked and the bench sits on the floor. You can just see the wheel rail angled up under the block.

To move the bench you simply lift it at the side and the wheels drop down to the floor, the side blocks swing towards the leg and then the wheel rail comes up under the block and they lock in the down position.

To set the bench down on the floor you simply pull on the rope and that pulse the blocks inwards, allowing the wheels to flip up and the legs to sit on the floor.


I didn't follow Norm's plan exactly (mainly because I didn't remember all the details), so my version is maybe not quite as robust and I may decide later to revisit it and improve it. For now it seems to work okay.

Monday, October 29, 2018

Table Saw Bench

So, having taken the plunge and bought a table saw I set about building a workstation for it. I could have bought a stand, but I want to be able to wheel it around the garage so that I can put it out of the way when I'm not using it. It also gives me a chance to try out the saw and make something.

The saw I chose was a Bosch GTS10J2 for those who might be interested. I'd looked at quite a few cheaper machines, but in the end decided that spending more was probably a wise move and hopefully this machine will last a long time. It's one definite advantage over many of the cheaper ones I looked at is that the fence is full length and locks at both the front and the back of there table.

It's a really nice machine as far as I can tell and the cutting I've done so far has been as good as I hoped.

My bench design is quite simple. I wanted something that would allow me to use the side extension on the saw and offer a bit of extra surface to the left (the extension is on the right hand side). It would also offer some storage facility that can be developed later. Maybe I'll turn it into a place to keep power tools. Initially I thought I'd build it so that the table was proud of the left hand side surface, but after building it I think flush is better, so I'll need to shim the top. Not a big issue.

I started by ripping all the pieces for the legs and rails. As you can see I used some 18mm ply that I'd been using for my makeshift saw table (that's why there are some grooves in it). The legs are 75mm square and the rails are also 75mm. Each leg is made of two pieces glued and screwed together.

Having made up the legs I attached the rails and added a couple of cross braces for rigidity. I used a small block to position the lower rail and then the upper rail was square to the top of the short leg.

I then added the vertical supports of the side table and an 18mm ply shelf for the table saw to sit on. Using a left over piece of ply. I checked the level with the saw and a 5mm shim was all that was needed to level things up.

I'll make a proper side top and maybe add a shelf at the bottom later. I've also got an ingenious idea for the rolling base that I saw in an episode of the New Yankee Workshop.

As for now, I'm pretty pleased with how it's turned out. There's something immensely satisfying when things go well. I look forward to many a happy hour using this little machine and experimenting with what I can do now I've got it.

Next stop: a bigger workshop so I can have a lathe too!!

Woodwork projects: Rolling tool chest

I haven't done many woodwork projects for ages even though I've had several ideas of things I want to make. One of those things was a rolling base for the tool chest I built years ago from scrap ply left over from a blanket box I made.

I've finally got around  to making a start and I used my circular saw and saw board on a makeshift saw table to cut the main pieces to size. I mention this because I was still wondering about getting a table saw, but didn't think I could justify it. Well, cutting all the pieces for the cabinet and realising just how hard I was making it for myself pushed me over the edge and I bought a table saw. Too late for the cabinet project, but I got one and have been in the process of building a bench for it (more of that in another post).

I started off by making a simple cabinet. No. fancy joints, just simple rebates. The sides are 18mm ply and the back is 9mm.

The drawers are made from 12mm ply with 5mm ply bases. There are 7 in total, 3 deep and 4 shallow. The 12mm ply was a little bowed and it gave me all sorts of bother making the drawers. But I got there in the end. Each drawer will be fitted with slides that should make opening and closing the drawers nice and Smooth. They will be finished off with an 18mm face which hopefully will agrees some of the bowing in the 12mm ply fronts. I may have to add some fixed central dividers to pull int the backs too. We shall have to see.

I've also used some of the scrap material to make some trays, experimenting with different sizes. I'm also going to make an adjustable system for at least one of the smaller drawers.

The cabinet will be fitted with castors to make it mobile.

At the moment it's on hold, awaiting me buying some castors, a delivery of the fitting for the drawer slides and while I make a bench for my newly acquired table saw!

Monday, October 22, 2018

Why we marched

I'm not sure I would have gone on my own, but Anne prompted a conversation and we ended up joining the march for a "Peoples Vote" on Saturday. The estimates range from 500-700 thousand people protesting peacefully for a vote on the final deal for leaving the EU.

From the banners and placards you got the feeling that some of those who were there simply wanted to be able to express an opinion via a vote on the final deal, whatever that might be. For others, like me, it was about wanting to say that a vote needed to include the option to ditch the whole process and remain a member of the European Community.

Of course someone is bound to say, "We had a vote, get over it, you lost." But had the vote gone the other way there is every likelihood that the leavers would still be campaigning and would not have given up the fight so easily (except for those for whom is would be politically expedient to do so). Add to that the absurd assertion that another vote is an affront to democracy and you wonder why we every bother having general elections every five years if a single vote determines an everlasting position. As one banner put it: "When is less voting more democratic?" I'd like at least one journalist to ask that question of the likes of Nigel Farage and Theresa May.

But these are not the only reasons we joined the crowd on Saturday. My greatest regret over the referendum was the lack of a positive voice for the EU. I didn't hear a single MP or MEP (where were they during the debate?) speak positively of all the benefits that the EU had brought. Neither did I hear an MP accept responsibility for successive governments failing to implement EU regulations on things like migration while Leavers and leave-supporting newspapers continued to tell the public that it was the fault of unseen and unaccountable Eurocrats in Brussels.

So we wanted to say that we still believe that being in the EU is far better, offers a brighter future and greater opportunities than the nebulous "Global Britain" concept being thrown around. We wanted to say to future generations that we tried our best, that we did something, even if we still end up leaving.