Biesemeyer style table saw fence

It was time to upgrade my trusty Delta contractors saw. I had been using this saw for a while as a molder (more about that in a later post). I had removed the stamped sheet metal  extension wings and had cut the fence rails down to minimize the size of the unit. Now that it was to be used as a table saw again, it needed some upgrades. I started searching for cast iron extensions wings on craigslist and after a while I found a Delta uni-saw for parts. I only needed one extension because I was going to build a much wider right hand extension table. When it came to the fence I hemmed and hawed for a while over whether to buy a Delta T-2 or attempt to build my own T-square fence. The Delta T-2 is  economically priced but since I have access to the right fabrication equipment I decided to go for the build. I ended up with a pretty stout fence for a little less than the going rate of the Delta T-2 system. Here is how it went together.

Here is the saw setup as a molder with the power feed up and out of the way.

I installed both cast iron wings from the parts saw but ended up replacing the right one with a custom built extension table.

I used two pieces of 3/4" mdf and some laminate I found at the salvage yard down the street for the table top. I welded up the legs out of some scrap aluminium. The legs have adjustable feet to ensure a flat and level work surface.

I'll start with the finished fence system and show how it went together. I got all the tube and angle from the local pipe yard. I had the high density white plastic for the fence laying around and I salvaged the handle and cam from the stock fence.

Here is a close up of the fence sides. The material is not UHMW. Im not sure what it is but it is slick and very dense. The material was given to me by an engineer who told me it was used for linear bearings. I ripped the pieces to size with the table saw, mitered the corners and routed the chamfer.

This is the heart of the fence. This piece of angle with brass wear pads rides along the main rail and accurately locates the fence. The brass wear pads are glued to two pieces of sheetmetal and backed by nylon adjustment screw to allow for squaring and leveling of the fence.

Machining clearance for the table saw mitre slots on the angle iron that will will locate the square tube fence rail.

Here is a view of a brass wear pad and a nylon adjustment screw of which there are four. Two for adjusting the fence so that it is parallel with the blade and two for adjusting the fence so that it is perpendicular to the table.

The cam and handle from the stock fence worked nicely with the new system.

The guide rail is a piece of 2x2x1/4" wall square tubing bolted to a length of 3x3x1/4" angle.

Another view of the fence setup.

Overall I was quite pleased with the fence. It is stout, accurate and was a challenge to build. I coated the rails with several layers of Teflon and ended up with nice smooth action despite the weight of the fence.

Douglas fir flat panel cabinets

I decided to build some cabinets for dust free tool storage. I've seen quite a few examples of turn of the century Doug fir cabinets in the salvage yards around Seattle. A lot of these come from  old schools or other public buildings. I like the institutional look and the simplicity of the design. The doors often have Douglas fir plywood panels. I cant help but notice the quality of the plywood from back in the day. After sorting through the entire 1/4" marine grade fir plywood stack at the local lumber yard I still ended up with football patches on my doors.  Maybe in 100 years when my cabinets are sitting in a salvage yard some one will look at them and think of a time when they still made fir plywood.

This was the insperation

This was my original Sketchup model. I considered wired safety glass for the doors but  the guy at the glass shop informed me that  it no longer qualifies as safety glass and is hard to find. It is still produced but in small batches and has the small batch price tag of $25.00 per sqft. I decided to stay with  Douglas fir plywood panels.

Here are the rails and styles with the dado for the panel and the open mortise and tenons. I started with 1x6 S4S CV fir stock.  I cut the dado on the table saw with the stacked dado head. I was able to cut the open mortise on the styles with the same arrangement and a tenoning jig. I switched over to a standard combination rip and crosscut blade for the tenons on the rails.  I used a miter sled for the shoulder cuts and the tenoning jig for the cheek cuts.

Here is a close up of the Open mortise and tenon or bridal joint.

Here are the staged components of a flat panel door.

After dry fitting the assemblies and sanding the panels I glued and clamped the doors.

Ready for dowel pins.

I built the Carcasses out of 3/4" ac fir plywood. They are held together with half lap joints , glued and nailed. I used 5/8" galvanized shelf standards for the inside of the cabinets and also on the two opposing outside faces for a shelf that will be installed between them. I cut the dado's for the standards at the table saw with the stacked dado head cutter. The insides of the cabinet got two coats of arsenic green to complete the institutional look.

I mortised for the but hinges with a trim router and a 1/4" straight cutter. I like to layout the mortise and route out most of the waste free hand and then clean up with a chisel. After hanging the doors I installed the pulls.

Finished with shellac and bolted to the container walls with stainless steel through bolts. A dab of caulking on the bolt head on the outside of the container seals the can back up.

Douglas fir and western white pine work bench

After the containers were all buttoned up and energized I started the outfitting. I had some nice clear, mixed grain western white pine left over from a remodel project in Spokane so I decided to use it for the legs and skirt of my workbench. I picked up some flat-sawn fine grain Douglas fir  2x12's at a lumber yard in Tacoma for the table top.

The white pine stock was 5/4 so I laminated two pieces for the leg blanks. I cut the mortises on the legs with a jig, a plunge router with a collar and a 1/2" two-flute high speed steel end mill. I squared the corners up with a chisel.

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Close up of the mortising jig.

After mortising for the stretchers I cut all the tenons with a stacked dado head at the table saw and started the dry fit.

The dry fit checked out so I started the gluing process.

I like to glue the ends first.

After pinning the joint and flush cutting the dowels I glued up the two end assemblies with the long rails and stretcher.

After I finished the base I started work on the top by sizing the three 2x12"s and edge jointing them. I then plowed out a dado for a spline tenon on the appropriate pieces using the stacked dado head at the table saw.

I made the splines out of western white pine for contrast. They were cut so that the grain runs parallel to the table top for strength. After a dry fit and some tweaking I glued the top up and made the finish cuts on the end with a straight edge and a skill saw.

The finished table with a little shellac to seal it up. 

Building a woodshop out of shipping containers

Commercial space is hard to come by in Ballard and rent is quite expensive as well. My solution was to build a 320 sqft wood shop from two shipping containers and keep it in an equipment storage yard where rent is cheap. This is how it went together.

Delivery of the goods. Two 20' shipping containers.

Removing the inside wall sections. Surprisingly an angle grinder and a box of good cut-off wheels turned out to be the best tool for the job. I would not recommend a cutting torch. The joint where the corrugated panels meet the structural members is caulked and makes a smokey mess.

Machining the corner plates that will draw the containers together.

Corner plate installation. I primed the mating surfaces of the two containers and just before pushing them together applied two generous beads of caulk to form a gasket between the two containers.

Mated and painted. An airless sprayer did the trick here.

At $9.00 a sheet you can't beat OSB.

After shellacking the OSB (polishing a turd?) I installed a transition flashing that I had made at the local sheet metal shop. 

Home sweet home.

Here is the simple sub-panel setup. I get my power from the shop next door via an appropriately sized pig-tail. I've got two legs of 120v so I have 240V when I need it.

I used light fixtures with pull chords to eliminate the need to wire and run conduit for a light switch.

Coming soon... A man door, and maybe a window?