Author Topic: Assembly/Finishing Table and The Goldilocks Paradox  (Read 6745 times)

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Offline clark_fork

  • Posts: 272
Assembly/Finishing Table and The Goldilocks Paradox
« on: January 01, 2017, 07:32 PM »
In most finish work and some assembly work, I run into the “Goldilocks Paradox” the floor is too low and the bench is too high. But what  height is “just right”? With some inspiration from an old issue of Shop Notes,121-7 I set out to create an assembly table with several features, the  primary requirement, a work surface that could be tucked away to conserve shop space. Settling height on two choices, I created two set of legs that could be set at either 18 inches (441.0 mm) or 24 inches (588mm)  The MFT/3 is 35 ½ high (869.75mm. Using the MFT/3 and 1040 Router guide made short work of slicing the leg slots.

 The result shows the potential for Peter Parfitt’s/Axminster’s PGS. With the table surface 18mm Baltic Ply, the PGS made short work of producing a MFT work surface. I added a mitered T-Slot border edge that allows for mounting add-ons such as the combination work-tray and storage cart. I added a two prong remote electrical switch since I use a non-motorized sanding block connected to a vacuum hose. The wood border edge allows fixing the boom to keep vacuum hoses and electrical cords out of the way.

The bonus feature is that by drilling 32mm centered holes (using PGS rules) in one set of legs, I easily have a bench mounted table that fits perfectly on the MFT/3 and provides a comfortable work surface for a dovetail jig or similar type device.

The storage compartment lid makes a convenient sacrificial top if I am stripping or gluing where I want to protect the MFT top. A couple of 20mm holes and some dogs keep the lid in place.  When storing, the lid is held in place with T-Nuts run into the center storage compartment partition that is also cut with a T-track slot
Outside dimensions 26 ½ x 39 inches-649.25 mm X 955.50mm are which allows the top to fit onto the MFT/3 surface.

What I learned:

The Rockler T-Slot Bit does not cut deep enough for Festool clamps. Best use T-Slot bit from Lee Valley or make second pass with the Rockler bit to deepen the opening.
I had tear out with the Baltic Birch. I need to be more careful at the end of the cut and use backer board. I am also purchasing the new and improved 20 mm bit
I can miter the corners of the T-track border and just remove the inside end of the track to allow the nuts to slide onto the track.

I was not satisfied with my 20mm hole layout. I should have taken Peter’s advice which is “always have a scheme.” Pre-planning not only where the holes should be but where they don’t need is an essential step.  Next time, I intend to start with a larger piece of sheet goods and when I have the 20 hole layout, trim the top to final dimensions so the look Is more even. I also intend to plan better because I obviously don’t need holes at every 96 mm.

The MFT/3 table and Router guide combination makes slot making a snap. I used an 18mm router bit.
I was very pleased with the PGS. I created a “shoe” to hold the vac hose when cutting the holes. My next project is a bench top work surface with a Moxon vise. The PGS is perfect for this small work surface.



Stow-away table on wheel-away cart



Two Height Choices



Feet stored away in compartment



Adapted for MFT/3 bench top work surface



The T-track allows for add-ons such as a two prong remote control plug



Set up at the 18 inch height for finishing with boom, work tray and remote control plug.



« Last Edit: January 02, 2017, 08:58 AM by clark_fork »
Clark Fork

"A lot of people are afraid of heights. Not me, I'm afraid of widths."  Stephen Wright

"straight, smooth and square" Mr. Russell, first day high school shop class-1954

" What's the good of it?" My Sainted Grandmother

"You can't be too rich, too thin or have too many clamps." After my introduction to pocket joinery and now the MFT work process

"Don't make something unless it is both made necessary and useful; but if it is both necessary and useful,
don't hesitate to make it beautiful." -- Shaker dictum

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Offline HMR

  • Posts: 75
Re: Assembly/Finishing Table and The Goldilocks Paradox
« Reply #1 on: January 01, 2017, 09:41 PM »
Nice work!  Thanks for sharing.

Offline neilc

  • Posts: 2511
Re: Assembly/Finishing Table and The Goldilocks Paradox
« Reply #2 on: January 01, 2017, 10:37 PM »
Cool idea!  Do you have dimensional plans by chance?

Thanks for sharing.

Offline clark_fork

  • Posts: 272
Re: Assembly/Finishing Table and The Goldilocks Paradox
« Reply #3 on: January 02, 2017, 01:35 AM »
Cool idea!  Do you have dimensional plans by chance?

Thanks for sharing.


Legs are perhaps the tricky part and a sketch is attached.
Clark Fork

"A lot of people are afraid of heights. Not me, I'm afraid of widths."  Stephen Wright

"straight, smooth and square" Mr. Russell, first day high school shop class-1954

" What's the good of it?" My Sainted Grandmother

"You can't be too rich, too thin or have too many clamps." After my introduction to pocket joinery and now the MFT work process

"Don't make something unless it is both made necessary and useful; but if it is both necessary and useful,
don't hesitate to make it beautiful." -- Shaker dictum

Offline Peter Parfitt

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Re: Assembly/Finishing Table and The Goldilocks Paradox
« Reply #4 on: May 22, 2017, 02:12 PM »
Hi Doug

I have only just spotted this - excellent piece of work.

As the bones in my back get older and the muscles start to ping having working areas at different heights is a great idea. It is not just for old guys like me but anyone, particularly if you are doing a production run, needs to get things presented at a comfortable height.

Well done - I hope that we see some more soon.

Peter

Offline Peter Durand

  • Posts: 191
Re: Assembly/Finishing Table and The Goldilocks Paradox
« Reply #5 on: May 24, 2017, 12:01 PM »
Here is what I built a number of years ago. The scissor lift came from a big box store and I removed the wheels. The top is a mdf torsion box design with a sacrificial hardwood top.

As you can see it can be adjusted quite low for assembly and high for a bandsaw or drill press outfeed table. And of course be used as the workshop desk.
263776-1

Cheers,
Peter

Offline grbmds

  • Posts: 1808
Re: Assembly/Finishing Table and The Goldilocks Paradox
« Reply #6 on: May 24, 2017, 12:20 PM »
Very nice solution to a problem most of us have come up against at one time or another.
Randy

Offline Matthewajones

  • Posts: 206
Re: Assembly/Finishing Table and The Goldilocks Paradox
« Reply #7 on: May 28, 2017, 02:26 PM »
I missed that one too.....great idea!! Thx!