Author Topic: Cutting table - update  (Read 75191 times)

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Offline Steve Jones

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  • Austin, TX US
Cutting table - update
« on: August 09, 2008, 12:25 AM »
I had posted some pictures of my cutting table some time ago, but since some items have changed and a couple of folks asked me for pictures, i thought now would be a good time to show it again.

Some thoughts about it's purpose: since I spend most of my time cutting up full sized sheets of 3/4" plywood, this system is designed to enable me to cut full sheet goods efficiently alone (My business if building custom cabinets in a one man shop).

I don't have construction diagrams or pictures taken during contruction, but I think the pictures and description here will enable anyone to make their own versions. The table serves as my main assembly table as well (despite the fact that I have two other tables intended for the purpose, I find that you can't beat a really big table with enough room to flip and spin a partially assembled cabinet).

Pic 1: is the infeed table, a couple of folding stands with a plywood top, this is set up before a delivery so can stack the 3/4" stock (the heavy stuff) at the "infeed" end of my cutting table, each sheet can then be slid onto the "operating" table as needed.

(You'll see also some handy home made storage to keep some of the clamps handy, the hooks are simple plywood scraps cut into "L" shapes and pocket screwed to the end panel)

Pic 2: Under the table are several simple "drawers" designed to hold a systainer, this keeps all my Festools to hand (always within reach) and I find the added advantage that if their regular storage is this close I actually put things away between uses.

Pic 3: Also under the table is the regular home for my small compressor, primarily used for powering pin and brad nailers, this home means it also is close (I don't have to move it to use the nail guns) it's stored in the back side of the table (non work side).


Steve Jones

AdapTableTool, Inc.
adaptabletool@gmail.com

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Offline Steve Jones

  • Posts: 405
  • Austin, TX US
Re: Cutting table - update
« Reply #1 on: August 09, 2008, 12:33 AM »
Pic 4: Dust control is handled by a CT22 sitting on a stand I had around (actually an old table saw stand, the saw died but I have trouble throwing anything away), the arm is simple 3/4" PVC piping (also lying around) it's a bit too flexible on it's own, so I dropped about 30" of 3/8" threaded bar (also lying around the shop - are you seeing a trend here?) into the top end to stiffen up the lower section, it's simply bolted to the steel frame of the stand, I use one sacrificial nylon tie through a hole near the outer (top) end to hold the vac hose and power cord in place, (this stops the hose from sliding through the supports) then a series of velcro strips to support the rest of the length of both (vac and power).

Pic 5: the shop vac on it's cheap support stand, I find hold the CT at table height gives me enough hose to work tools all over the 8'+ x 4'+ table, the flex in the PVC allows easy movement while keeping the cord and hose out of my way without too much pull.

Steve Jones

AdapTableTool, Inc.
adaptabletool@gmail.com

Offline Steve Jones

  • Posts: 405
  • Austin, TX US
Re: Cutting table - update
« Reply #2 on: August 09, 2008, 12:51 AM »
Pic 6: the crosscuts are done with a rail dropped into this slot in the fence (this is a closeup of the working "near" side of the table) The fence runs the length of the table with Kreg top_track along the top, there is a slot wider than the rail around the center point and right-to-left tape on the left section, left-to-right tape on the right section (of which more later)

Pic 7: The other end of the rail rests against a hard maple stop mounted with two bolts to a piece of angle aluminum with t-slots (would you believe I found this lying around too?), being adjustable enabled me to experiment and get an exact right angle between a rail in position and the fence on the working side.

Pic 8: Length of crosscuts (I tend to do crosscuts first on full sheets, makes the pieces easier to deal with for any second cuts needed) is set by an adjustable stop on the left fence, I simply slide a sheet from the infeed table onto the cutting table up to the stop, drop the rail in place pushed to the left against the left fence section and to stop on the far side of the table and retrieve the saw from it's systainer (at my fingertips below the table to my left)
Steve Jones

AdapTableTool, Inc.
adaptabletool@gmail.com

Offline Steve Jones

  • Posts: 405
  • Austin, TX US
Re: Cutting table - update
« Reply #3 on: August 09, 2008, 12:56 AM »
Pic 9, 10, and 11: Lengthways cuts on a full sheet are done by measuring and marking positions of the cut at each end of the plywood panel, then dropping the fill length rail lengthways on the marks, you'll see a long cut in progress (since it's a one man shop what you actually see is  where i left the saw to go take the picture, but you get the idea).

Note that the flexible boom easily allows the cord and hose to reach all areas of the table without sagging to the tabletop to get in the way and without pulling hard enough to spoil any operations.
Steve Jones

AdapTableTool, Inc.
adaptabletool@gmail.com

Offline Steve Jones

  • Posts: 405
  • Austin, TX US
Re: Cutting table - update
« Reply #4 on: August 09, 2008, 01:07 AM »
Pic 12: at the outfeed end of the table is my parts bin, once cabinet parts are cut and labeled (a full kitchen has enough parts I find it very worthwhile to keep track of what piece is what part of which cabinet) they are put into the parts bin, sorted by next operation (shelf pin holes, edge banding, etc)

The box on the back of the parts bin is to hold stretchers and nailers (2" or 3" strips of ply, cut from the same material as the cabinet panels), the parts bin itself is mounted on swiveling casters so I can roll the whole parts bin around the shop (to the edge banding station for example)

Notice also in this pic the roll of paper, handy to pull over the cutting surface when it's time to slop glue around during assembly, again this was easy to I cut ends out of scrap 3/4 ply (i tend to have a few of those handy at all times in my shop), drilled a hole in each to carry a closet rod and keep it in place with some large rubber seals "o" rings outside the end mounting plates (plates fixed to the end panel of the table with glue and Kreg screws)

Pic 13: another view of the clamp rack, this keeps my clamps handy for the assembly process, again my life is much simpler if stuff is close and handy, and I actually manage to put stuff away if it's as easy as this.

The top of the cutting table is a full sheet of 3/4 MDF (MDF comes about 1" oversize on both dimensions as compared to plywood, so it makes an excellent top for cutting plywood, the front rail and rear stop and attached to the MDF sheet rather than the table itself, that way I can slide the MDF top to one side without affecting the settup (explained in the next post)


« Last Edit: August 09, 2008, 01:09 AM by Steve Jones »
Steve Jones

AdapTableTool, Inc.
adaptabletool@gmail.com

Offline Steve Jones

  • Posts: 405
  • Austin, TX US
Re: Cutting table - update
« Reply #5 on: August 09, 2008, 01:14 AM »
Pic 14: The reason the cutting table top needs to slide is to clear the flip top that my planer is mounted to, in this pic you see the planer mounted nicely out of my way upside down under the table, once the cutting surface is slid down about 20", the flip top (A section of the table top normally under the cutting surface) can be flipped over moving the planer into position above the table (and right side up), this operation takes a few seconds (including hooking up dust control) so I find it an ideal place for my planer to live.



« Last Edit: August 09, 2008, 01:17 AM by Steve Jones »
Steve Jones

AdapTableTool, Inc.
adaptabletool@gmail.com

Offline Rey Johnson

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Re: Cutting table - update
« Reply #6 on: August 09, 2008, 06:42 AM »
Steve,

This is an absolute great setup. Thanks for posting...and including the pics!! You have given me several ideas. I like the way that the layout and homes of some of your other tools have been incorporated. I have been contemplating lately about where my planer should live in the shop.

Great stuff there!!

Rey
TS55|AT65|TDK15.6|OF1400|PS300|RO150E|MFS700|MFS400|FS2700|FS1400|FS1080|FS800|MFT3(2)|MFT1080(2)|MFT800(2)|CT33E(2)|Kapex|RS2E|ETS150/3|Domino

Offline Steve Jones

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  • Austin, TX US
Re: Cutting table - update
« Reply #7 on: August 15, 2008, 01:40 PM »
Pic 15: This is a closeup of the left side stop, here you see it set up to cut at 13 1/2" - The scale is set to read the distance between the right edge of the stop and the right (cutting side) or the rail when is position against the stops on the table.

Pic 16: The rail in position, it sit's with the left edge against the hard maple stop built into the fence...

Pic 17: and the far end against another hard maple stop, these two stops on the table ensure that the rail is exactly at right angles to the fence, so if the piece to be cut is against the fence my cut will be a perfect right angle also.
Steve Jones

AdapTableTool, Inc.
adaptabletool@gmail.com

Offline Steve Jones

  • Posts: 405
  • Austin, TX US
Re: Cutting table - update
« Reply #8 on: August 15, 2008, 01:52 PM »
Pic 18: to cut thin slices, I use a different stop on the right side fence, this one has an adjustable bolt which provides the reach to put the stop on the fence and give clearance for body of the saw to pass over while making the cut.

If the piece is narrower than the Festool rail, I use another piece of the same material as a backer to support the rail and also to unsure that my cut will be square (because of the larger edge against the fence)

Pic 19: the two piece are pushed together while keeping them tight against the fence and up against the stop on the right.

Pic 20: here is a piece of 1/4" ply ready to cut 1/4" strips (Festool rail in place for cutting), The measurement is taken from the right edge of the stop body.

I can cut any sized pieces down to really tiny slices with this stop, it measures from the right hand edge of the target piece (what will be the outer edge of the cutoff piece) the bolt adjusts to allow for different blade widths (should I need to, usually I use the same model blade)

Both stops are adjusted by cutting scrap pieces on the relevant side and measuring the cut piece.
Steve Jones

AdapTableTool, Inc.
adaptabletool@gmail.com

Offline Steve Jones

  • Posts: 405
  • Austin, TX US
Re: Cutting table - update
« Reply #9 on: August 15, 2008, 02:00 PM »
Pic 21: Here's the piece after the cut, notice the 1/4" strip cut is automatically straight and has no taper because the scrap used like all pieces around my shop (parts, offcuts, jigs, etc) are ALWAYS square because everything is cut against the fence on this table, it took some valuable time away from production to build this cutting table, but the benefits in accuracy make the time spent pay off every day,m something as simple as being able to relay on every piece of scrap from the bin having exact right angles is an enormous time saver (I use scraps of 3/4 for routing the profiles in the end of rails for 5 piece doors, support for thin strip cutting operations (as shown above), it's great just to be able to grab a piece of scrap and know it's square.

Pic 22: for clarity, here's the cut 1/4" strip moved away from the rail. If I need more than one strip I'm already set up to cut multiple strips by simply sliding the stock panel to the stop and cutting again.

Steve Jones

AdapTableTool, Inc.
adaptabletool@gmail.com

Offline EricL

  • Posts: 20
Re: Cutting table - update
« Reply #10 on: August 15, 2008, 02:34 PM »
Steve, absolutely awesome post!  I have been designing a similar table for the past couple of weeks and will definitely integrate some of your ideas!  One question for you, how is the reach when you are crosscutting a full 4x8 sheet?  I was thinking of making the top of my table tiltable for wide crosscuts.  Something like the picture below.
« Last Edit: August 15, 2008, 02:38 PM by EricL »

Offline Steve Jones

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  • Austin, TX US
Re: Cutting table - update
« Reply #11 on: August 15, 2008, 02:50 PM »
Eric, I kept the table fairly low to maximize reach, I just measured from the fence to the saw handle at maximum reach, it's 43".

I have no trouble reaching that far, but I'm 6'2" do some measurements if your height is different (your mileage may vary, as they say in the car adds).

Bear in mind that the table is at waist height for me, that means I'm covering some of that reach by leaning over the table as I cut, it's not a stretch when I get to the end of the cut. (although my GF at 5'2" would require a re-design to be ble to use it, but i think that would simply be making the table lower)
Steve Jones

AdapTableTool, Inc.
adaptabletool@gmail.com

Offline Steve Jones

  • Posts: 405
  • Austin, TX US
Re: Cutting table - update
« Reply #12 on: August 15, 2008, 03:37 PM »
Pic 23: This is the actual top of the cuttign table with one of the flip tops shown (The cutting surface is a full uncut sheet of MDF since it's about 1" longer and wider than a standard 4' x 8' sheet of plywood it makes it easier to slide plywood sheets around on top).

This section is the top under which my planer is mounted, since I don't really use this surface much I simply countersunk the mounting bolts into the top, if I was using this surface I'd fill the countersink holes with epoxy.

This table was based on a cabinet design published in one of the woodworking magazine about three years ago, I adapted the design to my cutting table changing just about everything except the basic concept.

Pic 24: these tabs lock the flip top in place in either mode, I made these from flat aluminum stock from Home Depot, drilled for the mounting bolts then cut to length. to flip to planer into position I rotate the locks out to the front (towards me) as shown in this pic.

Pic 25: Tnben rotate the planer into position, notice the lock tabs at the outer end are already pointed towards me (forward) this position leaves them under the top at the rear in the stowed position.


Steve Jones

AdapTableTool, Inc.
adaptabletool@gmail.com

Offline Steve Jones

  • Posts: 405
  • Austin, TX US
Re: Cutting table - update
« Reply #13 on: August 15, 2008, 03:38 PM »
Pic 26: Once the planer is upright...

Pic 26: rotate the tabs out to the side to lock in place.

Pic 27: the power cord is routed through the top and ends up inside the cabinet whichever way the top is, so I don't have to wrestle with the cord while rotating the top.

« Last Edit: August 15, 2008, 03:40 PM by Steve Jones »
Steve Jones

AdapTableTool, Inc.
adaptabletool@gmail.com

Offline woodshopdemos

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Re: Cutting table - update
« Reply #14 on: August 15, 2008, 03:40 PM »
Steve,
   A great post and the pictures show a real system. It must be a joy to use it now. Thanks for presenting such a thorough story.
In memory of John Lucas (1937 - 2010)

Offline Steve Jones

  • Posts: 405
  • Austin, TX US
Re: Cutting table - update
« Reply #15 on: August 15, 2008, 03:53 PM »
Thanks for the kind words John.

Just a couple more things to point out on the table....

Pic 28: The rear tabs are now also on top of the table (if your following the logic here, all four locking tabs are under the table when the planer is stored and all above the table when the planer is in use, since they do not affect operation of the planer (or any other machines mounted this way) the tabs are out of the way when the table top is clear (all tools folded away) the reason I  mention this is that the table is suitable for all kinds of table top machine, I also have flip tops in this table for a pair of router tables, but do not us them in this configuration at the moment.

Pic 29: Edge on view of the front edge of the flip top, (sorry about the focus - or lack of it) but I think you can see the relevant details, the top of the entire table is a sandwich of two pieces of 5/8" MDF with 1/2" MDF in the middle. this means that the flip top shown here is one piece of 5/8" MDF, with two pieces of 1/2" MDF cut to leave a 1/2 gap in the middle of the panel, then 2nd single slab of 5/8" on top, this leaves a 1/2" square hole through the width of the panel top accept a length of 1/2" steel rod (from Home Depot) to act as a pivot for the flip top. The edges are re-inforced with  piece of 3/4" x 1 1/4" pine to give a bit of extra support (though Maple would be ideal, pine is what I had at the time). The board stock is drilled to accept the 1/2" steel rod in the center (actually, I cut the strips oversize and drilled the hole then mounted them in place with the rod inserted, then trimmed the ends, I found it easier to get a smooth edge that way.

Everything is coated multiple times in whatever poly I had left over from cabinet jobs at the time,



Steve Jones

AdapTableTool, Inc.
adaptabletool@gmail.com

Offline Steve Jones

  • Posts: 405
  • Austin, TX US
Re: Cutting table - update
« Reply #16 on: August 15, 2008, 04:06 PM »
Pic 30: A little more about the sliding storage for the systainers in case someone wants to duplicate or adapt the idea..... (I have 8 of these around the table at the moment, more will follow as the collection grows - one of the nicest things about this method of storage is that it easily grows with my needs without ever looking half done or wasting any space, for example if I get enough more systainers my compressor (which currently lives in an empty bay under the table) will have to find a new home.

Pic 31: Each slider is simply a 15" x 15" piece of scrap material (this one is 5/8" MDF, but some of them are 3/4" ply) covered with a piece of 1/2" material (in my case usually MDF) which measures 11 1/8" wide x 11 5/8" long placed in the center (approximately), then 3/4" x 3/4" strips of whatever (in this case clear pine) cut to 15" and placed (glued) against each end form a stable base which a systainer will suit on securely. The goal here was to design a stable platform which would keep a systainer in place without having to lock it in down, I have yet to have a systainer move so I guess the design works.

Pic 32: I used oversize (over long) cheap Blum 230's (cause they're cheap at Home Depot) and the overside part means the drawer slides out enough to open the lid on the systainer without lifting it off the shelf. (Slides are 20")



Steve Jones

AdapTableTool, Inc.
adaptabletool@gmail.com

Offline Barry

  • Posts: 55
Re: Cutting table - update
« Reply #17 on: August 21, 2008, 10:38 PM »
Thanks allot for sharing this Steve.  You have given me a bunch of ideas to incorporate into my table WHEN I build it. 
Central NJ

Offline fshanno

  • Posts: 912
Re: Cutting table - update
« Reply #18 on: October 10, 2008, 12:25 AM »
Steve,

I've been trying to keep myself thinking portability with my FESTOOL gear but circumstances are forcing me to get more serious about productivity.  That may mean heavier machinery like a panel saw or a sliding table saw.  After seeing this cutting table, which is the best I've seen,  I may be changing my mind on that.  How would you rate your productivity with this setup versus a really good panel saw or slider?  How about ease of use?

By the way, this setup and concept looks better than anything I've seen from Eurekazone and I've been studying their Power Bench offering pretty close.  It's good stuff but what you have here is better than a power bench.  Not to put too fine and edge on it but this bench of yours is just freakin brilliant.  Dino needs to see it.

Another question.  Looks like you have thin rips pretty much solved.  Are you ripping and cross cutting you face frames and door and drawer parts on this table as well?  If so how is it handling hardwoods.

Final question.  What about the other axis?  I'm going to need rips probably up to the full 8' in some cases.  It would be nice to be able to keep the pencil in my pocket and handle that with ruled stops as well.

Thanks for sharing this innovation.











The one thing we learn from history is that we never learn from history.

Offline Steve Jones

  • Posts: 405
  • Austin, TX US
Re: Cutting table - update
« Reply #19 on: October 10, 2008, 01:39 AM »
Frank,

Thanks for the kind words. I wouldn't trade my cutting table for any
tablesaw I've seen anywhere.

I use an infeed table which is simply two heavy duty stands with a
plywood top framed with 4" skirt of 3/4" ply to keep it flat. The infeed
table is a little shorter than the cutting table height making it easy
to slide sheets onto the cutting table single handed. I unload
deliveries of 3/4 stock from the supplier directly onto the infeed
table.

BTW, I use a couple of quick and dirty racks made from 2" x 4"s to hold
other sheet goods, I need to keep everything flat otherwise even prime
quality plywood warps (which makes it useless for slab doors). The racks
are made from 4 pieces of 2x4", 4' long making the long sides of two
triangles, the base of the triangles is a furniture dolly from Harbor
Freight which come carpeted on the short sides, The carpet ends up under
the edge of the plywood on the racks which protects the edges and makes
sure they can't slip off the rack. My 2x4s are screwed through the
bottom of the dolly into the lower ends of the 2x4s and the the two are
screwed together at the top. two complete dolly/racks hold several
sheets of plywood and roll around easily when fully loaded.

I also screw scraps between the triangles to keep them upright and
several at different heights between the legs of each triangle to make a
rack for board stock.

Back to the cutting table: I considered making the top with a 4"
skirt/frame to make it rigid or even MDF on the top and bottom of the 4"
frame to make a torsion box so I could pivot the top at the center of
each end to ease loading and cutting, But after some experimenting I
found the Festool rails work best when flat and level, and the infeed
table makes loading very easy. (plus you can't beat a good, solid table
when it comes time to assemble the big cabinets, I'm passed the age when
I like to crawl around on my knees when working).

The only downside I have found to the current design is that the
operator has to have long arms, you have to be able to reach pretty much
across a 4' piece of ply at the table height, mine is perfect for my
reach (because the table is shorter than my waist) but my shorter
assistants have trouble with it. (and my 5'2" girlfriend/partner would
have to crawl across the table to be able to make a 4' cut).

On productivity I've got tablesaws beat cold, you could probably come up
with effective carts to move and load sheets onto the tablesaw (I've
seen some nice tilting cart designs that would work) but you still have
to slide and rotate a pretty hefty sheet around to cut it up.

The whole advantage with the Festool approach is that what we really
need to do is move a blade with it's power source and a heavy sheet of
material past each other accurately and in a straight line. It seems to
be so much smarter to move the lighter one of the two. (the saw)

Two doors down from me used to be another cabinet shop, he had a nice
$1,800 table saw setup in the middle of his shop, he politely refrained
from laughing at me when he visited and introduced himself while was I
setting up shop with Festools.

We used to visit back and fourth regularly, I learned that a standard
kitchen took him a week to ten days from design to assembly...

and he learned that it took me two or three days to do the same.

He's not there any more, I kind of miss visiting with him, He's now
working for someone else, probably still pushing sheets through  a
tablesaw. maybe he tells his new co-workers about this crazy idiot who
makes kitchens with a circular saw. maybe they all laugh together about
that story, I don't mind.

Most of the time I cut the crosscuts first, then rotate each piece to
cut to length (for example cabinet sides and decks are usually 23 1/4"
deep (complete cabs plus 3/4" doors are 24" deep), I cheat and make the
cabs total 24" because anything less than 24" means I get twice the
material usage (half the width of the sheet less kerf).

So I cut off 30 1/2" from the end of a sheet, spin it long side against
the fence and set the stop to 23 1/4", cut twice and I have two cabinet
sides and a skinny (minimal waste) offcut.

Set those on the parts rack and slide the rest of the sheet down to the
stop set at my cabinet width (say 22 1/2" for a 24" cab), cut another
slice and then again spin it long side against the fence, set the stop
to 23 1/4" and cut the deck, then set the right stop to 3" and cut three
stretchers from the offcut, and then set the right stop to 4" and cut
two toekicks/bases....

I just made a cabinet!

The grain is all the right direction (vertical on the sides, horizontal
across the deck and stretchers). and I made minimal waste.

draw out those pieces and imagine the steps you'd go through to make
them on a table saw. same number of cuts but I'm sliding and slamming
the pieces around on a piece of MDF with no blade and movable fence to
avoid (my fence stays securely screwed to the front of the table) The
MDF will not hurt the working material - even if it's already finished,
neither will the saw. and I'm only moving the minimum sized piece to
make each cut. and I don't have to worry about supporting the ends, I
don't have to catch the offcuts, I don't even have to pick them up, I
slide 'em off the end of the table into the scrap bin.

I think if you made the table rigid enough it could easily be on wheels
(or casters) don't go cheap on the casters, get good strong locking ones
(the ones that lock the swivel too) because you'll need the table to
stay in place while sliding a sheet onto it.

One further thought, My top is replaceable, I made the fence from Hard
maple and Kreg (pocket) screwed it to the top (pocket holes under the
front edge of the top into the fence) in other words the fence is
against the edge of the top, not sitting on it, this give me maximum
width which will actually hold another sheet of MDF (which comes one
inch bigger then 8' x 4' in both dimensions). The top with fence
attached is simply sitting on the table, the actual top of the table
(under the cutting surface) is a sandwich of several pieces of MDF 5/8"
- 1/2" - 5/8") reasons for which I think I covered in the description on
FOG.

Hope all this helps.

Steve
Steve Jones

AdapTableTool, Inc.
adaptabletool@gmail.com

Offline Steve Jones

  • Posts: 405
  • Austin, TX US
Re: Cutting table - update
« Reply #20 on: October 10, 2008, 01:58 AM »
Another question.  Looks like you have thin rips pretty much solved.  Are you ripping and cross cutting you face frames and door and drawer parts on this table as well?  If so how is it handling hardwoods.

Final question.  What about the other axis?  I'm going to need rips probably up to the full 8' in some cases.  It would be nice to be able to keep the pencil in my pocket and handle that with ruled stops as well.

Thin rips are covered easily by the right hand stop, There is much discussion about getting thin rips from thin stock - use bigger pieces guys!

Frankly i used to rip the frames (not so much face frame work, I usually talk the customer out of it, I pretty much detest all the hinges I have seen that work with face frames, as far as I'm concerned it's an outmoded way of making cabinets inefficiently, you can get away with bad cabinets and doors and bang the hinges around to align them, tacky!

i do however usually make 5-piece doors, these days I get my rail and stile stock already ripped, cut, squared and sanded, I simply cut to length and route the profiles. (shop around, this may be catching on in your area, so far i can buy Maple, Oak, and Mahogany all prepared this way from my lumber supplier at not much over the going board foot price. (you have to buy in bundles of 100 linear feet) sized in 3/4" x 2" or 3/4" x 2 1/2"

Other door and drawer parts (I use 1/2" ply for drawer parts) are cut on the table, sometimes norrower parts (shallow drawer sides and ends) are cut to length on the miter saw because I can set the stop, stack them  and cut them 4 at a time.

For long cuts on sheet goods I use the table and a long rail, (stuff that fits in the sizes for the edge guide get cut that way) everything else I use shop made story stick to the widths I cut (for example I rip a lot of 11 1/4" strips for top cabinets,) story sticks are made in pairs each is an "L" shape with the leg very short to sit over the edge of the material, the top of the stick touches and pushes the top hat on the rail unit its perfectly in place, for a bunch of narrow rips at odd sizes I sometimes use the edge stops supplied with the 32 system kit.
« Last Edit: October 10, 2008, 02:01 AM by Steve Jones »
Steve Jones

AdapTableTool, Inc.
adaptabletool@gmail.com

Offline Steve Jones

  • Posts: 405
  • Austin, TX US
Re: Cutting table - update
« Reply #21 on: October 10, 2008, 02:09 AM »
Missed a question: you also asked about how it handles hardwoods.

It handles hardwoods great, I don't much like the edge I was getting with the Festool Panther blade, cuts reasonably quick but I like all my cuts to be ready for assembly (sanding and jointing while great fun take too long - and I don't own a jointer)  I recently received a Tenryu blade for evaluation (which I haven't written yet) but the thing is awesome! its what the Panther should be, rip cuts fast in hardwood with an edge as perfect as the fine Festool blade in plywood (and it doesn't eat the edge strip from your rail like the panther does). And I understand it will be cheaper. Thanks Tenryu - nice one
Steve Jones

AdapTableTool, Inc.
adaptabletool@gmail.com

Offline fshanno

  • Posts: 912
Re: Cutting table - update
« Reply #22 on: October 10, 2008, 10:36 AM »
Steve,

That's what I wanted to hear.  This is less work, less lifting, more efficient material handling in general.  And safer than a Sawstop.  A panel saw is just not as versatile.  You've got a true production setup with a lot of versatility to boot.  Plus you're not as likely to scratch prefinished ply or melamine.

You mention experimenting to square the rail in picture no. 7.  That's a key to success.  What technique did you use to get the stop in the right place on that opposite side?

Do you cut dadoes and rabbets with this setup?


The one thing we learn from history is that we never learn from history.

Offline Steve Jones

  • Posts: 405
  • Austin, TX US
Re: Cutting table - update
« Reply #23 on: October 10, 2008, 10:58 AM »
Old carpenters trick for aligning any power saw to square, works for miter saws and radial arm saws.

Place a scrap of the widest material the saw will cut (about 8" for my miter saw, 4' for the cutting table) preferably as long as the fence and cut it in the middle, flip the offcut piece away from you (the cut edges stay together, the edge that was towards you is now away from you), slide the pieces together and look at the join, if it does not taper at either end you are set perfect. if any taper appears forming a gap adjust and re-cut until the join is tight.

BTW this also works for the MFT.

I use two sizes of dado, 1/4 for drawer bottoms and cabinet backs and 1/2" for drawer sides. the 1/4" are usually done with two passes of the TS on the table (I usually use a scrap shim to put between the workpiece and stop on the first cut, remove it and slide up for the second, means all my dados end up in the same place and the same width.

For the 1/2" it quicker (and much messier) to use an old radial arm saw (you can pick these up very cheap, nobody wants them anymore, mine was given to me) I leave a dado blade set to 1/2" on the saw with the blade turned sideways (parallel to the fence) and 3/8" from the fence - that way I can quickly feed any drawer parts through the saw without any measuring or setup involved, the radial arm saw's main disadvantage is the mess it makes.
Steve Jones

AdapTableTool, Inc.
adaptabletool@gmail.com

Offline fshanno

  • Posts: 912
Re: Cutting table - update
« Reply #24 on: October 10, 2008, 12:45 PM »
How about an adjustable story stick for rips.  Here's a concept.

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The one thing we learn from history is that we never learn from history.

Offline JEFF JOHNSON

  • Posts: 43
Re: Cutting table - update
« Reply #25 on: November 09, 2008, 04:44 PM »
Steve,

Absolute dream setup....
Can't imagine how incredibly useful this setup must be...
Your table is so well thought out... You have truly captured the ideal situation...
I don't have much space... that I can dedicate to a table.. but if I did this would be it.. hands down!!!

Did you ever think about an actual bissemeyer fence... or unifence or something that would stick into the table more than the kreg stop?
You could use it to gang cut face frames etc...
The complication... would be that you would have to have some sort of rail imbedded in the table in front of it that you could slide stops to the right of the fence to pull your boards against..

The only extra advantage would be to crosscut more than one board at once... just an idea...not sure if it is worth dealing with the stops to the right of the fence...

Unless there is a table saw fence that the actual rail that the fence rides on is raised enough to pull boards against...



Offline Steve Jones

  • Posts: 405
  • Austin, TX US
Re: Cutting table - update
« Reply #26 on: November 09, 2008, 06:51 PM »
Jeff,

Thanks for the kind words.

I actually experimented with a Incra fence (love those things) on the table early on, but since I can be sure of my crosscuts (right angles) and not sure of the factory edges on sheet goods, i found I get good enough accuracy and more speed with the simple Kreg stop.

I also have considered the table saw type fence to run across the cutting table for bunch-cutting rails & stiles, but I get away with 4 at a time on the miter saw which also has a full length Kreg rail fence and stop setup (same rail but uses a flip stop since the fence is long and shared with the radial arm saw and needs to get out of my way sometimes - it's also handy because I set the stop and the flip it up to cut the first piece 1/2" long to lose the factory edge on the board stock too).

Steve Jones

AdapTableTool, Inc.
adaptabletool@gmail.com

Offline JEFF JOHNSON

  • Posts: 43
Re: Cutting table - update
« Reply #27 on: November 10, 2008, 09:24 PM »
Jeff,

That setup on your mitre saw sounds great... unfortunately I don't have a great fence there.. Your table has inspired me to make a narrower version for crosscutting only.. Right now everything has to be portable..my mitre is on a ridgid msuv... and I have a ridgid portable table saw.. so you can see why I want to use the guide to rip full sheets... and crosscutting is the one gap that I need to fix... as the capacity for sleds on my ts wouldn't be safe.. and not nearly as fun.. I wan't to get rolling on a new project for my home.... Unfortunately, I can't work with wood for a living yet!!! maybe someday.. anyway...

So what I was planning was to make a crosscutting table about 24" deep by 8 foot long... make a front and rear fence like yours with a cutout for the guide.. that I can just setup on sawhorses or a folding table and start cutting...

would 3/4 mdf, or plywood, or a prefab laminate counter top be best for this? what material should I use for the front and rear fence?  was it hard to get the slots where you place the rail square?

Do you find when you pull pieces toward the front fence to cut that there is risk of movement of the rail or piece.. I heard it is much better to push the work against the far fence to prevent this... do you clamp down the piece or the rail? Or is this a non issue...

Any direction would be appreciated......

Offline JEFF JOHNSON

  • Posts: 43
Re: Cutting table - update
« Reply #28 on: November 10, 2008, 11:46 PM »
Steve, Sorry called you jeff on the last post....

Ok, now I am thinking that I need to go the full 4x8 sheet... after reading through your whole process again... simply amazing... can't imagine how anyone who owns a small cabinet shop could want to do it any other way....brilliant..

I am just a homeowner with lots of projects ahead... lots of built ins and cabinets... all paint grade... prefinished ply for the inside of the cab.. painted face frames and doors..

So... Help me out with this one.. my shop doubles as a garage... so.. The amazing part about the table is that it is really just a mdf top with the front maple fence screwed to it.. the back aligning fence is screwed to the table underneath right?

So, I would like to use this set up somehow by making it somewhat temporary..... I could leave it up for a week at a time etc... So what do think about this...

I buy a sheet of 3/4 mdf... pocket screw a front fence out of hard maple... leaving a cutout for the rail... Is the maple stock 1by or 5/4? ...
I put the top on some sort of supports... folding tables.... sawhorses... sawhorses with stringers would probably be best...
when I am done the only way I could free up my garage is if i take the top off and lay it on edge (protecting it somehow)...

1st... any ideas on how i would support the table underneath.. keeping it ridgid  enough to funtion this way? 

2nd... I would have to find a way to secure that back fence... directly to the mdf .. which will cause a tight fit for plywood.. and probable impossible for mdf.. unless I somehow extended it by a panel underneath...hmm...

3rd... you mentioned about keeping stock flat and how important that is.. not knowing much about that... do you see major problems for me keeping the mdf from warping et... leaning against a wall when not in use?

While typing this I think I just came up with another Idea... wow.. If I could find a used folding ping pong table!!! that folds in half and rolls!! ive got to check those dimesnsions, but I could replace the top... with the right size mdf... could work great...

but for now, what do you think of those first few questions..

Thank You!!!

Offline JEFF JOHNSON

  • Posts: 43
Re: Cutting table - update
« Reply #29 on: November 10, 2008, 11:59 PM »
Ping pong table... 5ft wide by 9ft long...30" height.. very promising...
Oh yea... tried my reach across the table... not quite 4'...
solution.. stand on a stool... lean over the table... put left hand down to support your weight.... not an issue...