Monday, April 3, 2017

Vintage Table Saw Cart/Work Bench #1

Not long ago I bought this awesome vintage Craftsman Table saw.  I worked hard restoring it and building new extensions for the top.  At the time of this writing it had some electrical issues to work out (it frequently tripped my surge protector), and I was waiting for my friend who does electrical work to come by and check it out.

Shortly after buying that saw, I also got a hold of this other vintage Craftsman table saw.  I also restored this saw somewhat (it didn't have too much to restore), and I'm happy to say that this saw works like a champ.

With the addition of these 2 awesome saws, I retired my old Harbor Freight table saw.   I am currently in the process of trying to sell it since it still works great.

My problem now is this:  I have no room in my workshop.  It's a tight squeeze every day trying to get my car in the garage.

In one corner of my workshop I have this work bench which primarily serves as a storage shelf and a place for my to keep my tool boxes that hold all my screws, nuts, bolts and similar hardware.

So I thought I could merge the work bench with the Craftsman saw to save space, and make a nicer, stronger stand for the saw and still have space to store stuff.  When not in use, the top can hold my tool boxes.  I took accurate measurements and made some designs in SketchUp.

Luckily for me I won't have to buy any new material to build this.  I can use the existing table for all of it.

So I emptied my work bench.  The great thing about these work benches of mine is that they are strong, easy to make and the materials are inexpensive.  If need be I can buy new material and rebuild this bench in relative little time.

They also disassemble rather quickly, which was the next step.

This bench was a bit shorter than my primary work bench - which also happens to be a great height for a table saw. So I left the leg lengths as-is.

The original plywood top and 2x4 frame for the top will not be used for this new bench/stand.   

Next I flipped my table saw over...

...and removed the old stand.

Then I took apart the 2 remaining frames for the middle and bottom shelves.  These will need to be resized slightly.

I cut the wood to the right size on the miter saw...

...and then reassembled them.  You'll notice the frame at the front doesn't have supports in the middle yet.  I'll add those in later once I have the saw in place.

Then I added the legs to the bottom frame.

Once the bottom and legs were all attached to each other, I placed the middle frame inside.  At the moment the middle isn't attached with screws.

I placed the whole thing on top of the table saw (which is still upside-down).  Then I centered the legs to the table saw extensions, and moved the middle shelf frame to be level with the bottom of the table saw.  When the middle was all level, I attached it to the legs with screws.

Then I attached the 2 missing supports to the middle frame, making sure they were underneath the sides of the table saw.

Next I flipped the whole thing right side-up carefully.

I drilled holes in the extensions, countersinked them and attached them to the top of the legs with screws.

And this saw has a new stand!

Next I began resizing the boards that make up the shelves on the other table saw.

The bottom shelf fit in nicely.

For the middle shelf I need to cut the pieces smaller to fit on both sides of the saw.

These were attached to the shelf support with some screws.

And I'm done!

The top is still nice and level.

I moved the saw/work bench back into the corner and put my tool boxes back on top.

The bottom still holds my hand planer, dovetail jig and some screw clamps.

One side on the middle shelf holds my weights and a miter gauge I have yet to remake to fit this specific saw.

The other side holds my dado blades.

While putting the dado blades on the shelf it occurred to me that once this saw's electrical issues are fixed, this can become a saw dedicated to cutting dadoes (since it's sometimes a pain switching table saw blades).

As for the old stand, I can probably sell that, as it's in great condition.

Now my table saw has a strong, sturdy base, and I still have a work bench dedicated to holding a lot of my stuff.  I can also better fit my car in the garage at night.  Now if I can just get the electrical issues fixed...

My friend, God bless him, is just too busy to stop by, so I decided to test the saw on different outlets in my garage.  First I plugged it into the power strip where my other saw is plugged in and it worked fine.

Then I plugged it into a smaller power strip in the corner where the cart usually sits.  Again, it worked fine.

Then I plugged it into the strip on the other side of the garage and the power strip spiked.  I'm beginning to wonder if there is an issue with the saw, or the power strip.

Either way, I know it will work on one half of my garage, so I'm happy.

This is a great saw with a great stand.  I think I'll have to do something similar with my other saw now.

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