Monday, April 10, 2017

Vintage Table Saw Cart/Work Bench #2

In my previous blog entry I wrote about how I made a Cart for my Vintage Craftsman Table saw...


...which also doubles as a workbench and storage.


I actually love how this turned out and now I want to do the same thing for my other vintage Craftsman table saw, which currently is mounted to the small cart I made for my old Harbor Freight table saw.


Like the first cart/workbench, I designed a new one in SketchUp.


For materials I am going to try and get away with using what I have on hand - which are a number of 2x4's of varying length, disassembled from the top of my old workbech and some saw horses I had.


The 8 legs from the 2 disassembled saw horses will make up the legs to the new cart.


I cut the angled ends off, and set up the stop block on my miter saw to cut the legs to length.  


Since the saw stand/work bench I made for the first Craftsman saw is the perfect height, I cut the legs for this stand to be the same.


Next I assembled the legs by butting 2 pieces into an "L" shape and screwing them together.


Making all 4 legs took about 10 minutes.


Then I went about cutting all the other 2x4 pieces according to my SketchUp blue prints.


I then assembled the bottom and middle shelf supports.  Like the first cart I made, I left off the supports from the middle to better line them up once the saw is in place.


At this point I thought it would be easier to cut the piece of plywood I had for the bottom shelf and put it in place.


I attached the plywood with screws.


Then one-by-one I attached the legs to the bottom shelf.


Now it was time to separate the saw from the old cart I had it on.  Safely placing the saw on the floor, upside-down was no easy task.


Then I placed the frame and middle shelf on top of the saw.  It would have been an exact fit except...


...each outer corner of the table saw's extensions had these brackets on it.  So I worked on removing them.


Once the brackets were off, the whole cart fit like a glove.


I then lowered the middle shelf to rest against the bottom of the saw.  I then screwed the shelf in place.


Next I added the middle supports under the saw, leaving room for me to add a board on top of it once it's right side-up.


A slight bit of the saw sticks out of the back, so I cut a piece of 2x4 that will fit the back.  But in order for it to fit nicely I needed to cut some material out of each end so it wraps around the legs.


I then angled the edges with the miter saw.


And finally added some pocket holes.


I then screwed the 2x4 to the back, successfully covering the back/bottom of the saw.


While still upside-down, I added casters to the bottom.


Then I flipped the whole thing right side-up.  Again this was not easy.  It's a heavy saw.


I attached the power box with the switch on the right front leg...


...and attached the bracket from the other cart to keep wires out of my way.


I turned the saw on to make sure it still worked properly - which it did.  I then played with the fence.  Before making this cart the fence did not slide over the table very smoothly.  But now it works excellently!  I'm guessing the extensions drooped a bit, causing the fence track to be slightly unaligned, thus causing the extra friction.  But I'm glad it works great now!  Actually, I'm ecstatic how well it works!


Now it was time to make the middle shelves.  I thought I had a larger piece of MDF somewhere but couldn't find it.  So I cut some smaller pieces for the time being.


They don't fit correctly, but they do work.


Next I decided to add on all the push sticks and other saw accessories.


This cart is so much larger than the previous one - I can hold all my saw-related stuff, like my feather board...


...my Grrripper, miter gauge...


...sled, other push sticks, taper jig...


...my jointing jig...


...and even my tenon jig - which has never fit on my carts before.


When pushed into the corner it looks like it sticks out so much farther than before.  This is simply because the cart extends from every corner of the top.  But in reality it sticks out the same amount as before.  It's just bigger.


Once everything was together I spent about an hour cleaning up my garage.  


Remember how I needed a proper handle for the blade lift on this thing?  Well I finally found the exact handle I needed on ebay.  Not wasting any time, I bought it.


While I waited for the new handle to arrive I decided to make my garage messy again and cut some wood for fun.


I then realized that I have no dust collection for this new cart.  All the dust falls onto the bottom shelf.


So it was time to make a new dust collection system. I originally made a system that involved a triangular box../


...that sat underneath the saw to collect dust.


The angle of the dust collector should have pushed dust towards the hole on the back, but it didn't work too well.


So I removed it and simply put a bin underneath to catch the saw dust until I could come up with something better.


Now that the bin is there I had no room for my sled.  So I decided to simply mount it on the side of the table.  This is actually the best thing I did, because I use the sled so frequently.  Now it's easy to grab when needed and store on the side when not needed.


I did eventually make a drawer that went underneath the saw to collect dust.


Simply pull out the drawer and empty when needed!


After 7 days my replacement handle showed up.


I removed the old broken one and attached the new one and it worked well.


Weirdly, I then took a look at the other handle on the side which changes the angle of the blade.  They don't match.


That's because this handle is actually an old car window handle.  So, I found the proper handle on ebay and ordered it.  When it arrived (another 7 or so days later) I attached it.


As days and weeks past I made little improvements here and there.  I drilled a little hole into the leg for the Allen key that adjust the screws on the insert plate.


And I hung a little hook off of the rear fence guide.  This hook simply holds the power cord while I'm moving it around.  This keeps it from getting underneath the casters.


  Since the top of the saw is so much larger and the blade is further from me while I work on it, I made some newer, longer push sticks.


 These I painted up to be pink.


Although it may not seem like too much, the new sticks are longer by a few inches which is great because the table is so much larger and I need to lean over it and stretch more with the smaller push sticks.  By the time the old push stick (orange, to the right) pushes material past the blade, my hand is practically next to the blade.  The new pink push sticks have my hand no where near the blade by the time material is past the blades.


I mounted them to my table and that's that with that.


Next it was time to make a zero clearance insert for my regular saw blade.


This was simply a piece of thin MDF cut to match the space.  I used some thin metal brackets to hold it in place, mimicking the ones on the original insert plate.  I painted the insert plate with gray primer to make it look nicer.


XXXX


On each of these old craftsman saws was a round piece of plastic in front of the insert.  The one that was there was kind of rough looking, so I cut a piece of plywood, painted it with the same gray primer as the insert plate and attached it to the table.  Using a long T-square I drew lines on the circle to match both sides of the saw blade, making it easier to line up cuts.


Then I decided to make a second insert blade for my dado blades.


This was also painted with gray primer.


And it works wonderfully.


Having fun with my primer, I decided to paint the middle shelves.


The gray looks a bit better than the bare MDF did.


And lastly I decided to paint the insides of the extensions with the same gray primer.


In old images of this very saw table, the insides of the extensions are painted black.  I decided to use the gray since it already matched the plates, circle and middle shelves.


And I love how this thing looks.  


This thing is raring to go!

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