Here’s more things I like. I updated the first post to include links to pictures representative of my ideas. Last time I talked about a huge miter saw/RAS/mortiser bench and storage area. Now I move to the heart of the shop.
In most shops, the table saw and outfeed table rule the day. I’ve been moving away from my table saw a bit just due to shop size, but no doubt if I had the room it would feature. This is where the size of the dream shop would come into play. If I buy another table saw, it’s going to be a good one. If 220v power is an option, of course a 3 or 5HP cabinet saw is the obvious choice. If I’m spending the money, it’s going to be a SawStop. I know all about the controversy with this brand, and in particular the inventor. I have been a part of it. I’m just looking at my future, and keeping the digits of myself and others safe. If by the time another device is on the market, I’ll evaluate my choices and make a decision. It would then become a decision on how wide I wanted the table. 36″ would probably be enough, but if it wasn’t that big of a difference to 50-52″, then no question. It really comes back to how much room do I have, and if I’m going to combine the table saw and router. It would be nice to have an Incra setup that covers both. The combination has been done.
The outfeed table is really what is the focus here. What does a good outfeed table do? Well, it sits about an eighth of an inch below the saw surface, has cutouts for the miter bars (on a sled, usually) to exit the back of the saw surface, is as dead-flat as the saw, and will support anything that comes off the saw. You have ones that are attached, loose, drop down, etc. If shop size isn’t huge, I’d build my outfeed table slightly bigger and double as an assembly table. The extra foot or so on all sides would be much less room than a 32 square foot or so dedicated assembly table. The top would be a torsion box design, with storage underneath and room for dust collection to be routed, if necessary. Integrated power and perhaps air ports, or those can be dropped down from the ceiling. A sheet of hardboard or similar could be used to shim the table flush with the saw, making an assembly area even bigger.
What I don’t know at this point is if I would want the top to be solid or not. What I mean by that is, with some assembly and construction tables, you can use T-track embedded, 20mm holes like in an MFT, etc. Would I want that? Would I have a need for that? I would think for actual assembly, using parallel or other clamps would be sufficient. I suppose, hopefully having room for an MFT or two, the lack of ability to use smaller clamps or stops wouldn’t be an issue at all. I would hope that would be the plan, so for now I’d say that a ‘solid’ top to an outfeed/assembly table would work.
If I didn’t have room for a big vertical air compressor, I’d try to bury my hot dog compressor underneath with some sound deadening and a way to drain the tank when not in use. I know that having air handy right there would be good. I would hope I would have somewhere else to sand, but if not a Festool CT there, or one that could be wheeled over would work.
Here are some great examples.
Next time, I’ll discuss wood storage.