In the midst of my general overhaul, I’ve been thinking of ideas for smaller improvements as well. Everyone can make small improvements all the time, and these are things I’ve been thinking about for a long time and now is the opportunity to improve those things.
For the table saw, I’m starting to think a slightly shorter set of rails would work better, and I have the opportunity to put a router table in on the right side to compliment the standard table on the left. In the past, I had planned to make a freestanding table to sit between the rails. This has not worked out like I would have hoped, and if I’m going to be standing the saw up when not in use (perhaps), or even if not, I need it to float above the handles for the base. With add-on rails, however, this would lead to sagging. The solution, I feel, is to insert hardwood supports inside the rails themselves to bridge the connection and supplement the brackets that currently do this job. This would be a huge improvement to how it currently is setup, and will be the difference in being able to have a router table that doesn’t necessarily require ground support. Sticking with the table saw, I had an overarm-style dust collection for it but it never worked as well as I wanted to. Some of that is lack of suction, some was the flexible hose. I will be adding a rigid overarm system made from PVC to keep it more stable and survive any standing up. Since I’ll be making a router table for the side where it attaches, I can add some screw-in nuts to that edge to remove the support as needed for the router table. I’m hoping that the router extension can function as a near full-size table. I still think at some point I will upgrade my table saw, but I don’t know if that will happen in this space. With a router extension I think I have room, but I don’t know what I would have to sacrifice. With the router being on the right side of this saw, and space for it to stand up, I think I can rout in the doorway so size limitations won’t be an issue. Weight, however, might necessitate the need for a support. I will probably use a metal box and a router lift to control dust. I haven’t thought about bit storage yet, but I figure I can do something about it somewhere. Easier to find room for the smaller things.
Finally flattening the top of the workbench and making dog holes is on the radar as well. I have been afraid of screwing it up, but I’m inching closer to installing a twin-screw vise on it, and I’d like to use it to it’s fullest ability. Having the holes helps in hand tool work, but I could also use them to my advantage for jigs and various other things. Speaking of vises, my beloved 10″ HF end vise has broken, but I think it’s just the metal thread lock. Removing it from the bench to fix it hopefully will be an easy task.
Some jointers have a little angled shelf for stock pushers, and I want to add one to mine. I have four pusher blocks that need to find a home, and at least two are going on a shelf on the jointer. The other two may hang under the router table. The bandsaw needs a real fence, one that’s more compact. Looking at the Kreg version. Going to also make a miter gauge holder and I need compact blade storage, preferably low impact to space. The lathe accessories should fit in a tub or other similar on the lathe itself, aside from the tools which I will probably keep on the wall. If wall space becomes scarce, then I will consider a drawer somewhere in the shop. The suspended drawers for lathe chisels I see are really cool.
There is a more ambitious project I am considering, and it would give me spots to store the planer and sander, or other things, however I’m holding back on this until I figure out if I need the room or not. I’m sure I do, but it’s certainly not a small project by any means. Structural changes never are.