Every woodworker knows how invaluable a table saw can be. It is a vital tool among others and is something that any amateur should consider buying. But have you ever thought of upgrading your table saw to something more?
Please don’t be mistaken; we are not talking about buying new blades for your table saw; we are talking about transforming your existing table saw into an efficient workstation.
It is possible to make yourself a really neat and feature-rich table saw workstation just by using some really basic handyman’s tools. Assuming you already have a workbench that you want to upgrade.
I mean, as a woodworker, you can’t go about your daily life without a nice workbench. Whether it is in your garage or in your workshop, this is a must-have item. Now, a lot of pros will recommend that you simply buy a professional-grade table saw workstation.
However, if you are just starting out, you can try your hand with a minimal version. Here are the steps that you will need to follow if you want to learn how to build a table saw workstation.
Building A Table Saw Workstation – Step By Step Guide
If you are merely a beginner, it’s a good idea to start from scratch and learn the ins and outs of a table saw workbench. Try looking at some simple designs first. You can later combine those ideas and add your own designs to make yourself a longer lasting and beautiful workbench with a solid welded frame.
To make an elegant looking workstation with plywood, you will need all the wood components you can get. Don’t worry; these are all the common tools that you can buy from your local hardware store.
Things You Will Need Are:
- For this particular table saw workstation project, you will need sheets of plywood.
- You can use different sheets for the end and side panels
- A drilling machine and a hand saw
- A wood router and a sander
- A good chisel and a file
- And all the other handyman’s tools
As you go through the steps, I will list the tools required for that particular step so that you don’t miss out on anything.
Step 1 – Choosing Your Wood
To make one, you need four sheets of plywood, of 3/4″ pieces. But for the end and side panels, you need different sheets to slice them out. Moreover, make sure you use a similar sheet for the cutout for the outfeed end and top.
Once you have made the cutouts, you will have a lot of materials left. You can use those scraps to make additional feet, struts, trays, or support. It is also essential that you use the right kind of material.
You might decide to choose commercial grade plywood, but that won’t serve you well because they often warp and are challenging to clean. So, it is better to use plywood made of oak because they are made of durable quality.
Using durable plywood like oak can give you a lot of benefits. Oak by nature is pretty strong and will usually last for a long with proper maintenance. Compared to the commercial-grade ones, hardwood plywood tends to perform better and survive longer.
In A Nutshell:
- Get four sheets for the main workbench
- Get normal sheets for the side and end panels
- Get hardwood plywood and avoid commercial grade one
Step 2 – Get Accurate Measurements
Before beginning to build a table saw workstation, you need to design it for a saw that comes with its cart. If this is the case, then you have to do a few measurements by setting the saw.
For this, you need to find out the height of your saw from top to bottom. After doing this, just minus 3/16″ from it, and you are done. This measurement is used for side panels.
To measure the front panels, it has to be 3-1/4″ less than the side panels. This goes for the back panels as well. Make sure to have the surrounding tabletop a little lower than your saw’s cart.
If this is bothering you, you can take a hand saw and shim below the foot of the bench. Try shimming to get a similar height.
Tips: Take the measurement chart of your plan and show it to your local hardware store guy. He/she can help you with the measurements.
Step 3 – Cut Proper Slots
Accuracy is the key factor here. For your interlocking notches, there have to be real slots. Keep your notch 1/32″ wider than the plywood. This way, it ensures proper sturdiness as well as ease of set up. The slots need to be precise and accurate. You can’t mess it up.
Every notch’s depth has to be equal since this is vital for lining up the tops of every section. Otherwise, you won’t have an even surface to work on. After you set it up, check the depth of the saw. If it even with the surface, you are good to go.
Next, hold up the side panels to see if they are upright. Fix a piece of the block to your sawhorse and cut each notch. Maintain 1/8″ of the gap between the notches. Now you need to focus on cutting thin strips of plywood.
For this task, you can use a chisel. If there is any unevenness in your notches, then you can smooth them with a file.
Tips: Make sure to have a chisel and a file in hand.
Step 4 – Time For Side Cutting
In this step, you have to drive a nail on a wood strip onto a plywood strap. Next, nail at the bottom of the end and side panels, cut arches and trace. You have to maintain the same ratio for cutting. You can use a jigsaw for this.
By adding this curve, your workstation will be much lighter. It will also give it a better look and make it easy to handle. Finish the side panels by adding cleats over the back notches.
For your outfeed table, you have to cut and notch the struts. Within the struts, you can glue and nail any part that needs support.
Step 5 – Assemble The Feet
For assembling the feet of your table saw workstation, you have to cut small plywood parts the use screws and glue to attach them. Remember to check on the edge alignments and see if the table is flat.
Use a jigsaw or a belt sander to round the corners properly. Make sure that there isn’t any glue oozing out of the parts.
Step 6 – Workstation Outfeed
While laying the struts for your outfeed part, keep the table saw feet supporting front, rear and side panels. It would help if you made sure that the struts are held in the right place.
The struts shouldn’t bind or knockdown while the setup procedure is going on. Now add glue to support the top. Make sure that the interlocking joints are set at the right height.
The front and side panels have to be flushed. You can use a file to loosen any tight notches. To get rid of extra depth, use a thin shim.
Step 7 – Drill It
In this step, you have to drill some holes in the table saw. The holes will be used as hanging parts. With the drill, you can make 2.5″ holes and a 16″ hole right in the center.
These holes are for your wall stud alignments—drill .5 inches of the lag screw into the studs. You can use a hole saw for drilling, and start from the side for an efficient and clean result.
It would help if you stopped after the pilot has emerged via the opposite side. Next, go to the opposite side and start drilling again to finish the hole.
Final Step – The Finishing Touch
In the last step, you need to use the round over router. The workstation is almost done, and all you have to do is round the edges. Make sure there aren’t any splintering in the borders.
This will give the tool a sturdy and robust look. After this is done, you can try sanding your plywood by using the sandpaper of your choice. End the project by vacuuming and applying a couple of layers of Minwax. This layer will protect the workstation from humid.
There we have it, the procedure to make your table saw into a workstation. Now you have a convenient and beautiful workstation for you took. If you can maintain and look after it properly, it is guaranteed to last you for a long time.
Even though this DIY workstation is suitable for amateurs and new woodworkers, it can also be used by a professional for their big projects. So, all in all, the workstation will serve almost all of your needs and demands. And that concludes our guide on how to build a table saw workstation.