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For those that have built a workstation / cabinet for your BT...

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  • For those that have built a workstation / cabinet for your BT...

    A few here have built workstation / cabinets for their BT3x00 saws, and I am considering doing it after I finish up a couple other shop cabs. I am curious to know what the critical dimensions are. How did you deal with dust collection from inside the cabinet, and how you dealt with the rails.

    If I could talk you into posting up pics of your cabinets as well, I am looking for ideas for mine...
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  • #2
    Not BT3x, but it's how my BT3000 original went together...

    3/4" MDF top/bottom etc, jarrah trim. Ash rails/legs, biscuit jointed. 4 x HD swivel casters

    Note temporary panels (before drawers were made).
    Note Mobile offcut table does NOT support anything.

    Click image for larger version

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    Last edited by RodKirby; 11-15-2011, 07:17 PM.
    Downunder ... 1" = 25.4mm

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    • #3
      I'd have to search for awhile to find pictures of mine. A feature I copied from somebody is to mount the BT3100 to a hinged piece of 3/4 plywood with a hole in the center (for dust to get out). That lets you slide the rails off the saw and tilt it up for cleaning out dust. I have my DC connected to the port on the back of the saw and also to a 2 1/2 inch dust port sucking from under the saw. It doesn't get everything but lets me go longer between tilt up cleanings. I have a drawer under the saw for sawblades and several drawers to the right of the saw for other junk. I have extension rails and over 60 inches rip capacity.

      My rail mounting is different from some others. I put flat stock into the bottom of the rails (there is a groove for this) and tapped holes into it. My cabinet has 3/4 plywood pieces that support the rail. Knobs with 1 inch studs go through the plywood to grab the threads in the flat stock clamping the rail to the cabinet. This is how I attach the extension rails to the saw rails and how they are both supported by the cabinet. I can loosen the knobs and slide the rails - for instance if I want to rip at 45 degrees. Or for cleaning.

      I wrote up a piece on this a long time ago called Spruce and Sandeply. I used a clear Spruce 2x4 for the bottom support of my cabinet and Sandeply from HD for most of the structure.

      I found some pictures. I have a router table capability in the extension rail. I have since filled in the open space on the front with doors and drawers.

      Jim
      Attached Files
      Last edited by JimD; 11-16-2011, 09:22 AM.

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      • #4
        Jim,

        After I posted up, I found the link to the old Articles and found yours. I like it, with one exception, and not to hammer on yours, just a preference of mine and maybe I am wrong, but I was thinking about having the cabinet come all the way to the end of the right rails, totally enclosing the router table. I want to set up storage in that area for router bits / accessories and figured the space would be a good one to use.

        What did you use for a mobile base? It's hard to tell from your pics. I actually considered grabbing a pair of HF mobile bases, and some 1.25" steel square stock and having my BIL get busy with his welder once I figure the dimensions out... They take longer to lock down, but the levelers, if I put them on all 4 corners, could make it a whole lot easier to level my saw / workstation than if I just had them on one end...
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        • #5
          Db I am in the midst of the same but for the darksider saw... You may want to consider using 2x1 steel rectangle tube, much stronger. (The 2 inch dimension would be in the vertical direction) I have been spending most of my time lately learning to weld as well (found a stick welder for $75 from an old woodworker).
          The plus side to using a steel frame on the bottom is that you can skip the torsion box, saving weight, time and money and have a shorter profile which can allow you to use taller casters. Here's a pic of what I have been mulling about.
          Attached Files
          I think in straight lines, but dream in curves

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          • #6
            It might be worth it to simply design / fab up a metal frame / mobile base. That has been one of my biggest sticking points to having the extended rails is mobility. I want to be able to move my saw around when I need to...

            Even with the weight of a fully loaded down cabinet, and the saw, etc... I don't see the entire assembly going over the #400 mark. I don't think the 2" stock is that much of a requirement EXCEPT to allow me to use larger casters, which IS a desired result. Mind you I don't need 6" wheels, but some good rubber treaded 4" heavy duty casters would be nice... I need to figure out how to make the levelers, but that shouldn't be that tough, weld a nut in place, aligned with a pre drilled hole in a platform and use threaded rod with a pad on one end, and a knob on the other...

            I need to get with a metalworking buddy of mine. He wants a coffee table top done, might end up trading a laminated table top (he wants it for a wrought iron framed coffee table) for my mobile base frame...
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            • #7
              JimD,

              I gotta ask. Do you have plans for the block off / DC baffle thingamajig that you put on the cabinet back slot? And how well do you like it? Dust collection is one of the items I am wanting / needing to address with this project...

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              • #8
                dbhost,

                The mobile base I incorporated came from HF. It is made to be joined with 1 1/2 inch wood pieces. I just put it on the 2x4 that forms the outside of a torsion box supporting my base. It works but my shop is usually so cluttered that it needs to roll over scraps and it doesn't do that well.

                I cut a little off my rails, back more than front because that is the way the fence is supported, just to save space. I did not enclose it all the way out because I wanted to park my jointer under the rails on that end. If you have the space, you could use the full rails and put a cabinet all the way out. But I would think about how big that saw will be. I kind of wish I only had 50 inch rip capacity and a little more space in my shop.

                I enclosed my router when I used this router table setup frequently. I put hanger bolts on the underside of the large extension table to attach a box with a door and dust port that encloses the router. It works but I got a little worried that the DC and fan on the router were fighting each other affecting cooling for the router. The DC pulled down and the router motor wants to push air up. It would have been better to suck air out closer to the underside of the extension table.
                Attached Files

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                • #9
                  dbhost,

                  The articulating cover helps and was built from an old article you may find if you found mine. I think it was written by Jim Frye. I had to mess with it to get it working when the saw is tilted. Price is right - just a few 1/4 inch luan plywood scraps. The best thing about the article is patterns for the pieces.

                  Jim

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by dbhost View Post
                    Jim,

                    After I posted up, I found the link to the old Articles and found yours. I like it, with one exception, and not to hammer on yours, just a preference of mine and maybe I am wrong, but I was thinking about having the cabinet come all the way to the end of the right rails, totally enclosing the router table. I want to set up storage in that area for router bits / accessories and figured the space would be a good one to use.
                    I also did not enclose underneath the router, but it is not a bad idea.

                    John

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                    • #11


                      That's almost too pretty to use...

                      Not sure I'd be willing to use maple for shop furniture. That stuff isn't exactly common down here... It sure does look good...

                      My idea, for better or worse, is to take something along the lines of what you built there, but extended all the way to the end. Drawers about where you have yours, with big slide out vertical "Drawers" on the left of the router enclosure to house router bits and accessories. The right side will have to accommodate dust collection ducting...

                      You guys are giving me some ideas. I need to start measuring and drawing soon...
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                      • #12
                        I always appreciated that one. If this new shop layout for me works like I hope it will, I'm going to do something similar and stow my offroad stand.
                        I have a little blog about my shop

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                        • #13
                          I built my main router table (the arrangement in my extension table is an extra router table capability at this point) after putting up walls in my basement which has 8'8" ceiling height. So I had to cut down 2x4s for the wall. I used the offcuts, glued together and planned down, for bit storage. This is like the new yankee workshop method except I think they used plywood. The front of these router bit drawers is the full height of the drawer opening but the rest is just the 1 1/4 inch base with the holes in it for bits. I also have a regular drawer on the left for the collet wrenches and a few other little things. Scraps of plywood locate these drawers and are what the planned down 2x4s slide on. Cost is very low for this and functionality is very good. There is no reason you could not fit at least one row of these little bit storage quasi drawers beside a router compartment on the end of the extension table. You might be able to fit two rows.

                          Another idea I use on my main router table is a metal double electrical box with a 20 amp outlet and a 20 amp switch side by side with a metal cover. An extension cord is wired to the switch which controls the outlet. I plug the router motor in the router table to one outlet and a shop vacumn to the other. For safety reasons I unplug the router when changing bits. The switch box is on the right end of the router table where it is easy to reach. This arrangement is cheaper and more functional than the switch you see in the picture of my table saw/router table setup.

                          Jim
                          Last edited by JimD; 11-17-2011, 05:34 PM.

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