Asssembly / Outfeed Table #7: Major mistake = major design change

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Blog entry by Freakazoid posted 11-02-2015 11:46 AM 1101 reads 0 times favorited 0 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 6: Adding a few accessories Part 7 of Asssembly / Outfeed Table series Part 8: Building a better frame - workbench style »

The framework had been built for a while and I had added a few important things. Things like two layers of plywood for the top, trimmed out with locally sawn maple, a couple of drawers, some clamp caddies, etc. It was starting to come together.

Then a few things popped up that I had not anticipated. First, I noticed that when I screwed the trim to the plywood top that the plywood had swelled up around the screw locations despite predrilling. Now I had humps all along the perimeter of the table (all spaced equally of course). I already had a nice piece of laminate ready to glue down but I held off. I was not happy with the top and i would need to address it before I permanently cemented an expensive piece on it.

Second, lots of rain and snowmelt resulted in water in the shop. The sawhorse style legs, with end grain sitting on the concrete (and now in water) showed me that I had not adequately sealed the ends of the legs. I ended up lifting the table slightly to slide a small piece of hardboard under each leg, along with a paper plate. Once I lowered the table back down, I filled each paper plate with some more sealer and let the sealer wick up into the legs. Not a pretty solution. Not really a solution at all in hindsight.

Then I got the bug to rearrange the shop and I had to move the table. What a PITA – this thing does not move easily. I built some brackets with casters on them (sorry, no pictures of this debacle) that would fit under the legs. I only had to jack the table up 6 inches to fit them under. I took about 3 hours to move the table. I also noticed during the first (yes I went through this twice) move that the legs had shrunk much more than I thought they would, and now they were very loose in their sockets. This resulted in a table that would rock quite a bit. I already had concerns about the stability of the legs when I put on the drawer runners but now I was really worried because i was definitely headed down the wrong path.

So here is what I have at this point: a giant table with legs that I did not like and a top that I did not like. I like the core of the table and the two drawers that were built and I liked the cleat board on the end. I hated moving the table and I was starting figure out how my shop needs to be arranged, meaning I had to move the table one more time. I finally admitted to myself that the sawhorse design did not work for me and I had to make a change. Back to the drawing board.

I figured I would build something more robust and easier to move. Robust (in my mind) is stronger and probably heavier which does not mean easier to move. I have grand plans to build a Roubo style workbench, which means big mortise and tenon joints and lots of drawboring, so I went down that route. Here is what I came up with:

This could be viewed as a pretty major setback. I had a lot of time and effort put into the table at this point. But for some reason I was not bothered very much at all, in fact I was looking forward to the next few steps. More to come.

-- I can complicate anything

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