Table Saw Workcenter - ShopNotes Style

  • Advertise with us
Project by BrianK posted 11-11-2009 05:06 PM 20569 views 30 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I have always been the kind of guy who goes a little overboard when doing something. Like any other novice to woodworking I went out and started collecting magazines, books, internet articles, and the like in an attempt to educate myself on project builds and shop set up. Boy I over did it. So when I began equipping my shop with the tools and gadgets that would facilitate my hobby a simple contractor saw stand would simply not do. So I grabbed one of my ShopNotes issues (Vol 15 Issue 89) and proceeded to make a run at building a table saw workcenter. This was my first attempt at building what I would term a “furniture-level” project (larger than box – smaller than a house). It took me a 2 weekends working for 4-5 hours a day.

This project did several things for my shop. 1) Increased the amount of storage space in a key area of the shop. 2) Provided some much needed work surface space as I do not have a stand alone work bench yet. 3) Provided additional support for cutting large stock such as sheet goods. 4) Provides a space to add a router station (which I am working on now).

The only problem I ran into was the fence system that was added to the saw before I bought it (and was a very nice micro-adjusting fence) was not long enough to extend the length of the table (it is the type that has catches for both ends). So I have to buy another one. Well, darn. Live and learn I guess.

I will probably add the router station and a kick plate to this. I also have the option of adding drawers on one end. Don’t know if I will tackle that yet.

In closing this I want to take the opportunity to thank all the LJers who have served in our nation’s military forces for their service to our country on this Veterans Day. From the freedoms me and my family enjoy on a daily basis it is because of your selfless sacrifices and the comrades who sacrificed it all that I say “Thank You!” and God Bless.

-- - Brian

13 comments so far

View Bud's profile


45 posts in 4735 days

#1 posted 11-11-2009 05:43 PM

Nice, I want a similar unit on casters.


View BTKS's profile


1989 posts in 4915 days

#2 posted 11-11-2009 05:49 PM

Brian, thanks for the heartfelt thanks to our VETERANS, especially today.
Nice addition!!!! Really turned your saw into a workhorse. It is going to be one of those shop additions you’ll wonder how you ever did without. Is the foot switch for the tablesaw? Personally, I’m scared of foot switch on most stationary tools. If you, without fail, unplug the machine on every adjustment there shouldn’t be a problem. It’s the accidental wrong step during an adjustment or blade change that scares the life outta me. The other concern for a tablesaw is the need to reposition while cutting sheet goods or long rips. I don’t want to be the downer, especially for such a nice project, just a concern for the health and well being of a fellow LJ. I really like the idea of an attached router stand, planning on one for my left wing. Later, BTKS

-- "Man's ingenuity has outrun his intelligence" (Joseph Wood Krutch)

View GregD's profile


788 posts in 4587 days

#3 posted 11-11-2009 06:08 PM

Cool. One thing I like about your setup is that an enclosure for the motor can be attached under the outfeed portion of the top should you decide to add dust collection to your setup. I have looked at similar plans a bunch of times but I’m not quite ready to take the plunge, but I’m getting closer.

-- Greg D.

View BrianK's profile


31 posts in 4588 days

#4 posted 11-11-2009 06:13 PM

I absolutely agree with you in regard to the foot switch. I have be relegated to cutting small piece parts and have not dealt with larger sheet goods (outside of this project). That is why I mentioned going with a kick plate going forward. Thanks for the input.

-- - Brian

View bigike's profile


4059 posts in 4739 days

#5 posted 11-11-2009 06:36 PM

nice project it came out great if u need a saw fence i have one for sale its a biesmyer with everything u need to to mt it, its the largest one they make with 52” of cut to the right of the blade i forget how much to the left but you can also make cuts to the left of the blade too it has a new hdpe face on the left side of the fence i have the other hdpe face for the other side too all u need to do is replace the bolts to mt it to the saw cuz the ones that came with it are a little bent and it could use a new paint job other than that it works perfect if u want pics email me @ the yahoo page below this message.

-- Ike, Big Daddies Woodshop, http://[email protected]

View a1Jim's profile


118322 posts in 5028 days

#6 posted 11-11-2009 06:40 PM

Great job Brian this should serve you well for a long time to come.


View Rick  Dennington's profile

Rick Dennington

7228 posts in 4645 days

#7 posted 11-11-2009 06:46 PM

Nice set-up Brian; It should serve you well for many years to come.
I didn’t notice the footswitch, but I guess it could be of some concern. Just be careful.

-- " There's a better way.....find it"...... Thomas Edison.

View Jim Bertelson's profile

Jim Bertelson

4275 posts in 4615 days

#8 posted 11-11-2009 07:02 PM

Nice looking saw cabinet. One similar to this is on my short list, with wheels (necessary in my shop) and a router table.

Hate to belabor the foot switch, but I think it is necessary. Even if the usage is temporary. Especially for newbies that might be reading this.

If you use that switch with this saw, there will come a day when you leave it attached when distracted, walk away and start doing something different. The you will start to change a blade or some such , and eventually you will activate that switch at the wrong time. Or a guest in your shop, or a young curious intruder, may actuate it.

I think the table saw is rated the most dangerous power tool we use. The power switch should always require a defined specific movement, and be very difficult to do accidentally. The default action when the switch is accidentally actuated should be to the OFF position. A foot switch does not meet safety criteria for a TS. You will leave that foot switch on by oversight someday. We all screw up. Me too, and I was lucky. Now I make sure that I design safety into the tools and their setups.

Now, be aware, one of the LJ’s responsibilities is to be concerned about the safety of other LJ’s. When I started talking about rewiring my dust collector, and running a 220V circuit, I almost got drowned in warnings, dire consequences descriptions, and multiple inquiries about my expertise. Well, I have done a lot of wiring, and have considerable background, so I successfully defended myself, I think.

I recently built a mechanical device to actuate my TS, to overcome an unsafe switch position that came with the saw. It meets safety criteria. You should make that kick plate, or whatever you finally do a priority. I have to make a very defined movement to turn on the saw, and it can only be done with my hand, even if I don’t have to look to do it. If you need a foot switch to turn on the saw, it implies you have both hands busy holding the work, and that suggests you need a jig or fixture to do some of the work for safety. Or, place a safely designed switch in a better position on your cabinet to facilitate turn on. You should always be able to use one hand to turn on the machine, and it should always be required to use your hand to turn on the machine. That’s an axiom of safety.

Please don’t be upset about me belaboring this, but in my field of work, I have seen too many consequences of inadequate safety engineering. Safety is difficult. I don’t want to see a fellow LJ be a victim when it could have been easily avoided. I wouldn’t want another reader, perhaps a beginner, to think that a foot switch is suitable for a TS.

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13345 posts in 5123 days

#9 posted 11-12-2009 03:09 AM

Nice looking set up.

View cabinetmaster's profile


10872 posts in 5009 days

#10 posted 11-12-2009 03:16 AM

Jim, I was about to say about the same thing. Looks very dangerous to have a footswitch with a TS.

Other than that your project looks very nice and I love that paint job. Very professional looking.

-- Jerry--A man can never have enough tools or clamps

View RexMcKinnon's profile


2593 posts in 4646 days

#11 posted 11-12-2009 06:06 PM

Looks like a great setup. If you really want the foot switch maybe a second switch would be helpful. Both switches have to be on for the saw to work. That way you have to conveince of being able to start and stop the saw easily and anytime you walk away from the saw or do a blade change you have a second switch for safety.

-- If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail!

View jevarn71's profile


83 posts in 4611 days

#12 posted 01-07-2010 07:56 AM

Hey Brian,

Nice job! I’m considering building a similar cabinet, but was trying to figure out which fence system to use.

Which fence system did you end up going with?


-- Jason, JEV Woodworking

View justinwdemoss's profile


148 posts in 4346 days

#13 posted 12-28-2010 11:17 PM


I am rehabbing an older Craftsman saw and will use your cabinet for ideas. I have a larger top with extensions so I don’t think that I will build my saw top flush. I am mostly interested in a stable and mobile base with lots of storage. Great job with your project!

-- Justin in Loveland, OH

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics