Lumber rack build using the Paulk Total Station

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Blog entry by smozes posted 05-09-2017 06:48 PM 4443 reads 0 times favorited 2 comments Add to Favorites Watch

After finishing my Paulk Total Station, I was left with a huge pile of plywood cutoffs due to various mistakes and rework needed. I probably used almost double the amount needed, which wasn’t cost effective, but paid off enormously in teaching value. I had previously taken a woodworking class at a community college, which centered around industrial equipment. But building the Total Station and watching Ron’s videos has introduced me to the very different way of bringing the tools to the wood instead, which seems to fit my purposes and situation better for the time being.

This is an ordinary build, mostly documenting my experience as a new woodworker. I downloaded the mobile sheet goods and cutoffs rack plan from Wood Magazine and got to work. I’ve used many of Ron’s methods, similar tools and found the experience very efficient and accurate (as much as 2x material will allow). The Total Station worked very well, initially for cutting, and later as an assembly table with the miter saw removed. I finished this project with my wife in about 3 days, a far cry from months or weeks it took me to do the smallest thing before.

I’m using the Portamate sheet carrier. It works pretty well. One catch is that the height of the table you need to lift it to also determines the height of the bottom rest you will need to lift the sheet by hand into. It’s way better than my previous saw horses setup and I can do this inside.

Used the track saw to break down the sheets to multiple identical cuts with the parallel guides by Precision Dogs. Very easy. Later I also cut some angles on 3 stacked 3/4” sheets in one pass. This worked but I did get some burn marks when I wasn’t sure about the feed rate.

I also should note that I have experienced minor kickbacks with this saw. I know the Makita doesn’t have a riving knife, but these probably have to do with technique. I found that plunging should be done fully inside or outside a piece, especially when stacking; sawing backward is risky, so when I need to sneak up on a plunge starting line I retract the blade, move the saw back and plunge again in place.

Repeatable cuts at the miter saw with the miter extensions and shop made flip stops. The storage on the saw horses is very handy:

For fine angled cuts on small pieces I use the Incra Miter Express sled, it worked well on the small DeWalt but is a little fussy to to set up.

Miter saw off, used as an assembly table. I should note that with the table saw, miter saw (and potentially a table mounted router), the bench is very sturdy. It barely moves, despite resting on minimal saw horses. So if deciding between mounting tools or not, there are benefits to mounting.


Cart done, and boy was it heavy. This is not a good location for a lumber cart, but I’m finding that everything competes for the premium spot by the garage entrance. The motorcycle, trailer, cart. Still undecided.

2 comments so far

View ShaneA's profile


7085 posts in 3521 days

#1 posted 05-09-2017 08:28 PM

Looks very useful.

View Woodknack's profile


13522 posts in 3303 days

#2 posted 05-10-2017 03:22 AM

I never thought much about the Paulk bench but my shop is stick framed, not originally built as a shop, and there is a practical weight limit I can put on the floor.

-- Rick M,

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