Table saws have become quite important in our woodworking projects helping to cut boards with accuracy and cleanness. The table saw provides a robust and stable platform to cut your wood. This stability allows for precise cuts and less energy from the operator.
Table saws have a wide platform supporting your workpiece and ensuring a smooth cut. Because of the size of the table saw, you may struggle to fit it into your small garden shed and still have space for other smaller equipment. This is one of the major reasons why a table saw workstation has become quite popular.
Some woodworkers do not even have a garden shed and make do with working from their garage or store. These places see a lot of other activities which makes keeping track of your woodworking equipment difficult. A workstation attached to your table saw will not only solve the space issue as it takes little to no extra space while allowing you to store your tools properly.
Table saw workstations fit under a table saw and sports layers to keep different tools. You can also extend your table length, which will allow you to work with longer boards while maintaining stability. Because of the different table saws available and varying preferences, making the workstation by yourself may prove to be a shrewd and effective style.
This kind of DIY project can be daunting to a lot of people as they struggle with the whole process of setting up this workstation. This is why a guide like this showing you how you can make a table saw workstation is essential.
Materials You Need to Build a Table Saw Workstation
Before you start building this workstation, you need to get some materials that’ll make your work easier and more effective. While making a table saw workstation is inexpensive, you would still spend some money getting the materials you need. These materials all work toward getting that table saw workstation. Here are the materials you need to complete this task:
- A table saw: is an obvious one as the workstation will be built with the table saw
- A drill: to make holes for bolts and nuts
- Nails: for joining the pieces
- A nail gun: to drive the nails in
- Sander: to smoothen the surface of the wood
- Jigsaw: to cut the board to size
- Sandpaper: for extra smoothening of the surface
- Polyurethane: to protect the surface from scratches and excess water absorption
- Measuring tape: to get an accurate measurement
- Wood glue: to hold the pieces of wood together
- 1 oak board: to make table extension
- 4 sheets of plywood: to make the shelves
- Screws: to join some parts, especially wood to metal
Steps to Building a Table Saw Workstation
After getting your materials ready, you’ll find following the steps below quite easy as these materials make your work seamless.
Step 1: Choose the Right Wood
One of the most important steps to follow when making a table saw workstation is choosing the right wood to use. No matter the design and style of your workstation, poor wood quality will also be a problem. The station will not be durable enough to last a long time.
Some wood types are more durable than others and will typically command a higher price which puts a lot of people off. However, they represent a good investment as your station can last a long time, giving you value for money. Wood types like oaks are recommended for this project.
Boards measuring 2″*8*8′ is standard for making table saws. You also have to source quality lumber for the legs and support. Once you can get quality wood for your project, your job gets easier.
Step 2: Choose Between a Static or Portable Workstation
A static workstation is fixed to the table saw and provides a permanent store for your tools. It is not flexible and is not easily moved around since you have to move the table too.
On the other hand, a portable workstation, as the name implies, allows you to easily pack up as it is not permanently fixed to the table. This type of workstation is built without fasteners and is compact and lightweight. Choosing between these two types of workstations will help you determine the design, measurement, and a lot of other things.
Step 3: Take Measurements
Next in line is to use your tape measure to measure the table saw and take the measurements of the design. Taking measurements is an essential part of making a workstation. You cannot skip this step if you want to make a fitting design.
Consider the wood available, the space you have, the size of the table, and the style you’ll want to make while taking the measurements. Bear in mind that a bigger table saw workstation would require more materials, more room, and more time to complete. However, it gives you more room to keep your tools.
Step 4: Build the Frame
With your 2 by 2 lumber, you can go ahead to make the frame of the project. This frame has to follow the intended design and measurement. This includes the number of shelves and cabinets. This is where your decision to make a portable or static workstation comes into play.
Take the measurements and cut the 2*2″ lumber to size using the jigsaw. Start the frame from the base of the workstation and work your way up. This will make it easier to follow. When making the legs, stronger lumber like 2*4″ is recommended as it helps to carry the weight of the workstation. If you use a weak wood, the legs will begin to crack in no distant time.
Measure the base from the cut, and join it together with the 4 legs attached. Use wood glue and nails driven in by a nail gun to hold the pieces together. The legs can be the same level or longer than the base frame. This depends on your design. If you intend to add rollers at the bottom, you can make the length of the legs to be at the same level as the base frame.
From the base frame, you can start adding the frame for the cabinets from your design. End with the top frame, which will be wider than the table saw surface to provide an extra working platform. The frame should have an opening that fits the table saw. This is usually at the center of the workstation.
Step 5: Add the Panels
By now, you should have the skeletal frame of the whole project ready. Joined together by glue and nails so you get a rigid structure. Use the wood sheet of your choice to cover the frame.
First, start by measuring the two sides and cutting them. Using nails and a hammer to drive the nail in, join the sheet to the sides of the frame. You do not need a rail gun here as the plywood sheets are thin and a couple of hits with your hammer will drive the nails in. Use the sheets to make layers as indicated by the frame. Depending on the style of the workstation, you can then cover the front and back of the structure as needed.
Some designs make use of drawers, some cupboards with covers, while others use open shelves. They all have varying degrees of difficulty with drawers being the most complex to make while open shelves can easily be made by beginners. Finally cut the tabletop measurement from your durable oak board ensuring to have the open section for the saw. Secure the board to the top of the frame using nails and the nail gun.
Step 6: Assemble the Table Saw
With the workstation almost ready, add the table saw to the set-up by fitting it into the space left in the middle of the structure for it. The saw area is heavy and this is why you need to make a strong workstation to handle the pressure.
Step 7: Finish
After setting up all the parts and adding the saw, you can then plan your finish. First, use sandpaper to smoothen all the rough parts to get a uniform and clean structure. Using 150 grit sandpaper is ideal in this scenario.
Cover the structure with polyurethane to prevent scratches and reduce the level of water absorption by the wood which can cause wood warp and deform the workstation. A polyurethane finish will not change the look of the station, thereby allowing you to enjoy a wooden look.
Tips to Follow When Building a Table Saw Workstation
Here are more tips to guide you as you build your dream table saw workstation at home:
- Consider the size of your work area: before deciding on the size of the workstation, you should consider the area that’ll house your new structure. You do not want to make a large structure that’ll make it impossible to work in the space.
- A longer table length is idle: making a workstation that also serves as an extra table is so functional. It immediately increases the length of the boards you can cut on your table saw.
- Use durable wood: nothing beats using quality materials for your projects. Yes, it may be expensive to buy, but they ensure longevity. Make use of quality woods in your workstation.
Making a table saw workstation can be a shrewd decision for you as it’ll save you money and help you make fitting structures for your table saw. You also get to choose its features. However, it can be stressful and time-consuming, so if you’re not up for it, you can go with a professionally made table saw workstation.
Luckily, the ease of following these steps to make your workstation is there so even if you’re a novice in woodworking, you can make a simple design without stress.