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  #1  
Old 07-08-2010, 10:26 AM
Bob Strawn Bob Strawn is offline
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Texas
Posts: 37
Default From Scratch, Homemade Power Bench

I made my own power bench from aluminum rails.



Basically I needed a new table saw, but I hate table saws. So I did my research and found the eurekazone to be the ideal, with two problems. One, I cannot afford it, and two, I needed more depth of cut.

Being no stranger to making my own, I felt confident in my calculations. Still it is a rather daunting task and took way more time and jigging that I would advise anyone to go through.

The only major innovations are the lift bar on the bridge,








and the locked in place incra miter gauge setup parallel to the rail.

I love the lift bar though it makes my rail usable only in one direction. I plan to cut down the angle and put a wooden handle on instead.

The incra allows me to do angle setups instantly. It is quite convenient and can easily be moved or removed if needed.

This power bench is not modifiable or very portable. It is however perfect for most of my needs. It works amazingly well and I am very satisfied with it.

Bob
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  #2  
Old 07-08-2010, 12:13 PM
Brian Kincaid Brian Kincaid is offline
 
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Posts: 207
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Bob,
That's very cool. I would like to see more how your bridge moves up and down. It's not immediately apparent to me from your pictures. Maybe a side view up and side view down would help me visualize so I can appreciate it more.

I can certainly appreciate how you use what you know. I have to wonder, where did you get all this nice angle iron?

-Brian
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  #3  
Old 07-08-2010, 12:52 PM
Dino Dino is offline
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Location: Edison NJ
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Default

Bob, nice work.
it may take you the rest of your life to actually believe that YOUR PBB
outperforms many complicated and expensive machinery...
but that comes with every eureka moment.

thanks for posting.
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  #4  
Old 07-08-2010, 01:38 PM
Bob Strawn Bob Strawn is offline
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Texas
Posts: 37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Kincaid View Post
Bob,
That's very cool. I would like to see more how your bridge moves up and down. It's not immediately apparent to me from your pictures. Maybe a side view up and side view down would help me visualize so I can appreciate it more.

I can certainly appreciate how you use what you know. I have to wonder, where did you get all this nice angle iron?

-Brian
Even my side view photos do not show it well. I think a description will do better. Functionally there are not a lot of changes that can be made to a parallelogram and have it still function. In order to reduce stress on my back when working, I extended one of the short arms of the parallelogram in order to make a lever that extended above the table.

Imagine that the two linkages on your bridge are much more hefty. Then imagine that the linkage on the left side of the front bridge continues up above the bridge. Now imagine that you can use that linkage as a lever to lift and lower the track. In this case the linkages are 3/16" thick 2" x 2" aluminum angle.

This was entirely made of 3/16" thick Ultra-Corrosion-Resistant Architectural Aluminum (Alloy 6063) architectural angle.
Midwest Steel Supply and Orange Aluminum are my favorite sources for aluminum.

While the planning and exercise have given me a very good understanding of the design constraints of such a saw system, I would not advise anyone to make one of these. I enjoyed making it, because I enjoy making this sort of thing. I make tools for fun and try to encourage others to make tools. For proof, check out my blog, toolmakingart.com

If I had been paid 2$ a hour for the time I spent planning and building this, I could have bought an EZ-One. I still covet the EZ-One. Making this table has given me a very clear understanding of how brilliant the EZ system it is. The EZ-One is modifiable, portable, convenient, easily adjusted to precision, and can utilize all of the rest of the EZ gear.

Bob
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  #5  
Old 07-08-2010, 02:05 PM
Burt Burt is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Sumter, SC
Posts: 3,682
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Bob,

There is a special joy in using a tool that you created. That is certainly some sturdy materials that used to build. It may not have as costly as a EZ-One but you do have a considerable amount of money and a lot of time invested.

When you see a tool like that most people think that couldn't take very long to do. I always seem to find a problem here and an opportunity to excel there and before I know it hours have passed but I enjoy every second of it.

Enjoy!!


Burt
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  #6  
Old 07-08-2010, 02:06 PM
Bob Strawn Bob Strawn is offline
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Texas
Posts: 37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dino View Post
Bob, nice work.
it may take you the rest of your life to actually believe that YOUR PBB
outperforms many complicated and expensive machinery...
but that comes with every eureka moment.

thanks for posting.
Thanks Dino, and you are entirely right. In my original design, there was going to be a lot of clamping built into the system. After the first trials, I realized that the only reason for a clamp would be to hold an alignment jig in place.

The first thing I did when I got it working, was to make a few cuts that I was scared to make on a table saw. Cuts that I knew where going to burn, bind, and throw stuff at me. Cuts that would require major jigging and rigging. All of them where made without effort, special equipment or rigging.

Then I cleaned up and squared a few pieces of wood. With a PBB, this is no effort at all. I cannot think of a better tool for the job.

Then I made some angle cuts. After cutting the first one, I am now wondering why they even make table saws. Seriously, I don't ever plan to use a table saw again. Table saws are dead to me. I don't even want to put my old saw up on craigslist. Someone might get hurt. Those things are dangerous.

Bob
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  #7  
Old 07-08-2010, 02:34 PM
Dino Dino is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Edison NJ
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Strawn View Post
Then I made some angle cuts. After cutting the first one, I am now wondering why they even make table saws. Seriously, I don't ever plan to use a table saw again. Table saws are dead to me. I don't even want to put my old saw up on craigslist. Someone might get hurt. Those things are dangerous.

Bob
Bob, You're a good man.
I had few tablesaws and never sold one.
I transform them into something else.

again, I like your website and we should have a link
on other smart tools and inventions.

thanks again for posting.
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eurekazone.
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  #8  
Old 07-08-2010, 02:40 PM
Bob Strawn Bob Strawn is offline
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Texas
Posts: 37
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Burt View Post
Bob,

There is a special joy in using a tool that you created. That is certainly some sturdy materials that used to build. It may not have as costly as a EZ-One but you do have a considerable amount of money and a lot of time invested.

When you see a tool like that most people think that couldn't take very long to do. I always seem to find a problem here and an opportunity to excel there and before I know it hours have passed but I enjoy every second of it.

Enjoy!!


Burt
I have to admit that it is a bit overbuilt. I intend for it to last my entire lifetime. Which may be longer now that I don't have to use my table saw anymore.

Even the bearings that I used for the bridge are marine grade and way over specification. By building it solid, and weatherproof, it will have better stability over time. Aluminum angle needs to be pretty hefty to approach the stability of an EZ track.

I have to admit to quite a bit of enjoyment when using this. It really opens up my ability to create.

Now I need to get some tightbond glue for painting the plywood with. If you take tightbond and dilute it 4 part of water to 1 part of tightbond, you get a really nice paint for work surfaces. The glue paint is seriously tough and can take a lot of wear. It is also nearly impossible to get glue to stick to it, so it will protect the surface from accidents. It will also tend to protect the surface from spills as the glue is weather proof.

Bob
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  #9  
Old 07-08-2010, 04:52 PM
Dik Harrison Dik Harrison is offline
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Evans, GA
Posts: 1,605
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Bob,

Thank you for posting. I like the design of the rail on your PBB, the only way you could get more depth of cut is to mount the saw so its base is under the rail.

I too have an Incra miter that I use on the PBB, in fact I'll be posting some pictures of how I'm using it today.

Love your site, I know what I'll be doing the next time I can't sleep (probably tomorrow morning).

I like your tip on using Tightbond as a paint. Which version do you use, the original, II or III?

I too have the habit of over building things (just compare my custom PBB with the EZ-One), and once they are built, I'm loath to make changes.

Please keep us informed if you come up with anything new or different for the PBB.
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Former Consultant to EurekaZone

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  #10  
Old 07-08-2010, 06:48 PM
Bob Strawn Bob Strawn is offline
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Texas
Posts: 37
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dik Harrison View Post
Bob,

Thank you for posting. I like the design of the rail on your PBB, the only way you could get more depth of cut is to mount the saw so its base is under the rail.

I too have an Incra miter that I use on the PBB, in fact I'll be posting some pictures of how I'm using it today.

Love your site, I know what I'll be doing the next time I can't sleep (probably tomorrow morning).

I like your tip on using Tightbond as a paint. Which version do you use, the original, II or III?

I too have the habit of over building things (just compare my custom PBB with the EZ-One), and once they are built, I'm loath to make changes.

Please keep us informed if you come up with anything new or different for the PBB.
You are correct in you observations on the saw depth. I deliberated on this issue for a long time. The saw is way too efficient in it's design. There is no room to put a bar over the sole without reducing it's depth. Replacing the saws original sole with a custom sole would be the only way I can come up with to really get the most out of it. I really wanted to mount it flush with the bottom of the rail, but I could not come up with a method that I would trust over the long haul.

For quick one off design, the Incra is the fastest and most convenient way that I could come up with for setting up an angle.

I have used both Tightbond II and III, and I prefer II. Some of the Tightbond III that I have gotten has curdled and ruined some rather expensive work. Tightbond, once it is set, is unrepairable. Nothing will stick to it. You have to remove it entirely and get to a clean layer of wood before anything will hold. In other words it is great for painting a gluing table, I even like the aged antique yellow tint it gives. As a glue however it does not please me. My favorite glue is ecopoxy since it is pretty much as tough as it gets, will adhere to itself and has an unlimited shelf life. While it is currently the only glue I know of that is rated as food safe for storing potable water, I do worry about the BPA issue. Since Lexan, and the epoxy liners of canned drinks and foods are pretty much the same material, we are all getting pretty well exposed to it. Sadly the other water proof glues available are seriously much more dangerous, so for me it is ecopoxy or nothing.

I do find it a bit amusing that I use a paint for a glue and a glue for a paint.

If I don't need water proof, I like using hide glue, once you get past the preparation time, it is one of the most convenient glues in existence.

I have learned so much from this forum, that it would be pretty rude of me not to give back to it. So I feel quite duty bound to share any innovations that I come up with.

Bob

Last edited by Bob Strawn; 07-08-2010 at 06:51 PM.
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