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  1. #1
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    Outfeed/assembly table questions

    I'm building my first outfeed/assembly table for my workshop, this is the inspiration for the design:
    https://www.reddit.com/r/woodworking...ssembly_table/

    It will be a torsion box top created from mdf/ply/hardboard surrounded with a hardwood edge on all sides. I will also have a front vise installed in the same position.
    Base will be simple 4x4 legs with stretchers/aprons and some yet to be determined configuration of storage underneath.

    First question is this, I have some older "project" wood (oak) that is slightly over 4/4, can I get away with 1/2" thick edging for the sides? Keep in mind, the face of this edging will be the inner jaw of my front vise.
    I'm asking this because I would like to resaw this board in half to get 2 sides from 1 board. From the pic above, it looks like 3/4", which I don't mind doing, but if I can get away with thinner, less waste.

    Once that is done, what would be a good finish for this type of shop furniture, how best to protect the hardboard top and the hardwood edging?

    Thanks for your time!

    The lone pic of my torsion box assembly, I started off inline, but found that staggering was better in the long run.

    20190129_181055.jpg

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    Re: Outfeed/assembly table questions

    If you still can, you might consider a 1/8 or 1/4 MDF scarificial top layer that you change as it gets messed up.

    For finish on something like this, I use what I have on hand and have plenty of. Poly will make it more durable and if you thin it you can wipe it on avoiding the cost of brushes. I've been using a lot of shellac recently. I have a brush that is in a large container with some alcohol and I just pull it out, dry it some on a rag and the brush on the finish. It is not as durable as poly but it will help it shed water and most stains. It is also easy to renew. A new layer of shellac eats into the existing layers.

    I once tried dividing some 5/4 beech into two pieces for drawer parts and I could not get resulting pieces more than 3/8 thick. That seems a bit thin for the edging but I don't think there are any hard and fast rules. It should still work, just might look a little fragile.
    Last edited by JimD; 02-06-2019 at 05:44 PM.

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    Re: Outfeed/assembly table questions

    I would install the hardwood edging proud of the torsion box top by the thickness of your sacrificial hardboard. That way if your hardboard layer gets messed up, you can just pull in out, use it as a template to cut the next piece w/dog holes, then drop it into place

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    Re: Outfeed/assembly table questions

    I used a sheet of White MDF for my outfeed table. I do a lot of assembly on it also so glue ect just scrapes right off. If you use hardboard Poly isthe best choice for sealing it in my opinion

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    Re: Outfeed/assembly table questions

    Thank you guys for the advice. Yes, I'm using the hardboard on the top with the intent of replacing it down the line, it will be screwed into the top assembly. Ideally I would like the edging to be around 3/4" thick, so I may cut some test pieces at 1/2" to see how it looks on the sides. Thanks for the suggestion on the poly!

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    Re: Outfeed/assembly table questions

    Leave enough overhang so you can clamp what you are working on to the top

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    Re: Outfeed/assembly table questions

    If you are going to put it right up next to the table saw, you should consider routing some slots for the miter gauge to go into. A good permanent finish would be to use Formica (or such). It will allow glue to be flaked off and will be slick so outfeed pieces will slide easily.

    George
    2B1ASK1

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    Re: Outfeed/assembly table questions

    FWIW, I built an outfeed table using a hardboard top and have replaced it recently. If I ever build another one, it will have Formica or similar top. The hardboard worked fine but scraping off glue is much easier with the Formica.

    I found that a thin coat of BLO on the hardboard about twice a tear helped with my glue sticking issues.

    2"-3" overhang is great advice.
    Miter slot grooves - great advice.
    I put mine on HD casters and the mobility is really handy.
    Make sure the top is ~ 1/8" lower than saw top.
    Countersink screws and replacing top is no sweat.

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    Re: Outfeed/assembly table questions

    Once again, thanks for all the advice.
    I'm with you guys on all points. Will route out oversized miter slot tracks, will have it on mobile casters, top is already put on with coutersunk screws.

    I'm working on the pieces for the vice now, since the front vice is mounted underneath the table, the inner jaw is taller than the edging, so I had to glue up a panel to fit the size.
    The front jaw is double width boards that I just laminated last night. Will cut them to size later this week and finish putting on the edging. Then I'll finish out the top and start working on the base :-)

    This has been a fun project minus flush routing the mdf!

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    Re: Outfeed/assembly table questions

    Be sure you have plenty of air movement and a respirator when routing that MDF!!

    Also be aware when you finish the cut, if you remove your respirator, the air is still full of toxic dust.

    I recommend doing this outside. The amount of dust created routing MDF is astounding.

    Be sure to blow off your clothes thoroughly with compressed air.

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    Re: Outfeed/assembly table questions

    I always wear a respirator when routing anything. Yes, this dust lingers, whatever I don't vacuum up I blow out of the garage, wait for the air to settle then do another round, did this 3 times before it was all gone. I have the Milwaukee leaf blower, its actually very powerful for a battery operated unit.

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