Wednesday, February 24, 2010

A good day in the shop

A Portmanteau in pine poplar and plywood.

Yesterday was not such a good day, but today...

I was up and out in the shop by 8:00 a.m. as I had a project that I wanted to do.  For some time I've wanted a shop trolley, a cart, to move production pieces from one machine to another.  There's nice carts out there but generally they're made of some sort of petroleum product and cost a lot of money.  Also they're just carts.  I wanted something with some versatility.  So with some poplar and particle board I got busy on what began as a very chilly morning at Victory Wood Working.

This is the frame for the top portion, glued, clamped, and screwed and cut to exactly the space between the arms of my table saw.  hmmmm...

The table saw is the most often used machine in my shop, however when cutting really long or wide pieces of dimensional lumber or big panels there's often not enough table surface to support the stock that I'm trying to cut.

The second rule of woodworking is that you can't have too many clamps.  This is the top portion of the trolley with the lower surface in place and the supports glued and clamped that will accommodate the flush top panel.  I have a plan in my head.

A counter-sink is a handy tool to use with your drill.  Drilling and countersinking screwsholes will look much nicer and a drilled and countersunk hole, even so near the end of the work, won't split on you.

As the glued-up top portion dried I built the bottom portion.  I mounted the casters into two-by-sixes, both for the bulk of wood to support the caster screws as well as for the added weight at the very bottom of the trolley, which will make it very stable.

Looking very gnome-like, Im connecting the top and bottom portions of the trolley by clamping, glueing, and screwing the legs into place.

And viola! as my beloved French people say.  Rolled into place quite snugly between the rip-fence arms of my table saw this trolley surface, perfectly flush, provides a mobile but very stable two-by-two foot extension for my saw.  It can be used on either side and also to the rear of the saw to support stock being sawed (sawn?).  Note the grasping handles milled into the sides.  That top lifts off to reveal...

The parts trolley.  A clean spacious, and lipped surface, handy for transporting production pieces to various machine stations throughout the shop.

Another satisfying, safe, fun, and productive day at Victory Wood Working.  Have I mentioned how glad I am to have built this wonderful shop?

Making the chips fly,



  1. That's a clean shop! We'll never see YOU on an episode of "Hoarders" !

  2. Nice ! I used to work in a millworks shop, making cabinetry, tables, and the occasional staircase. I long for my lathe! You have a nice set up there.

  3. Wonderfull work Mannie! And wonderful shop also! Congrats. Gabriel
    PD: I like your writting, did I tell you? Great!