Crazy? (on topic)

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I've been drawing a lot of different things, enough to take me a year to build at my usual pace. But we (now that my wife has found the benefits of custom - if amateur-built - furniture) are entertaining a bunch of ideas that would need to work together.
She tossed out the idea of a bench for extra seating against a wall, but something that could also be used to serve buffet-style. This is what I came up with. Keep in mind this is all schematic so far; all of the dimensions would likely change and I have left out many details:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/gdguarino/12138472454/in/photostream/
and
http://www.flickr.com/photos/gdguarino/12138064105/in/photostream/
Let's leave aside the question of whether or not I could build this. The legs would certainly present a challenge. But does it raise any red flags that I'm not seeing?
At 70" long (which could change), the span is a concern. I figure that it would be plenty strong in the "down" position for people to sit on, but I wonder if the top would tend to bow with a bunch of (full) serving pieces on it when raised. The top as I've drawn it would be 3/4" ply. I suppose I could double it up; I plan on a border around it anyway.
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On 1/25/2014 1:48 PM, Greg Guarino wrote:

Certainly doable but let me mention some things you need to think about.
The telescoping legs will need to fit relatively snug so that a gap between the outer and inner leg does not show, unless there is not concern for that.
The closer the fit, the more you will need to insure that all legs are perfectly parallel to each other, inner and outer legs.
The closer the tolerances the more the need for raising and lowering to be a two person operation. The upper unit will bind if only one person lifts and does not lift straight up.
That said, the raised unit should not sag as long as you are working with a hard wood apron and it is at least 2" wide.
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On 1/25/2014 2:57 PM, Leon wrote:

I figured to make them pretty loose, maybe an eighth all around, for the reasons you mention.

Exactly. And I think I have a reasonably accurate assessment of my own skills, which is why I'd leave some slop.

Definitely a two-person job, yes.

Thanks. A slightly wider apron. Check.
I just did some more thinking about your "parallel" comment above and have altered the drawing a bit:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/gdguarino/12138472454/in/photostream/
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On 1/25/2014 2:35 PM, Greg Guarino wrote:

I was going to suggest that but did not want to alter your design. Those stretchers will certainly keep thing from becoming rickety.
Another word of caution it will work best if you attach the lower stretchers with the upper table section fully down. Test clamp the stretcher is place and make a trial run lifting the table up and down.
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wrote:

Could be made simpler. Don't need to drill the outside legs for the pegs. Drill inside legs right at top to store the pins, and at right position for pins to rest on top of the frame when extended - no more problem trying to get the $%# & pins lined up!!!!
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On 1/25/2014 4:57 PM, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

Thanks. I just thought of that while looking at the drawing. Harder to move the unit though; grabbing it by the apron would just pull the top right out. And I do SO hate bending down. :)
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wrote:

So put a small braket on the inside of the outer leg to hold the pin. Doesn't have to be much, or very strong - even a little cable loop. Just enough to hold the legs when you pick it up.
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On 1/25/2014 1:48 PM, Greg Guarino wrote:

Basically what Leon said.
I rather like your concept, and any leg issue can be dealt with handily. Perhaps stout pins which are installed from the inside of the leg instead of showing on the outside?
On another, and IMO, most important note:.
What you, and others like Bill, are doing with SketchUp amply illustrates the amazing value and utility to the woodworker of having this free, readily available means to get his ideas and thoughts down in form that can be shared, as well as inestimably beneficial in both design and build.
Just a few years back it was hard to find anyone who grasped the benefits of SketchUp, and most had to be brought kicking and screaming to the table.
Really nice to see you guys make such good use of this particular bit of technology as a tool in their arsenal. To me, just as important a tool for the ultimate success of the end product as the finest tool and skill you possess.
Kudos in the regard, Greg and Bill! Well done.
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On 1/25/2014 3:25 PM, Swingman wrote:

I could do that, although I feel like I'd need to bore halfway into the second side of the leg to support that end of the pin. I think it might be a nice visual element to leave it visible, though.

There's still a fair amount of screaming over here, you just can't hear it. :)
I just discovered something as I was adding leg braces to the drawing, something I remember worked on various CAD programs. I wanted to copy the braces from the "down" drawing to the "up" drawing, but there was no "defined" point on the legs that touches the braces. I selected the three "brace" components, clicked "move" and then chose a point at the bottom corner of one of the legs (a point NOT on the object being moved) as the reference. I dragged the group until that point met the corresponding point on the other drawing, and voila, perfect positioning. Just a few hours ago I was still drawing a "disposable" line to do that task.

The problem now is that I can draw things with relative ease that I may not be able to build.
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On 1/25/2014 2:53 PM, Greg Guarino wrote:

Times have changed. When I first started touting SU in this forum you'd sworn I pissed in someone's Wheaties.

That's a good thing ... you can now design things that you know you can't build, _before_ getting halfway through a project in the shop and having to design your way out of an expensive corner.
This was an all too common occurrence in the old days, and why even good woodworkers, or those who have yet to snap to the benefits of 3D modeling software, often used someone elses plans for all their projects.
Now, as an increasingly accomplished SU user, you can leverage the learning new skills and techniques, and put that plan money toward a tool, or project supplies.
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On 1/25/2014 2:53 PM, Greg Guarino wrote: Snip

Well you seem to be doing wonders with out a TS. ;~) You may be unstoppable if you get one. LOL
With your above comment in mind, I have been using CAD programs for damn near 30 years now. With out a doubt Sketchup is so ideally suited for wood workers that I finally dropped the use of AutoCAD. This drawing program works so well that you will absolutely become a better woodworker. I have been doing serious woodworking for 30+ years but until I started using Sketchup exclusively I seldom embarked on complicated projects. Now most of my projects would be considered pretty complex and large. With the aid of Sketchup and it's ability to show me every detail from any angle that I want I don't give these complicated projects a second thought, once I am happy with the design, before going to the shop and starting..
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On 1/25/2014 4:33 PM, Leon wrote:

Thanks for the (over-generous) compliment. Keep them coming. Encouragement is always welcome. But I am making strides; each project looks a little nicer than the one before.
Sometimes you can turn lemons into lemonade. Without a TS, the hardest thing is to rip narrow stock, so I try to "design" for standard dimensions. I just had an(other) idea for how to make the legs on my bench/serving table.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/gdguarino/12156402766/
I was thinking to rip down the wider pieces to close to the right width, make the dadoes and then trim the edges flush with a router after assembly. But while I was drawing it, I wondered if it might be a nice design element to leave the "excess" width as-is. I'll have to copy the "new" leg design into the full drawing, but so far I think it might work.
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On 1/26/2014 12:01 PM, Greg Guarino wrote:

OK, seriously, you need to get a decent TS. I really like the way you are experimenting with Sketchup. I think your skills would slingshot ahead with the ideas you are coming up with. That last design is really unique.
Now take another look at it again and consider the possible forces that the outer pieces will be having to resist. I am absolutely not saying that the strength is not adequate so much as to get you to consider that possibility. Just something to watch out for when thinking outside of the box. Keep it up.
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On 1/26/2014 12:01 PM, Greg Guarino wrote:

In the span of time I've been woodworking I've had use of a table saw less than 50% of that time, but was fortunate to have learned early how to use a handsaw to rip, then finish up with a hand plane.
It takes longer, as dimensioning stock to project dimensions with hand tools takes a good deal of practice, but it is by no means an insurmountable limitation for building one off pieces of furniture/cabinetry.
If you've got the time, go for it.
AAMOF, were I were a hobbyist today in a shop as small as mine, in lieu of a table saw I would consider either a good band saw, and/or a plunge saw and guide rail/MFT system, like the Festool.
AAMOF, I take my TS-75 plunge saw to the job site, in lieu of a table saw, these days.
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On 1/27/2014 10:08 AM, Swingman wrote:

I was going to reply to Leon's post. But you said it all in yours, you were dead on.
I think that most europeans gave up on the TS for job site. The track saw seems to rule.
I was given advice to buy a bandsaw first. I didn't.
I was frustrated at first with my bandsaw. Even though I thought I Had it setup right. My problem was the OLSON blades.. once I switched to timberwolf my problems went away. The thing cut perfectly to the fence (adjusted once now, and not touched for years). So I agree about the bandsaw.. And whenever you have a dangerous cut on the TS I go to the BS usually.
Hand tools and planes ... the more power tools I have the more I appreciate my hand tools. Especially my planes. Enough can not be said about learning to use and sharpen them...
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On 1/27/2014 1:29 PM, woodchucker wrote:

And I agree with Swingman but I still think a TS is going to be better for cutting dado's/ groves and cross cutting. A BS will rip but IMHO the larger table on a TS helps support the work more so that the relatively small BS table and typically you do have much more fence to help guide on a TS. Track saws are great, I use mine as my joiner to straighten S2S stock. And given that I now have the Festool work table with the track to use my TS75 saw for angle and cross cutting I'm still going to use my TS for those cuts in most cases.
And going on to the BS problems you were having with the Olson blades. I have found that through using 3 different BS's that the structural strength of the saw has more to do with the ability to get a good cut From any given blade.
I had a 10" Craftsman and seldom used it in the many years that I had it. I ordered an 18" Rykon to replace it and long story short ended up buying a Laguna LT16HD BS. My problem with the Rykon is that I would not cut well with the Timberwolf blades but cut quite well with the blade that came with it and one that I had made for it. There were other issues but I won't get into those. Timberwolf worked with me to resolve the problem but we were unsuccessful. So oddly some blades worked well some did not. The Laguna does not care what I put on it and I very seldom have to adjust the tilt on the top wheel for tracking unless I go from 1/4" to 1-1/4". This saw is so ridged that once set up, from the beginning, blade types and widths require little to no adjustment when swapping out. Mostly the only adjustment is moving the guides forward or backward to accept the larger or smaller blades.
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On 1/27/2014 3:24 PM, Leon wrote:

I never have to change my tracking. I spent lots of time getting this coplanar and everything else. I have a USA made delta 14" POC.
my wheels were wobbly and not round... I had to sit there truing them up... my riser I had to remove the pins to get it lined up.. I also had to reem and shim my guide shaft. The hole had been bored so that raising and lowering it required massive changes in the guide block setup. So I reamed it a little oversize so I could put brass shims in to get it straight... it runs well now.. but that's a lot of work for what should have been a good saw.
Delta was useless, if Delta hadn't been sold it would not matter, I would not have bought another new Delta.. I have bought used.. (jointer).
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On 1/27/2014 2:24 PM, Leon wrote:

Absolutely agree ... would never willinhly give up my table saw for what I do.
I could do without it, however. And were I scaling back to doing just the odd piece of furniture, and even small cabinet jobs, I could make do with a bandsaw, the TS-75, and a router table, although I would sorely miss the TS, time wise, for batch ripping and dado stack work. The fewer 'like parts' needed, the less need for the TS, IME
I used the TS-75 on those two remodels in AR last year, in lieu of the TS. What I missed the most was the dead-on accuracy of batch cutting 'like parts' on the table saw, and using a handheld router for dadoes.
I believe you might be able to mitigate that somewhat with a good MFT setup ... and another $5-10k investment in Festoolies. ;)
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On 1/27/2014 3:12 PM, Swingman wrote:

LOL. And to let you know where I am coming from with Greg, he seems like the type that might get into producing quite a bit if a TS were available at home.
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On 1/27/2014 6:37 PM, Leon wrote:

Well, Greg has a lot of "big ideas", that's for sure. But only some of them come to fruition. A table saw (and a place to put it) doesn't seem to be in the cards for the immediate future.
Frankly, the thing that slows me down the most is finishing. Using a circular saw (with guides), a miter saw and a router (frequently with a dado jig) I manage to fashion the parts in a reasonable amount of time. But the finishing slows things to a crawl.
Thanks to the helpful folks here, I prefinish as many parts as I can, masking off surfaces to be glued. That makes things a lot easier but there's still an awful lot to do, and do again, and again and again. And life responsibilities usually ensure that several days elapse between those "agains".
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