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:
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.
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.
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:
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.
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!!!!
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
Kudos in the regard, Greg and Bill! Well done.
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
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.
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.
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..
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
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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
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...
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.
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).
Absolutely agree ... would never willinhly give up my table saw for what
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. ;)
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
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