Building a Shop Work Table

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Building shop furniture is necessary if you want a good surface to work on, in this case a table that is a work bench and will also be a foam cutting table when finished.  It is also a good way to learn the fundamentals of woodworking if you are thinking of setting up shop in the garage and need a work surface.  I prefer to make my own so that it is heavy enough, well built, and has a nice flat top.  This top will be melamine coated particle board so that foam can slide over it when cutting.  Wood tops are nice for hand tool woodworking and melamine is nice for outfeed tables where things need to slide over the surface.  The important thing is that it is as flat as possible.  Work benches and tables are a tool like any thing else in the shop and it has to be able to function like one.  You need to be able to clamp to it and use its flat surface as a reference to check for board flatness.  If using a table as a saw outfeed, the surface has to be flat or the board will dip and pinch the blade, this is a safety issue and a precision cutting issue.

The first step is to tune up the jointer and planer so I installed new knives and took the time to make sure they are cutting right.  Next I went to Home Depot and got 20 of the 8 foot long 2×6 boards.  The jointer is 6inches wide so that’s why I chose this width.  The next step is to set it up so I can actually joint these boards and glue them up.

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-Matt

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