Thursday, December 11, 2014

IN DEPTH: Table Saw Workstation Part 1 - Q&A with Stan Sullivan




I remember the day.  It was two weeks before Christmas 2013.  I set up a camera in my garage for the first time and hit record.


I have always been a very private person.  It was odd at first to think of what I was about to do.  Yes, my career choice in life was radio broadcasting.  An "on-air talent" or as most people know, DJ.  My first job was at an oldies station.  I worked the overnight shift from midnight to 5 A.M.  During my time in the radio industry I would go on to work at a top 40's station, 80's & 90's station, country music and a talk radio station over on the AM side of the dial.  This however, was something different. The camera pierces a veil that a mic in a studio could never do.

Luckily for me I was mentored by many talented and wonderful people.  I was and still am grateful for their willingness to share their knowledge and experiences in broadcasting.

The principles that became a hallmark of who I was in radio are now the very same calling cards I employ in my videos.

1. Don't be long winded.  Say what you have to say and get out.

2. Don't worry if everyone likes what you have to say.  Not everyone will.

3. Be yourself.  It is the most valuable asset anyone will ever have.

So it was with these principles in mind that I decided what my very first video was going to be.

Something I felt was so uniquely me, that I underestimated its interest.  A workstation that housed a cheap table saw and doubled as a work bench.  Its dimensions had no other thought behind them other than it needed to fit in a corner of a one car garage we had at the time.

I remember having a somewhat heated discussion with my mother at the time.  She thought I had glossed over some stuff and I needed to go over a few things a little more.  I said I wasn't going to bore people with a bunch of information that no one would ever want.

It wasn't long after I had uploaded the video that I began to realize who came up on the short end of that conversation.

IN DEPTH: Table Saw Workstation Part 1 - Q&A with Stan Sullivan


 


The following are some of the questions and comments I received on this video.  I generally respond on the platform the comment was originally posted but I thought I would consolidate some of them into one spot along with some of my thoughts on the subjects.

(Comments or questions in this post may have been condensed in order to stay on point more efficiently.)

 - Hello Stan. Good to see more of this table saw project. I did exactly the same thing with my 10" craftsman table saw by adding a long 3/4" piece of plywood on top and had the same questions on my google+ At that moment I didn't really care about losing the 3/4" depth but when I wanted to rip 2x4's it was kicking my butt. Be well buddy. 

Yeah, I get that point.  In my case the original cut depth wasn't enough to get through a 2x4 anyway.  I had to flip it end for end before and I still have to flip it end for end.  So the only thing that has changed for me is that it is safer to do it now than it was before.   

 - For the sled  what is the depth and width, did you use T-tracks?

 7/16" x 3/4"  no T track.

 - Instead of a drawer i would put a hopper under it (upside down pyramid) where the shop vac plugs into the small end so all the sawdust is directed towards the shop vac i would also make it out of melamine or something like that to reduce the chance of sawdust buildup.

I like this idea.  Look for that video upcoming.


 - Hi Stan. Great to see you are doing an in depth talk on your workstation, hope you carry on to the rip fence part as I made my own after watching your video and as far as I know it's true to yours, one problem I had though was the tightening of the knob to the workstation. Mine just wouldn't tighten that well.

I do have plans to do a Q&A on the rip fence video.  I'll go over some of the things that I feel are probably more critical than others to getting it to work properly.

 -  Love the honesty Stan. Gotta tell you that I use every bit of my blade height so yes I would miss 3/4 of an inch.

One of the things I love about woodworking is that their is a tool and a method for everyone.  What I feel is important may not be important to anyone else at any time and vice versa.  I see people who take a circular saw, turn it upside down and mount it underneath a piece of plywood for essentially the same effect as my set up only with an even shallower cut depth.  It works for them, mine works for me and yours works for you.  Keep building!

 - Now that's a refreshing approach, to hear about the screwups and delays in someoene else's projects. Maybe you and me are the only ones with such problems, but at least I feel less alone, and i'll keep trucking withe renewed vigor. Cheers and thanks !

I believe some of the most meaningful moments in our lives are when we have messed up and we are able to look back on it and reflect.  What went wrong.  Where it went wrong and why.  Our brains are able to use that information in order to come up with new and better solutions.  In fact, I believe it uses it much more efficiently than it uses our successes.    

I also believe it is important to share those experiences with others.  I think sometimes we can watch a project video where something is built in 5 or 10 minutes, go out to our shops and carry that unrealistic expectation that things will go as quickly and smoothly as they did in the video.

Inevitably things do not go as well or as smoothly and one can easily feel discouraged.  Perhaps a small thought creeps in that we are not as good a woodworker and by extension our project is not as good either.  When those thoughts take root, it is easy to find reasons to not start a project in the first place.

Well guess what!  That 5 seconds of me sanding down a project before applying the stain was actually an hour and a half of painfully slow back and forth monotonous torture that I decided to spare you from.  Your welcome!!

You know what else?  Your projects are just as good for as long as you decide to -

Never Stop Building!

Happy DIYing.

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