Sep 15 2012

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Table Saw Cart: The Carcass

Since I can buy a whole stick of 8′ of “quality” grade 1×4 pine for less than I can buy 1 board foot of any other material, I decided to make the carcass of the table saw stand using pine and 1/4″ plywood. Yes, pine is a softer wood, but I’m not making fine furniture here, I think my table saw cart can handle a few dents and dings. If I really wanted to be cheap, I probably could have made the entire carcass out of 3/4″ plywood, but I think the pine is a good compromise between looking good and being inexpensive.

Using pocket hole joinery, I made the top, bottom, and side frames out of the pine 1×4’s. Since I only have a single hole jig, I had to reposition it for each hole I drilled. To locate the holes consistently, I used a brass setup bar to locate the jig 1/2″ from each edge. As I started to screw the frames together, I realized that I only had 1-1/4″ fine pocket screws, so I had to go to the store to buy some coarse ones.

To hold the top and bottom frames, I used my router table to route 3/8″ deep by 3/4″ wide rabbets in the sides. Then using my router in a fixed base, I chucked in a 1/4″ rabbeting bit and cut rabbets for the center panels and the back. I squared up the corners of the rabbets with a chisel.

With the panels glued and pin nailed into the side frames, I glued the carcass together and clamped it with all the long clamps I own — I definitely need more! In the above shot you can see one of my boo-boos: I cut plywood for one side panel with the grain oriented the wrong way, I meant for all the visible plywood grain to be oriented up and down.

Last I made two dust frames, again using pocket hole joinery. I mounted the first frame high enough that my miter sled could fit in the bottom of the case (see the first picture) and then spaced the second so that I could fit a 6″ drawer into the middle. The top drawer will be a little shallower, but that doesn’t matter, it’s only purpose is to catch the sawdust falling from the bottom of the saw. I thought about cutting dado slots in the sides to hold the dust frames, but the plywood is only 1/4″ thick. Instead I glued the dust frames in place and shot 1-1/2″ finish nails through the sides. I also ended up shooting 1-1/2″ finish nails into the top and bottom rabbets, because I could hear some of the glue joints popping as I was positioning the dust frames.

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