A comprehensive educational community devoted to trim carpentry, finish carpentry and architectural millwork. Hosted by nationally recognized author and finish carpentry specialist Gary M. Katz.
  Tom C's Assembly & Cutting Table  
  I liked Gary and Greg's assembly table idea (yes, all of these designs are inspired by the EZ Smart Table!), but I knew it wouldn't survive the rigors of my shop. I wanted to build a super-sturdy and durable model, one that could withstand the frequent abuse of flipping heavy 3/4 in. plywood and MDF on it--I cut a lot of that stuff. But I didn't want to spend too much money on the hardware.

I found some standard size T-track on Ebay for $10 per two 2-foot sections! There seems to be an endless supply from the same guy. The only draw back was that the tracks had three tabs which had to be ground off to use them the way I did. It was very easy to do. Cheap T-track is also available at Eagle America & PriceCutter.


Notice I dadoed the table about 1/4" deep to receive the T-tracks. This adds to the durability of the whole assembly. Yellow pine edging acts as stops for the T-nuts.



Instead of a bunch of expensive knobs, I opted for heavier hardware then might be standard for this size T-track (used 5/16-18 instead of 1/4-20 hardware). The larger size T-nuts needed to be modified a little bit with a file, but again, it was quick and easy to do. I tightened the t-bolts until the friction was just right--the 2x uprights are stable, and they don't slide on their own, yet it only takes a nudge to move them.



For the corner outriggers, I dadoed 1/2" thick strips of straight grained oak scraps and mounted the T-tracks into them. This added some strength and a more convenient way to secure to the backboard. They are mounted with a countersunk screw through the board into a 4-prong tee nut. Gary and Greg's corner outriggers are very convenient and easy to spin into the stowed position. I have to slide my 2x3 out in order to spin the track into the stowed position. To me this is no big deal.



Instead of 1x stock for the supports, which I didn't want to spend much money on, I bought a couple of 8 ft 2x3 spruce studs (only about $1.50 each) and cut, cured and shaped them to take any curl out. Another feature which adds to the tremendous durability and economy of this version are matching dados that straddle the T-tracks.

Well I hope you find this version useful. It probably takes longer to make mine than Gary and Greg's, but mine is a lot cheaper: I guess I only spent $55-$60 on hardware and a couple of 2xs. All the other wood was leftovers.

  Supported by corporations who care about education in the construction industry.  
  Mastering FInish Carpentry DVDs